How To Start A Wedding Planning Business

By Kari Andrews

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Do you have a talent for the logistics of event planning?

Do you have a heart that beats to arrange every perfect detail to make the special day come off as a dream come true for brides and grooms?

If so, you just might have what it takes to start a wedding planning business.

A knack for working with a budget, coordinating with suppliers and service providers, and the interpersonal skills to listen to someone else’s vision and turn it into a reality will be a big part of your success as a wedding planner.

You’ll need to have the business sense to handle the administrative and legal details of your venture.

You will also need the aesthetic instinct and problem-solving skills to pull together the organizational and decorative details of the wedding day while making it seem painless and seamless.

If you can do all that while maintaining a cool head under pressure and handling the emotionally-charged requests or demands with aplomb, you may have a future as a wedding planner.

How Big Is The Wedding Planning Industry?

According to IBIS World, 12,606 wedding planning businesses employing 13,492 people compete for their share of the one billion dollars in revenue that the wedding industry generates every year. The Association for Wedding Planners International reports that over two million weddings take place every year in the U.S. alone. They expect accelerated growth in the next five years.

Why Starting A Wedding Planning Business Now Is A Good Idea 

As the economy has gotten stronger in the past five years, couples have increased their disposable income, married more frequently and spent more on hiring wedding planning help and other services for their big day.

The internet reduces your marketing costs and increases your profit margins as it makes your business more accessible to potential clients.

It also draws more brides and grooms to your door looking for someone to help them make their nuptials unforgettable and special.

It’s a growing business that offers opportunities for lucrative returns for your efforts if you have the skills and the capital to make a name for yourself as a wedding planner who can deliver dreams on any scale.

Wedding Planning Business Facts

Here are some facts and figures about the wedding planning business you should consider:

Wedding planning business startup costs

Entrepreneur estimates that a wedding planning startup can run between $2,273 to $9,237. This would include office supplies, equipment, and furniture; financial, word processing and wedding planner software and a computer.

How much do wedding planners make?

 $9.91 to $50, per hour or $20,640 to $89,659 per year, according to

How much do wedding planners charge?

Depending on the services provided and your experience in the field, the services of a wedding planner can run anywhere from $600 to $10,000 or more. Wedding consultants average between $40 to $150 per hour while day-of coordinators generally charge $600 to $1,800 per event. A full-service wedding planner can expect $2,000 to $10,000 per wedding. Some planners charge 10 to 20 percent of the total wedding cost instead of a flat or hourly fee.

How do wedding planners find customers?

Print ads can include the Yellow Pages, bridal magazines, brochures and business cards. Networking with other wedding service providers such as churches, wedding chapels, bakers, florists, photographers and wedding dress stores may land some referrals. Listing your business in several online directories can also help brides find you. Establish yourself as a knowledgeable voice in the field through an active business social media presence and blog. Host a professional website where potential clients can learn about your services and communicate with you. Learn about SEO and use marketing tools such as Google Ad Words to promote your page in the search engines and make it easy for brides in search of a wedding planner to land on your page. As you gain experience and establish a portfolio, word-of-mouth referrals from satisfied brides will be a valuable source of business as well.

What skills are required?

Organization, attention to detail, concern for quality, imagination, people skills, mature judgment, patience, logistics and orchestration of events, hospitality, event planning, decorating, knowledge of wedding trends, traditions, products, services, food, music, ceremony and décor; fashion sense, diplomacy and arbitration, ordering and alterations, communication, bridal psychology, networking with quality, reliable wedding service providers, negotiation, problem-solving, bookkeeping, marketing and strategies for handling competitors, financial management, knowledge of your market and how to attract clientele by carving out a niche in the local field that makes you stand out from others.

What do I need to operate a wedding planning business?

Business license and tax structure; liability insurance, bookkeeping system; scheduling system; computer and printer, scanner, word processing software, QuickBooks, wedding planner software, surge protector, digital camera, fax machine, copy machine, phone and voicemail, postage meter/scale, calculator, desk, chair, file cabinets, bookcase, letterhead, envelopes, business cards, pens, folders and other miscellaneous supplies, copier/printer paper, printer cartridges, fax cartridges, flash drive; certification as a wedding planner is also a plus; social media accounts, a wedding-related blog and professional website.

Wedding Planning Business Ideas

Will you work with local vendors?

What kind of wedding will be your specialty?

Struggling with what to name your wedding planning business? Here are a few ideas:

Happily Ever After                                                                                               Making Memories

Bliss                                                                                                           Weddings To Remember

As You Wish                                                                                                              Wedding Point

Dreams On A Budget                                                                                   Destination Weddings

Weddings By Design                                                                                       Customized Dreams

Simply Beautiful                                                                                                                   Cloud 9 

Wedding Elegance                                                                                           Exquisite Weddings

Charm Wedding Planners                                                                                    Simple Elegance 


Youtube Videos 

Related Content

How to Start a Wedding Planning Business by Cho Phillips and Sherrie Wilkolaski

Brides Magazine: Wedding Planning: The Basics

Wedding Planner Magazine


Perfect Wedding Guide: Head Over Heels

Bureau of Labor Statistics: Jobs in Weddings and Funerals

Career Bond: ABC Certified Wedding Planner Program

Huff Post Weddings: Thinking of Starting a Wedding Planning Business? 6 Things to Keep in Mind

Stratford Career Institute: Wedding Consultant Distance Learning Course Summary

New York Institute of Art + Design: Certified Wedding Planning Course

References Wedding Planner Salary Start a Wedding Planner Business

Bureau of Labor Statistics: Meeting, Convention, and Event Planners

IBIS World: Wedding Planners in the US: Market Research Report

Library of Congress: Wedding Industry Research

Association for Wedding Planners International: Statistics for the Wedding Industry

Power Home Biz: How to Start a Wedding Planning Business

Entrepreneur: Events Planner

Entrepreneur: How to Become a Wedding Consultant

Startup Smart: Wedding Planning Business

BPlans: Wedding Consultant Business Plan

The Wedding Planner Book: How Much Do Wedding Planners Charge?

Cost Helper: Wedding Planner Cost

The Knot: Wedding Planner Prices

Wedding Stats: Cost of a Wedding Planner

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