How to Become a Wedding Planner September 18, 2009
First, have nerves of steel. Second, have the patience of Mother Theresa. Third, have an absorbent shoulder and a closet full of tissues. It also wouldn’t hurt to take a course or two in the psychology of family dynamics, or perhaps just the mother-daughter relationship. You’re going to need it. (Hint: the term “bridezilla” did not come out of nowhere!)
Learning how to become a wedding planner is not difficult, but it does require having a certain personality: you’ll have to love working with people as much as you love the idea of creating a beautiful, romantic event. And you’ll have to be just as thick-skinned as you are dedicated and creative, because you may end up seeing all the ideas you thought were wonderful being thrown away by a bride whose taste turns out to be the opposite of yours.
You’ll also need to have a good business sense. The wedding planning industry is unique, but it is one Big Business! The average wedding these days costs at least $27,000. A career as an in-demand wedding planner can be quite lucrative if you have the right combination of starry-eyed imagination and workhorse stamina.
As a wedding planner, you’ll use your organizational, communication, and creative skills to help brides and grooms in what is often an intense process. This personal and dynamic job is not all about white doves, bubbles, and pretty flowers. There is also the challenge of working with many types of personalities and tastes, with long hours (including holidays, weekends and nights) under fast-paced and high-pressure circumstances.
Education Requirements for Wedding Planners
There are no education requirements for wedding planners, however, wedding planners to be should consider saying “I do” to a bachelor’s degree. A bachelor’s degree in such subjects including: business, management, public relations, communications or hospitality can prove highly useful to aspiring wedding planners. Many colleges or universities offer more specific degree programs in event planning management.
Joining a professional association or organization is highly recommended for wedding planners. This allows for networking as well as credibility which is crucial in this highly competitive business.
Brides want to look young and fresh but wedding planners do not want to pass for a bridesmaid! Some maturity and longevity is an advantage for most wedding planners, therefore, you may consider being an assistant to an established wedding planner upon starting out. That way you can develop relationships with vendors, learn how to deal with clients and beef up your resume by being associated with a reputable professional.
Online Certification for Wedding Planners
An online certificate program in bridal consulting or wedding planning is another great route towards becoming a wedding planner. There are many accredited (make sure they’re accredited!) online colleges that offer affordable and quick online certificate programs that can jump start your wedding planner career.
Job Outlook for Wedding Planners
Thankfully, the economy does not determine whether or not people fall in love and wedding bells continue to ring loud and strong – good news for wedding planners. In recent years, more and more people have hired wedding planners to help organize their special day since men and women seem to get busier and weddings more elaborate. However, the recession may force some folks to cut back on more extravagant costs that drive the price tag into the stratosphere.
Salary Information for Wedding Planners
The Bureau of Labor Statistics does not collect information on wedding planners’ salaries. However, they do report that salaries for wedding planners vary greatly. Some earn $5,000 a year where others earn up to $250,000.
Most wedding planners (80%) are self-employed and do it part-time as a complement to another full-time job, which explains the lower earnings. The most successful, full-time wedding planners can earn an impressive income.