What are the first things that may come to mind when we mention weddings? When it comes to this particular life event, most of the people tend to associate it with the most positive emotions such as joy and self-fulfillment. In addition to that, wedding is perceived by the majority of people as a special life event that should be unique in one’s lifetime (although there are many cases of people who jump in and out of marriages), and therefore it should be glorious and memorable. The bride and the groom are ought to be provided with the day they will remember for the rest of their lives and to be given a chance to feel as glorious as the most famous movies stars at least once in a lifetime. All of this leads to a conclusion that there must be a certain person responsible for the whole event, the one who should enable the bride and the groom to have their special day to remember. Who that person might be, we could ask ourselves. A wedding planner would be the right answer to that question.
A Working Position Full of Challenges
To begin with, considering all the facts from above, being a wedding planner is definitely a tough working position with a lot of requirements. Among the skills they need to have, organizational skills are on top of the list. Besides that, a wedding planner should be trustworthy, so the bride and the groom can totally rely on them. They should also be polite – who wants their wedding to be planned by a rude person? Moreover, as a ceremony of the wedding itself is quite a traditional ceremony, wedding planners should also be informed about various customs. This is of utmost importance especially when the future married couple is religious and desires to have a wedding ceremony lead in accordance with the tradition and the customs of their religion (Christian, Muslim, Jewish, etc).
Having all these facts in mind, the author of this article aims to present the job position of a wedding planner in the best way possible, hoping to provide the reader with useful pieces of information about that lovely working position. This article also aims to give a guide on how to become a successful wedding planner.
What Do Wedding Planners Do
The first possible task of a wedding planner may seem obvious to all of us – their main responsibility is, as the job title itself says, to plan and organize weddings, as well as to make sure everything is going according to their plan. But, while all the guests are enjoying the atmosphere and, of course, the wedding cake, a wedding planner is struggling with various tasks that are definitely far from being a piece of cake. In order to explain to the readers what the responsibilities of a wedding planner include, here is the list of their duties:
It should be perfectly clear from the very beginning that wedding planners do have a whole load of obligations long before the actual wedding day. The first one on that list is known as initial consultation. What is it about? It is dedicated to setting the groundwork with the future client, whether it is the bride, the groom, the groom’s or the bride’s mother, the father of any of them or any kind of combination of these. After meeting a client, (it is important to stress that it is up to the wedding planner to choose among these relatives who the actual client will be), a wedding planner introduces them to the packages available and the client is to choose among the possible options.
Day of Coordinator
This is an interesting and a special service included in the duties of every professional wedding planner who takes his or her work seriously. Why is it special? Because this type of service is offered only to the brides, as it is related to coping with all the pre-wedding preparations that are supposed to be done before their ‘’big day”. Since many brides have been imagining their wedding day and their precious gown since they were little girls, many of them actually want no one to give them advice on how to organize the biggest event of their lives. However, none of them desires to get all stressed out while taking care of all the important details. Therefore, a professional wedding planner should offer Day of Coordinator, as the purpose of this service is to help the future bride and ease the pressure put upon them before the wedding day.
The wedding planner in charge has to arrive at the venue much earlier than the actual event is even supposed to start and before any of the guests are supposed to show up. That is because they have a complex task upon them – they should be able to give instructions to all the other vendors at the wedding, answer the questions and see if everything is arranged according to the plan. Having done that, the next duty of the wedding planner is to appear as a liaison between all the vendors and the bride and the groom on the day of the wedding. After the ceremony is done, the wedding planner should make sure that all the guests are conducted to the receptionist venue where the photo session previous to the visit to the restaurant should take place.
Wedding Presents and the Venue
Although the guests, as well as the bride and the groom, have the absolute right to finally relax after the official wedding ceremony has finished, that is not where the duties of their wedding planner are finished. On the contrary, a professional and responsible wedding planner should make sure that all the wedding presents are carefully wrapped up and gathered in a safe place where there are in no danger of being stolen. In addition to that, since the wedding planner is the person who should coordinate the whole event, they should make sure that the venue is taken care of after the ceremony in order to serve to the next couple that is about to have their ceremony there.
As it has been previously mentioned, planning the event is not the only one, but the most important task of every wedding planner and that is the first thing that comes to mind when thinking about this working position. It may seem as if there is just one responsibility at stake and it might not seem that complex. It is actually the other way around – the very planning of the wedding itself is and excruciating and responsible task that consists of multiple duties. Therefore, being trustworthy and highly responsible is one of the essential qualities of every wedding planner.
Here is the list of all the things wedding planners are to consider and all the ones they are supposed to take care of:
- Budget – The wedding planner in charge of the particular wedding should carefully negotiate the budget available for the ceremony and the whole event. Therefore, the arrangements that are made need to fit the limited and previously determined budget.
- Venue – After the wedding planner has made the agreement with the client regarding the estimated budget, their next task is to look for the most suitable venue and introduce the client to their options. Together with the client, the wedding planner chooses a certain venue and sets out to make the necessary arrangements. It is crucial to find the balance between the desirable venue for the future married couple and their possibilities, in other words, to keep in mind what they can afford.
- Vendors – the chosen wedding planner is the key figure of the event, but he or she is by no means capable of coping with all the things there are to be done at such an event, though. Therefore, the wedding planner should research the offer of the available vendors such as photographers, video photographers, cooks, serves, etc. They need to pay attention to which of them are available on the wedding day since many of them can be booked even a year in advance. The wedding planner should also form a team of reliable people that are comfortable to work with.
Making Their Magic
This subheading might sound a bit or a lot silly, but this is how the things are – the majority of people (men as well as women, although they tend to be too embarrassed to confess it) out there have been dreaming about their wedding day since their childhood, especially those who are fond of preserving the tradition. Therefore, they expect that at least some bits of their long-lasting dreams will come true. And the responsibility to make that happen lies upon the wedding planner they choose. Wedding planners are expected to appear as miracle workers and literally make the dreams of the couple come true. This is definitely not an easy task and all of us would agree on that.
Considering a work environment of a usual wedding planner, many of us will immediately relate it to the wedding hall or any similar room or venue that has to do with the wedding ceremony. When wedding ceremonies are at stake, the religious ceremony where bride and groom are supposed to give their vow should by no means be omitted. The wedding planner chosen is expected to be constantly present at all the listed venues and all the spots where the wedding is taking place and where ever their admirable and enviable organizational powers are needed.
In addition to wedding halls, the reception venue where the photo session is supposed to take place and the church where the most important among the wedding ceremonies takes place, wedding planners must also have their office where they make appointments with their clients and introduce them to the offers of various wedding packages. Moreover, besides all that, the job takes wedding planners outdoors as well, believe it or not. As it was previously said, they need to make arrangements with different vendors and also to visit and book the venue. Therefore, a wedding planner is more on the move that any of us would assume before conducting a meticulous research on this working position.
How to Become a Wedding Planner?
How to become a wedding planner, that is the question. Some among us might have asked themselves the question mentioned above, but did they manage to find the satisfactory answers? One of the aims of this article, in order to let the readers know what it takes to become a wedding planner, is definitely to answer this abrupt question. So, what are the basic requirements and skills that any person who desires to become a wedding planner at some time in the future should obtain?
First of all, as it has already been mentioned, the crucial quality of any wedding planner is to be polite. It is widely known that the people who are about to rush in the greatest of all the adventures of their life commonly known as marriage tend to get quite nervous from that very fact, some of them even panic before the actual event is supposed to happen. Therefore, the future married couple requires someone who will help them calm down, assist them in planning the whole event, someone who will provide them with the best and most pleasant conditions to give their marriage vows. A wedding planner should not only have extraordinary organizational skills, but he or she needs to have empathy and to be communicative, consoling, polite and approachable. Let us face it, no one would like to cooperate with someone who is rude, insincere and bottled up.
Having considered all these facts and the requirements that are set before every potential wedding planner, let us make a list of the key qualities and skills a wedding planner should hone and the requirements they are to achieve:
- exceptional organizational skills
- great communication skills
- being reliable
- being able to plan the budget, etc.
Having all these things that are required from a wedding planner in mind, one might ask oneself, especially after having considered giving this job position a chance, what kind of training and education a person requires to become a suitable and appropriate candidate for the working position of a wedding planner. One of the first questions that might pop up when such a topic is at stake is whether there are any school programs or even any university programs that are able to prepare one for taking up the job of a wedding planner or not. Considering the possibility that there might be some universities that have a department related to planning weddings among their curriculum might be a bit silly. On the other hand, people must have a possibility to learn about this job position and undergo a training that prepares them for doing it. Therefore, there have to be certain courses available for the ones who perceive wedding planning as their future career.
After skimming through the previous paragraph, one might get to the conclusion that the very existence of any kind of university programs connected to planning weddings has been excluded. In addition to that, it can also be claimed that there are no programs that are related to planning weddings at any school as well. Having all these facts and assumptions in mind, one should definitely take courses into consideration. Since there are no programs that may prepare one to become a wedding planner within the system of formal education, such programs are to be sought among the different forms of courses. Depending on what type of courses you prefer, this article will present you with various options you can choose from afterwards if you are considering to take up wedding planning as your future career.
Since many of us are digital natives who are constantly online and since the Internet provide us with a great opportunity to get many things done by simply visiting a certain website and pressing the right combination of buttons, finishing an online course and becoming able of taking up some working position such as planning weddings might sound as the best solution to those who see it as their potential career. Therefore, this article will present a list of the best online courses for wedding planners.
The list of top three online wedding planning courses:
Weddings Beautiful Worldwide
Weddings Beautiful is a company that was established in 1968. Since that time, they have been creating their brand within the business world and they have managed to become a company that is easily recognized and renowned for their satisfactory services. Taking all of that aside, this company does not only plan weddings, but they also offer excellent online courses that may enable one to become either a Certified Wedding Specialist or a Certified Wedding Planner. It consists of various assignments and an attendant is supposed to have their improvement tested via an online questionnaire after each of them. There are two payment methods. One is to pay the full price at once, which is $685. The other option is the so-called Pay As You Go.
The fist one is aimed at the ones with no experience and knowledge in wedding planning and it consists of 18 assignments that are dedicated to the basis of wedding planning and organization. The second one is suitable for those who have knowledge and experience in the field of wedding planning, but still need to obtain proper certification.
The Sheffield School
This school was founded in 1985 as a school of interior design, wedding and event planning. It offers the possibility of regular and online enrolling to the students from all over the world. Their course called Wedding and Event Planning is mostly focused on the basic details about this working position. It is consists of:
- 20 detailed assignments
- 6 guides
- 6 workbooks
- 2 virtual internships
After completing the course, an attendant becomes a holder of the Sheffield graduation certificate supported by their faculty.
The Wedding Planning Institute
This institute, widely known under the abbreviation LWPI is a department of Longevity.com which was founded in 1997. The course about wedding planning is not only their own, but it is provided thanks to the cooperation with certain organizations such as American Association of Community Colleagues. Although the website appears difficult to navigate sometimes, the best idea is to follow the course schedules carefully and regularly. This course offers a variety of workshops and seminars, the price of each varies as well.
Certification and Degree
A certain degree is not actually supposed to be discussed when it comes to the working position of a wedding planner since there are no official programs for this vocation within the formal educational system. On the other hand, a person desiring to work as a wedding planner may attain a certificate required to become an accredited one and start their career. As it was mentioned in the paragraph above, one of the best options is to enroll in an online course and obtain a certificate.
Here is the list of the certificates earned after finishing the top-ranked online courses successfully:
- Wedding Specialist Certificate
- Wedding Planner Certificate
- Sheffield graduation certificate
There is a research conducted by the website called Pay Scale, which presents the average salaries of wedding planners in the United States. The results of their research will be presented in a list:
- Average wage for a wedding planner: $17.14 per hour
- Hourly tips’ range: $0.19 – $5.42
- Overtime plus: $0.39 – $53.33
- Bonus range: $0.00 – 8,877
- Total pay/ Annual salary: $20,640 – $89,659
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), which do not give information on wedding planners specifically, but they do refer to certain similar positions, it is likely that this working position will measure an employment increase of 10% from 2014 – 2024. When it comes to this working position itself, a certified wedding planner is a person who is always likely to find working engagement. They negotiate with the clients, organize wedding ceremonies and the events that follow and they also need to find and coordinate the vendors.
There are a number of occupations similar to the one of the wedding planner. The closest one is the wedding specialist. The ones that follow are wedding photographers, video photographers, and tailors of the wedding gowns and also chefs and servers. All of them must form a team when a wedding is about to take place and they must have exceptional cooperation in order for the wedding ceremony to be successfully completed.