How Much Does a Wedding Planner Make? (And How to Become One)

Updated 20 July 2023

If you have a passion for event planning and weddings, becoming a wedding planner may be an enjoyable job. This profession allows creative, organised and passionate individuals to make their client's wedding joyous and eventful. Understanding the typical earnings of a wedding planner and what skills are necessary may help you enter into this profession. In this article, answer the question 'how much does a wedding planner make?', define the role of a wedding planner and show the steps you can take to become one.

Related: 16 of the Highest-Paying Hospitality Jobs

How much does a wedding planner make?

Salary figures reflect data listed on Indeed Salaries at time of writing. Salaries may vary depending on the hiring organisation and a candidate's experience, academic background and location.

If you're interested in this career, you may wonder, ‘how much does a wedding planner make?’ This role can attract different salaries. Various factors can contribute to how much a wedding planner earns such as, how much they choose to charge for their services and if they're self-employed. The national average wedding planner salary is $60,151 per year. Their salary may also be higher if they are billing for reasonable expenses, consultations and onsite visits. The client's overall wedding budget can be a contributing factor to how much a wedding planner makes.

Related: How to Become a Wedding Celebrant in 5 Steps (with Tips)

What is a wedding planner?

Please note that none of the companies mentioned in this article are affiliated with Indeed.

Wedding planners are professionals that assist in the design, planning process and delivery of their client's desired weddings. A wedding is often a significant milestone in many couples' lives, making wedding planners vital. Wedding planners can help make the wedding day easier for couples. Some of the duties of a wedding planner may include:

  • creating a detailed checklist of all the requirements for the wedding

  • creating feasible backup plans in case anything goes wrong on the day

  • coordinating deliveries and services

  • organising photographers and videographers

  • identifying venues that may be of interest to the couple

  • arranging overnight stays and managing the guests' experience

  • managing the event layout including the location of the dance floor, photo booth, tables and chairs

  • briefing all suppliers on their duties and timelines for the day

  • acquiring custom decorations to help meet the clients desired look

  • helping prepare and organise the legal aspect of the day including documentation.

Related: What Does a Wedding Planner Do? With Duties and Skills

How to become a wedding planner

There is usually no set route to becoming a wedding planner. Wedding planners might start in the events industry and then choose a preferred event to specialise in. Here are some of the different steps you may take to enter this profession:

1. Obtain an events management qualification

An events management course can help you to gain the basic foundations of planning. TAFE often offers a range of online diplomas in event management and related subjects. Specialised certifications in wedding planning and event management may be useful in learning from industry experts. Obtaining these types of qualifications may also enable you to harness the soft and hard skills necessary for wedding planners.

2. Gain some events assistant experience

You may begin assisting event managers and speaking to industry experts to get an idea of the duties and skills that might be beneficial in a wedding planner position. Events assistant experience can be a useful way to see if wedding planning is the right kind of career path for you. It can also be a useful way to get into wedding planning if you can showcase relevant assistant experience.

Related: How to Become an Event Manager: A Step-By-Step Guide

3. Register as a private business

If you're planning on becoming a self-employed wedding planner you may also need to register a private business. Business owners can register via the Australian Business Register. After registering your business you then may want to develop branding and a portfolio of your work so far to showcase to potential clients if they enquire about your services.

Related: How to Be Self-Employed (With Steps and Career Options)

4. Apply for roles

You can start applying for wedding planning jobs and begin building a reputable portfolio. During this time you may decide whether you want to be an employed wedding planner at a specific venue, or an independent consultant managing the requests directly from the client. You can apply for careers in wedding planning online using the Indeed Job Board.

What skills does a wedding planner need?

The following skills are often useful for wedding planners:

  • A passion for planning: If you're going to take on the duty of planning someone's wedding, they may want to see that you have a passion for planning and organising weddings.

  • Attention to detail: Strong attention to detail is usually vital to take care of and cover all the aspects and final details of the wedding.

