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Weddings are significant events in people's lives and as such, couples are often willing to spend considerable sums of money to ensure that their weddings are well-organized. Wedding planners are often used by couples who work long hours and have little spare time available for sourcing and managing wedding venues and wedding suppliers.
Professional wedding planners are based worldwide but the industry is largest in the USA, the UK and Western Europe. Various wedding planning courses are available to those who wish to pursue the career.
Planners are also popular with couples planning a destination wedding, where the documentation and paperwork can be complicated. Any country where a wedding is held requires different procedures depending on the nationality of each the bride and the groom. For instance, US citizens marrying in Italy require a Nulla Osta (affidavit sworn in front of the US consulate in Italy), plus an Atto Notorio (sworn in front of the Italian consulate in the US or at a court in Italy), and legalization of the above. Some countries instead have agreements and the couple can get their No Impediment forms from their local registrar and have it translated by the consulate in the country of the wedding. A local wedding planner can take care of the different procedures.
The services of a wedding planner can include:
- Interviewing the couple and the parents to identify their needs.
- Budget preparation
- Planning detailed checklist (from about a year in advance to a few days after the wedding)
- Attendee list preparation
- Identification of event venues (hotels, wedding manor etc.)
- Identifying and hiring of wedding professionals and service providers (caterers, photographers, videographers, beautician, florists, bakers etc.), and preparation and execution of contracts.
- Procurement of customized decorations such as a journey map
- Coordination of deliveries/services on the wedding day.
- Have a back-up plan in the event of a disaster.
- Manages the schedule, often with software.
- Assist and prepare legal documentation and translations - especially for destination weddings
An example of scheduling software used for planning weddings, often referred to as project management software, is FastTrack Schedule.
Resources can be found in various books and publications and on websites that can allow a couple or a family to do the planning on their own. Many planners also run their own wedding blog to help provide inspiration and creativity.
Determining the average salary of a wedding planner is difficult because it is not a job where you can punch in and punch out your daily hours. Wedding planners work for themselves and their salary depends on several factors including how many clients they can get. In order to become a successful wedding planner, one must be highly self-motivated since it is their responsibility to build a client list and contact people to make a name in the market as well as beat competition. It is also important to make people comfortable and being able to reassure them that they have put the planning of their life’s biggest day in safe hands. An established wedding planner can make anywhere from $50,000 to $80,000 dollars if they are successful in maintaining a significant number of clients and building more clients as time passes (“Wedding Planner Salary” 3). However, the range can vary in great amount depending on whether someone does the job part time or full time and how dedicated they are to be successful in the wedding planning business. 
In popular culture
The 2001 comedy The Wedding Planner with Jennifer Lopez and Matthew McConaughey is about the busy life of a wedding planner who falls in love with one of her clients. Also, many TV shows that have branched from wedding planning, such as TLC's 'Say Yes to the Dress'. This is a reality show that follows brides as they shop at the prestigious Kleinfeld's for their perfect wedding dress. Another show is 'My Fair Wedding' with celebrity party planner David Tutera.
More recently, Bollywood Film Band Baaja Baraat is about marriage planners falling in love. Ranveer Singh made his debut with this film and won Best Debutant at several awards. The film had a successful run at the theaters.
In the book series Sweet L.A. Life the Winslow twins' mother is a wedding planner.
The 2011 Hong Kong television drama Only You tells the stories of a fictional wedding services agency and their clients.
- Planning is hard work: http://www.kwana.co.za/News/articles/site/view_article.asp?idcategory=24&idarticle=7930
- Planning a recession wedding means guarding against disaster
- Land of the Wedding Planners http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,1161223,00.html
- Individualism is icing on the wedding cake http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/china/2008-11/19/content_7219698.htm
- Tran, Charles (December 17 2012). "Thinking of Starting a Wedding Planning Business? 6 Things to Keep in Mind". Huffington Post (in English). Retrieved 10 January 2013.
- Taming the Runaway Wedding Planner http://www.nytimes.com/2007/06/24/fashion/24planner.html?_r=1&pagewanted=2&n=Top/Reference/Times%20Topics/Subjects/C/Consultants
- How Much Does a Wedding Planner Cost? http://weddings.about.com/od/weddingplanners/a/weddingplannerscost.htm
- Today On MainStreet: Budget Your Big Day http://www.thestreet.com/_googlepi/markets/marketfeatures/10409530.html
- A wedding-planning checklist keeps it all in order http://www.jweekly.com/article/full/27533/hey-guys-a-wedding-planning-checklist-keeps-it-all-in-order/
- Bridal Shop Closes Abruptly; Police Seize 50 Wedding Gowns http://www.thedenverchannel.com/news/20365004/detail.html
- Outdoor wedding tips: Will it rain? Or shine? http://www.bclocalnews.com/kootenay_rockies/revelstoketimesreview/lifestyles/42933522.html
- Wedding-Food Disasters http://www.gourmet.com/food/2009/04/wedding-food-disasters