Wedding planners are responsible for organizing, coordinating and helping couples deliver successful wedding events. Unlike a general event planner, wedding planners routinely focus their professional efforts on nuptial celebrations. Wedding planners work closely alongside couples and their clients chosen vendors to deliver breathtaking and memorable special event celebrations.
Most couples feel more comfortable hiring a wedding planner with experience and training from a reputable school. Check out the programs below which offer free information:
The job outlook remains strong for well-qualified wedding planners. Depending on client demand, and the planner’s desired schedule, work can be arranged on a part- or full-time basis. While there are no set educational requirements to enter the industry, many planners enroll in certification classes to gain credentials, knowledge and ultimately experience. With a thriving wedding industry, and a hectic schedule plaguing many couples-to-be, wedding planners have become an indispensable industry staple. The demand for wedding planners remains high making it an attractive career path for interested candidates.
A wedding planner is a valuable asset in the planning and execution phases of their couples special events. Wedding planners may work alone or with the help of an assistant or staff. Job responsibilities vary by client and contracted assignment.
Wedding planners are responsible for a myriad of tasks including interviewing and hiring vendors, selecting and ordering materials, negotiating rates, coordinating the sequence of events, following up with guests and vendors and producing full-scale events. Clients typically retain wedding planners on either a full-time basis or a day-of coordinator services basis. A skilled wedding planner will help guide their clients through the planning process, lend experience and knowledge and work tirelessly on behalf of their customers; whereas a day-of-coordinator typically handles the logistics on the wedding day, and may attend the rehearsal or a planning session.
The role of a wedding planner varies by individual, location and clientele. As most wedding planners are self-employed, they are able to develop, grow and offer services unique to their company. Event planning firms are available and do hire qualified candidates. Employees should expect to work under an experienced planner while honing their own skills in the wedding planning field. Event professionals should expect a heavy work schedule that routinely involves long hours, late nights, weekends and holidays especially during the summer months of wedding season.
Training and Education Requirements
The wedding planning profession has no fixed educational requirements. As such, successful planners typically build their career on experience, referrals and recommendations. A top notch wedding planner will be detail oriented, a skilled negotiator and communicator and possess strong business knowledge. A college degree in related areas of business or hospitality can give a prospective wedding planner a strong start in the field. With the growing popularity of the field, many community colleges and institutes of higher education are now offering certificate programs. As wedding planners are commonly self-employed, classes in owning and operating a business would be important.
More important than an educational background in wedding planning is true on the job training and experience. Apprenticing or interning under a skilled planner is an excellent way for wedding planners to receive the necessary skills to continue in the field. Additionally, attending trade conventions and networking is important for idea exchange and offering clients unique and memorable, cutting edge events.
Wedding Planner Salary and Wages
Wedding planners typically receive commission payments as wages in lieu of a standard salary. The average payment to a qualified wedding planner is typically 10% of an event’s overall budget. As wedding planners control the volume of customers and events, based on their ability to service requests, actual income will vary. As with any profession, skill and demand will factor in to reimbursement for services.
Depending on their years of experience, wedding planners can command a hefty sum for their time and efforts. Celebrity wedding planners are highly sought after and well-regarded for their creativity and attention to detail. Overall, a wedding consultant’s compensation is typically based on experience and event budget. Occasionally, wedding planners are paid on an hourly basis. However, given the hours of planning that go into preparing an event, hourly pay is often not cost-effective.
The annual salary range for a wedding planner is $21,929-$51,186. Typically, skilled planners with five to nine years experience will see a rise in compensation for their skills.*
*According to the BLS, http://www.bls.gov/oco/
For wedding planners who work for an event management company, employee benefits frequently include sick time, paid vacation, access to company sponsored retirement accounts and health care plans.
Wedding planners commonly choose to pursue and hold certification in their field as educational field-specific degrees are not common. The Association of Bridal Consultants offers a home study program for industry consultants interested in certifying their skills. Additionally, a host of online certification programs are available to prospective wedding planners and consultants.
Wedding planners consider The Association of Bridal Consultants (ABC) to be the main professional association of the industry. Since its founding in 1955, the organization has worked tirelessly to develop, promote and maintain standards of excellence for members. Headquartered in New Milford, CT, ABC boasts a current membership roster of 4,000+ individuals and vendors, hailing from all 50 states and 27 countries worldwide. ABC offers industry certification courses, ongoing continuing education along with an annual conference for members.