How to Become a Wedding Planner

Wedding planners help brides and grooms enjoy their special day with loved ones. In order to organize these events, wedding planners need training. Get information on wedding planning training, how much these professionals make, and the job outlook for the field.

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5 Steps to Becoming a Wedding Planner

Step 1
Get formal training
In order to learn the intricacies of wedding planning, professionals can complete a diploma program. During their time in these programs, students learn about contract negotiations, vendor relations, budget management, marketing strategies, and bridal registries. In addition, students learn about the different kinds of wedding ceremonies, attire, and stationary, as well as etiquette at these events.
Step 2
Obtain hands-on experience
While completing a diploma program in wedding planning can familiarize students with the fundamentals they need to enter the field, hands-on experience is required to put those concepts into daily practice. Hopeful wedding planners can get this experience by participating in an internship at an event planning agency, and by helping people they know plan their weddings.
Step 3
Choose a niche
Choosing a niche can help professionals stand out and increase their expertise in a specific area. Some niches professionals can pursue include destination, same-sex, and day-of wedding planning.
Step 4
Find a mentor
People who are new to the business can learn the ropes by partnering with someone who has experience. Finding a seasoned mentor can help wedding planners see the day-to-day realities of the job, which is especially helpful if they want to start their own company.
Step 5
Earn a professional certification
Although wedding planners do not need a certification in order to do business, these credentials can be useful for standing out in the marketplace. The American Association of Certified Wedding Planners offers a certification that can be earned online or in-house. In order to earn this designation, professionals take courses in vendor relations, sales, workflow, and budgeting.

FAQ on Earning Your Wedding Planner Certification

Many entry-level insurance agents learn the duties of the job by working alongside more experienced agents. Following are some of the most frequently asked questions by new and aspiring insurance agents:

Do wedding planners need a business license?

Those who want to be self-employed need to obtain a business license. The requirements for licensing depend on the location where professionals work.

Are wedding planners required to complete continuing education courses?

Continuing education is not required, but these courses can help professionals continue learning their craft and keep abreast of industry trends. Some topics that continuing education classes may cover include marketing, creating a business plan, and maintaining a business license.

Should wedding planners attend networking events?

Word of mouth is extremely important for wedding planners, so meeting as many people in the industry as possible, as well as potential customers, is helpful. Attending networking events can help professionals make the contacts they need to be successful.

Wedding Planner Salary & Job Growth

Wedding planning can be a rewarding career, but before people say “I do” to the field, they need to know that they will have solid job opportunities. This section discusses the job market for wedding planners, as well as the potential earnings.

According to PayScale the annual median income of wedding planners is $40,343, with the lowest ten percent of earners making about $24,000 and the highest bracket of earners making at least $74,000. The site also outlines how much these workers make at different stages of their careers, as listed below:

Experience Level Median Income
Entry-level (0 to 5 years) $40,000
Mid-career (5 to 10 years) $49,000
Experienced (10 to 20 years) $50,000

There are several factors that can influence how much wedding planners make, according to Planner's Lounge. Some of these variables include years of experience, services offered, and the location of the business.


