What does a bridal consultant do? (With skills and duties)
Updated 27 March 2023
Brides may hire consultants to help them find the right dress, plan for the ceremony and organise the reception. Getting into the bridal consultancy business requires a background in event planning, a passion for weddings and knowledge of the latest bridal trends. Learning about bridal consultant duties, responsibilities, skills and career paths can help you decide if this job is right for you. In this article, we discuss what a bridal consultant does, list the skills needed for this profession and explain how to become one.
Please note that none of the companies, institutions or organisations mentioned in this article are affiliated with Indeed.
What does a bridal consultant do?
The following are some common bridal consultant duties and responsibilities:
Meeting with brides to understand their vision and preferences
The most important duty for these consultants is to listen to their clients and understand their likes, dislikes and vision for their wedding day. They use this information to make a detailed schedule for the event, choose potential vendors and make recommendations for dresses. When meeting with a client, bridal consultants ask questions about their preferred colours, fabrics, hairstyles, types of flowers, venues and music choices. In addition, they talk about allergies, budget limits, numbers of guests, family members and even special requests that may require extra attention or more research.
Helping brides decorate venues with flowers
They usually help brides choose flowers to decorate the ceremony location and the reception hall. They advise them on how to match their attire with the floral arrangements they choose. To do this, consultants coordinate with florists and venue administrators to show the bride different ways to decorate the venue with flowers. For instance, if the ceremony is outdoors, they can suggest the use of a canopy of flowers or a flower arch to create an entrance for the bride.
Booking wedding venues for the ceremony and reception
Bridal consultants research and visit various wedding venues and facilities to help brides choose the most suitable location for their event. To select the potential venues, they consider the bride's budget, landscape preferences, number of guests, room capacity and services included in the package. In addition, they may consider transportation options, parking availability, accessibility and any restrictions or regulations that may affect the event. For instance, they might exclude venues with restricted hours for the reception.
Researching florist, gown and boutique options
To help brides choose their attire, hairstyle, accessories and flowers, consultants research florists, gown designers and boutique stores. They can fulfil this duty by checking wedding magazines, browsing online bridal websites, attending bridal shows, visiting local stores and consulting with their colleagues. In addition, they may talk to hair and makeup stylists and jewellery designers to give brides different and holistic perspectives on how to complete their wedding looks.
Negotiating and coordinating with vendors to guarantee their services
Evaluating a vendor's services means reviewing their delivery times, service conditions, staff's professionalism and price-quality ratio. These factors are essential to negotiating deals for the bride, ensuring timely deliveries and coordinating personnel according to the wedding timeline. Consultants usually negotiate agreements with catering suppliers, florists, photographers, music bands, venue managers and transportation services.
Assisting brides in choosing the wedding bouquet and accessories
As wedding bouquets are an important part of a bride's overall look, consultants usually help them choose one based on the flowers they like and the wedding theme. They also consider the bride's dress, personal style, flower fragrance and budget when suggesting different bouquet options. They may visit various florists and talk to bouquet designers to check the latest trends in the industry and find unique ideas for their clients.
Helping brides decide on gift registries
Gift registries allow the bride to choose the gifts they would like to receive from their family and friends. Consultants can help them find a registry that meets their needs by providing suggestions and advice on stores and online options. This usually involves negotiating with vendors and managing the registry to ensure everything gets accounted for, and the bride receives their desired gifts. It also involves keeping track of thank you notes and sending them on time to express the bride's gratitude to the givers.
Coordinating with wedding photographers to ensure they capture important moments
Brides are usually busy during their wedding day, either speaking with guests, posing for photos or participating in the ceremony and reception activities. This is why their consultants coordinate with photographers to ensure they capture every moment at the wedding. This includes the bride's walk down the aisle, first dance, cake cutting, guest arrivals or moments with family members. To achieve this, consultants provide the photographer with a detailed timeline of the event and suggestions for important pictures.
Essential skills for bridal consultants
The following skills are necessary to succeed in the bridal consultancy business:
Consultants need manual dexterity to help brides fix their bouquets, adjust their veils, fasten their jewellery, decorate chairs and tables or make any last-minute alterations to their dresses. They usually develop this skill by taking courses in sewing, venue and event decoration or floral arrangement. In addition, years of experience in the field can also improve their manual dexterity and make them more efficient in handling delicate fabrics and intricate details.
Proficiency in fabrics for bridal gown designs
Bridal consultants are experts in bridal fashion and styles. They know and have worked with different types of fabrics used in bridal gown designs. These materials include silk, taffeta, chiffon, velvet, organza, lace and satin.
Consultants may handle last-minute requests made by the bride or their bridal party or help them receive guests and family members at the wedding venue. Having excellent customer service skills can help them show their professionalism, build trust with their clients and ensure everybody has a positive experience during the event. They often develop these skills by getting work experience in this field.
Expertise in flowers and plants
To suggest suitable floral arrangements for the wedding venue and bridal party, consultants require in-depth knowledge of different types of flowers and plants. This understanding can help them provide advice on which flowers might complement the wedding theme and which plants might be suitable for indoor or outdoor settings. They usually develop this knowledge through research and attending courses at floral design schools.
Proficiency in jewellery and accessory selection
Knowing the latest fashion trends in bridal accessories and jewellery helps you provide valuable advice to brides to help them complete their wedding day look. You may develop this knowledge by visiting bridal boutiques and talking to jewellers. Seek to learn about jewellery designers, materials, prices and styles.
How to become a bridal consultant
Here are some steps you can follow to enter this field:
1. Get work experience in sales and customer service
Bridal consultants usually offer and negotiate packages with clients, so having experience in sales and customer service is crucial to this career. Consultants often start their careers in sales positions at bridal shops, department stores, fashion boutiques or event planning companies. They can also gain relevant experience by volunteering to address attendees' questions and requests at large events. Florist and catering companies may also provide fast-paced environments that may help you prepare for the demands of bridal consulting. Consider looking for a job in this type of business to familiarise yourself with customer service and sales techniques.
2. Earn a wedding planner certification
Entering a wedding planning certification programme can help you understand the important aspects of the industry and validate your experience and skills. For instance, you can opt for the Certificate in Wedding Planning programme offered by The Event School London, which trains you in wedding planning, consulting and coordination. For certification, these types of programmes usually require in-class sessions, home study and a final exam. They typically last two months, depending on the type of programme you choose. They may offer you information about wedding etiquette, rehearsal planning, vendor management and different wedding ceremonies and their traditions.
3. Keep yourself updated on wedding trends and bridal style
After earning your certification, look for information sources that can help you stay up to date on the latest wedding trends. For example, you can find magazines, blogs, social media accounts, influencers, online forums and bridal shows where suppliers showcase the newest bridal styles and products. You can also research the different arrangements and services that bridal consultants offer to their clients in different areas of the country. This can help you identify details that can add more aesthetics and flair to your clients' weddings. Attending weddings and networking events for this industry may also help you stay updated on the latest trends.
4. Build work experience in the wedding industry
Brides often prefer consultants with experience, so consider building yours by working as a wedding planner or coordinator. You can also volunteer to help friends and family members organise their weddings and vow renewals. Gaining more than two years of experience in the bridal consultancy business may enable you to organise major wedding events and have a list of reliable suppliers.
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