The wedding planning industry is growing by leaps and bounds. In all regions of the United States more brides than ever before are hiring wedding planners to assist with the thousands of details that go into planning their wedding. If you are considering a career as a wedding planner it is imperative that you gain proper training before taking your first client. The industry looks very glamorous (and it can be) however, the job requires patience, persistence, long hours, attention to detail and several other skills that will take years to develop. In short, it is not an industry for the faint of heart. If you feel that a career in wedding planning could be right for you or you are already working in the hospitality industry and you would like to gain your wedding planning certification then there are several resources available to make sure you receive the training you need to be successful.
In this article we will explore online programs, event planning courses at universities or community colleges, and Wedding Planning Certification programs offered by independent certification organizations.
A simple internet search will reveal a list of hundreds of online or correspondence programs available for wedding planning certification. To receive your certification through an online course you are required to pay a fee for each section of information which is typically sent to you in electronic format or mailed to you in a booklet. You review each section at your own pace and are given open book quizzes along the way. After completing the quizzes based on the information in the booklet and completing other course assignments you are awarded your wedding planning certification. Receiving the information in this format means that you can complete the program at your own pace. This process can take between six weeks to over a year depending on your study habits. Online or correspondence programs typically cost between $1,000.00 to $1,500.00. Some may charge additional fees to have your certificate printed and mailed. Others require you to pay a yearly fee to maintain your certification.
Some colleges and universities offer event planning courses in conjunction with their hospitality or business management programs or as independent certificates. An event planning course at a college or university will typically focus on the planning of corporate and social events from the perspective of the hotel, resort, or other facility that is hosting the event. The instruction received in this type of course is ideal for an individual who plans to work in the hospitality industry as an employee of a hotel or resort. The course may briefly cover weddings or other social events but the majority of the material will tend to focus on events as they relate to hotel and resort operations. Many hotels, resorts and other venues who host weddings are now requiring that at least one staff member per property receive specialized training and certification in wedding planning.
There are a few independent organizations across the United States and Canada that offer Wedding Planning Certification courses in a classroom setting. Some of these programs can be completed in just one weekend, others can take up to 6 weeks to complete. Any organization offering Wedding Planning Certification does so based on their own criteria and designation and the course material can vary widely. The cost of these types of programs can range between $395.00 to $2,000.00. Some of these organizations will require you to pass a test in order for you to receive your certification. Some also require that you participate in ongoing education in order to maintain your certification. This can end up costing thousands of dollars throughout your career. There are programs available that do not require you to pay for ongoing education to maintain your certification.
Make sure you read reviews from students who have gained their certification from any organization before making a commitment. Also find out who the instructor for your class will be and research the kind of experience they have as a wedding planner. You will want to consider the initial cost of the program and the ongoing cost of maintaining your certification if any. Try to find an organization that offers ongoing education but does not require you to keep paying them year after year in order to maintain your certification. Look for a program that will give you a complete picture of the wedding industry from the perspective of every vendor who is involved in a wedding. In the end you will want to choose a program that best fits your budget and time constraints.