How to Become a

Wedding Planner

The complete career guide to be a Wedding Planner: salary, job growth, employers, best schools, and education you may need to get started.

Why We Love It

  • $51,200
    Potential Avg. Salary
  • 9.9%
    Job Growth Rate
  • Growing Demand
    Job Outlook
  • Creativity Focused
    Career Attribute

Wedding planners assist engaged couples with planning for wedding ceremonies and receptions. They help organize all details of the marriage event, including finding a venue, arranging for food and drink catering, securing tables, chairs, and decorations, finding an officiant, and creating event invitations.


What is a Wedding Planner?

The following job responsibilities are common for individuals in wedding planner roles:

  • Meet frequently with engaged couples to determine client goals, preferences, and needs
  • Walk clients through different options for wedding ceremonies and receptions
  • Work with third parties to secure venues, catering services, music, decorations, seating, and an officiant for wedding ceremonies and receptions
  • Assist engaged couples with administrative tasks like creating and sending invitations, arranging for parking or transportation, and applying for marriage licenses
  • Ensure all services are schedules and operating correctly the day of the event to ensure the event goes smoothly and as planned, and to handle last-minute emergencies

A Day in the Life

Large weddings and receptions can be extremely difficult to plan, so many engaged couples turn to wedding planners to handle the wedding and reception logistics. Wedding planners assist engaged couples in planning for their big day. They meet with clients initially to determine the needs and requirements of the ceremony and reception. They determine the number of guests to plan for, the type of venue the couple wants, and the available budget in order to form wedding and reception plans.

Once the wedding planner is familiar with client preferences and desires, he/she begins scouting for options that meet client needs. Wedding planners help clients find wedding and reception venues, food and drink caterers, photographers, and bands or DJs. Additionally, the wedding planner—depending on the amenities offered by the chosen venues—may need to organize for delivery of tables, chairs, and decorations, and may need to find a cleaning service to clean up venues after weddings and receptions.

The wedding planner works to find all of these services within the budget specified by clients, and presents valid options to engaged couples for decision making. The wedding planner may organize viewings of venues or tastings at potential caterers. The wedding planner also handles all of the paperwork and scheduling of third-party services, and ensures that all service providers are available and working the day of the event. The wedding planner’s ultimate goal is to deliver the perfect wedding event while reducing the stress and workload of planning on clients.

Typical Work Schedule

Wedding planners may work either full- or part-time schedules, and they often work irregular hours. They may need to be available during normal business hours to view venues and work with third-party service providers, and they may also need to be available in evenings or on weekends to meet with clients or make sure weddings go smoothly and as planned.

Typical Employers

Many wedding planners are self-employed and take on clients on a freelance basis. Others may work for wedding/event planning services, or they may work for hotels or other venues that host weddings, assisting with planning for couples who are hosting their weddings and receptions at that venue.


How To Become a Wedding Planner

There are several different paths you can take to become a wedding planner. In many cases, a high school diploma is sufficient for finding work as a wedding planner, but doing so will require professional experience. With a high school diploma, you’ll need to find ways to gain experience planning weddings. Help friends and family members with their wedding planning, or look for internships with hotels, catering companies, and other venues to begin building a portfolio of work you can use to jumpstart your career as a wedding planner.

Another viable path is to earn a certificate in wedding planning from a trade or vocational school. These postsecondary certificate programs are focused on teaching students the skills needed to work as successful wedding planners, and include coursework in writing, communications, and business management. Even with a certificate, though, you’re going to need professional experience, so consider volunteering to help friends plan their weddings or look for internship opportunities.

The third path is to earn a bachelor’s degree in a related field, majoring in communications, business, or public relations. The benefit of these degree programs is that they teach you skills that are necessary to running your own wedding planning business, such as how to reach out to strangers, how to market your services, and how to manage your business finances and paperwork. Again, you’ll need experience to break into the field of wedding planning with these degrees, but you may be able to find higher-paying opportunities with a bachelor’s degree, planning for corporate events or working for a hotel.


Wedding Planner Salary Data

We’ve provided you the following to learn more about this career. The salary and growth data on this page comes from recently published Bureau of Labor Statistics data while the recommendations and editorial content are based on our research.

National Anual Salary

Low Range

$34,510

Average

$51,200

High Range

$82,050

National Hourly Wage

Low Range

$17/hr

Average

$25/hr

High Range

$39/hr

How do Wedding Planner salaries stack up to other jobs across the country? Based on the latest jobs data nationwide, Wedding Planner's can make an average annual salary of $51,200, or $25 per hour. This makes it an Above Average Salary. On the lower end, they can make $34,510 or $17 per hour, perhaps when just starting out or based on the state you live in.

Salary Rankings And Facts

  • #375 Nationally for All Careers


Highest Education Among Wedding Planners

  • 1.5%   Doctorate
  • 10.7%   Masters
  • 50.7%   Bachelors
  • 8.6%   Associates
  • 18.5%   College
  • 8.5%   High School
  • 1.5%   Less than High School

Job Growth Projections and Forecast

2014 Total Jobs

100,000

2024 Est. Jobs

109,900

Job Growth Rate

9.9%

Est. New Jobs

9,900

How does Wedding Planner job growth stack up to other jobs across the country? By 2024, there will be a change of 9,900 jobs for a total of 109,900 people employed in the career nationwide. This is a 9.9% change in growth over the next ten years, giving the career a growth rate nationwide of Below Average.

Growth Rankings And Facts

  • #204 Nationally for All Careers


What Companies Employ The Most Wedding Planners

Industry Current Jobs New Jobs Needed % Increase
Self-employed workers 13,100 700 1%
Other support services 6,300 1,800 2%
Colleges, universities, and professional schools; private 4,100 1,000 1%

Want To Be a Wedding Planner? Get Started!

Generate your free SmartPlan™ to identify colleges you like, and potential ways to save on a degree or certification program toward your career with courses, offers, and much more!

Enroll Now and Get Started

or Learn More →