If you want to become a wedding planner, you need nothing more than an engaged couple willing to hire you. That said, it can be helpful to have formal training and a certification to help market your skills and provide new clients with the assurance that you know what you're doing. These certifications aren't required, but registering your business is.
Wedding consultants, planners and coordinators are not regulated by any agency. You can become a wedding planner by simply declaring yourself as one and setting up a business. You will need to register your business with your state's Secretary of State office. It's also a good idea to get business cards, a website and a company bank account.
Wedding planners may elect to join professional associations that give their business credibility. These associations will help you network with other wedding professionals, learn about wedding trends and build your reputation. Associations include June Wedding Inc., Coordinators Corner, Weddings Beautiful, the Association of Certified Professional Wedding Consultants and the Association for Wedding Professionals International.
You may want to take classes to help boost your credentials and prepare you for the career. These courses can either be taken over a five-day period or from home with take-home study materials. These classes teach you the financial aspects of wedding planning, examine specific aspects of wedding management, give an overview of the various types of wedding planners, and give advice for etiquette, negotiations and client relations.
After completing a course, you may apply for a certification from the agency where you took the class. These certifications are the closet thing to a license that the industry offers. These certifications assure clients that you're prepared for all aspects of planning their wedding. For example, after completing the Association of Certified Professional Wedding Consultants' courses, you automatically receive certification.
You may want to seek certification in event planning as well as your certification in wedding planning. This can help expand your business beyond wedding planning into corporate events, holiday parties and other family celebrations. Like wedding planning, certification in event planning is offered through professional organizations after completing a course.