What is a Wedding Planner?

There are nearly 40,000 weddings in the U.S. every single week. Each of those weddings is filled with a plethora of different tasks to complete, appointments to attend, and ideas to unfold. Many couples find that they need help with aligning and organizing all of these tasks into one seamlessly-flowing wedding day, and that's where a wedding planner comes to the rescue.

A wedding planner is the professional whose main job is to assist the bridal couple with creating a beautiful wedding and ensuring a smooth wedding day. If you have a creative side, are an extremely organized person, and enjoy anything and everything about the wedding planning process, you could be a very successful wedding planner.

Here are typical tasks that you will perform in this position:

  • Create & follow a budget
  • Keep & follow a schedule of tasks
  • Offer vendor and venue recommendations
  • Negotiate with vendors on behalf of the couple for the best deal available
  • Help create design & decor ideas for the style and theme of weddings
  • Coordinate wedding rehearsal & rehearsal dinner
  • Oversee the setup of the venues on the wedding day (even assist with decorating as necessary)
  • Handle all wedding day logistics for the guests and the entire wedding party
  • Coordinate wedding day activities
  • Tear down and clean up after the ceremony & reception

Steps to Becoming a Wedding Planner

If you have decided that this is a career that will suit you, there are some things you can do to become a wedding planner.

  1. First, make sure to consider your personal circumstances. Do you have the time to dedicate to planning weddings or will it begin as more of a hobby? Weddings typically take place on weekends and vendor appointments and meetings are often held after work hours since many bridal couples work full time. This means that while many calls and communication will be done during weekdays, many of the other events will be held on evenings and weekends. Also, do you have the funds needed to start up your own wedding planning business? Luckily, this particular business can be up and running for under $3,000 (sometimes even under $1,500) so you won't need a lot of money, however you will need enough to register your business, get business cards, and get your training or certification.
  2. Next, you will need to invest some time and money into learning everything you can about the wedding industry. There are a number of great courses available from different sources and associations ranging anywhere from $525 to $1299+. Our favorite is The Institute of Certified Wedding Planning Specialists for their great wedding planning home study course which will give you all of industry knowledge you need so you can become a successful wedding planner.
  3. Take all of the steps necessary for registering your business and gaining any licenses or permits that you need to operate your business. Check with the Small Business Administration to find out what your local and state laws are in regards to starting a business.
  4. Write your business plan and get an idea of the products, services, and packages you will offer. Having a business plan is extremely important as it will lay out the foundation, principles, and goals you plan on achieving in your new small business. Your business plan will always be a work in progress but will help ensure you will be on the right track to meet your goals and expectations.
  5. Finally, you will need to market your business so that potential clients will know you exist. First and foremost, you will need to create a website. There are a number of great programs and platforms that will help even the least tech-savvy individuals create beautiful and professional looking websites. Create business cards to hand out to vendors and leave on local community boards. Attend a bridal show to get your business out to brides and grooms-to-be, and don't forget to look for more free or low cost ways to get your name out there.