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:
- Hospitality management
- Public relations
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.
AACWP Training, American Association of Certified Wedding Planners,
"The National Average Cost of a Wedding Is …", Real Weddings Survey 2013, TheKnot.com,
"What Do Wedding Planners Do?," TheKnot.com,
Meeting, Convention and Event Planners, "Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2014-15 Edition," Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Jan. 8, 2014,
Occupational Employment and Wages: Meeting, Convention and Event Planners, Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, May 2013,