Bridal consultant and wedding planner are often used interchangeably as the titles of certificate or degree programs. Professionals in these careers also have similar job responsibilities. Online programs in this field are not typically available, but they do exist at some schools. Most professional bridal consultant online certificate programs can be completed within three to six months. Some programs give admissions preference to applicants with previous event planning experience.
Students are trained in planning both large and small weddings and managing the many details associated with planning a wedding, including the proper approach to cultural and religious practices. Students learn to become liaisons between the bride and groom and the various vendors that provide wedding services. Bridal consultants learn to work with vendors to book videographers, photographers, florists, transportation, caterers, invitations, music and clergy.
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Professional Bridal Consultant Certificate
Students pursuing a professional bridal consultant certificate online develop advanced skills in:
- Coping methods for the couple
- Religious and cultural customs
- Wedding decoration and lighting
- Planning location and alternative weddings
- Wedding etiquette
- Remote wedding planning
The professional bridal consultant online certificate program includes courses that train students not only on the task of wedding planning, but also budgeting, interpersonal skill development and business management. Some of the courses may include:
- Wedding Budgeting
- Invitation Design and Selection
- Premarital Counseling
- Planning a Reception
- Marriage Licenses
- Premarital Counseling
- Bridal Registry
- Bridal Business
Advantages of Earning a Professional Bridal Consultant Certificate
As entry-level bridal consultants, some individuals may work under an established bridal consultant as an assistant or specialist focusing on a specific area of wedding planning. For many, the overall appeal of a career as a bridal consultant is becoming self-employed. Those working for themselves have the advantage of setting their own start-up costs as well as the freedom and flexibility in making decisions that will satisfy the needs of their clients.
PayScale.com reported in October 2016 that bridal consultants earned a median annual salary of $39,036. Earnings are based on the nature of the work performed. Consultants often charge an up-front fee that includes a set number of services and hours.
The Association of Bridal Consultants (ABC) reports that there are more than 2.4 million weddings held each year. The ABC also notes that a growing number of brides are utilizing bridal consultants to plan their weddings.
There aren't a lot of online certificate programs for aspiring bridal consultants, but those that are available provide students with an overview of the industry so they can easily navigate the challenges of planning a client's wedding. Students also build organizational and communication skills that are essential for success in the field.