What's the Difference Between a Wedding Consultant & a Wedding Planner?

There are many overlapping career titles within the wedding industry, including wedding consultants, bridal consultants, wedding planners, wedding events coordinators, and wedding facility coordinators. 'Wedding consultant' is the broad title often used to refer to any of these positions and many smaller, related positions within the industry. A wedding planner is a consultant hired to plan and coordinate the wedding celebration. Schools offering Hospitality Management degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

Industry Overview

Wedding consultants and wedding planners are two titles that often refer to the same job. Both assist prospective brides and grooms in planning and implementing weddings. Wedding consultants cover a wide range of activities; some specialize in one specific area. Wedding planners work as coordinators as well as consultants and bring all the pieces together for the main event.

Important Facts About This Occupation

Required Education None required, but many have their bachelor's degrees and some work experience
Median Salary (2014) $46,490 a year (for meeting, convention, and event planners)
Job Outlook (2012-2022)33% (for meeting, convention, and event planners)
Work Environment Private offices, hotels, wedding venues, churches

Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Wedding Consultants

The term 'wedding consultant' encompasses more narrowly-focused positions, such as consultants who help set up gift registries at retail outlets or those who help with the selection of a gown. Some of these consultants have little to do with the planning of the wedding itself. Some churches employ wedding consultants who coordinate aspects of the ceremony. Floral shops employ consultants who specialize in wedding flowers and bridal salons hire wedding consultants with backgrounds in fashion who help brides in their dress selection. Some of the tasks performed by wedding consultants include:

  • Planning photography and videography
  • Planning flower arrangements
  • Assisting in attire selection for brides, grooms, and attendants
  • Setting up gift registries

Wedding Planners

Wedding planners are usually involved in the entire wedding process. They not only provide consultation on many of the above aspects, but they also manage the planning process, coordinate all the parties involved, and try to ensure the event runs smoothly. Additional responsibilities of a wedding planner include:

  • Helping set a budget for the event
  • Planning menus and selecting caterers
  • Finding entertainment
  • Selecting venues for ceremony and reception
  • Choosing colors or themes and coordinating decorations, flowers, and attire
  • Setting an event schedule
  • Sending invitations and keeping track of responses
  • Helping to keep the bridge, groom, and bridal party members relaxed

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