Wedding planners help couples planning their big day by assisting with many tasks, including finding a venue, caterer, florist, band, photographer and other wedding professionals. The wedding planner also helps coordinate details, such as getting the couple from the wedding to the reception and negotiating service rates with other wedding vendors. The planner also attends the wedding, working behind the scenes to keep things running smoothly. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average annual salary of wedding planners in 2013 was $50,190. Some, though, make more than $100,000 per year.
Many factors influence the salary of a wedding planner, including location. Planners make more in larger cities since rural areas are less populous and don't usually attract destination weddings. In 2013, for example, wedding planners in Los Angeles earned an average annual salary of $58,350 while those in New York City made $61,520. Those in southwestern Montana, though, received an average annual salary of only $33,640 during the same period. In 2013, wedding and event planners made the most in Washington D.C., at $66,630; Massachusetts, at $60,430; New York and New Jersey, at $58,610; and Connecticut, at $58,080. Lots of experience and a reputation for excellence both increase a wedding planner's salary, as does a thorough understanding of marketing, branding and business management. Clients hope to need the services of a wedding planner only once in their lifetime, so growing and promoting the business are critical to success.