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Education Options for Wedding Coordinators

Majors Overview May 6, 2014

Wedding coordinators, also called bridal consultants and wedding planners, require postsecondary training; however, a bachelor’s degree is not required to enter this field.

Wedding Coordinator Certificate

While employers of wedding planners and wedding coordinators do not insist on candidates holding a bachelor’s degree, prospective wedding planners usually gain experience and technical knowledge in the field by completing a certificate program. A wedding coordinator certificate program is devised to teach students about wedding traditions, how to work with the bride, and direct the wedding, in addition to contracting and budgeting. Coursework is devised to teach students how to start their own businesses and handle teams, including musicians and caterers, among others. Coursework may include general topic areas such as:

•Business practices
•Planning strategies
•Etiquette
•Weddings of different religions
•Booking vendors
•Wedding budgets

Job Responsibilities of Wedding Coordinators

Brides and grooms hire wedding planners and wedding coordinators to handle the various aspects of planning and organizing a wedding ceremony. Their responsibilities include negotiating contracts and booking photographers, caterers, entertainment, and venues. The job description may also include finding a baker, a decorator, and an officiant.

In addition to work duties needed to be performed, these professionals may have to send invitations and plan the rehearsal dinner. Wedding coordinators may be expected to set up the wedding reception and ceremony, in addition to post-wedding clean up.

Kinds of Wedding Coordination Service

Different levels of service are offered by wedding coordinators through packages covering a range of budgets. Sometimes, people differentiate these levels by using the terms “wedding planner” and “wedding coordinator.” For instance, a wedding planner may handle every aspect of the ceremony and preparations, including attire, invitations, decorations, and venues.

Some aspects of the wedding are already chosen by the couple before they hire a wedding coordinator. The coordinator can help finalize contracts with photographers, florists, and caterers. A day-of coordinator may be chosen by some couples to manage venue staff and vendors on the day of the wedding and to help run the reception and ceremony on schedule.

In certain cases, couples may consult a wedding consultant for opinions or options on specific aspects of the wedding, such as booking reception halls or churches, but the coordinator may avoid participation in the wedding ceremony itself. Couples may seek the assistance of retail store wedding consultants to help establish gift registries and choose appropriate attire.

Wage Outlook for Wedding Coordinators

The earnings of wedding coordinators can vary by industry. Wedding coordinators can seek employment in industries such as special event, retail, and consultancy services. In 2010, wedding coordinators took home an average annual wage ranging from $21,689 to $51,652.

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