  • People skills: Interacting with couples to understand their needs and being able to collaborate with suppliers is usually an important role of a wedding planner.

  • Creativity: Planning a wedding can be challenging, which is why couples often prefer to bring in someone with experience. While the client may have some ideas, they typically rely on the creativity of the wedding planner to improve and plan their wedding.

  • Problem-solving skills: There may be a possibility of running into problems while planning a wedding. If things aren't going to plan, wedding planners may need to think quickly to find ways to resolve the issues promptly.

  • Ability to multitask: Planning a wedding can involve multiple responsibilities. Trying to plan all of the wedding aspects at once, may require the ability to multitask.

  • Time management: Couples may allocate a year or less to plan a wedding. This can mean that planners might require strong time management to ensure that all parts are complete in time to meet the deadline wedding date.

Related: Time Management Skills: The Importance of Including Them in Your Resume

How much do other wedding industry jobs make?

If you're passionate about the wedding industry you may want to consider other roles that utilise various skills and experience. Other careers within the wedding industry may be of interest, such as wedding coordinator, photographer, registrar, events assistant or wedding consultant. Below you will find some of the jobs that may be available to you, along with their average salaries and typical duties:

1. Events assistant

Find events assistant jobs

Average national salary: $58,356 per year

Primary duties: Wedding events assistants play an important role in the smooth running of weddings and assist in the preparation. Duties can range from preparing and dressing tables to preparing the space for decoration. Their typical tasks include cleaning the area after an event to enable the set-up for another event. Event assistants are responsible for ensuring adherence to health and safety procedures during site assembly. They can also be responsible for updating the wedding planner on issues while overseeing suppliers fulfilling their services.

2. Wedding coordinator

Find wedding coordinator jobs

Average national salary: $60,151 per year

Primary duties: Wedding coordinators are generally involved in all aspects of the wedding day. This can include organising flower arrangements, decorations, venue set-up, reception, food, drinks and entertainment. Some may even be in charge of arranging accommodation and managing wedding guests' experiences. Behind the scenes wedding planners can also be responsible for providing vendor referrals, negotiating contracts, arranging rehearsals, drawing up detailed schedules and devising floor plans. Wedding coordinators may have a project management element to their role, determining a feasible timeline and manageable budget.

3. Wedding consultant

Find wedding consultant jobs

Average national salary: $65,750 per year

Primary duties: Wedding consultants are similar to wedding planners because both roles help with the successful planning of weddings. Wedding consultants may specialise in a more specific area and their specialist skills might attract a slightly higher salary. A wedding consultant may help with gown selection. Given wedding consultants' specialist skills and strong networks in the wedding industry, brides may find their expertise particularly useful. Businesses that do not have an in-house wedding specialist sometimes engage the services of a wedding planner to help them meet clients' needs.

4. Photographer

Find photographer jobs

Average national salary: $67,622 per year

Primary duties: Photographer duties may differ slightly depending on the event but ultimately their duties are to create content by capturing high-quality images. A wedding photographer is typically responsible for capturing the special moments of a couple's wedding to ensure they have long-lasting memories. Before the wedding, photographers can meet with couples to establish the style and various locations for the shots. Choosing the right lenses and editing style is often crucial for photographers to deliver desired photos.

Related: Top 9 Careers in Photography (And Tips to Help You Succeed)

5. Registrar

Find registrar jobs

Average national salary: $306,485 per year

Primary duties: A registrar is usually responsible for performing and officiating marriage and civil partnership ceremonies. Their duties do not just cover weddings, but also other important life stages, such as birthdays. When officiating a marriage, a couple may choose a registrar to marry them at their chosen venue to complete the legal ceremony alongside witnesses and guests. Some couples marry at a registry office, which usually lessens the cost of having the registrar attend an external venue. Registrars may also be responsible for interviewing the couple before their wedding to check they're legally allowed to marry.

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