What Does a Wedding Planner Do? With Duties and Skills

By Indeed Editorial Team

Published 27 September 2022

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

Wedding planners are pivotal events management professionals who help couples design their ideal wedding day via meticulous planning and collaboration with multiple professionals. Becoming a wedding planner requires an understanding of the various duties and responsibilities that you may face in planning a wedding. Understanding these can help you determine whether you have the right skills and industry knowledge to carry out these tasks to an excellent standard. In this article, we answer 'What does a wedding planner do?', explain their key duties and responsibilities, discuss how they use their skills and explore how to become one.

What does a wedding planner do?

To answer the question 'What does a wedding planner do?', it's important to define their job description. A wedding planner is an events management expert specialising in planning and delivering weddings on behalf of their client. Wedding planners work in partnership with their clients, typically the people getting married, to ensure they deliver their desired theme with the corresponding decorations, flower arrangements and catering. Wedding planners work with their client's budgets to ensure they secure the correct suppliers and vendors and work as a point of contact between their client and their venue or other industry professionals.

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How to become a wedding planner

Here's a step-by-step guide to becoming a wedding planner:

1. Consider a degree in events management

There aren't any set qualifications for wedding planners to complete before they begin working, but candidates may benefit from degrees in subjects such as events management. Events management can teach candidates the vital skills that allow them to work collaboratively with suppliers and vendors. It may allow them to learn how to create effective plans that create well-structured ceremonies and receptions according to their client's wishes.

Such subjects also teach candidates how to plan effective budgets and keep to a budget during the planning process. Familiarising with different kinds of events management can help candidates build their portfolios and better manage timelines and liaise with industry professionals. A degree in events management can also increase a candidate's chances of securing a wedding planning contract, as couples may have more faith in a degree-educated planner. This is because possessing an events management degree demonstrates industry expertise.

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2. Work on your skills

Before you can begin working as a wedding planner, it's important to hone your skills. Developing critical skills such as time management and effective planning while understanding how to manage budgets is critical before beginning to work directly with clients. To do this, consider finding entry-level assistant planning roles with wedding planning agencies or freelancing as a wedding planner.

Having this vital experience allows you to shadow and observe experienced industry professionals and absorb the skills and techniques they use to plan effective weddings. This also provides critical feedback on your abilities and areas of development, allowing you to take constructive steps to improve your planning strategies. Doing this can also build your confidence in working with suppliers and vendors, meaning you can more effectively negotiate prices and deals in the future.

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3. Build a professional portfolio

While you're developing your professional skills, consider building a professional portfolio. A portfolio is an amalgamation of all your professional work that highlights your key accomplishments and specialities. With a portfolio, interested parties can research whether you have planned the type of wedding they want, allowing them to contact you for further details.

You can build your website to display your portfolio and make information easily accessible. Consider organising your wedding portfolio by theme, so couples can see whether you have extensive knowledge and experience planning their desired wedding.

Related: How to Create a Career Portfolio in 7 Steps (Plus Tips)

4. Develop industry contacts

While working, building a vast network of professional contacts in the wedding planning and supply industry is important. As a wedding planner, one of your key responsibilities is likely to be working collaboratively with suppliers and vendors, such as caterers and florists.

Developing a large network of these contacts can allow you to speed up the process of securing contracts for a wedding and may make price negotiation much easier than liaising with unknown suppliers. This information can allow you to refer clients to other industry professionals if you're unsure of a certain theme or don't know where to secure certain supplies.

Wedding planner duties and responsibilities

Here's a guide to wedding planner duties and responsibilities:

Discussing budgets

One significant responsibility that wedding planners fulfil is meeting with their clients and discussing a budget. In this task, the wedding planner is responsible for explaining the realistic price of the couple's wishes, such as the price for certain flowers or venues. Additionally, it's important for wedding planners to communicate changes in pricing due to the time of year to ensure they remain honest and transparent about the overall pricing of the event. From these discussions, wedding planners devise an accurate budget to help their clients decide on the final budget for their wedding.

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Creating themes

Wedding themes are an important part of the planning process that helps wedding planners decide on small details, such as flowers and venues. The wedding planner is responsible for meeting and discussing themes with the client. In some cases, the wedding planner may specialise in particular themes and know vendors and suppliers that work best with these themes. It's also important for wedding planners to clearly communicate the price of certain themes and have extensive knowledge of supplies, venues and vendors.

Related: What Does an Events Manager Do? (With Duties and Skills)

Working with vendors and suppliers

Typically, the wedding planner is responsible for communicating with suppliers and vendors to arrange things, such as food, flowers, decorations, photographers and musicians. This requires wedding planners to have an extensive list of professional contacts and conduct intensive research to locate vendors and suppliers. They may also require intensive management skills to manage multiple contacts, delivery dates and pricing for each supplier.

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Creating an event schedule

In the later stage of the planning process, the wedding planner devises a clear and efficient wedding day plan that outlines the stages of the event. When making this plan, wedding planners typically work in partnership with their clients to establish their wishes about scheduling, ensuring no two events clash with each other. This event schedule allows wedding planners to schedule deliveries and ensure venues are set up in time for the ceremony and reception. This task requires intensive task and time management.

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Attending weddings and ensuring everything aligns with the plan

One of the wedding planner's final responsibilities is to attend weddings. Typically, wedding planners attend the wedding to work on behalf of their clients. This means they act as a point of contact between their client, suppliers and vendors. They may also attend weddings to ensure that all flowers, food, decorations and the venue live up to their client's expectations. Attending the wedding also allows the wedding planner to mitigate issues, such as delayed deliveries or wrong orders, using their expertise to manage everything calmly and productively.

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Wedding planner skills

Here's a guide to wedding planner skills to successfully plan ceremonies and receptions:

  • Attention to detail: To ensure that they pay attention to small details within themes, budgets and quality during the ceremony, wedding planners require meticulous attention to detail. This allows wedding planners to identify small details that enhance their client's experience, leading to better reviews and securing more clients in the future.

  • Customer service skills: Wedding planning is a customer-facing role, so it's important for planners to prioritise delivering good customer service to their clients. Through this, they maintain good relationships with couples and secure positive reviews.

  • Flexibility: Wedding planners may work on several weddings at once. This requires a great deal of flexibility, as planners often manage their time between clients and ensure they flex to meet their client's demands.

  • Collaborative skills: Wedding planners use collaboration skills to work productively with suppliers, vendors and clients. They assist clients in communicating their wishes and ideas to other industry professionals to ensure they receive their desired wedding day.

  • Administrative skills: When designing budgets, chasing emails and placing orders, wedding planners use their administrative capabilities to work effectively and communicate efficiently. They use several types of customer management software to ensure they remain efficient with each client.

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