Wedding coordinators do not need to earn a bachelor's degree, but they can benefit from a certificate, which provides preparation for the many duties and services that they will be expected to provide.
Wedding Coordinator Certificate Programs
While wedding coordinators and wedding planners do not need to hold a bachelor's degree, they typically complete a certificate program to gain technical knowledge and experience in the field. Usually, these programs have no admissions requirements; any interested individual is free to enroll. Often, programs are available in online formats, which can be helpful for students with other work or family commitments.
In a wedding coordinator certificate program, students learn about wedding traditions, working with the couple and directing the wedding, as well as budgeting and contracting. Students participate in class activities and lectures on starting their own business and handling staff, such as caterers and musicians. General course topics for wedding coordinator certificates include:
- Wedding budgets
- Booking vendors
- Weddings of different religions
- Planning strategies
- Business practices
Wedding Coordinator Job Duties
Wedding coordinators and wedding planners are hired by brides and grooms to plan and organize different aspects of a wedding ceremony, such as venues and entertainment. They also negotiate contracts with and coordinate the services of wedding professionals such as caterers, photographers, decorators, bakers and officiants. Additional job duties may include:
- Sending invitations
- Planning the rehearsal dinner
- Setting up the ceremony and reception venues
- Cleaning up after the wedding
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Wedding Coordination Services
Wedding coordinators often offer different levels of service through packages that cover a range of budgets. Sometimes, the terms 'wedding coordinator' and 'wedding planner' are used to differentiate these levels. For example, a wedding planner may handle all the preparations and ceremony, including venues, decorations, invitations and attire. Meanwhile, 'wedding coordinator' may refer to someone who is hired after the couple has already chosen some aspects of the wedding. In this context, the coordinator might help finalize contracts with caterers, florists and photographers. Some couples may choose to hire only a day-of coordinator. At this level, the coordinator manages vendors and venue staff on the wedding day itself, to keep the ceremony and reception running on schedule.
In some instances, a wedding consultant might be consulted for options or opinions on certain aspects of the wedding, such as booking churches or reception halls, but not participate in the actual wedding ceremony. Retail store wedding consultants may assist couples in establishing gift registries and choosing appropriate attire.
Wedding Coordinator Salary
The amount that wedding coordinators make varies based on skills and experience. In March 2017, PayScale.com reported that most wedding coordinators made from $23,415 to $52,654 annually. The median annual salary was $34,450.
By completing a certificate program, aspiring wedding coordinators can familiarize themselves with the industry and acquire the skills they need for future career success.