How to Become a Wedding Planner

How to Become a Wedding Planner

Weddings are one of the most important events in many people’s lives and the planning can be overwhelming. Wedding planners are trained professionals that help relieve the stress by managing most or all the wedding planning aspects.

What does a wedding planner do?

Wedding planners (also called wedding consultants) handle most of the details of setting up a wedding. They create wedding schedules, make vendor appointments, provide wedding theme and décor choices, and provide wedding attire options. They first meet with a couple to understand their needs and goals and then they present the clients with their recommendations. They involve the couple in all planning aspects and gain their approval before moving forward with suggestions. Wedding planners help couples decide on ceremony and reception preferences and locations and they hire caterers, florists, entertainment, photographers, transportation, and other needed services. Sometimes they help with invitations and gift registries. Wedding planners must stay within the designated budget and ensure that all vendors are paid accordingly. They often attend rehearsals and provide direction on the day of the big event.

What kind of training does a wedding planner need?

Wedding planners must have at least a high school diploma. There are no specific formal training requirements because they vary by employer and location. A few colleges and universities offer certificates or degrees in wedding planning. The number of wedding planners with a bachelor degree is increasing because the position is becoming more complex. Many wedding consultants learn their skills through on the job training with experienced consultants. Many wedding consultants gain voluntary certification to become competitive in the field.

What are the prospects for a career as a wedding planner?

Employment of wedding planners is projected to grow faster than average for all professions, increasing 20% from 2006 to 2016 (1). Population growth and increased demand for organized wedding services will drive job growth.

Job prospects are expected to be very good especially for wedding planning with formal training and extensive experience. Job openings will also stem from the need to replace wedding planners that retire, transfer, or leave the field for other reasons.

How much do wedding planners make?

As of October 2009, wedding planners with 1 to 4 years experience earn average hourly rates between $9.50 and $15.59. Those with 5 to 9 years experience earn average hourly rates between $12.00 and $56.00 (2).

A career as a wedding planner is an excellent choice for individuals who have a strong passion for planning weddings to create the desired effect for their clients.

Wedding planners must be knowledgeable about different religions and ethnicities to work with a variety of clients. Organization, determination, creativity, excellent communication and interpersonal skills, and great networking and negotiation skills are necessary to get the best prices possible. They must be able to effectively work under stress and pressure to meet strict deadlines and resolve any potential problems.

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