Currently Employed: 400

Change in Employment (2016-2026): 7.40%

Amount: Mean wage annual: $43,790


Currently Employed: 80

Change in Employment (2016-2026): 5.90%

Amount: Mean wage annual: $60,020


Currently Employed: 1,770

Change in Employment (2016-2026): 16.90%

Amount: Mean wage annual: $44,890


Currently Employed: 570

Change in Employment (2016-2026): 10.50%

Amount: Mean wage annual: $43,830


Currently Employed: 13,910

Change in Employment (2016-2026): 14.10%

Amount: Mean wage annual: $56,520


Currently Employed: 3,350

Change in Employment (2016-2026): 23.60%

Amount: Mean wage annual: $47,570


Currently Employed: 670

Change in Employment (2016-2026): 7.20%

Amount: Mean wage annual: $59,650


Currently Employed: 220

Change in Employment (2016-2026): 10.30%

Amount: Mean wage annual: $50,530


Currently Employed: 6,580

Change in Employment (2016-2026): 21.70%

Amount: Mean wage annual: $47,200


Currently Employed: 2,690

Change in Employment (2016-2026): 13.90%

Amount: Mean wage annual: $50,870


Currently Employed: 750

Change in Employment (2016-2026): 10.90%

Amount: Mean wage annual: $55,580


Currently Employed: 360

Change in Employment (2016-2026): 16.90%

Amount: Mean wage annual: $38,250


Currently Employed: 4,160

Change in Employment (2016-2026): 6.60%

Amount: Mean wage annual: $52,370


Currently Employed: 1,180

Change in Employment (2016-2026): 9.80%

Amount: Mean wage annual: $47,240


Currently Employed: 830

Change in Employment (2016-2026): 13.20%

Amount: Mean wage annual: $43,790


Currently Employed: 740

Change in Employment (2016-2026): 6.50%

Amount: Mean wage annual: $45,980


Currently Employed: 670

Change in Employment (2016-2026): 10.70%

Amount: Mean wage annual: $40,440


Currently Employed: 390

Change in Employment (2016-2026): 13.40%

Amount: Mean wage annual: $44,060


Currently Employed: 240

Change in Employment (2016-2026): 0.30%

Amount: Mean wage annual: $49,710


Currently Employed: 2,830

Change in Employment (2016-2026): 8.00%

Amount: Mean wage annual: $56,240


Currently Employed: 2,920

Change in Employment (2016-2026): 9.00%

Amount: Mean wage annual: $58,070


Currently Employed: 2,510

Change in Employment (2016-2026): 9.50%

Amount: Mean wage annual: $45,640


Currently Employed: 2,070

Change in Employment (2016-2026): 10.00%

Amount: Mean wage annual: $54,500


Currently Employed: 300

Change in Employment (2016-2026): 9.50%

Amount: Mean wage annual: $39,970


Currently Employed: 2,110

Change in Employment (2016-2026): 14.40%

Amount: Mean wage annual: $48,510


Currently Employed: 340

Change in Employment (2016-2026): 12.50%

Amount: Mean wage annual: $37,490


Currently Employed: 440

Change in Employment (2016-2026): 10.50%

Amount: Mean wage annual: $45,410


Currently Employed: 1,110

Change in Employment (2016-2026): 14.70%

Amount: Mean wage annual: $49,540

New Hampshire

Currently Employed: 420

Change in Employment (2016-2026): 7.30%

Amount: Mean wage annual: $51,350

New Jersey

Currently Employed: 3,050

Change in Employment (2016-2026): 14.80%

Amount: Mean wage annual: $63,000

New Mexico

Currently Employed: 390

Change in Employment (2016-2026): 10.90%

Amount: Mean wage annual: $40,640

New York

Currently Employed: 10,010

Change in Employment (2016-2026): 20.80%

Amount: Mean wage annual: $64,580

North Carolina

Currently Employed: 2,790

Change in Employment (2016-2026): 15.10%

Amount: Mean wage annual: $45,910

North Dakota

Currently Employed: 160

Change in Employment (2016-2026): 19.40%

Amount: Mean wage annual: $48,280


Currently Employed: 2,330

Change in Employment (2016-2026): 5,9%

Amount: Mean wage annual: $47,580


Currently Employed: 930

Change in Employment (2016-2026): 12.00%

Amount: Mean wage annual: $40,150


Currently Employed: 1,350

Change in Employment (2016-2026): 15.00%

Amount: Mean wage annual: $49,870


Currently Employed: 3,210

Change in Employment (2016-2026): 7.50%

Amount: Mean wage annual: $50,560

Rhode Island

Currently Employed: 330

Change in Employment (2016-2026): 7.30%

Amount: Mean wage annual: $52,180

South Carolina

Currently Employed: 1,280

Change in Employment (2016-2026): 14.90%

Amount: Mean wage annual: $37,590

South Dakota

Currently Employed: 260

Change in Employment (2016-2026): 7.60%

Amount: Mean wage annual: $35,000


Currently Employed: 1,850

Change in Employment (2016-2026): 16.20%

Amount: Mean wage annual: $46,970


Currently Employed: 7,010

Change in Employment (2016-2026): N/A

Amount: Mean wage annual: $52,430


Currently Employed: 910

Change in Employment (2016-2026): 41.00%

Amount: Mean wage annual: $43,050


Currently Employed: 220

Change in Employment (2016-2026): 11.10%

Amount: Mean wage annual: $48,220


Currently Employed: 4,080

Change in Employment (2016-2026): 16.90%

Amount: Mean wage annual: $57,850


Currently Employed: 3,064

Change in Employment (2016-2026): 18.40%

Amount: Mean wage annual: $45,240

West Virginia

Currently Employed: 170

Change in Employment (2016-2026): 4.70%

Amount: Mean wage annual: $38,260


Currently Employed: 1,580

Change in Employment (2016-2026): 12.40%

Amount: Mean wage annual: $45,310


Currently Employed: 210

Change in Employment (2016-2026): 5.70%

Amount: Mean wage annual: $41,330

