Most consultants are self-employed. In addition to working for brides and other individuals planning large celebrations, consultants work with museums and other nonprofit organizations to plan fund-raising events. They also work for retail stores to plan sales events, and plan grand-opening events for new businesses. Hotels, resorts, and restaurants that host a number of weddings sometimes hire consultants in full-time staff positions. Large retail stores also hire their own full-time events coordinators.
Consultants work all across the country, but are most successful in large cities. In an urban area, a consultant may be able to fill every weekend with at least one wedding. Consultants for "destination" weddings settle in popular vacation and wedding spots such as Hawaii, Mexico, and Las Vegas.
Many people find their way to wedding consulting after careers as event coordinators and planners, or after working weddings as caterers, florists, and musicians. Those who have already developed relationships with area vendors and others involved in the planning of weddings may be able to start their own business without the aid of a professional organization. Those new to the business can benefit from a training program for certification, where they receive not only instruction and professional advice, but also referrals from the organization.
With guidance, training, and a clear understanding of the responsibilities of the job, a wedding consultant can command a good fee from the onset of a new business. Start-up costs are relatively low, since work can be done from home with a computer, an extra phone line, and some advertising. Consultants may invest in basic software to maintain a database, to make attractive graphics for presentation purposes, and to access the Internet. Owning formal and semi-formal dress wear is also important, as the job entails attending many different kinds of weddings and parties.
Wedding and party consultants with experience can expand their business and clientele. They develop relationships with area vendors that result in more referrals and better discounts. With a bigger business, they can hire regular staff members to help with planning, running errands, and administrative duties. Some consultants expand their services to include such perks as hand-calligraphed invitations and specially designed favors for receptions. Many consultants maintain Web sites to promote their businesses and provide wedding advice. Some start blogs or write books about wedding planning.
Talk to wedding and party consultants about their careers. Many wedding planning associations offer member lists at their Web sites. Use these lists to find interview candidates.
Use social media to stay up to date on industry developments and learn about job openings. Many professional associations, such as the Association of Certified Professional Wedding Consultants, use Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest to connect with people.
Apply for entry-level jobs at wedding and party planning firms.