How to Become a Wedding Planner
Be an employee or an entrepreneur in this exciting field to help couples enjoy their big day.
When you think of how to become a wedding planner, you might imagine learning to create a world of glamor, romance, champagne—and a metric ton of white tulle. But while wedding planning is ultimately all about beautiful days and happy couples, it requires a detail-oriented and highly organized person to pull it off.
If you love working with vendors to bring brides’ and grooms’ visions to life—which, yes, may include ordering enough tulle to fill a small apartment—wedding planning can be fun, rewarding, and lucrative. Here’s all you need to know about becoming a wedding planner.
What Does a Wedding Planner Do?
A wedding planner, also called a wedding organizer, is an event coordinator who specializes in organizing weddings for soon-to-be-married couples. Couples and their families hire wedding planners to consult on and arrange details like flowers, photography, food, and other parts of a wedding. You may work on all the details of a wedding or just some specialized services like travel arrangements for guests or wedding day logistics. Some wedding planners attend the occasion to make sure everything goes as planned.
Some typical wedding planner duties include:
- Meeting with the couple and their families to determine their preferences and budget. Some couples will know exactly what they want. Others may count on you to help them decide on a color theme or reception menu.
- Mediating between the couple and their parents if they are not in agreement about details.
- Planning the time and location of the wedding to find reception venues that have that date available.
- Juggling appointments and negotiating contracts for food, photography, limo service, flowers, and a host of other wedding expenses.
You might plan one wedding at a time, or you may be working on several weddings with adjacent wedding dates. There’s never a dull day in the life of a wedding planner---your office will be strewn with fabric swatches, pictures of bouquets, and piles of wedding invitation samples.
As a wedding planner, you may work directly for a venue or organization or you can be self-employed. Hotels, banquet halls, and other venues that often host wedding receptions may have a wedding planner on staff, or they may have their meeting, convention, and event planners help to plan weddings. Independent wedding planners are entrepreneurs who work as a liaison between the couple and vendors that supply goods and services for the big day.
How to Become a Wedding Planner
You don’t need any specific educational background to become a wedding planner, although relevant training and a background in the hospitality or event-planning industries does help. Some wedding planners start by working for a venue to gain experience before starting their own businesses.
When couples are looking for a wedding planner, skills and abilities such as the ability to organize tiny details and oversee a budget can help you to land a job. Wedding planners also do well when they have:
- Knowledge of various religions and wedding customs.
- Keen negotiating skills.
- The ability to solve problems and manage their time.
- Exceptional communication skills
- An eye for design and details.
What Education Do You Need to Become a Wedding Planner?
Some colleges offer degrees in meeting, event, or hospitality management that will give you basic education in event planning. You can also find schools that award degrees and certificates in how to become a wedding planner.
If you’re looking to get a head start on your career right out of college, check out these meeting and event-planning scholarships for help funding your education.
The American Association of Certified Wedding Planners (AACWP) offers an in-person wedding planner course as well as online wedding planner courses. These one- to two-day seminars discuss how to:
- Do a client consultation.
- Organize a wedding.
- Work with vendors.
- Run your own business.
Do You Need a Wedding Planner Certification?
The AACWP also offers certification for wedding planners. Based on your education and the number of weddings you’ve successfully planned, you can be certified as a Trained Wedding Planner, Certified Wedding Planner, or Certified Master Wedding Planner.
How Much Do Wedding Planners Make?
Monster data shows the median salary for event planners is $20.72 per hour, and their pay can range from $14.35 to more than $30 an hour. An independent wedding planner salary can be even higher, depending on your location, your clients, and how many weddings you plan a year, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). Independent wedding planners are either paid a flat fee per wedding or charge for individual services.
You can look up the average salary for a wedding planner in your location by using the Monster Salary Guide.
How to Find Wedding Planner Jobs
Now that you know how to become a wedding planner, it’s time to start applying for jobs or building your client base. First things first, you need to create a resume that will catch a potential employer’s eye. Your wedding planner resume is almost like a proposal—it shows potential employers how you’ll partner with them to create a happy future. You can get ideas from a sample event coordinator resume and an event coordinator cover letter to help create your wedding planner resume.
Then, once your application materials are prepared, you can get ready for your big day by searching through event planner and event coordinator listings that include wedding planning jobs on Monster.
The BLS identifies the top five states and areas with the most event planner jobs as:
Accept This Proposal to Start Your Wedding Planner Career
While you’re learning on the job or studying how to become a wedding planner, be sure to upload your resume for free on Monster. Take that first step to attract recruiters (as well as brides and grooms) to find a job that’s a match made in heaven.