What Education Is Required to Become a Wedding Planner?

If you have strong organizational skills, creativity, and a desire to help couples tie the knot, a career as a wedding planner may be for you. Education for this field typically consists of certificate program coursework, but you can also learn the skills for wedding planning through a bachelor's or associate's degree program in hospitality management. Read on to see if training to be a wedding planner may be a part of your future.

Career Overview

Wedding planning is a growing field because engaged couples are often too busy to deal with the details of their wedding plans themselves. Instead, the couple gives the wedding planner a general idea of their wishes, leaving the wedding planner to deal with the celebration's specifics. In this role, you might often be called on to design destination weddings, or weddings away from couples' home states, where it would be difficult for an engaged couple to plan the particulars of a marriage ceremony.

You'll use creativity as a wedding planner, overseeing the design of the wedding's menu, cake, flowers, and other decorative elements. You'll also need to be a strong planner and feel comfortable contracting wedding vendors, negotiating with wedding sites, working with insurance companies, and monitoring the allotted budget. In addition, you'll need to be skilled at coordinating many elements into one cohesive event; for example, you'll contract musicians, videographers, caterers, and other wedding professionals, then organize these services at the selected site.

Important Facts about Education for Wedding Planners

Degree Levels Bachelor's degrees are common
Degree Fields of Study Hospitality & tourism management, marketing, business, and public relations
Common Courses Hospitality services, food & beverage management, special events management
Online Availability Yes; fully online
Median Salary (2021) $41,000*
Job Outlook (2019-2029) 8% growth (for all meeting, convention, and event planners)**

Sources: *PayScale.com, **U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics


The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS, www.bls.gov) notes that the wedding planning profession is not regulated by state or federal governments, so you probably won't have any formal education or certification requirements to meet. You might find, however, that pursuing education in hospitality or wedding planning will make you better prepared to handle clients. To demonstrate your commitment to the field, you might consider joining an organization of professional wedding planners, such as the Association of Certified Professional Wedding Consultants.

Certificate Programs

Whether you want to work at a wedding planning firm or open your own business, courses are available at colleges across the country that teach you how to plan a wedding and its related events. Offered either online or on campus, your classes will teach you to plan engagement parties, choose wedding sites, and manage a wedding planning business.

Degree Programs

Some wedding planners learn the skills for their chosen profession through a hospitality management degree program or by pursuing wedding planning as part of an event planning degree program. Depending on the school and program, a formal education in event planning may lead to an associate's or a bachelor's degree. In hospitality management courses, you learn how to organize and manage your staff, supervise food preparation, and market your business. Skills learned and connections made in a hospitality degree program are typically transferable to a wedding planning career.