Top 10 Jobs for the Wedding Season

When you go to a wedding, you see a beautiful bride in a designer gown, perfectly coiffed hair and immaculate French manicure gliding down the flower-lined aisle to the sweet notes of a string quartet.

But what you don't see are the months of preparation and dedicated crew of people it took to coordinate the perfect wedding day. The Fairchild Bridal Group, publisher of Brides, Elegant Bride and Modern Bride magazines, estimates the average wedding costs more than $26,000 -- much of it dedicated to hiring professionals to create the perfect flowers, dress and reception dinner.

With 2.1 million weddings expected for 2005, the bridal business is booming. Here are the top 10 jobs -- and their salaries -- for people who want to break into a career in weddings:

1. Wedding Coordinator

What it pays: Average of $3,000 per wedding (Princeton Review)

What they do: Love all aspects of weddings, right down to the envelopes? Wedding coordinators or planners help the bride and groom plan their wedding, schmooze with vendors and help ensure the wedding is smooth as the silk bridal gown. Wedding coordinators typically charge about 15 percent of the cost of the wedding, but remember: you're responsible for anything that goes wrong -- and Bridezilla can be a menace.

2. Fashion Designer

What it pays: Mean salary of $64,030 (BLS)

What they do: Let's face it -- no fairy-tale wedding is complete without the perfect dream wedding gown. Fashion designers keep an eye on trends and consumer tastes to design, show and produce the perfect silk, beaded dress. The work seems glamorous, but be prepared for hard work, long hours and low starting pay.

3. Cosmetologist

What it pays: Mean salary of $22,170 (BLS)

What they do: Cosmetologists help the bride look her very best for her wedding day, cutting, coloring and styling hair into intricate updos. They may also be the expert hand behind the bride's perfect French manicure, flawlessly waxed eyebrows and silky pedicure. Tips make up a good deal of cosmetologists' income, so they should be friendly, accommodating and willing to go the extra mile.

4. Florist

What it pays: Mean annual salary of $21,260 (BLS)

What they do: Floral designers help transform an ordinary chapel or banquet hall into a fragrant, romantic paradise and make sure the bridal party doesn't walk down the aisle empty-handed. They work with the bride and groom to determine their preferences, then cut and arrange the flowers into beautiful displays. You don't need a bachelor's degree to be a florist -- just an eye for color and a good deal of hands-on experience.

5. Caterer

What it pays: Average mid-career salary of $31,000 (Princeton Review)

What they do: The caterer is the mastermind behind one of the greatest parts of the wedding day -- the reception. Whether the happy couple prefers filet mignon or salmon, the caterer listens to their requests and finds the perfect food pairings. But remember, being a master chef only gets you so far. Caterers also need business savvy and superior organization skills.

6. Clergy

What it pays: Mean annual salary of $38,410 (BLS)

What they do: Many brides and grooms want to get married in their house of worship by a trusted priest, rabbi or minister. To become a member of the clergy, expect to spend at least three years studying in a graduate theology program.

7. Musician

What it pays: Mean annual salary of $51,470 (BLS)

What they do: From the bridal march to the first dance, it's all about the music. Musicians play and sing the songs that add to the romance of the day. So if you're planning to frequently perform at weddings, be sure to build your repertoire of sappy ballads.

8. Baker

What it pays: Mean annual salary of $20,580 (BLS)

What they do: With their multiple tiers and elaborate decorations, wedding cakes are more than just a confection -- they're an art form. Bakers are the masterminds behind the butter cream creations, working with the couple to create their perfect combination of cake flavor, shape and icing.

9. Photographer

What it pays: Mean annual salary of $30,430 (BLS)

What they do: Soon, the wedding will end and all that is left are memories and the wedding album. The photographer's job is to be sure the photo album is filled with beautiful pictures that capture the mood of the event by taking formal, action and candid shots of the wedding party and guests.

10. Chauffeur

What it pays: Mean annual salary of $21,280 (BLS)

What they do: Chauffeurs help take the stress out of the bridal party's transportation to and from the wedding. They drive the limos and worry about the traffic so the bridal party can sit back and enjoy the ride -- and the champagne.

Next:Confessions of a Wedding Planner >>

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