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Wedding Planner Course - You Want To Know How To Be A Wedding Planner?

Updated on July 28, 2012

Wedding planner? Is that even a career?

A wedding planner is a professional who helps you plan and organize your wedding. Most weddings are a big, once in a lifetime day - and some people will spend a lot of money to make sure it goes well.

Over two million weddings took place in the United States in 2011 - which means there are plenty of opportunities to become a wedding planner. The institution of marriage shows no sign of disappearing. And whenever a couple marry, they need someone to handle the details and make sure the wedding is a success. They could handle it themselves, with all the stress that entails - or they could hire a pro, who'll take on the whole job and make sure their wedding goes smoothly. And that could be you.

Blushing Bride

This is a bride. You'll see lots of those if you become a wedding planner.
This is a bride. You'll see lots of those if you become a wedding planner. | Source

Wedding Planner Career - What's Involved?

If you want to start your own business, like to work with people, love planning parties, and you're a ninja at negotiation and networking, you could be a wedding planner. You need to be creative, communicate well, and run a business competently. If you can also handle being an unofficial therapist, agony aunt, referee, and punch bag, you'll excel at the job.

As a wedding planner, you have to remain calm when things go wrong - and they surely will. Failed deliveries, wrong dates, missed deadlines - you'll have to handle them all, gracefully, while taking flak from all sides and keeping the bride to be from worrying about a thing.

Whatever happens, you must get your clients the best possible service that meets their budget. Your success, reputation, and future employment, depends on it.

Your Wedding Planner Checklist

The duties of a wedding planner start with an interview with the couple to assess their needs. After that you'll have to prepare a budget, and plan a detailed checklist, from a year in advance to after the wedding.

You'll help the bride and groom prepare the invites list and choose event venues. You'll be ordering flowers, hiring a photographer, a band, choosing a caterer, and all the other paid professionals involved in bringing a wedding together.

You'll also be coordinating deliveries/services on the day - which means you'll also need a plan 'B' in case of disaster. If they plan to wed abroad, you'll be preparing complicated legal documents and translations for destination weddings. Any country where a wedding is held requires different procedures, depending on the nationalities of the bride and groom. And you have to know how to guide any couple through that maze.

Long working hours are built into the job. A wedding day could start at 5:00 am and last until midnight. Working on weekends is mandatory, this being when many weddings take place.

The Wedding Planner (2001) trailer

It's Not Like That. It's Like This:

This clip is probably not a good introduction to the job of wedding planner.

But this might be:

Wedding Planning Tips : How to Be a Wedding Planner

Becoming A Wedding Planner

So how do you become a wedding planner and achieve career success? As with most careers, there are different ways in, ranging from on the job experience to formal education. Read the list to see which suits you best.

Get a Job

Take the first wedding planner job that'll have you. Even if you plan to launch your own business, getting work experience will help you learn on the job and build contacts at the same time - while getting paid for it, and finding out if it's the right thing for you.

Attend a Wedding Planner Course

It's a competitive industry, and doing a wedding planner course or training program can help you rise to the top. Several schools offer these courses, both off and online. Whether you're looking for a job or starting your own business, these courses can help a great deal.

And Do This:

Whichever way you choose, remember to do the following to help you build your client base and get more work:


To succeed as a wedding planner, build new contacts at every opportunity. Wedding fairs are a good point of contact with potential users, and it pays to have suitable handouts they can take away with them, from brochures to business cards, with contact numbers, email addresses, and a list of the services you provide.

Create A Portfolio

Create a portfolio to impress potential customers. Include photographs from some of the best weddings you've planned, to showcase your skills to clients. An online portfolio might be a good idea. Web hosting is cheap, and throwing up a website with WordPress isn't hard to do. (Can you press a button? You can totally build a WordPress website.)

Wedding Planner Courses

The American Academy of Wedding Professionals offers a complete course from its website here:

AAWP'S Professional wedding planning course includes:

Their professional wedding planning course, which comes in a 500-Page Manual. You also get a personal trainer and unlimited support, along with video lessons and business development services.

On completion, you get a certificate, personalized and ready to frame, and a cloisonné pin featuring the AAWP certified member logo.You also get AAWP's monthly newsletters.

You can begin learning immediately, and study the course at your own pace. There are payment options, and the course takes around 12 weeks to complete.

Plan Your Wedding With Amazon

Fine Art Wedding Photography: How to Capture Images with Style for the Modern Bride
Fine Art Wedding Photography: How to Capture Images with Style for the Modern Bride

Acclaimed wedding photographer Jose Villa was a pioneer in fine art wedding photography before it became a trendy buzzword. Here, he shares his secrets for bringing a stylized sense of composition, lighting, posing, and most important, design, to your images, while still keeping them organic and narrative.


Your Way In To Wedding Planner Success

Before you do any of the above, ask yourself some hard questions, and answer them honestly.

Do you love weddings? Really, really love everything about the occasion? Because going to weddings after organizing everything about them is going to be your day job if you go down this road. If you're even a little uncertain about that, then being a wedding planner could get old pretty quickly.

Have you got an eye for detail, and an ear for music? Do you have a talent for color coordination, and for selecting flowers and decorations that will harmonize with the design of the whole event? You need a good eye and a confident sense of design to get those details right. If that's not you, think again.

Are you good at negotiating and pouring oil on troubled waters? Do you communicate well, at all levels, with all kinds of people? Can you keep to a budget? Do you get on with people - even difficult people? You're going to meet prima donnas, mothers in law from hell, and every kind of Bridezilla. Still want this gig? People wrangling isn't an option, it's a necessary skill. And shrinking violets are going to have a hard time of it.

And perhaps most important - can you keep calm when everything is going wrong at the same time? Being a wedding planner is about organizing a complex event that depends on the input of many other people, while keeping to tight budgetary constraints and observing deadlines. You also have to be able to respond to the inevitable errors and disasters that are bound to creep into the process.

Businesses go under, venues get double booked, people get the dates wrong, cakes go missing, bridal cars break down, disasters happen. And you have to deal with them. Still want this gig?

Become A Certified Wedding Planner

Seems I can't put you off. Okay, go ahead. But don't just take the first course you find. Do your background research - you've got Google, so it's not like it's hard. Just search online and see what people have to say about the course you're thinking of doing.

Before you spend a penny of your own money, try helping to organize the weddings of friends and family. If you can do that successfully, it proves two things: one, that you have the necessary skills, and two, you find out for sure if this is the job for you. Remember, what's fun to try once might turn into just another day at the coalface if it's your day job. You could invest a lot of time and energy in this. Make sure it's the right road for you.


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