How Do I Become a Wedding Coordinator?

Explore the career requirements for wedding coordinators. Get the facts about the recommended experience and education along with salary information 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 Wedding Coordinator?

As a wedding coordinator, you will oversee all the details for wedding ceremonies. Wedding coordinators meet with their clients to gather the necessary information and understand the desires of the client for their special day. These professionals then assist with the planning and details of the wedding, including meeting and communicating with staff of the venue, caterers and more. Wedding coordinators will ensure that on the day of the wedding everything goes according to plan. They will make sure that everyone is in the right place at the right time, that the correct order of events occurs and that their clients and guests are satisfied with their experience. The following table provides some basic information for this career:

Education Required Certificate, associate's degree or bachelor's degree recommended
Education Field of Study Business management, hospitality, wedding planning
Key Skills Organization, detail-oriented, communication, poise
Certification Voluntary certification available
Job Growth (2014-24) 10% (for meeting, convention and event planners)*
Median Salary (2016) $39,036**

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

What Traits Should a Wedding Coordinator Have?

A wedding coordinator needs to be organized and able to focus on details while keeping the big picture in mind. You also need to be able to listen to people's requests and handle their demands with poise and tact. Being easily adaptable and able to think on your feet is also necessary. By interning for a wedding planner or working at a flower shop, catering firm or hotel, you can hone your people skills. You can also make vital connections in the wedding industry that can help you build your client base once you start your own business.

What Classes Can I Take?

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), there are no state or local regulations governing wedding coordinators, so no formal training is required (www.bls.gov). However, many wedding coordinators take certification classes. Be sure to research the certification program you're interested in before you enroll, to verify that it's reputable. Courses in business management, hospitality and marketing can also help you be successful in your career.

Additionally, many community colleges and universities offer certificate programs in wedding planning. The courses in these programs may include marketing, business and public relations. You would also learn about trends in wedding flowers, cakes, receptions, decorations and all the other details that go into planning a wedding.

What Are the Working Conditions?

You can expect to work odd hours, including weekends and holidays. You'll work around the schedule of the family whose wedding you're planning, which often means evening meetings. Other tasks include making arrangements with florists, caterers, musicians, transportation services and hotels to ensure the wedding is successful. Sometimes arranging these details can be stressful, and you'll be responsible for keeping that stress from the wedding couple and their families.

What Could I Expect to Earn?

According to October 2016 data from PayScale.com, most wedding planners earned between $9.34 and $16.00 an hour. With bonuses, overtime and commissions, you could make from $19,970 and $52,752 annually. Those with experience can increase their salary by gaining clients through word of mouth and advertising. Most wedding coordinators charge an upfront fee rather than an hourly rate.

What Are Some Related Alternative Careers?

Travel agents and lodging managers hold similar positions to a wedding coordinator and require a high school diploma or equivalent. Travel agents handle the details of a client's business trip or vacation, including booking transportation, lodging and special events. Lodging managers coordinate and supervise the daily activities of their establishments. They make sure that guests have everything that they need to enjoy their stay. Fundraisers are another related career, but they require a bachelor's degree. These professionals organize and promote different kinds of events aimed at raising money for a particular cause or organization.

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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