A wedding is considered one of the most important events in a person’s lifetime. Weddings are part of a booming $42 billion dollar industry within the United States, with over 2.5 million ceremonies taking place every day. The role of a bridal consultant is often key to executing every couple’s fairy tale wedding to provide long lasting memories for everyone in attendance. A bridal consultant offers and assists brides regarding major decisions regarding a couple’s wedding day. As each wedding is as unique and creative as every couple, bridal consultants arrange all of the essential aspects of a wedding. Bridal consultants assist couples in the decision making process regarding style, budget, vendor referrals, etiquette, and any other recommendations. Bridal consultants work closely with the engaged couple to ensure every aspect of a couple’s wedding day is precisely how the bride and groom want it to be. Bridal consultants act as liaisons for their clients, working closely with caterers, florists, photographers, entertainers, and other staff. Bridal consultants also guide brides through all major wedding decisions regarding venue, theme, location, setting, attire, officiant, flowers, foods, beverages, guest lists, invitations, music, honeymoon planning, photographers, vendors, serving staff, and marriage licensing.
Individuals interested in a career as a bridal consultant must possess very specific skills and personal attributes for a successful career. Bridal consultants must be professional with an inherently friendly, positive, and upbeat personality. Bridal consultants must possess very strong communication skills, as consultants often manage weepy brides, overbearing mothers, difficult vendors, and other often demanding situations. Bridal consultants must also possess great organizational skills, be able to multi-task, and have the ability to work under pressure to meet deadlines while managing a sometimes hectic work environment. Bridal consultants also must have astute problem solving skills to resolve any problems which may arise before or during a wedding ceremony and reception. Veteran bridal consultants insist that a sense of humor is imperative to the occupation and all aspects of wedding planning.
Training to become a bridal consultant begins with a genuine and passionate interest in weddings. High school students may prepare for a future as a bridal consultant by participating in courses like psychology, English, business management, business communications, and general education courses. Upon completion of high school, graduates may gain employment as an assistant bridal consultant, to learn all aspects of the wedding industry, or enroll in online classes . Be forewarned that most bridal consultants often do not hire or train assistants and often enrolling in an online bridal consultant program enables individuals to gain knowledge and certification to become a bridal consultant right from the comfort of home. Most online bridal consultant programs require a 3 to 6 month time investment. Courses are focused on multiple topics like: instruction on creating a wedding consulting business, determining pricing schedules, customer service and client relations, vendor selection, development of professional relationships, creating a wedding budget and timeline, and sales and marketing. Upon successful completion of an online bridal consultant program, graduates are awarded a certificate of achievement.
An alternative to enrolling in online courses is to gain employment within a bridal shop or store. Visiting local bridal salons in person also helps gain entry into the profession as a bridal consultant. Be certain to smile, make eye contact, be confident, and speak well when visiting bridal stores. When meeting staff, dress professionally, yet fashionably, and be able to supply multiple resumes to managers of various stores. If you are asked for an interview, display your interest in helping brides and address any previous sales experience you have or your motivation to help the store increase profits and attract more clients. To increase your chances of a second interview, send a note or email thanking your interviewer for his or her time and follow up with a call to ascertain your standing in the hiring process. After gaining on the job experience and adequate funding as a sales associate within a bridal shop, some individuals advance to open their own bridal consulting businesses or enroll in certificate or online courses geared toward expanding knowledge and client base.
To augment knowledge acquired by work experiences or online education courses, many prospective bridal consultants gain information and trade secrets by joining bridal consulting associations. The Association of Certified Professional Wedding Consultants (ACPWC) is an international organization which offers in class training, online courses, hands on training, mentorships, and certification programs registered by the Department of Consumer Affairs. The ACPWC also offers prospective bridal consultants inside secrets from established consultants and also guides self starters toward gaining clients, reputable businesses to refer brides, and other training references. The ACPWC also provides access to a vast network for students, graduates and members. Bridal consulting associations also offer mentorship programs to assist and professionally train graduating students to become certified consultants, continuing education to gain access to sales, marketing, wedding trends, and planning tips provided by industry experts, and support for bridal consultants consisting of conferences, seminars, legal services, promotional opportunities, and workshops.
A career as a bridal consultant is often demanding but tremendously rewarding for individuals with a passion for planning weddings. Since a couple’s wedding day is one often cherished by not only the bride and groom but also the friends and family in attendance, jobs as bridal consultants are expected to be steady as the wedding industry expands. As the wedding industry is constantly changing, a bridal consultant must constantly evolve with current trends and adapt accordingly to ensure success.