Would you like to know how to become a wedding planner? A recent publication from the U.S. Board of Labor Statistics predicts that the career outlook for wedding planners is good, particularly for those who live in large population centers with plenty of potential clients. Some make it a full time career, while others work at it part time, to supplement their income from another job. Wedding planning can take many forms, from large scale coordination efforts that begin with the engagement party and continue through the honeymoon, to simply handling last minute details, or providing few hours of consultation during the initial planning stages. The job can be rewarding, but it can also be stressful, particularly when clients are anxious about their upcoming wedding.
Although a few wedding planners work for an established wedding planning business, most wedding planners are self-employed, so this career typically comes with all the advantages and challenges of entrepreneurship. On one hand, you can be your own boss, but on the other hand, you don’t have the benefit of an entirely predictable salary, or paid sick days. So learning how to establish and operate a business is an important part of learning how to become a wedding planner.
Although anyone can theoretically become a wedding planner without having any particular qualifications, potential clients will want some kind of evidence that you are likely to do a good job. If they were willing to trust this task to just anyone, after all, they’d probably have hired their unemployed cousin at a bargain rate. You can’t just hang up your shingle and get clients. You need to develop a strategy for how to become a wedding planner. Experience, education, and personal recommendations will all help you to drum up business and inspire confidence.
These days, most people who get into this business take some kind of wedding planner course. These courses tend to be relatively short and focused; they can be completed in a matter of days or weeks. Courses may be offered online, at a college, or some combination of the two. The cost tends to range between a few hundred and a couple thousand U.S. dollars. In wedding planner school, you will usually learn how to put together your portfolio and build your business. Topics such as etiquette, budgeting, scheduling, and honeymoon travel planning are often covered. In other words, you’ll learn about how to become a wedding planner as well as how to plan weddings. At the end of the course, you will typically receive a certificate so that you can call yourself a certified wedding planner. Some wedding planners specialize in certain types of weddings, such as destination weddings, and in some cases, specialty courses on these topics may be offered by schools that teach wedding planning.
Relevant experience will also help you to impress couples who are considering hiring you, as well as improve the likelihood that you will do a good job. If you have a background in event coordination or hospitality, you’ll have a leg up when you start planning weddings. Some wedding planners work as an assistant or apprentice to an established wedding planner to gain experience before striking out on their own, particularly if all of their working experience is in an unrelated field.
Professional organizations may help wedding planners or event planners in general, to network and improve their skills. They can help a newcomer to figure out how to become a wedding planner and attract business. These organizations often offer their own wedding planning courses, and may hold conferences and meetings to aid their members’ professional development. They may also set standards for business practices, so that their endorsement improves members’ credibility.
In the end, there’s no single right answer to the question of how to become a wedding planner. There are simply a number of common ways for a person to gain the skills, experience, and reputation necessary for success in this industry. Graduating at the top of your wedding planner class won’t necessarily lead to a stellar career. Your business sense and charisma will be key to attracting clients.