Wedding consultants work with a bride and groom to plan and execute their wedding details and events. While there are no requirements for this field, a background in business or certification in wedding planning is helpful. Here are some details about the requirements, salary and career outlook for wedding consultants.
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A wedding consultant, also referred to as a bridal consultant or wedding planner, helps couples plan their weddings. Wedding consultants are often self-employed; however, some work for wedding consultation companies, hotels, bridal boutiques or department stores. There aren't formal education standards for working in this field, but completion of a degree or certificate program in a topic such as business, event planning, wedding planning or marketing is advantageous. Some certificate programs grant graduates a professional certification as well.
|Required Education||No standard requirement, but an undergraduate degree or certificate program is recommended|
|Certification||Voluntary; some certificate programs lead to credentials like Certified Wedding Consultant|
|Job Growth (2014-2024)||10% for all event, meeting and convention planners*|
|Median Salary (2016)||$35,492 for wedding consultants**|
Sources: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, **PayScale.com
Wedding Consultant Job Description
A career as a wedding consultant involves working with brides and grooms through the wedding planning process. Wedding consultants are responsible for a wide range of tasks, including making suggestions on décor and invitations, booking a reception venue, hiring a photographer and finding options for music. Depending on the preference of his or her clients, a wedding consultant might also be involved with choosing items for the wedding gift registry, giving advice on the wedding party attire and assisting with the honeymoon planning.
Because a wedding consultant works very closely with the bride and groom, sometimes he or she must act as a mediator when disagreements about the event occur. Wedding consultants might also regularly work evenings and weekends to accommodate their clients' schedules.
To succeed as a wedding consultant, one must possess exceptional socializing, networking and customer service skills. Additionally, the consultant must be highly organized, pay close attention to detail and be able to closely follow a budget. Especially for those working as independent contractors, maintaining a successful career as a wedding consultant heavily depends on recommendations and a positive reputation.
Salary and Outlook Information
According to PayScale.com, wedding consultants made a median annual salary of $35,492 as of 2016. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics expected 10% growth for jobs in the field of event, meeting and convention planning, which is similar to wedding consultation, from 2014-2024.
Although there are no educational requirements for starting a career as a wedding consultant, it is very important that individuals interested in this field have a strong business sense. Holding a 4-year degree in business, marketing or a related field gives an individual a strong foundation to run his or her own wedding consulting business.
In a Bachelor of Business Administration program, for example, students take classes in small business management, entrepreneurship, organizational theory and business history. A bachelor's program in marketing, meanwhile, gives students in-depth instruction on sales, advertising campaign management, personal selling, e-marketing, retail marketing and small business enterprises.
Another option in beginning a career as a wedding consultant is to earn a certificate in wedding planning. Several online schools and organizations offer courses for wedding consultants, like those offered by The Association of Certified Professional Wedding Consultants (www.acpwc.com) or the American Association of Certified Wedding Planners (www.aacwp.org).
These programs teach students about event planning, budgeting, project management, business development, business contracts and forms, the history of wedding traditions and how to direct Catholic, Jewish and other religious or ethnic weddings. When an individual completes a course, which is typically 300 hours long, he or she is considered a Certified Wedding Consultant. Overall, it is important for a wedding consultant to have knowledge of every aspect of the wedding industry, from contracts to cakes.
Wedding consultants must possess excellent organizational, customer service and budgeting skills, as well as knowledge about wedding traditions. They can be self-employed, or work for a business that plans weddings, like a bridal shop, hotel or wedding consulting company. This is a growing field, with an expected 10% increase in job opportunities through the year 2024.