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A Career in Wedding Planning

As a wedding planner you can have a rewarding career that lets you use your creativity to organize the happiest day of people's lives.

In our busy society it's no wonder so many couples turn to a professional wedding planner to ensure their wedding is as stress free as possible. With more than 2.5 million weddings taking place in the United States alone last year, there are more opportunities for wedding planners than ever before.

As long as you have the desire, you can become a wedding planner. No special education or experience is necessary to break into this career and succeed. If wedding planning sounds like the career of your dreams, here are ten steps to breaking into this fabulous job, based on the FabJob Guide to Become a Wedding Planner, published by FabJob.com.

1. Develop your skills

Successful wedding planners have a number of traits in common. They are usually creative people with excellent interpersonal skills who love to plan events. While most of these traits come naturally to many wedding planners, an important skill that some need to develop is organizational ability. To help you stay organized, you can create timeline schedules and checklists, and use organizational tools such as a day planner or binder to keep track of all the wedding details and paperwork.

2. Learn about Weddings

There are numerous details involved in planning a wedding - from selecting the wedding date to choosing the menu for the reception. You can learn how to plan weddings by taking continuing education classes or through self-study. To teach yourself, help out with as many weddings as possible, visit bridal shows, read wedding magazines, and conduct informational interviews with clergy of various faiths, recently married brides and others connected to the wedding business such as florists and caterers.

3. Create a portfolio

A portfolio is a collection of photographs that show people your skill at planning weddings. To develop a portfolio, offer your services to friends and family who are getting married in exchange for pictures for your portfolio. (You can ask them to write reference letters for you as well.) You can also include photographs of table settings or room decorations you have created in your home, or pictures from your own wedding to show your creative side.

4. Find a job in the wedding industry

Even if you plan to start your own business, consider getting a job in the industry first. Besides employment benefits, these positions can be used as a stepping-stone to gain valuable experience and contacts. Wedding coordinators are hired by hotels, country clubs, and churches across the country.

Some of the more exciting options include working as a wedding coordinator at an attraction such as Disney World or at a resort in a location such as Hawaii, Las Vegas, Europe or the Caribbean. Many other job opportunities for "bridal consultants" are available with companies that supply products and services for weddings including bridal shops, department stores with gift registries, florists, and caterers.

5. Set up your own business

Setting up a wedding planning business is not much different than starting any other business, with a few exceptions. You should be able to work from home as long as you set aside an office space free from interruptions from children or pets. This is especially important if you plan on holding meetings with clients there.

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