How Can I Become a Professional Bridal Consultant?

Explore the career requirements for professional bridal consultants. Get the facts about salary, job growth, training requirements and certification to determine if this is the right career for you. Schools offering Hospitality Management degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

What Is a Bridal Consultant?

Bridal consultants are wedding planning professionals who often assist couples with all aspects of wedding preparations. Consultants will work with one or both of the involved parties to understand and execute the couple's wishes for the wedding. If the bridal consultant or wedding planner works for an organization, he or she may focus on certain parts of the planning like helping a bride with dress selection and etiquette. The consultant can prove invaluable during the entire wedding process and may attend rehearsals and the ceremony itself. Exceptional organizational and interpersonal skills will thus be a tremendous asset in this role.

Professional bridal consultant are not required to complete a formal education program; however, there are programs that can enhance your knowledge of the field. The table can tell you what kind of training is available and what you may be able to earn.

Training Required Postsecondary certificate
Education Field of Study Wedding planning, bridal consulting
Key Skills Organization, interpersonal, attention to detail, problem-solving
Certification Certification is optional
Job Growth (2014-2024) 10% (for all meeting, convention and event planners)*
Median Annual Salary (2016) $38,000 (for all wedding consultants)**

Sources: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, **PayScale.com

What Does a Bridal Consultant Do?

Every bride wants her wedding day to be perfect. That's where the bridal consultant comes in. Bridal consultants coordinate all the details of a wedding, such as invitations, flowers, catering, venue, ceremony and guest list. As a bridal consultant, you would work with vendors, confirming deliveries, setting up venues and attending to the bride on her big day. You would need to be extremely detail-oriented, highly organized and able to perform well under pressure.

What Education Do I Need?

Although there are no formal degree programs in wedding planning, a certificate program can provide a comprehensive overview of necessary skills and knowledge in essential areas of wedding planning. These programs are offered by some technical and community colleges. Depending on the educational institution, program length varies from 10 weeks to two semesters. Topics covered may include budgets, venues, floral design, contracts, menu selection and wedding protocol.

How Can I Get a Job as a Bridal Consultant?

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), large urban areas like New York, Washington, DC, and Los Angeles employed the largest number of meeting, convention and event planners as of 2015 (www.bls.gov). While self-employment is common, some planners had experience working as event or meeting planners for hotels, according to the BLS. One way to gather experience is through an internship or entry-level job with a wedding or event planning company. This can allow you to observe the ins and outs of the job while gaining training and experience.

What Certifications Do I Need?

You don't need to be certified to work as a bridal consultant, although industry certification is a good way to show employers that you're an expert in your field. The Association of Certified Professional Wedding Consultants offers a training and certification program for wedding consultants (www.acpwc.com). To receive a Certificate of Completion from ACPWC, you'll need to complete a 4- to 5-day course, which can be completed through a live class or a home study program.

The Association of Bridal Consultants offers a home study program that consists of 15 educational points (www.bridalassn.com). An additional ten educational points can be earned through home study courses and lead to the Professional Bridal Consultant or Professional Wedding Vendor designations.

What Are Some Related Alternative Occupations?

If you are interested in an advisory or management role, you might consider working as a manager or assistant manager in an area like lodging or food service. These types of roles also do not require a degree, but they will enable you to guide other individuals and organizations in completing goals and ensuring efficient operations. In addition, you could explore opportunities as travel agents, which may help with lodging or entertainment options for travelers, as an example. Travel agents often just need a high school diploma, but many schools offer postsecondary classes.

To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below:

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