Fun, creative and glamorous: being a wedding planner is certainly a desirable career. If you’re organised and love working with people, it could be the perfect job – especially if you like the idea of working for yourself.
That’s not to say that becoming a successful wedding planner is easy. Remember, couples are trusting in you to deliver their big day with aplomb, so you’ll need to be creative, confident and cool under pressure.
Like the idea of wedding planning? Our guide can show you what it takes to become an in-demand wedding planner, including the qualifications you’ll need and the benefits you can expect.
- What is a wedding planner?
- What qualifications do you need to become a wedding planner?
- How much do wedding planners earn?
- What type of person would suit becoming a wedding planner?
- What are the benefits of becoming a wedding planner?
- What career progression can you expect as a wedding planner?
Wedding planners, well, plan people’s weddings. They work with couples and their families to create the perfect marriage celebration, from arranging hen and stag parties to prepping catering and other services for the big day.
Often, wedding planners work on a self-employed basis, though some events companies around the UK take on full and part-time wedding planners, at all different levels. If you want to make the most money from wedding planning, however, it’s best to go it alone and become a sole trader.
One of the best things about being a wedding planner is the diversity of the role. Working with different couples, each with their idea of the perfect wedding day, means limitless fun and creativity – perfect if job satisfaction and variety are important to you.
To show just how much variety there is in the world of wedding planning, here are some of the typical duties you’ll be responsible for as a wedding planner:
- Handling a couple’s wedding budget
- Coming up with ideas for themes and concepts for the wedding
- Liaising and negotiating with different suppliers, such as florists, photographers, and caterers
- Building relationships with venues so you can benefit from word-of-mouth recommendations
- Overseeing the logistics on the big day, ensuring that everything runs smoothly
- Working long hours, often on evenings and weekends, in the busy peak summer season
- Performing administrative, business-related duties (if you’re self-employed), including marketing your services and accounting
These are just a few examples of the tasks you’ll be responsible for as a wedding planner. With success and experience, you may find yourself taking on bigger and more challenging projects, which require serious creative input and expert organisational acumen.
There aren’t any specific qualifications you need to become a professional wedding planner. Instead, it’s all about building experience and making sure you meet your clients’ needs so they recommend you to friends and family.
That said, if you want to land higher-paying projects early in your career, several training courses can help build your skills and knowledge. Some wedding planners even take undergraduate degrees in events management, so they can charge higher rates for their services and attract a certain type of clientele.
One qualification you may want to consider is a wedding planning diploma. This offers a step-by-step guide to wedding planning, from budgeting and negotiating to the logistics of the ceremony itself. It’s a great way to find your feet, understand what’s involved and start your career off on the right foot.
If you’d prefer to go it alone, building a wedding planning business is a labour of love. You may start by helping friends and family organise their big days, building up a portfolio that you can show to other prospective clients. Or you might seek work experience with an experienced wedding planner, so you can learn essential skills on the job while helping them organise upcoming events.
Whichever route you opt for, one thing is for certain: helping couples plan their perfect day is a limitlessly rewarding and enjoyably profession.
Because a lot of wedding planners are self-employed, it’s hard to give an accurate estimate of how much they typically earn. It depends on your experience level and the type of weddings and events you help to organise.
As a freelance wedding planner at the start of your career, you can expect an annual salary of around £17,000 to £20,000. From there, your salary should increase in line with your growing experience and knowledge; be sure to review your prices regularly so you aren’t selling yourself short.
We get that £17k-£20k doesn’t sound like much, but remember that an experienced wedding planner at the top of their game can earn significantly more. If you’re keen to earn big as a successful wedding organiser, you’ll need to attract clients willing to pay a premium to make their dream wedding a reality.
What about if you choose to work for a wedding planning company? Again, it depends on your experience and the type of events the business takes on. Salaries for full-time employed wedding planners typically range from £17,000 to £25,000, though you can earn more if you land a job with the right firm.
Wedding planning may seem like a field that anyone could get into, but it’s a much more challenging profession than it sounds. You need to be confident, creative and hardworking, and able to work well under pressure when emotions are running high.
For those up to the challenge, however, it’s a hugely rewarding career path, and one in which you’ll be constantly working on creative new projects with people from all walks of life.
To help you decide if a career as a wedding planner is right for you, we’ve put together a list of the attributes and traits which may make you the perfect fit for the job:
- Confident and willing to go the extra mile
- Creative aptitude
- A big thinker who likes coming up with original ideas
- Empathetic and respectful of people’s values and beliefs
- Trend savvy, with a strong interest in the wedding industry
- Hardworking and determined
- Work well under pressure
- Strong written and verbal communication skills
- Outstanding team-working skills
- Professional attitude
- Excellent organisational skills
- Strong time-keeping skills
It’s easy to see why lots of young people aspire to get into wedding planning. Not only is it a hugely enjoyable and creative career, but it could see you travelling the world and meeting lots of amazing people – a dream for those looking for a flexible, fun-filled job.
Let’s review some of the benefits you can look forward to as a qualified wedding planner:
- Job satisfaction – what could be more satisfying than helping a couple plan their dream wedding day, before pulling it off without a hitch? Wedding planners take huge pride in their work, and the rewards are limitless.
- Working with people – if you’re a people person, a career as a wedding planner promises boundless interaction, whether you’re arranging flowers or organising the day itself. You’ll spend most of your working life talking to others, so if that sounds like you, step this way.
- Flexibility and work/life balance – as a wedding planner, you set your working hours (to a certain extent). No more rigid nine-to-five; you can work when you want, for an improved work/life balance.
- Challenging and demanding – being a successful wedding planner isn’t easy. You’ll face tough challenges and demanding situations, which is why confidence and self-belief are key.
- A creative outlet – whatever your passions and interests, wedding planning is a great way to get those creative juices flowing. Thinking outside the box and coming up with ideas will be part and parcel of your day-to-day work, so a creative outlet is guaranteed.
Professional wedding planners don’t tend to follow a traditional career path. As you’ll most likely be working for yourself, there won’t be promotions and opportunities in the normal sense, though there are lots of other ways to progress your career.
For starters, gaining new clients is in itself a form of career progression. As your reputation grows, so too will your salary and client base, and you may find yourself taking on bigger and more complex projects.
From there, you may consider taking on staff, like a full-time assistant or a part-time marketing professional. Building a business brings great progression opportunities, and as it takes off, you may find yourself doing things you never thought possible at the start of your career.
Does a career as a wedding planner sound right up your street? Maybe you enjoyed planning your wedding so much, you’d like to turn your interest into a fun new career? At Oxbridge, our online event management courses can help kick-start your career as a professional wedding planner. For more information, visit the homepage or get in touch with our experienced course advisers on 0161 630 3000.
How much does a wedding planner earn?