Online Event Planner Training and Career Center
Welcome to Event Planner Careers Headquarters, We have everything you need to make your life easier as you begin your career as a Wedding Planner or Event Planner. Training requirements and options, salary ranges and job outlooks (hint: The job market outlook is growing rapidly!)
What is an Event Planner?
The standard ’40 hour week’ is not applicable to event planners, whose workload will ebb and flow with the requirements of the events they are planning. Events are regularly held on or over weekends or outside of normal business hours and the event planner is expected to be the first to arrive and the last to leave.
What does an Event Planner Do?
Duties of an event planner usually involve:
- Consult with clients to agree the event location
- Agree a budget for the event with their client
- Visit venues, provide venue choices to the client and agree the venue.
- Engage other suppliers (caterer’s, servers, lighting, AV equipment, bands & musicians, etc.)
- Arrange transport for attendee’s (buses, limo’s, flights)
- Manage guest lists, sending invitations and receiving RSVP’s
- Review bills and manage the event budget
For a more detailed view of a day in the life of an event planner, click here.
What is the Difference Between a Wedding Planner and an Event Planner?
In the most general of terms, an event planner plans all types of events, from weddings to corporate events to the Super Bowl. While they do plan social events, a lot of event planners specialize in corporate events. They will usually work long and non-traditional hours to plan all details related to a variety of meeting formats including conferences & conventions, trade shows, executive retreats, incentive programs, sporting events and the list goes on.
Firstly, there’s a lot more to a wedding than JLo shows us in The Wedding Planner.
A wedding planner is a specialist in planning weddings, they will have experience with every aspect of a wedding, from co-ordinating the guest list and RSVP’s to arranging flights for your favourite auntie who lives on the other side of the country. The have the contacts, discounts and deals to make a wedding go smoothly and keep the bride happy. The wedding planner handles all of the details and guide the bride and groom through the process to ensure the wedding goes of without a hitch, and if there is a problem, the wedding planner is on hand to sort it out!
The wedding planner can also provide an unbiased opinion – usefully when the groom decides Hawaiian print board shorts and t-shirts is the groomsmen’s outfit.
Basically event planners can plan weddings, but wedding planners specialize in them.
Is a Career as a Wedding Planner Right for Me?
Who doesn’t love a good wedding!
Seriously though, as a wedding planner who has been around the block a few times, I can, in all honestly, say that the first year in the business changed my idea of what’s involved in being a wedding planner .
Many people (myself included, when I first started) see a wedding planers job as romantic and filled with extravagant parties, unlimited money and clients who agree with everything you suggest – this is the exception, not the norm.
I wouldn’t trade my career for anything else, but it does come more than its fair share of challenges:
It sounds cliched but wedding planning is almost a calling. A successful planner is on call 24/7 – when a client calls at 11pm to tell you they have changed their mind about the pace settings because they are at their friends wedding and theirs are sooooo much nicer, they may be expecting you to answer. Sure, you may agree ‘on call’ times with the bride at the beginning of the job but a frantic bride will quickly forget these agreements and call at inopportune moments.
Think on Your Feet
During my career, I’ve had a few calls along the lines of ‘Hey Suzann, it’s Bill the Wedding Cake guy, sorry, but I was on my way over with the cake but had a car accident and the cake is now on the floor‘. After this call, you have 2 options, completely freak out (which is likely what the bride will do if she finds out about this), or come up with an imaginative solution. The imaginative solution path is your job and what the bride & groom are paying you for. A situation like this is your problem, not the bride’s (note: you should not be going to the bride with a problem unless there truly is no other option).
A smooth wedding is like a Super Bowl winning NFL game, there’s lots of moving parts, all doing exactly what they what they need to, when they need to and for as long as they need to. If any other players turn up late (or not at all), if the engineering staff forget to unlock the bathrooms, If the groundsmen don’t mow the grass then the game doesn’t play as well as it should have.
It’s the same for a wedding, except this time you are responsible for everything and everyone! The behind-the-scenes planning and organisation probably the most important part of making the day a huge success and it is critical that you are able to orchestrate the dozens of moving parts that make up the modern wedding.
Organization is key to your success as a planner.
If that hasn’t scared you off, then head over to the how to become a wedding planner page, have a read and see if you have what it takes.
What is the Money Like?
…in all states, the salary for wedding & event planners is higher than the median average for that state.
Now that I have that out of the way, lets talk money! Unfortunately, I can’t give you a figure as it depends largely on your location – if you are in a rural area with a small population then you likely aren’t going to see the same sort of figures as a planner in NYC.
Six-figure salaries aren’t unheard of in major cities, so there is certainly money to be made in this industry if you are in the right place, and are a top performer. You can read about event planner salaries here, and wedding planner salaries here.
Wedding & Event Planner Salary – State-by-State Breakdown
Click on the state to see a breakdown of the median salary for wedding & event planners, by city