Although the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics does not compile data on the job outlook for wedding planners specifically, the agency does predict that there will be an 11 percent increase in jobs for all meeting, convention, and event planners between 2016 and 2026—which amounts to 12,700 new jobs. The number of jobs created in this sector is largely dependent on what's going on in the economy at any given time.

Finding a Wedding Planner Program

Just as it's important for people to choose the right person to tie the knot with, it's important for wedding planners to make the right choice when it comes to selecting an education program. This section provides information on how prospective wedding planners can pick the right school.

Some of the factors to consider when looking for a program include the tuition cost, how courses are delivered, and how long to complete. In addition, future wedding planners may be interested in programs that allow them to earn professional certifications.

Professional Wedding Planner Associations & Groups

The wedding business is all about making connections, so it's important for people in this field to participate in activities that will help them network. The following are some of the professional associations that wedding planners can join to make these vital connections.

Insurance agents should consider membership or attending the national conferences of one or more of the following organizations:

American Association of Certified Wedding Planners

Membership benefits include networking events, job placement assistance, mentorship opportunities, access to a quarterly newsletter, and insurance. The association also provides certifications.

Association of Bridal Consultants

Offers education courses for wedding planners.

Association of Certified Professional Wedding Consultants

For over 25 years, this association has promoted high standards and professionalism among wedding consultants. To that end, the organization offers a professional certification and education events to help people in the field keep their skills sharp.

Association of Bridal Consultants

Members can earn certifications, participate in professional development seminars and workshops, receive job placement assistance, and attend an annual conference to connect with peers. In addition, the organization offers a referral service, media relations assistance, and a magazine.

Wedding International Professionals Association

Benefits for joining this organization include education programs, membership meetings, and industry resources. The association has chapters in the San Francisco Bay Area, Utah, Chicago, Atlanta, Las Vegas, New Orleans, and Philadelphia.

National Association of Wedding Professionals

Association that offers resources for wedding professionals, including individual and group insurance.

National Association of Event Planners

This group is dedicated to promoting the success of event planners and wedding coordinators. Provides education and resources to its members.

International Association of Professional Wedding Planners

Member benefits include a newsletter that offers practical advice to professionals, a listing in the association's directory, and access to certifications. In addition, the organization provides discounts for books, restaurants, movie tickets, computers, flowers, and cell phones.

Hawaii Island Wedding Association

Hawaii-based wedding planners can connect with each other at networking events, participate in a members-only Facebook group, and receive a listing in the association's directory.

Resources for Wedding Planners

In order to keep an edge in the business, it's important for wedding planners to always learn about trends in the industry. To help professionals keep their skills sharp, they can use resources like the ones listed below.

AACWP Training - American Association of Certified Wedding Planners

This page describes the association's training course for wedding planners.

Planner's Lounge - Resources & Community for Wedding Planners

The Planner's Lounge is a community where wedding planners can receive information and resources to help them do their job effectively.

Planner in Training Podcast - Conversations with Wedding and Event Professionals

In this podcast, wedding professional Fiorella Neira provides advice on management and training.

Wedding Planner Collective – Resources for Wedding Planners

This site provides tools and courses to help wedding planners do their job.

Weddings for a Living - Be a Professional Wedding Planner

Podcast has advice for wedding planners. Episodes cover topics like contracts, pricing, wedding planner niches, social media, and certifications.

Twelve Tips for Wedding Planners - Alison Howard

Advice on how to start a wedding planning business is discussed in this video.

Wedding Planning Tips - Association of Certified Professional Wedding Consultants

Includes useful information that wedding planners can apply to their company.


This group provides tools for wedding professionals.

Related Resources

Become Team
Become Team
Contributing Writer

Latest Posts is an advertising-supported site. Featured or trusted partner programs and all school search, finder, or match results are for schools that compensate us. This compensation does not influence our school rankings, resource guides, or other editorially-independent information published on this site.

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