A wedding planner is a professional who assists with the design, planning and management of a client’s wedding. Weddings are significant events in people’s lives and as such, couples are often willing to spend considerable amount of money to ensure that their weddings are well organised. Wedding planners are often used by couples who work long hours and have little spare time available for sourcing and managing wedding venues and wedding suppliers. Average Annual Salary in Canada as of 2014: $46,000
Professional wedding planners are based worldwide but the industry is the largest in the USA, India, western Europe and China. Various wedding planning courses are available to those who wish to pursue the career.
Planners generally charge either a percentage of the total wedding cost, which can range from $20,000 to $2 million in relatively affluent communities in USA, or a flat fee
Planners are also popular with couples planning a destination wedding, where the documentation and paperwork can be complicated. Any country where a wedding is held requires different procedures depending on the nationality of each the bride and the groom. For instance, US citizens marrying in Italy require a Nulla Osta (affidavit sworn in front of the US consulate in Italy), plus an Atto Notorio (sworn in front of the Italian consulate in the US or at a court in Italy), and legalization of the above. Some countries instead have agreements and the couple can get their No Impediment forms from their local registrar and have it translated by the consulate in the country of the wedding. A local wedding planner can take care of the different procedures.
The services of a wedding planner can include:
- Interviewing the couple and the parents to identify their needs.
- Budget preparation
- Event design and styling
- Venues scouting
- Planning detailed checklist (from about a year in advance to a few days after the wedding)
- Attendee list preparation
- Identification of event venues (hotels, wedding manor etc.)
- Identifying and hiring of wedding professionals and service providers (caterers, photographers, videographers, beautician, florists, bakers etc.), and preparation and execution of contracts.
- Procurement of customized decorations such as a journey map
- Coordination of deliveries/services on the wedding day.
- Have a back-up plan in the event of a disaster.
- Manages the schedule, often with software.
- Assist and prepare legal documentation and translations – especially for destination weddings
In popular culture
The 2001 comedy The Wedding Planner with Jennifer Lopez and Matthew McConaughey is about the busy life of a wedding planner who falls in love with one of her clients. Also, many TV shows that have branched from wedding planning, such as TLC’s Say Yes to the Dress. This is a reality show that follows brides as they shop at the prestigious Kleinfeld’s for their perfect wedding dress. Another show is ‘My Fair Wedding’ with celebrity party planner David Tutera.
More recently, Bollywood film Band Baaja Baaraat is about marriage planners falling in love. Ranveer Singh made his debut with this film and won Best Debutant at several awards. The film had a successful run at the theaters.
The 2011 Hong Kong television drama Only You tells the stories of a fictional wedding services agency and their clients.