Weddings are big business in the U.S.
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There are about 2.5 million weddings in this country per year with an average wedding budget of around $28,000. Do the math . . . We're talking about $40+ billion each year in an industry ripe with opportunities for entrepreneurs to make a good living doing something they love.
The best wedding consultants are professionals in every sense of the word. An eye for finer things and a passion for bridal talk are essential, but you'll need a lot more than that to turn a profit as a bona fide consultant. The bottom line is that the wedding consultant industry is packed with professional consultants who know the industry inside and out. There are still opportunities for newcomers to break into the market, but to do it you'll need to muster every ounce of business know-how you can muster. Here's what you need to know . . . .
So what exactly does a wedding consultant do? It depends. Some brides prefer their consultant to handle almost all of the details of their big day while others hire a consultant for one or two things and handle the rest on their own. As a consultant, it will be important to carefully define document the parameters of your responsibilities because in this business, time really is money.
Although you might think that young brides will be your only target market, the modern wedding industry targets a surprisingly diverse range of customers. Admittedly, brides in their mid-20s will represent a sizeable share of your business. However, older brides, second marriages, and busy corporate executive brides are also niches within the broader market. Some wedding consultants even succeed by targeting parents – the people who actually pay the bills for their kids' weddings.
But whichever niche you target, your relationships with vendors will be your most valuable business resource. These days, brides have extremely broad tastes. (You'll quickly learn that grooms aren't the real decision-makers in the wedding industry.) That means you'll need to be able to pull from an equally broad range of vendors to locate the foods, fashions, and other wedding accessories that appeal to your clients, and hopefully secure a few discounts in the process.
Most wedding consultants work out of their homes, so startup costs are limited to basic supplies and a few essential pieces of equipment like a computer and a consumer-grade digital camera. The more important startup requirements are understanding the industry, have securing a network of vendor contacts, and getting up-to-speed on current bridal trends. Since your business will be highly mobile, a reliable vehicle is also required.