Earning

5 wedding side hustles: Some pay $75/hour or even more

Working for brides and grooms is about "making a dream come true."

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A bride wearing Bohoreina earrings.
Photo by Itamar Doweck

Wedding season is upon us, and this year's promises to be especially busy. Nearly half, 47%, of couples who'd planned to marry in 2020 have postponed their reception date, largely to 2021, according to The Knot. That's on top of all of the couples already planning to get married this year.

The pent-up demand for weddings and wedding receptions means a lot of gig-work opportunities for anyone looking to make some extra cash. The work can be satisfying, too: "It's like making a dream come true," says Liron Etzion, designer, goldsmith, and owner of jewelry brand Bohoreina, which often works with brides.

Here are five ways to make some extra cash during wedding season.

Be a virtual assistant for weddings

When it comes to planning a wedding, "researching vendors is time-consuming, confusing, and exhausting," says Jen Glantz, founder of Bridesmaid for Hire. Couples will need to sort out food for their guests, wedding invitations, the venue, and more.

If you have the lowdown on the best local vendors or you love the logistics behind event planning, consider offering your services as a virtual assistant for weddings. For example, "a service that gives five top picks per vendor category for clients and shares these at all price points" could be a huge help to couples, Glantz says.

List yourself as a virtual assistant for hire on sites like Thumbtack, where virtual assistants charge anywhere from $14 to $75 per hour.

Sell personalized crafts on Etsy

If you've got a flair for making wedding crafts like pretty place cards, matching knit socks, or one-of-a-kind jewelry, consider starting an Etsy store selling your custom creations.

For example, a set of two personalized Champagne flutes is currently selling for $28.95 on the site, and personalized vow books are selling for $20 each.

Twenty/20

It's important to remember that "every couple has their own taste," says Etzion, and your creations won't speak to all of them. But with so many different types of weddings and couples, you should be able to find your niche.

When pricing your items, make sure to take into account the cost of materials, shipping, and seller fees. Etsy charges 20 cents for each item that you list for sale on the site, as well as a 5% transaction fee whenever you make a sale.

Rent your space

With so many wedding plans changing last-minute in 2020, couples have had to get creative about their celebrations, including finding unusual venues.

If your home is spacious and scenic enough for a small wedding or reception, consider renting it on a site like Peerspace, where unique event spaces are going for $500 per hour in Philly and $150 per hour in Austin. Peerspace charges a 15% fee for every booking.

A bride wearing Bohoreina bracelets.
Photo by Yarin Taranos

Some couples are opting for "camping weddings," an inexpensive and outdoorsy way to celebrate their nuptials with family and friends. If you own land, consider renting it out on Hipcamp, where grounds list for anywhere from $35 to $300 per night.

The platform takes a 9% to 18% fee from every stay with a minimum $3 fee.

DJ a wedding reception

The DJ helps create the party atmosphere and set the mood for the whole night. "If you love music, it's the perfect job to be in," says Robert Ward, who has DJ'd hundreds of weddings around the East Coast through his company, Prime 1 Productions.

Before you dive in, "making sure you have the right equipment is very important," he says. Here's what you could need:

  • A microphone for making announcements and getting the crowd pumped
  • Speakers to amplify the music
  • A mixer or controller to control the music
  • A laptop or USB drive from which to play the music (this will depend on your controller)

You also may need to sign up for a subscription service, like a record pool, to get access to music.

Twenty/20

All that equipment can mean upfront costs of hundreds to thousands of dollars, depending on how much you want to spend. But DJs make good money. A beginner can charge $50 to $75 per hour, says Ward, and work their way up from there.

As a professional DJ, you can list your services on sites like The Knot, WeddingWire, or Thumbtack.

Clean up when the party is over

Depending on the venue, some couples may need help cleaning up once the magical night is over. If you're comfortable tidying up after people, consider listing your cleaning services on sites like TaskRabbit, where many cleaners charge $20-$25 per hour, or Thumbtack, where cleaners charge starting costs as high as $150.

Regardless of what side hustle you choose, "the most important thing, if you want to be really profitable, is your customer service," says Etzion. Remember that you're in an industry that's "supposed to make people happy" — if you help brides and grooms realize their dream for this special event, "there's no reason they won't pass on your name many times over." 

This article has been updated to clarify how and where you can list your services online.

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