Would you hire a male wedding planner for your wedding?
Be honest here! There’s nothing wrong with acknowledging the disparity in gender ratios in the available wedding planners. In fact, the statistics are pretty clear — when compared to the 80% of the wedding planners in the US that classify themselves as female, only 13% classify themselves as male.
So yes, there is a pretty big gap there. But the question is, for that 13% group of male wedding planners. Could you trust them to work on your wedding? Why or why not? If you belong in the latter category and are hesitant about hiring a male wedding planner. Continue reading!
We’ve interviewed the much-acclaimed Canadian wedding planner, Imtazur Rahman, to share the unique perspective of a male wedding event planner in a primarily female-run industry:
When did you first decide to become a wedding planner?
Imtazur Rahman: Oh, it was over a decade ago now! I was working at a hotel — which was known for having event planners on their payroll — as an event coordinator, and the move to becoming an independent event planner, with a niche in wedding planning, just seemed natural for me after that. At that point in my career, I had enough experience to back up my work and enough connections with past clients too, to make the separation feasible.
How do you like working as a wedding planner?
Imtazur Rahman: It’s been a very rewarding career! It takes a lot of manual work and discipline in order to make sure that everything goes smoothly. So, the job is demanding both physically and mentally. But to see it all come together in the end perfectly washes all the stress of it away.
What is one misconception people have about wedding planning that you hope to change?
Imtazur Rahman: A lot of people see the job title ‘Wedding Planner’ and make assumptions about the responsibilities of a wedding planner based on the first word alone. Weddings, traditionally at least, were always more about the bride than the groom. And even now, when people use the term ‘your special day’ they’re usually talking to or about the bride. I’ve even had clients with friends and family who would outright tell the groom, in front of me even, that he should leave all the decision-making to his bride. Because that’s the way it was ‘supposed to be’. Anyway, I think I can go on about this topic for quite a while.
But the point is: weddings, like relationships, are meant to be about partnership. So, I see no reason why people should perpetuate the misconception that weddings are all about the bride. Some grooms are perfectly content to not have a say, yes. But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t ask! It’s their special day too. One that they will remember, just as the bride will remember, as the day that they came together as one.
What would you say your experience in the industry has been like as a male wedding planner?
Imtazur Rahman: It’s been as you’d expect, I guess would be the best way to put it. My friends and family are perfectly supportive of my career. But there’s definitely some tension there when I’m working with more traditional clients — at least at first. Usually though, they calm down after a while.
Most of my clients here in Canada are very progressive. They know my work history and, more likely than not, the reason that they sought after my service in the first place is because I was recommended to them by a past client, so they have a reason to trust my expertise.
Have you ever been refused a job because of your gender?
Imtazur Rahman: Oh yes, of course. Especially at first. But as I’ve built my portfolio over the years, it’s been less and less likely to happen. In fact, I can’t even remember when the last time had been! I still get weird ‘looks’ here and there when I introduce myself as a male wedding planner, but when it comes to working with clients, outside of that initial tension (which could be because of my gender or because I’m just new to them or both, so I don’t take it too seriously) my clients have never had a reason to pass me over — not with my success rate.
Do you have any advice to give to our male readers who may be interested in getting into wedding planning like you?
Imtazur Rahman: Don’t turn away from it just because of your gender. Look at it like it’s just any other job (because it is!) and figure out whether it’s what you want to be doing. If you find joy in managing weddings, then do it! Don’t hesitate! It might be tough at first, but if you’re passionate about the work? There’s no reason to deny yourself the experience.