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Although it's difficult to put an exact number on how many wedding consultant businesses there are nationwide, the best guess is approximately 10,000, according to Gerard Monaghan, president of the Association of Bridal Consultants (ABC). Monaghan says that although no one formally tracks these figures, his estimate is based on the number of people who pay for memberships to the various professional associations as well as the number of people on mailing lists available from list brokers.
According to Monaghan, one out of every eight retail dollars is spent on wedding-related products and services. That makes the wedding industry a $42 billion business, although some estimates put that figure as high as $70 billion. Part of the reason for the big bucks spent on a dream wedding is that there are often six wage earners funding the event: the bridal couple, the bride's parents and the groom's parents. This has driven the cost of the average wedding up over the years. Robbi G.W. Ernst III, president of June Wedding Inc., an association for event professionals, says the average cost of a wedding in the United States is now around $17,500 for 125 to150 guests. However, the average cost of a wedding can be $35,000 or more in larger metropolitan areas, where incomes are higher and services are more expensive.
This industry outlook sets the stage for success for both new and established wedding consultants. According to Ernst, a novice consultant who coordinates 10 weddings a year and charges the industry's standard fee of 10 to15 percent per event can expect to gross $17,500 to $26,250 in sales. A more experienced consultant who handles 40 weddings a year can earn $70,000 or more.
Once upon a time on a perfect summer day, guests in colorful wedding finery filled an old cathedral. The fragrance of dew-kissed blossoms wafted through the air as soft organ music played. A radiant bride walked up the aisle on the arm of her father to meet the handsome groom waiting at the altar...
Fairy tales like this do come true. Now more than ever, wedding consultants are making them happen. In the last decade, the need for professional wedding consultants has grown exponentially. Today, women are often simply too busy juggling the demands of their professional and personal lives to oversee the details necessary to create the wedding of their dreams. This has created an enormous opportunity for anyone considering becoming a wedding consultant.