Often seen as a dream job, bridal consulting can be a glamorous and enjoyable career for many. A bridal consultant will meet with the bride and bridal party and offer suggestions, ideas and support while planning the wedding. Consultants may be hired to manage the planning of the entire wedding or on a shorter term basis such as making venue arrangements. This career can be good for those who need a flexible schedule to fit into their life.
The salary of a bridal consultant can vary as this often depends upon whether the consultant works regularly or on a less formal basis. On average, these consultants make between $55,000 and $80,000 annually but may make more or less than this depending on the clientele or how many contract consulting jobs are taken. Because bridal consultants often trade a regular hourly wage and schedule for flexibility they are often able to name their own fees for their services and work on a more flexible schedule.*
*According to the BLS, http://www.bls.gov/oco/
Often beginning bridal consultants will offer their services for a lower cost in order to begin forming a good reputation. This is not always necessary for consultants to do but in some cases it may be helpful to offer discounts when beginning a career as a bridal consultant to garner interest and generate good word of mouth. It is important to not undersell skills in order to obtain work as it can lead to a lower income later on if the work is undervalued.
Job Description and Outlook
A bridal consultant has many roles including organizing plans made by the bridal party, contacting vendors and venues about arrangements and providing constant support to the bride as necessary in order to create the desired wedding. It requires a lot of organizational skills and ability to multitask, which can be overwhelming for some people to handle. Bridal consultants must be able to meet with clients as often as needed to provide information, make changes and handle problems if they arise.
Consultants are often sought after the engagement has taken place and they remain in constant contact with the bride through the wedding planning process to help make decisions and bring the plans to life. Some bridal consultants may only work through a portion of the arrangements of the wedding while others may be available for every step and plan considered, depending on the needs of the bride.
The bridal industry is constantly growing, making bridal consulting a lucrative career choice once established. It can take some time in order to become a successful consultant, and this is attained by forming good relationships with clients, fulfilling requests in a timely and satisfactory manner and providing the best service possible to the bridal party. Creating good relationships and connections with clients and a social network will ensure a successful career as word of mouth is important.*
*According to the BLS, http://www.bls.gov/oco/
Training and Education Requirements
While there is no formal training required for bridal consultants, those starting out in the industry may find it helpful to become an apprentice to an experienced consultant. By working as an assistant or apprentice to an established bridal consultant, those beginning a career in this field will gain valuable insights and lessons on how to handle a variety of clients and situations.
Those who intend to create a business out of bridal consulting may benefit from college education focused on business management. Often clients will feel more reassured when a degree of at least an associate’s but preferably a bachelor’s is available, proving that the consultant has attained formal training in running a business. For bridal consultants however, the best show of education is a roster of successful weddings in order to show to other clients if permitted. This can be demonstrated through positive word of mouth, a photo gallery of weddings than have been planned or a website that allows for reviews to be posted about the services provided.
Certification is available in the field of bridal consulting and can be a valuable tool in creating a career in this industry. The Association of Certified Professional Wedding Consultants offers a certification program that includes training within the field of wedding and bridal consulting to those who wish to undergo it. This is generally not regarded as necessary but for those who choose to take their career to a more professional level, attaining any certifications available in order to build a more polished resume is desirable.
A number of associations exist for the bridal consultant field. These associations are optional but as with becoming certified, may be useful for those who desire a polished and professional resume. Some of the associations include:
- The American Association of Certified Wedding Planners
- The Association of Bridal Consultants
- The Association of Certified Professional Wedding Consultants
- The National Association of Wedding Planners
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