Wedding Consultant Career Information and Education Requirements
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 of them are employed by wedding consultation companies, hotels, bridal boutiques or department stores.
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 in order to accommodate their clients' schedules.
Wedding Consultant Career Skills
In order 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 Information for Wedding Consultants
According to Payscale.com, wedding consultants with 1-4 years of experience made an average of $20,000 to $40,000 dollars a year in 2010. Meanwhile, those with 5-9 years of experience made between $30,000 and $80,000 a year.
Wedding Consultant Education Requirements
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.
Certificate Programs for Wedding Consultants
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 Association of Wedding Planners (www.weddingplannersassn.com).
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.
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