Fancy yourself as the Jennifer Lopez character Mary Fiore in the The Wedding Planner? It can be as glamorous as it looked in the 2001 romcom. Just don't lose sight of the fact that the buck stops with you for the smooth-running of the biggest day of a girl's life, so the responsibility hangs heavy. You should take out or at least ease the stress of the bride's big day.
Who can I work for?
Most wedding planners are freelancers. Some posts are available, however, with wedding planing or event management firms.
Where and when can I work?
A café, hotel lobby or a client's house. Hours vary. Weekdays are usually spent doing the homework, the graft, working with vendors, drawing up proposals and checking your emails and admin. Then the weekend is normally spent on-site at the wedding venue. Anti-social hours. One of those jobs where the hours would be described as 'as long as it takes'. You can work seven days a week – as the average wedding planner takes 125 hours to prepare for each event!
What can I earn?
Immaculate reputation with years' experience? Then you might fall on your feet and land yourself with a fleet of celebrity weddings. If so, bingo!, you could earn more than £300K a year. But the pay for established planners isn't bad either – this can range from anything from £30K-£75. A novice planner will start on between £16K and £25.
What are the benefits?
Huge job satisfaction – when things go well, even the odd bonus for a job well done, and recommendations through word of mouth.
Are there chances of promotion?
You might progress into event management or go on to specialise in themed weddings.
What will I be responsible for?
+ Managing budgets.
+ Arranging and conducting preliminary meetings with clients.
+ Keeping up to date with latest wedding trends.
+ Marketing and advertising and establishing a 'WOW!' website.
+ Learning about wedding etiquette of various religions.
+ Drawing-up clients proposals to show clients.
+ Liaising with venues and visiting them.
+ Monitoring and tracking guest lists and RSVPs.
+ Drawing-up thorough itineraries for clients and vendors.
+ Project management.
+ Room lay-out and furniture moving.
+ Drawing-up seating plans.
What qualifications do I need?
None, as such. But because it's the biggest day in a girl's life, she's not going to employ any old Tom, Dick or Harry. So flaunt your impressive credentials by passing a wedding planning certificate. This can be taken online through an established wedding planning school, such as The Wedding Planner School. Its home study foundation course can be completed in two-three months. The more advanced diploma can take anything from three months to a year, depending how much work you devote to it a week. A GCSE in English is advised before you take one of these courses.
Do I need any experience?
Working for wedding industry exhibitions will help guide you through the profession as well as forging contacts with suppliers. Work experience with an experienced planner would be a huge bonus.
What attributes are needed?
An highly organised mind with the precision of a Swiss cuckoo clock. Superb communication, organisational and creative skills. You'll be a dab hand with a computer and tread that fine dividing line between advising a client what seems best for their needs and bowing to all their demands. Dealing with any unforeseen problems (don't forget the main players on a wedding day are understandably very highly strung). The stamina to travel far and wide. Physical strength – you may be required to move furniture around. Immaculate appearance – chances are if you can't be bothered to look after yourself, you're not going to look after the look of the wedding.