How to Become a Wedding Planner

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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:

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

  • 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.

  • 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.

Alabama Mean wage annual: $43,790
Currently Employed: 400
Change in Employment (2016-2026): 7.40%
Alaska Mean wage annual: $60,020
Currently Employed: 80
Change in Employment (2016-2026): 5.90%
Arizona Mean wage annual: $44,890
Currently Employed: 1,770
Change in Employment (2016-2026): 16.90%
Arkansas Mean wage annual: $43,830
Currently Employed: 570
Change in Employment (2016-2026): 10.50%
California Mean wage annual: $56,520
Currently Employed: 13,910
Change in Employment (2016-2026): 14.10%
Colorado Mean wage annual: $47,570
Currently Employed: 3,350
Change in Employment (2016-2026): 23.60%
Connecticut Mean wage annual: $59,650
Currently Employed: 670
Change in Employment (2016-2026): 7.20%
Delaware Mean wage annual: $50,530
Currently Employed: 220
Change in Employment (2016-2026): 10.30%
Florida Mean wage annual: $47,200
Currently Employed: 6,580
Change in Employment (2016-2026): 21.70%
Georgia Mean wage annual: $50,870
Currently Employed: 2,690
Change in Employment (2016-2026): 13.90%
Hawaii Mean wage annual: $55,580
Currently Employed: 750
Change in Employment (2016-2026): 10.90%
Idaho Mean wage annual: $38,250
Currently Employed: 360
Change in Employment (2016-2026): 16.90%
Illinois Mean wage annual: $52,370
Currently Employed: 4,160
Change in Employment (2016-2026): 6.60%
Indiana Mean wage annual: $47,240
Currently Employed: 1,180
Change in Employment (2016-2026): 9.80%
Iowa Mean wage annual: $43,790
Currently Employed: 830
Change in Employment (2016-2026): 13.20%
Kansas Mean wage annual: $45,980
Currently Employed: 740
Change in Employment (2016-2026): 6.50%
Kentucky Mean wage annual: $40,440
Currently Employed: 670
Change in Employment (2016-2026): 10.70%
Louisiana Mean wage annual: $44,060
Currently Employed: 390
Change in Employment (2016-2026): 13.40%
Maine Mean wage annual: $49,710
Currently Employed: 240
Change in Employment (2016-2026): 0.30%
Maryland Mean wage annual: $56,240
Currently Employed: 2,830
Change in Employment (2016-2026): 8.00%
Massachusetts Mean wage annual: $58,070
Currently Employed: 2,920
Change in Employment (2016-2026): 9.00%
Michigan Mean wage annual: $45,640
Currently Employed: 2,510
Change in Employment (2016-2026): 9.50%
Minnesota Mean wage annual: $54,500
Currently Employed: 2,070
Change in Employment (2016-2026): 10.00%
Mississippi Mean wage annual: $39,970
Currently Employed: 300
Change in Employment (2016-2026): 9.50%
Missouri Mean wage annual: $48,510
Currently Employed: 2,110
Change in Employment (2016-2026): 14.40%
Montana Mean wage annual: $37,490
Currently Employed: 340
Change in Employment (2016-2026): 12.50%
Nebraska Mean wage annual: $45,410
Currently Employed: 440
Change in Employment (2016-2026): 10.50%
Nevada Mean wage annual: $49,540
Currently Employed: 1,110
Change in Employment (2016-2026): 14.70%
New Hampshire Mean wage annual: $51,350
Currently Employed: 420
Change in Employment (2016-2026): 7.30%
New Jersey Mean wage annual: $63,000
Currently Employed: 3,050
Change in Employment (2016-2026): 14.80%
New Mexico Mean wage annual: $40,640
Currently Employed: 390
Change in Employment (2016-2026): 10.90%
New York Mean wage annual: $64,580
Currently Employed: 10,010
Change in Employment (2016-2026): 20.80%
North Carolina Mean wage annual: $45,910
Currently Employed: 2,790
Change in Employment (2016-2026): 15.10%
North Dakota Mean wage annual: $48,280
Currently Employed: 160
Change in Employment (2016-2026): 19.40%
Ohio Mean wage annual: $47,580
Currently Employed: 2,330
Change in Employment (2016-2026): 5,9%
Oklahoma Mean wage annual: $40,150
Currently Employed: 930
Change in Employment (2016-2026): 12.00%
Oregon Mean wage annual: $49,870
Currently Employed: 1,350
Change in Employment (2016-2026): 15.00%
Pennsylvania Mean wage annual: $50,560
Currently Employed: 3,210
Change in Employment (2016-2026): 7.50%
Rhode Island Mean wage annual: $52,180
Currently Employed: 330
Change in Employment (2016-2026): 7.30%
South Carolina Mean wage annual: $37,590
Currently Employed: 1,280
Change in Employment (2016-2026): 14.90%
South Dakota Mean wage annual: $35,000
Currently Employed: 260
Change in Employment (2016-2026): 7.60%
Tennessee Mean wage annual: $46,970
Currently Employed: 1,850
Change in Employment (2016-2026): 16.20%
Texas Mean wage annual: $52,430
Currently Employed: 7,010
Change in Employment (2016-2026): N/A
Utah Mean wage annual: $43,050
Currently Employed: 910
Change in Employment (2016-2026): 41.00%
Vermont Mean wage annual: $48,220
Currently Employed: 220
Change in Employment (2016-2026): 11.10%
Virginia Mean wage annual: $57,850
Currently Employed: 4,080
Change in Employment (2016-2026): 16.90%
Washington Mean wage annual: $45,240
Currently Employed: 3,064
Change in Employment (2016-2026): 18.40%
West Virginia Mean wage annual: $38,260
Currently Employed: 170
Change in Employment (2016-2026): 4.70%
Wisconsin Mean wage annual: $45,310
Currently Employed: 1,580
Change in Employment (2016-2026): 12.40%
Wyoming Mean wage annual: $41,330
Currently Employed: 210
Change in Employment (2016-2026): 5.70%
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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. To find the right school, use the search tool below.

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./p>

  • 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.

  • AFWPI

    This group provides tools for wedding professionals.

  • 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.