How to Hire the Best Receptionist for Your Wedding Planning Business

Sean Lund-Brown

A lot of wedding planning businesses are operated by individuals, or only have a couple of people running the show. In either case, it can seem like adding a receptionist, even with all the value they may bring, could be more challenging than anticipated. It may also just feel like a bad idea for some, but rest assured that it isn’t. 

Quite the opposite, in fact. Hiring a receptionist is one of the best things you can do to improve your wedding planning business. You’re busy planning weddings and handling clients’ events—do you have time to be on the phone, respond to emails, and try to field all the inquiries coming into your business? In an ideal world, you’d be able to do it all. However, this isn’t an ideal world and you’re only one person. 

To benefit from this addition, of course, you’ll want to choose the right person (or persons) for the job. There are different types of receptionists available, as well as different ways that you can hire or contract services. You’ll need to think about what is going to be best for you. Fortunately, we’re here to help with several parts of that. In this guide, we’ll discuss what you can get from a receptionist, what to expect when looking for someone, and how to ensure that you get the right person for the job. 

Today’s customers demand a higher standard of customer service. They want instant answers, or as close to it as they can get. If you don’t deliver, they’ll find someone else that will. By taking the time to invest in a receptionist for your business, you’ll be able to focus on the weddings that you’re working on and give your clients dedicated attention while someone else is manning the front lines. 

Keep reading to learn the benefits that come from hiring a receptionist, what you want to look for in yours, and other things you’ll want to know to get the best receptionist for your wedding planning business. 


What can a receptionist offer my business?

There is a lot that you stand to gain from adding a receptionist to your team—either virtually or in-house, and whether you hire someone as an employee or you choose to outsource the service. Today’s receptionists can even handle managing things like social media so that you don’t have to have different people to take on each role. In a smaller business or for a solo entrepreneur, this can be very useful. 

Receptionists can do anything and everything that you ask, essentially. They do a lot more than just answer the phone and take messages. A good receptionist for your wedding planning business could handle any admin, office-related, or communication tasks that you need, including things like:

  • Handling a variety of office and administrative duties
  • Coordinating relationships with vendors, clients, and others
  • Answering and directing calls and emails
  • Responding to general inquiries and questions about wedding planning services or events
  • Creating content and correspondence like letters, memos, and even social media posts
  • Maintaining the virtual and/or physical office space
  • Scheduling and managing appointments, meetings, consultations, vendors, etc. 

When you’ve got someone else handling all these things, you’ll be able to focus on the events and ensure that your clients get the wedding of their dreams every single time. 


How much will a receptionist really cost me?

Then, there’s the budget consideration. Every business owner has it—and you must be able to afford the right receptionist for the job. The good news is that you can find a lot of different price ranges and factors involved in pricing. For example, you’ll spend a fraction of a salary on contracting a receptionist or hiring a third-party service. 

And speaking of salary, the average in-house receptionist earns between $10 and $14 per hour, but don’t forget that you’ll also have to factor in benefits, training and onboarding costs, and other expenses. Right now, the average business spends about $4K on hiring and training a single new employee. For some, that’s a worthwhile investment. For others, it may just be too much. 

This is a chance for the latter to see where outsourcing can be the better option. You can get full-time (or part-time) assistance for all of your administrative and receptionist-related duties for much less than you’d spend to hire someone. Plus, you’ll probably get more services for your money, and you’ll have access to dynamic solutions like third-party virtual receptionist services to provide a full-featured package for your business. 

Whether you outsource or hire someone directly, you’ll appreciate that you have more time to spend with your clients working on their events and executing the best weddings possible. You’ll be able to allow your full passion to shine because it’s not clouded by the tedious details. Plus, your clients will feel more attended to and important because you’re available to them. 

If you’re tired of excusing yourself from venue tours, consultations, and even the wedding itself, it’s time to consider having a receptionist on hand to help. They can take care of all of the behind-the-scenes stuff while you’re taking care of the actual events and creating beautiful weddings that people will remember for a lifetime. 


Outsourcing vs. hiring an employee

Here’s a big debate that a lot of people bring to the table: do you hire someone or outsource? Thanks to the Internet, it’s easier than ever to find help around the country, and even around the world, giving you the chance to get more for your money or perhaps just find a better solution than you anticipated. To determine the right course of action, you’ll have to think about what your business needs. 

