Your Online Resource for Becoming a Wedding Planner

BecomeAWeddingPlanner is an online guide to wedding planning schools and programs. Online programs for becoming a wedding planner study the organizational and managerial skills required in that role. Some career paths include receiving a certificate or training in wedding planning while many others simply obtain a bachelor’s degree in small business management, entrepreneurship, or even a design related major. While there are many online degree programs for wedding planners, know that no single program is the deciding factor on who is a legitimate wedding planner.

Kaplan University — Kaplan University's AASBA - Small Business Management program has a curriculum that combines accounting and microcomputer skills with managerial techniques. The program is designed to help students develop teamwork and leadership skills, as well as an ability to motivate people and communicate effectively. The program's emphasis on decision-making and problem-solving skills could help prepare one to pursue a rewarding career in business administration.
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Walden University — The Walden University BS Business Administration - Small Business Management degree offers students the opportunity to take courses in corporate finance, entrepreneurship, healthcare management, and marketing, among many others. The Small Business Management option is tailored to providing you with the tools you need to run a small business.
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Do You Need a Certificate to Become a Wedding Planner?

There is no formal requirement for becoming a wedding planner. You must know the geographical area, network with vendors, help a bride budget, and be extremely organized to be an effective wedding planner. You will gain the most knowledge from experience, but certifications do give you a good idea of what to expect once you start courting potential clients and deal with high stress situations, such as contracts and insurance.

Why Do I Need a Certificate as a Wedding Planner?

While a certificate in wedding planning is not required to be hired to plan a wedding, it does offer peace of mind to a client. It shows that you have been trained in the subject and know the important areas to cover. There are many details in wedding planning. A proper wedding planner does not miss any detail due to organization and is constantly checking if things are running according to plan. A good wedding planner can also delegate responsibilities, so planning and the big day run smoothly.

What Other Classes Should I Look Into?

If you want to go beyond a wedding planner certification, consider taking event planning courses. While this will cover some of the same things learned studying for certification, it can also show you how to implement planning ideas into a wedding. If you are currently a wedding planner experiencing fast growth and planning larger parties, an event-planning course is a wise investment in your future. Taking on larger parties typically means tweaking your planning and management style. It’s important to know how to adapt to situations quickly as a wedding planner.

You should also consider business or marketing courses. The first teaches you the basics of running a successful business. For a wedding planner who is learning as they go along, business courses can help you take your brand to the next level. Marketing courses do the same thing. If you work as a wedding planner for a number of years, it’s always smart to invest in yourself and take a few classes to freshen your perspective on the business. Continuing education is a part of many professions. Business owners should explore different business models and new marketing techniques that will open your brand to a new audience.

Register Your Name as a Wedding Planner

Wedding planners should register their company name with the court house to give their brand and company further weight. This is easy to do and costs a small fee. Save all receipts for your taxes, since this is an investment in your business. If this is your first business, registering a name gives your brand more serious clout when compared to event planners who are not registered.

How Does an Online Wedding Planner Certificate Program Work?

Wedding planner certificates work different than most other online programs; it is not a degree program. You are receiving a certificate in the mail after completing the program and all students are admitted. You are not required to have a high school diploma or GED to enter a program, and you are not working continuously each semester. The program can take as little as six weeks to complete and the entire course is done online. A wedding planner program isn’t divided up into classes like formal degrees; it is one program. A student signs up for the program online and within a week, receives the various materials needed to complete the course. This consists of:

  • Reading materials
  • A computer program
  • Work books
  • Various exercises

Students can start when they receive materials or wait until they have time to devote to the program. There are no grades for a certificate program, just completion. A student can move at whatever pace suits their schedule. When the program is completed, students send back all work and receive a certificate of completion in the mail a couple of weeks later. It is a fairly simple process and will help your qualifications for attracting clients. Ultimately, wedding planning revolves around networking and providing couples with an outstanding experience as they share a momentous occasion.

Wedding Planning Services Online

If you obtain your wedding planning certificate online, you’re pretty familiar with computers and the web. Wedding planning is a huge business online with countless web magazines and social media sites helping brides track every trend and idea that piques their interest. A wedding planner must have a website for reaching out to clients and displaying photos and blog posts about some of the important days you’ve planned. Social media is also a major part of the current wedding planning industry. Reach out to brides in your area and you will help garner clients quickly. This can be your personal social media account or a brand or company account that helps you with online networking. This is a crucial tool for small businesses. If you aren’t sure how to utilize social media and the web for the small business, conduct online research to see how you can get people chatting about your brand. It is for this reason marketing courses are useful for a wedding planner.

Contracts for a Wedding Planner

Contracts are an area covered in the wedding planner certification program. You will learn how important contracts are and have mock contracts for a template that can be used with clients. A wedding planner must stay on top of dates that vendors are owed money. Many brides will want to handle this themselves, leaving money to exchange between the bride (or someone from the wedding party) and the vendor. It is your job to see that balances are paid in order to keep a great relationship with a vendor or venue. Always sit down with the bride and groom and whoever is paying for the wedding and lay out every detail of your services, along with a solid dollar amount. This is not an area where you want to be vague. Both the bride and groom should be clear on dates when you’re owed money and understand any penalty fees for late payments. Keep multiple copies of the contract.

Insurance Policies for a Wedding Planner

Umbrella insurance policies are a must for a wedding planner. This covers many items and anything that happens to them. Whether the item is lost, stolen, or destroyed by a storm won’t matter with an umbrella insurance policy and you’ll be able to get your money back from the item. You may be forced to cover expenses here and there as a wedding planner. Accidents happen, and when a bride and groom are paying for a wedding, they may not have funds to spare on something that suddenly goes wrong. You can pay for the accident and then reimburse yourself later once you file a claim with your insurance company.

How Much Does an Online Wedding Planner Certificate Cost?

Most certificate programs run about $1,000. Some run slightly less (about $800) and offer the same information as the more expensive programs. This is considerably lower than college courses or obtaining a degree. There may be wedding planner certification or training programs available through community colleges, and they typically cost far more than an online certificate program. Often these programs have multiple parts similar to classes during a semester of school. Because there are no set requirements for becoming a wedding planner, an online certificate program will serve just as well as one obtained from a college. There is no real difference in these programs, as both cover the same material and offer peace of mind to potential clients.

How Can I Grow My Wedding Planning Business?

Grow your wedding planning business by increasing your visibility in the community. Join activity groups and get to know people outside of your immediate circle. