How Do I Become a Certified Wedding Consultant?

Research what it takes to become a certified wedding consultant. Learn about education requirements, job outlook and salary to find out if this is the career for you. Schools offering Hospitality Management degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

What Is a Certified Wedding Consultant?

Wedding consultants are hospitality professionals who work with clients to plan weddings. They coordinate with clients to arrange factors such as catering, videography, photography, flower arrangements, and entertainment. Wedding consultants must have solid interpersonal and communication skills. Aspiring certified wedding consultants may begin their careers with a background in event planning or by completing a formal degree program in a hospitality management field. A summary of career details is featured in the table below.

Education Required Event planning experience; bachelor's degree preferred
Education Field of Study Marketing, communications, hospitality management, public relations
Key Skills Organization, problem-solving, listening, attention to detail
Certification Voluntary
Job Growth (2014-2024) 10% (for all meeting, convention and event planners)*
Median Hourly Salary (2017) $12.67 (for all wedding consultants)**

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

What Do Certified Wedding Consultants Do?

As a certified wedding consultant, you help brides and grooms plan their weddings, coordinating everything to making sure that their big day goes smoothly. You advise the bride and groom on venues, caterers and music, and then book these services for the wedding day. A large part of your job is to relieve the bride and groom from the stress of planning a wedding, and allow them to spend more time with their friends and family.

What Education or Training Do I Need?

Though a degree isn't required to become a wedding consultant, many companies hire candidates with a bachelor's degree. A bachelor's degree program in hospitality management or marketing may provide you with the skills necessary in the wedding planning profession. Some wedding consultants are self-employed, but if you're starting out in the field, working for an established company may provide some on the job training and opportunity to make contacts.

How Do I Become Certified?

Multiple professional associations offer wedding consultant certification. The Association of Certified Professional Wedding Consultants (ACPWC) is one such organization that offers training seminars and certification. Generally, the training courses to be completed prior to receiving certification involve no prerequisite. The classes offered by the third-party associations, schools and companies prepare you to start work as a wedding consultant, so it's not necessary to have experience before starting the training sessions.

What is the Job Outlook?

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) notes that job growth for meeting, convention and event planners, a larger category that comprises wedding consultants, is expected to rise by 10% from 2014-2024, a rate that is quicker than average for other jobs (www.bls.gov). Though your salary can depend on your location and whether or not you're self-employed, PayScale.com reported a median hourly wage of $12.67 as of January 2017, which may equate to a total annual pay of between $20,472-$53,148 for most wedding consultants.

What Are Some Related Alternative Careers?

Those interested in becoming a certified wedding consultant may also wish to consider related careers which require some of the same organizational and communication skills. For instance, fundraisers work for organizations to raise money through events and campaigns. Fundraisers generally require a bachelor's degree in a related field. Lodging managers work for hotels or motels to ensure that the establishment is run efficiently. They generally only require a high school diploma and some related experience to gain entry level employment; however, full-service hotels may only hire those that have bachelor's degrees. Travel agents work with clients to plan itineraries and travel arrangements for trips. Travel agents require a high school diploma to gain employment.

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