As we’ve explored in other posts, wedding planning training programs are different from just about every other type of training program out there. To start with, there are no formal requirements to become a wedding planner, so some standards aren’t as important as they are for degree-granting programs. In addition, different types of programs are offered by different types of institutions, such as community colleges and professional associations. Regardless of the type of school, here are some top things to look for when choosing a wedding planning program.
Your curriculum needs will depend on whether or not you already have any skills or experience in event planning or in the wedding industry. A complete wedding planning curriculum should cover everything from working with clients and setting a budget to things like selecting invitations, recommending floral arrangements, and working with vendors (the actual work of planning), to business skills including starting a business, marketing, and keeping financial records. For many aspiring wedding planners, who already have the creative and planning skills they need, business skills are the most important part of the training.
This is often a tough one as the only real way to get wedding planning experience is by actually planning a wedding! However, some innovative schools have come up with different ways for students to practice their new skills, including “virtual internships.”
One of the advantages of taking courses through a professional association is the built-in networking opportunities. A big part of being a great wedding planner is being resourceful, which requires you to know what types of vendors, shops, and so on are available in your area. Look for a program that provides you the opportunity to network with other professionals in the wedding industry, as well as access to an advisor who will be there to answer your questions and help you succeed in the program.
Schedule and Format
Some wedding planning programs are offered as intensive in-person workshops, while others are home study or completed entirely online. Decide what schedule and format are right for you.
For most programs, you will earn a certificate stating that you are a certified wedding planner or consultant, but what does that really mean? Most professional associations in this industry offer varying levels of certificates, but the levels are different across associations. Although there is no specific certificate or degree required to become a wedding planner, having the right credential can be a great advantage, particularly in competitive markets like big cities.
Before you start looking for wedding planning programs, take some time to assess where you are and what you personally need out of the training. This will help you select the best program to prepare you for your future career.
New York Institute of Art and Design. Complete course in wedding and event planning