Wedding Planner is no longer a new profession. It is still quite recent in Europe but is becoming more and more known and recognizable. Television, trade press and wedding magazines, social networks, wedding exhibitions and fairs and so on. A Wedding Planner is everywhere as soon as the word ‘wedding’ is mentioned. It is difficult for the future married couple to miss her/him! While almost unknown 15 years ago in France and Europe, it is slowly emerging as the most important service provider for the smooth running of the wedding! But what is a Wedding Planner? A Wedding Planner is like the ‘orchestra conductor’, a true event project manager. S/he is the cornerstone of the event. Networking, organization and logistics are the language s/he speaks. Find out more details about this profession in our Wedding Planner job description!
Job Description Wedding Planner
Job Description and Career Information
WEDDING PLANNER: HISTORY OF THE PROFESSION
The ‘Wedding Planning’ profession first appeared in the United States around a century ago, several decades ago in Great Britain, and over 10 years ago in France and many other countries.
MISSIONS OF A WEDDING PLANNER
A Wedding Planner’s main responsibilities are:
- Making wedding plans
- Establishing the projected budget of the wedding and ensuring that it is adhered to
- Researching wedding suppliers (reception venue’s, caterer, cake designer or pastry chef, entertainer, photographer, videographer, decorator, graphic designer, or letterpress studio…) and negotiating service contracts
- Suggesting ‘out of the ordinary’ services
- Creating a unique wedding ambiance
- Establishing the schedule of the wedding day
- Supervising the wedding ceremony and reception set-up (for religious and civil or secular ceremonies)
- Coordinating the wedding day and handling any mishaps
- Supervising venue dismantlement
PERSONALITY TRAITS OF A WEDDING PLANNER:
First of all, the Wedding Planner is a rather outgoing person who has a wide personal and professional network. Her/his main working tool is of course her/his address book: networking and relationship-building are part of her/his daily routine. S/he likes to meet people and be in contact with others.
Also, empathy, often innate, is an indispensable quality to her/him. Being objective and neutral in all circumstances, while listening and understanding the others, is very important. Indeed, empathy enables her/him to understand the future married couple, their dreams, their environment and their constraints. The Wedding Planner spontaneously understands their expectations and cares about what they think and feel. She/he likes to be at the service of the future married couple.
Likewise, working as a Wedding Planner requires organization more than anything else. Diary, post-it notes, check-lists… S/he is a true “planner addict”. S/he likes order and punctuality and does not like uncertainty. S/he plans everything possible. S/he is very often a true maniac and a perfectionist!
Last but not least, the Wedding Planner is passionate about weddings. She/he simply loves love, beautiful things and happiness.
Combined with the necessary skills brought by the training and experience, the Wedding Planner knows how to carry out an event project and enjoys doing it.
SKILLS OF A WEDDING PLANNER:
PLANNING AND ORGANIZATION OF THE WEDDING
Firstly, planning is obviously the primary skill for the wedding planner. It is not just a question of making a simple planning but more of having proven skills in project management. Project planning as a professional skill involves defining the different tasks that are needed to accomplish the project and prioritizing them. Moreover, it also implies setting milestones and estimating how much the different tasks depend on each other. Then, the Wedding Planner must be able to anticipate any constraint and prevent any mishap that may occur during the implementation of the project. Furthermore, the planner must have the ability to use project management tools such as Microsoft Project and, more generally, to design a Gantt chart and deal with its follow-up. Needless to say, the Project Management course in our Wedding Planner training will enable you to acquire all these skills.
In short, more than just a quality, organization must become a true professional skill for the Wedding Planner. S/he must know how to use the organization and Office tools, needed to ease her/his everyday work.
Secondly, the Wedding Planner knows how to prepare an event budget. S/he must be an expert in the wedding market s/he evolves and must not have problems with numbers. Mental math is very helpful and the mastery Excel is not an option.
MANAGEMENT OF THE ACTIVITY
Lastly, the Wedding Planner must have the required skills to run a company, since in most cases, the Wedding Planner is self-employed. Accordingly, s/he must first have good business skills. It is essential to know how to estimate prices and, how to sell services and enhance them.
Besides, this job requires good communication and web marketing skills. The Wedding Planner must constantly renew her/his knowledge in the digital field, given its evolution. The mastery of Photoshop and InDesign is a valuable help and can boost the promotion of her/his business. Given we regard these skills as crucial, our Institute will train you on them. Our Wedding Business and Wedding Communication workshops will surely come in handy.
Finally, s/he must be a good account manager. Notions such as accounting, income statement, balance sheet and working capital needs should not be unknown to her/him.
WEDDING PLANNER AS A JOB
Since its arrival in Europe, the Wedding Planning profession has tended to become liberal. Generally speaking, it has been difficult for Wedding Planners to develop their business by recruiting employees so far. When their activity becomes profitable, starting to hire people is complicated and risky, especially in countries like France, where taxation is high. As a result, the planner prefers to develop her/his own agency in a qualitative way by using her/his experience to target a wider range of clients. By doing this, the Wedding Planner sees her/his income increase but not the number of weddings planned.
In any case, this natural way of organizing the profession results in a very low employment rate. However, the percentage of couples that call on Wedding Planning services is constantly increasing. The demand is compensated by the creation of new agencies: new Wedding Planners going into self-employment. In conclusion, the absence of job offers does not mean that the profession does not exist. It just means that this profession does not employ salaried employees.
We do not think that the situation is changing in the short term, but we can argue that the profession should evolve just like in the United States. In the US, there are as many self-employed Wedding Planners as salaried employees.
THE WEDDING PLANNING PROFESSION: COURSES AND TRAINING
Since the Wedding Planner usually works on a self-employed basis, s/he needs to be mature professionally. In addition, the average age of people getting married is around 28-30 years old in the US; therefore, they want to entrust their wedding to experienced and believable professionals. In our opinion, going on business just after high school then seems illogical. We recommend interested people to acquire some professional maturity:
- Either by earning a graduate degree from 2 to 5 years
- Or having a significant amount of professional experience for people who look for a career change.
But above all, this basic knowledge must be completed with a Wedding Planner training.
INCOME AS A WEDDING PLANNER
First things first, it would be more appropriate to speak of income or revenue than salary. A lot of Wedding Planners start their own business; therefore, they set their own prices (etc.). Talking about figures in a more precise way, the income of a Wedding Planner in the US ranges from around $24k per year up to $80k. The average revenue for a Wedding Planner is $40k. The most successful Wedding Planners can earn as much as $120k a year!
It is also quite interesting to see that the more experience you have, the higher the income you may get. So, it is encouraging enough to keep doing this job. Still in the US, professionals also tend to change their career after 20 years working as Wedding Planners.
In order to keep a high salary when you have more than 20 years of experience, it’s usually because people think you are outdated, it’s up to you to show them they are wrong.
In order to keep a high salary when you have more than 20 years of experience, you have to show them that having so much experience is something good, that you are not outdated
Another comment on the income, you also have to choose the right place to start your business. Practicing this profession in a big city remains the best option, if you want to earn more money. (More people means more weddings!)