Jobs are as important for our characters as they are for real people. A character’s career might be their dream job or one they’ve chosen due to necessity. In your story, they might be trying to get that job or are already working in the field. Whatever the situation, as with any defining aspect for your character, you’ll need to do the proper research to be able to write that career knowledgeably.
Enter the Occupation Thesaurus. Here, you’ll find important background information on a variety of career options for your character. In addition to the basics, we’ll also be covering related info that relates to character arc and story planning, such as sources of conflict (internal and external) and how the job might impact basic human needs, thereby affecting the character’s goals. It’s our hope that this thesaurus will share some of your research burden while also giving you ideas about your character’s occupation that you might not have considered before.
Occupation: Wedding Planner
Overview: A wedding planner’s job is to take the stress off the engaged couple as much as possible by taking the time to understand the type of wedding they are looking for and the budget for the event, and then bring together options for venues, entertainment, decor, ceremony options, and vendors for the wedding couple to consider. The hundreds of small decisions and pressure to make the day memorable can lead to huge amounts of stress. A planner can help by narrowing the options for the wedding couple in a way that aligns with their vision , making the decision-making process much more manageable.
A wedding planner can use their vendor contacts to find vendors (entertainment, music, caterers, cake decorator, flowers and decor, photos, a videographer, etc.) to make the event not only special, but affordable. They can help out with the delivery and tracking of invitations, offer counsel on the best way to navigate difficult family dynamics (parents who are divorced, feuds in the family, controlling in-laws, etc.), reserve a venue, manage seating, arrange for tasting or menu viewing with caterers and bakeries, create timelines for the days leading up to the wedding (and the day of), and even help plan the travel afterwards for the honeymoon. On the day of the wedding, a planner will be onsite to ensure the ceremony, photos, and reception all proceed as planned, managing all the moving pieces and taking as much responsibility and stress off the wedding couple and their family as possible, leaving them all to just enjoy the experience. It is the wedding planner’s job to ensure the event is as close to the wedding couple’s wishes as possible, handle any problems as they crop up, and protect the wedding couple from any forces (relatives or otherwise) who seek to interfere or take away from the “specialness” of the big day.
Necessary Training: Wedding Planners usually take a wedding planning course or diploma program certified by the Association of Bridal Consultants (ABC) that covers all aspects of wedding planning and client relations. In many cases, this course can be taken online over several months.
Useful Skills, Talents, or Abilities: A knack for languages, blending in, charm, empathy, enhanced hearing, enhanced sense of smell, enhanced taste buds, exceptional memory, gaining the trust of others, good listening skills, haggling, hospitality, making people laugh, multitasking, photographic memory, predicting the weather, promotion, reading people, repurposing, sewing, strategic thinking, swift-footedness, throwing one’s voice, writing
POSITIVE: Adaptable, analytical, calm, centered, charming, confident, cooperative, courteous, creative, decisive, diplomatic, disciplined, discreet, easygoing, efficient, focused, friendly, honest, hospitable, imaginative, loyal, observant, organized, patient, persuasive, proactive, professional, proper, protective, resourceful, responsible, supportive, thrifty, tolerant
Sources of Friction: interfering family members who don’t respect the wishes of the wedding couple, in-fighting among the bridal party, a problem at a venue (a fire, a flood, a foreclosure) that makes a booking suddenly unavailable, a vendor going out of business or being unable to follow through with their service (such as a musician being hospitalized and unable to perform, a mishap with the bridal wear (lost during shipping, a mishap during alterations, etc.), a cake that falls apart as it’s being delivered to the reception, feuding family members who disrupt the service or reception, an unwanted guest showing up (an ex, a deadbeat parent, a trouble-making sibling or cousin), going over budget, the couple having huge expectations but a tiny budget that makes meeting their needs almost impossible, problems with getting paid, checks that bounce with vendors, a bride or groom that disrespects a vendor and damages the planner’s professional relationship with them
People They Might Interact With:
The wedding couple, family of the wedding couple, vendors, caterers, photographers, ushers, venue management and staff, guests, musicians, staff at the church (if the ceremony is in a church), vendor employees, delivery people, limo drivers for the bridal party (if applicable), travel agents and hotel staff (if honeymoon planning is part of the role)
How This Occupation Might Impact One’s Basic Needs:
- Esteem and Recognition: A character who grew up in a controlling family may seek for a way to be in charge not only to regain that sense of control and responsibility denied them, but also to ensure they advocate for others so their wishes are respected and catered to.
- Love and Belonging: A character who has not yet found a life partner may draw a lot of satisfaction in seeing (and being an important part of) the happily ever after of others.
Common Work-Related Settings: black-tie event, church, community center, flower shop, golf course, hair salon, limousine, mansion, park, parking garage, parking lot, rec center, upscale hotel lobby, wedding reception
Visit the other Occupations in our collection HERE.