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How Much Does Wedding Planning School Cost?

Wedding Planner School Prices

Wedding planners are hired to coordinate the details of a wedding. This might include making arrangements for the reception site, floral arrangements, catering, music, transportation, photography/videography, and accommodation. Wedding planning is not state regulated, so there are no formal education requirements. Getting certified through a professional association, however, or earning a degree in event planning or a related field can improve job prospects.

Wedding Planner Considerations

Wedding planning isn't the glamorous career it might appear to be. While a wedding ceremony is a joyous occasion for the bride, groom, and their guests, the wedding planner often works long hours to ensure that everything goes off without a hitch (or with a hitch, as it were). That said, a wedding planner's level of involvement varies from comprehensive to auxiliary depending on the extent to which the bride and groom to-be want to handle arrangements themselves.

Here's what else prospective wedding planners should know about the industry:

Skill Set

Wedding planners tend to be:

  • Organized
  • Detail-oriented
  • Good with people
  • Strong communicators
  • Quick thinkers
  • Entrepreneurial (80% of wedding industry professionals are self-employed, according to the Association for Wedding Professionals International).

Salary and Job Outlook

The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) does not collect employment data on wedding planners. BLS data on meeting, convention, and event planners, however, puts the median annual wage of these workers at $45,810 (read the Occupational Outlook Handbook for event planners).

A BLS report on wedding and funeral planners notes that wedding planner earnings vary from under $5,000 to over $250,000. This large salary range can be explained by the fact that some planners work part-time, only doing a few weddings a year, while others plan weddings as a primary job. Other factors that influence earning include the planner's experience and how fees are determined (wedding planners can charge an upfront fee, an hourly fee, or a fee that's a percentage of the total wedding cost).

Training

Individuals interested in formal wedding planning training can receive certification from one of the following organizations:

  • The Association of Certified Professional Wedding Consultants
  • The Association of Bridal Consultants
  • June Wedding, Inc.

Certification course fees range from $500 to $1,300 depending on the level of training. Both classroom and in-home study courses are offered.

In additional to professional certification, wedding planners can receive formal training at the associate's or bachelor's degree level. Schools typically don't award a degree in wedding planning, but students may pursue a degree in hospitality and tourism with a concentration in event management or wedding planning. A business degree might also prove useful to a wedding planner. Combined with work experience, a degree prepares students to take on managerial roles with bridal shops, wedding planning businesses, convention centers, and other organizations.

The average cost of an associate's degree is $3,000 - $3,500 (tuition and fees; excludes room and board, books and supplies, and other costs). Earning a bachelor's degree might cost $8,500 -$30,000 per year in tuition and fees alone (source: The College Board Trends in College Pricing 2012).

Find Wedding Planning School Information

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