Become a Wedding Planner
Here comes the bride…! Everyone loves a good wedding (despite what people say!) and if you are one of those inherent romantics, then you might excel as a wedding planner.
What better way to put all your good ideas to use. Wedding planning is a tough job involving plenty of teamwork, confidence in your abilities to pull off a successful wedding ceremony and reception, and the creativity to give brides and grooms a unique and special day.
Wedding planning is all about logistics and delegation as well as organization, networking and negotiation. These skills are an asset to have along with a friendly personality. Getting the best possible prices on caterers, florists, bakers, venues and more is all about how you get on with others and will ensure that you have a happy married couple in the end.
Your duties as a wedding planner are numerous and include meeting with the bride and groom to discuss their vision and how you can give them what they want within their budget, creating the budget, offering advice about colors, themes, décor, table arrangements, musicians and venues, booking the relevant items and handling the payments, and coordinating the wedding day itself to check that everyone is where they need to be. You are in charge of everything and must make sure that the day runs smoothly in order to take all the pressure off the wedding party, and let them relax as much as possible so that they can focus on the special and important task ahead.
To become a wedding planner is fairly easy as there are no specific qualifications that you need to have. Generally a high school diploma is enough to become a wedding planner, but the highest level you can attain is a Bachelor of Science in Public Relations, as well as Marketing or Business, which many wedding planning firms prefer you to have due to the many responsibilities associated with the job.
You can also find plenty of wedding planning courses ranging from 6-8 weeks that you can take at night or online, and various wedding planning college courses. The Association of Certified Professional Wedding Consultants offers training and certification courses, including a 5 day course and a home study course for those wedding planners registered with the Department of Consumer Affairs.
The salary you can expect to earn varies depending on different wedding planning firms and private wedding planners. Many of them ask for between 10% and 15% of the total wedding budget.
Wedding planners have a great job outlook at the moment, and according to the US Bureau of Labor the employment of wedding planners is predicted to increase by 20% over the next 6 years which is faster than any other profession.
Once you have qualified, the best way to start out is working for another wedding planner as an assistant. This will give you the necessary experience you need to make contacts, and learn the ropes before going solo. Otherwise you can also apply for a position at a wedding planning firm, where you will also start out as an assistant, but where you can work your way up to getting your own clients allocated to you within the firm. Most wedding planners are hired based on the previous weddings they have done, so you should always keep a detailed portfolio of the weddings you have planned to show prospective clients.
If you plan to go solo and work under your own business name, you should register, get business cards made, advertise as much as possible and get a professional website developed. Also look for wedding directories and magazines that you can list your services in, and join various wedding associations like the Association for Wedding Professionals International. Make sure that you have contracts drawn up with the help of a lawyer and to get a more professional image, set up an office in a popular area, or you can also set up a home office where you can meet with clients and show them your ideas and portfolio. A great way to learn more about the wedding planning profession and to get some excellent planning ideas, you can also take a look at the popular Style Network TV series, Who’s Wedding Is It Anyway?
Wedding Planner Quick Facts
Job Title: Wedding Planner
Office: Various wedding venues in your area, your clients’ home
Description: Help a bride and groom pull off a fantastic wedding by organizing their wedding right from the initial concept to the actual wedding day.
Certifications/Education: High school diploma, but you can also get a Bachelor degree in Public Relations, Business or Marketing
Necessary Skills: Negotiation, organization, creativity, able to function well under pressure, leadership
Potential Employers: Brides and grooms, hotels who need a wedding coordinator on staff to organize weddings at their venue, and wedding planning or event coordinating companies
Pay: A percentage of the wedding budget (usually 10-15%)