Become a Bridal Consultant: Education and Career Roadmap

Learn how to become a bridal consultant. Research the education requirements, training information, and experience required for starting a career in the bridal consulting field. View article »

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Video Transcript

Should I Become a Bridal Consultant?

A bridal consultant most commonly works as a retail sales associate of bridal attire or gift registry services in a bridal salon or department store. Some bridal consultants work independently as wedding planners to design and schedule wedding details for bridal parties.

A typical consultant working in a bridal salon will help prospective brides find wedding dresses and accessories to suit their needs. They also might assist with tuxedos and dresses for other members of a wedding party. They must coordinate style and sizing of apparel, as well as ensure that alterations are done correctly and in a timely manner. Bridal consultants working with department store gift registries assist couples with selecting the products they would like to receive, make the list available to the couple's friends and family, and ensure the list is updated to avoid gift duplication. Consultants often work weekends or evenings, and they may spend many hours standing. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported a median annual salary of $21,780 for retail sales persons in May 2015.

Career Requirements

Degree Level None; certificate or degree could be beneficial
Experience Prior experience in a high-volume and fast-paced sales setting often desired
Key Skills Upbeat attitude and professional appearance; skills in customer service, verbal and written communication, sales, interpersonal communication, teamwork, multitasking, and organization; basic computer skills
Salary (2014) $21,780 (2015 median annual salary for retail salespersons)

Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

You won't need a degree to become a bridal consultant, but a certificate or degree could be beneficial. Prior experience in a high-volume and fast-paced sales setting is often desired. You'll also need an upbeat attitude and professional appearance and skills in customer service, verbal and written communication, sales, interpersonal communication, teamwork, multitasking, organization, and computer basics.

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Steps to Become a Bridal Consultant

Let's look over the steps it takes to become a bridal consultant.

Step 1: Gain Retail Experience

While prior experience is not a requirement for all bridal consultant positions, employers often look for applicants that have some experience in a retail sales environment. Experience may be gained working in one of several types of retail stores, small specialty shops, or larger variety stores. According to the BLS, retail sales consultants only need a high school diploma or equivalent to qualify for employment. Job responsibilities typically include running a cash register, maintaining knowledge about store product, assisting customers with product information and purchases, and handling store security situations. On-the-job training is generally not extensive and is provided for newly hired retail sales consultants.

Step 2: Choose an Area of Expertise

The two most common bridal consultant positions involve working as either a formal attire sales consultant or bridal registry consultant. Though both positions work with brides and couples to assist with aspects of wedding planning, the product selection and work environment involved with each is often quite different. Sales consultants who choose to work in bridal salons typically handle many aspects of wedding attire, including dress selection, fittings, alterations, accessory sales, and sometimes tuxedo rentals. Those who work with department store gift registries show couples merchandise, such as china, crystal, and other home goods. Consultants then record their selections and work with the couple's family and friends to purchase the gifts.

Step 3: Secure a Position as a Bridal Consultant

A position as a bridal consultant may be found through online job boards, at local bridal salons, or at department stores. Aspiring bridal consultants should check their local stores for available positions and requirements.

Stay updated on current bridal trends. Since bridal fashions change frequently, sales consultants should keep themselves up-to-date on current trends. Bridal salons often look for consultants who have a love of fashion.

Step 4: Consider Postsecondary Training

Obtaining a postsecondary degree or training program may broaden a bridal consultant's prospects. Related certificate and degree programs, such as the Associate in Applied Science in Fashion Design, are available. These programs can cover topics related to the field and help students gain practical experience or develop a portfolio that can be used during their job search. Students may also consider programs in management or sales.

Step 5: Pursue Career Advancement

Bridal consultants who have experience and training should have the opportunity to advance to supervisory or managerial positions. Some bridal consultants may wish to advance from bridal consulting work to wedding planning.

To become a bridal consultant, you don't need formal education, but you'll need to have experience in retail sales.

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