Consider the following to help you along the way:

  • Are you looking for better talent with less investment? By outsourcing, you may be able to get a lot more for your money than if you hire someone in-house. Of course, that’s dependent upon who you end up working with, but generally, you’ll find better features and services for a lower cost when you outsource. 
  • Can you afford to hire someone as an employee? In some cases, companies won’t be able to pay someone to work full-time, or even part-time. Therefore, you’ll have to consider your options and outsourcing is generally the cheaper way to go. 
  • What services are you looking for? A single receptionist might not be able to do as much as a team of agents could offer, for example. You’ll have to consider what solution will be ideal for your business but in many cases, partnering with a dedicated service gives you better solutions for your money. 
  • Do you even need to have someone in-house? Some businesses don’t require the physical presence of an employee. Others might not even need someone remotely that’s actually on their payroll. That’s where outsourcing comes in handy again. Consider this so that you can figure out what’s best. 
  • Do you have the time to delegate and come up with a solution? In addition to providing receptionist solutions, third-party services (like Smith.ai) will also help you create a strategy to manage your communications and admin tasks and make sure that your business gets the dedicated receptionists that it deserves. You can spend more time running your business and less time trying to make sure everyone else is doing their job when you outsource. 

These answers will be different for every wedding planner. However, by taking the time to consider them, you’ll ensure that you get the exact right person for the job, no matter what your wedding planning business needs. 


Qualities of a good receptionist

When it comes to hiring a receptionist, you have to choose someone qualified and experienced to do the job. There’s a lot more to getting the “best” receptionist than just hiring the first name that you find upon searching. Think about what that means to your business and what you need, specifically, in terms of hiring a receptionist. 

While hard skills like software and hardware experience are good, soft skills are even better. Look at things like time management, multitasking abilities, confidence, problem-solving skills, and other related abilities. These are qualities that you’ll want in most of your employees. 

For receptionists, it’s even more vital. When it comes to communication especially, that’s going to make a big difference in your choice. Find someone who can learn quickly and adapt easily to changes over time too. If your business is going to grow, you need someone who will grow with you. 

You’ll want to look at qualities like:

  • Friendly, personable demeanor
  • Confidence and ability to take charge 
  • Conflict resolution skills
  • Customer service skills
  • Relationship building and interpersonal skills
  • Adapts easily to changes
  • Can work in fast-paced environments
  • Ability to work as a team or independently
  • Able to switch gears quickly 

These elements are all things that are more difficult to teach, but invaluable when it comes to hiring a receptionist for your business. Everything else will be a bonus, and you can guarantee that you’ll always find more when you choose to outsource as opposed to hiring a single receptionist to be part of your staff. 

If you find someone with previous experience, you’ll be even better off from the beginning. It’s not necessarily essential, but any previous experience or work in administrative positions or reception will work in your favor. 


Hiring and other FAQs

To wrap things up, we want to cover some of the most frequently asked questions about receptionists and how to hire the right people for any role. 

When is the best time to hire receptionists?

If you think you need some help, hire a receptionist. If you’re losing time between calls and messages, hire a receptionist. If you’re reading this article, you probably need someone in the receptionist role. There’s no reason not to have this service as a part of your wedding planning business. That way, you can focus your efforts on planning and leave the details to someone else. 

Where can I find a receptionist?

There are several places that you can look for a receptionist, depending on exactly what you’re looking for. You can choose job boards to look for a receptionist if you’re hiring in-house, or even for some contractors. You can also post a listing on your website or social media. The Internet makes it easy for you to search for third-party services and virtual receptionists like the team at Smith.ai, too. 

Does my receptionist need to have experience in wedding planning?

Specific event planning expertise isn’t necessarily important for a receptionist. While it doesn’t hurt, those types of skills and industry insights you can teach. The things that you’ll want to focus on include their skills and experience regarding customer service, phones and messaging, and related admin and office tasks. If they also have experience in weddings or event planning, that’s just a bonus. 

What’s the difference in a virtual receptionist?

Ultimately, the only difference between a receptionist that works in person and a virtual receptionist is their location. You might even be able to get more or better services from a virtual solution than you would from someone that you hire as an employee or work with on an in-person basis. A virtual receptionist can work with your company through the cloud and integrate with your tools to act as the face of your brand in any situation you need. 


Turn to Smith.ai for full-service receptionist solutions and more 

If you’re not ready for an employee, or you just want a more flexible, dynamic solution, consider partnering with the virtual receptionists at Smith.ai. Our team of dedicated agents can handle all sorts of communications and admin tasks, from phone calls and messages to live chat, Facebook messaging, appointment scheduling, and so much more. 

Plus, we’ll even help you come up with the perfect strategy to handle all of it, no matter what your needs might be. From a little support to a full staff of agents, you’re totally covered when you choose to work with us. 

You can learn more when you schedule a consultation to discuss how the 24/7 virtual receptionists can help your wedding planning business with communications and more. You can also reach us at hello@smith.ai or (650) 727-6484. 


Sean Lund-Brown

Sean Lund-Brown is a current Marketing Assistant for Smith.ai. A graduate from Metropolitan State University of Denver, Sean graduated with a BA in Music and an individualized degree in Teaching Vocal Pedagogy.

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