How to become a wedding planner

How to Become a Wedding Planner

Wedding planners help walk couples through the biggest day of their lives. From the time the proposal gets a "yes" until after the last bottle of champagne is popped, a good wedding planner will work tirelessly to ensure the big day is a total success. That could include everything from arranging wedding photography and food to scrutinizing fabric swatches and finding a last-minute solution for a ripped veil or missing best man.

While some couples pop into the local justice of the peace or head to Las Vegas for a quickie wedding, there are plenty of brides and grooms who pull out all the stops to ensure their wedding is a day they -- and their guests -- will never forget. And they're spending money to make it happen. According to the 2013 Real Weddings Survey by TheKnot.com, the average cost of a wedding in 2013 was $29,858, and that doesn't include the honeymoon.

Educational requirements for a wedding planner

A specific degree is often not necessary to work as a wedding planner. You can take courses in wedding planning from a college, university or the American Association of Certified Wedding Planners. After taking these courses, or completing a degree program, you can earn a certification.

But if your educational credentials matter to you or potential clients in your geographic area, you might consider majoring in one of the following:

  • Business
  • Hospitality management
  • Communications
  • Public relations
  • Marketing

These schools offer related degrees:

University of Phoenix, business degree

Rasmussen College Online, business degree

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What do wedding planners do?

Depending on their clients' needs, a wedding planner's to-do list can be quite varied. According to TheKnot.com, a planner's duties for a typical wedding might include:

  • Setting up a budget
  • Locating a venue
  • Finding vendors, including florists, caterers and a DJ or band, and setting up contracts
  • Assisting with invitations
  • Managing all the details on the actual wedding day, supervising vendors, event setup and any emergencies that may arise

How much can you make as a wedding planner?

While the Bureau of Labor Statistics does not have specific information on the wages of a wedding planner it does provide salary data on the larger roles of meeting, convention and event planners. These professionals made an annual mean wage of $50,190 in the U.S. 2013, the BLS reports. The average of the mean annual wages for the five highest-paying regions for wedding planners was $60,382 in 2013. These were the D.C. area, Massachusetts, New York, New Jersey and Connecticut.

Please check out the visual below to learn more about how to become a wedding planner and to see a complete list of sources on the topic.

Sources:

AACWP Training, American Association of Certified Wedding Planners,
http://www.aacwp.org/certification/

"The National Average Cost of a Wedding Is …", Real Weddings Survey 2013, TheKnot.com,
http://blog.theknot.com/2014/03/27/average-wedding-cost-2014/

"What Do Wedding Planners Do?," TheKnot.com,
http://wedding.theknot.com/wedding-planning/planning-a-wedding/articles/what-do-wedding-planners-do.aspx

Meeting, Convention and Event Planners, "Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2014-15 Edition," Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Jan. 8, 2014,
http://www.bls.gov/ooh/business-and-financial/meeting-convention-and-event-planners.htm#tab-1

Occupational Employment and Wages: Meeting, Convention and Event Planners, Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, May 2013,
http://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes131121.htm

How to Become a Wedding Planner
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