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Wedding Planner: Occupational Outlook and Career Profile

Learn about the education and preparation needed to become a wedding planner. Get a quick view of the requirements as well as details about training options, job duties and potential salary to find out if this is the career for you.

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Essential Information

Wedding planners handle many or all of the details of a wedding, from coordinating the caterers to directing the dinners. This career often involves long work hours and high levels of stress. There is no formal training process for becoming a wedding planner, but earning certification can help.

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Projected Job Growth 33% between 2012 and 2022 (for meeting, convention and event planners)*
Median Salary (2013) $46,260 annually (for meeting, convention and event planners)*

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Occupational Outlook for a Wedding Planner

Although the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) doesn't collect information on wedding planners specifically, it does present statistics for event, meeting and convention planners, a category that includes wedding planners. According to the BLS, the event planning profession was likely to see a 33% employment increase from 2012-2022, with prospects expected to be the highest for those who hold a bachelor's degree or certification in the field.

In 2013, event planners earned a median annual income of $46,260, according to the BLS, with the top 10% of earners making more than $79,000 per year. Professionals in the District of Columbia, Massachusetts and New York received the highest salaries in the field at that time.

Career Profile for a Wedding Planner

Wedding planners perform a variety of tasks for couples who have typically already set wedding dates. Although the specific list of tasks changes for each client, wedding planners may make appointments with vendors, provide gown options, suggest wedding themes and troubleshoot setbacks. The business side of wedding planning involves staying within budget, ensuring vendors get paid and collecting money from clients. Because they're typically self-employed, wedding planners must also write contracts and be efficient marketers of their business. However, special-event centers, wineries, hotels and other hospitality facilities also offer employment opportunities.

Educational and Certification Requirements to Become a Wedding Planner

There are no formal requirements to become a wedding planner because federal or state laws don't exist to regulate the profession. Professional associations like the Association of Bridal Consultants offer seminars and workshops so individuals new to the profession can learn valuable planning skills.

Aspiring wedding planners can also receive training through certification organizations. The Association of Certified Professional Wedding Consultants offers a certificate of completion for those who finish their training program. Prerequisites take 35-40 hours to complete, and classes last 4-5 days. A home-study option allows candidates to take up to three months to complete the same coursework through a video series. Certification is increasingly sought after by those who hope to succeed in the wedding planning business because clients want to make sure a professional handles their special day.

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Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics