The wedding industry consists of bridal shop owners, dressmakers, bakers, reception hall proprietors and wedding planners, among others. Wedding planners assume the responsibility for planning the details of ceremonies and receptions and bringing to bear the talents of many wedding and reception vendors. The wedding planner job description below explains the tasks, skills, and qualifications needed for these professionals to work with others in the wedding industry to create a memorable experience for couples.
Job Overview: What Does a Wedding Planner Do?
Manager, organizer, part-wedding counselor and business person describe many features of a wedding planner. To help couples through the wedding process, planners rely on their knowledge of vendors, places to hold weddings and receptions. As well as their own skills in planning, oversight, and design. In addition to time pressures, planners must manage the emotions, questions, and concerns couples have over the details of the ceremony.
Wedding Planner Job Duties
- Reserve venues for ceremonies and receptions.
- Advise couples on themes, floral and other decorations, as well as attire for spouses and wedding parties.
- Attend fittings for the wedding dress.
- Arrange for or recommend providers of food, decorations, photography, video recording, entertainment and other services and items for wedding and reception.
- Order and deliver invitations to guests.
- Conduct wedding rehearsals.
- Oversee placement of seating, tables, floral arrangements, cake, food and other items
Wedding Planner Job Essential Skills
Communication Skills. Wedding planners need the ability to clearly convey instructions to wedding participants and vendors. Listening skills help planners grasp the wishes of the couple, the identities of those who will attend or participate and the needs of participants or vendors. Communication also involves accurate and correctly worded invitations.
Decorating Skills. The wedding planner job description includes skills in decorating the venues for ceremonies and receptions. Planners need to ensure sensible color and pattern coordination. As well as the correct placement of floral arrangements, candles, place settings and placards. Decorating skills of wedding planners requires articulate attention to details as well.
Interpersonal Skills. Wedding planners must exhibit sensitivity to the tastes, needs, culture and religious beliefs of the couple. With interpersonal skills, planners shepherd couples through any anxiety that may arise from delays, adverse weather conditions or other complications. A courteous and professional demeanor builds relationships with caterers, dress shop owners, bakers, florists, ministers and others involved with weddings.
Management Skills. The delegation of tasks and directing vendors and participants form part of the wedding planner job description. Planning and executing a wedding involves numerous tasks and timelines to meet. Wedding planners need good organizational skills to track the progress of the tasks. They must also maintain directories of vendors and venues, set deadlines and monitor budgets and costs.
Becoming a Wedding Planner Professional
Within the wedding planner job description lies knowledge and skills in fashion, decoration, time and personnel management and hospitality. Although wedding planning does not require a license, aspiring planners may seek certifications. Through formal education, training, and experience, wedding planners acquire the skills and knowledge needed to plan and execute weddings.
Qualifications & Training
Aspiring wedding planners can attend wedding planner institutes and schools or opt for programs conducted through community colleges or university extension programs. Courses cover topics such as bridal and other wedding-related fashion, contracts with wedding vendors, event planning and design for invitations, stationery, and venues.
Students also learn the business aspect of the wedding planner job description through subjects on bookkeeping or accounting, types of business entities and marketing of the wedding planning business. Hospitality classes and programs also afford prospective wedding planners backgrounds in customer service, event planning and executing the details of hosting receptions or other gatherings.
Depending on the school, planners can earn certifications. These can prove valuable in marketing, attracting clients and facilitating relationships with and referrals from vendors or others in the wedding industry. Organizations such as the American Association of Certified Wedding Planners and the Wedding Planning Institute.
Future planners can gain knowledge and skills from customer service and hospitality jobs. These may include servers and kitchen staff in restaurants, catering services, convention centers or banquet halls. Other wedding-relevant employment can arise from florists, dessert bakeries, hotels, interior decorator, gift or greeting card stores, wedding chapels and wedding boutiques.
Experience in wedding planning comes via assistant positions in wedding planner firms or with self-employed planners. Larger enterprises may carry staffs and provide openings for assistants.
Those venturing into their own businesses may focus their efforts on smaller-scale weddings and offer limited services, at least at the start. Such new planners may work primarily on the wedding day, coordinating activities in the ceremony and reception and ensuring all the components are in place. As planners build experience and clients, they can offer more services such as arranging for services and vendors.
The work schedule facet of the wedding planner job description features a mix of full and part-time performers. Most planners, whether full-time or otherwise, can expect to work constantly on weekends. Generally, couples schedule weddings on Saturdays or Sundays. Weekdays find wedding planners meeting with client and vendors and procuring sites for the ceremony and reception, cakes, decorations, photographers and others involved in the wedding.
According to the wedding website The Knot, weddings peak in June, August, September, and October, often when the weather is warm. Wedding activity normally finds its valleys in January, February, and March. Cold, snowy and icy weather serves as the major contributor. In addition, couples may have reluctance in scheduling weddings shortly on the heels of Christmas due to the associated spending.
Job Outlook & Advancement Opportunities
As reported by MarketResearch.com, the United States wedding industry registered $72 billion of revenue in 2016. This suggests healthy opportunities for those seeking careers in wedding planning. However, there are several challenges that wedding planners face. Barely over half of U.S. adults got married in 2012. This is down from the 72 percent marriage rate among those age 18 or over in 1960.
The Internet and social media have made caterers, florists, bakers and wedding dress shops and their quality and prices more readily available to couples. According to Wedding Wire, seven out ten couples report planning weddings through social media at work. While approximately 34 percent of couples found a vendor through social media. Printer software and online invitation templates allow couples to select and print or order their own invitations, thank-you stationary and place cards for tables. Therefore, these digital and technological tools enhance the ability of couples to plan their own weddings and forego the services of a wedding planner.
Additionally, wedding planners may be less likely to thrive in areas with smaller average incomes or in rural or other less-populated areas. In these places, weddings tend to have fewer guests and participants than in cities or urban locales. The size of the wedding often determines whether the services of a wedding planner will prove economical.
Finally, wedding planners summon skills in managing stress, time and resources to ensure a memorable and enjoyable wedding for couples and their guests. Relationships with vendors also help planners and their clients obtain the services, food, decorations and entertainment that complement the ceremony and celebration. The outlook for employment or a successful planning business will depend on the geographic areas of work. As well as for the desire for couples to leave details to planners rather than do it themselves.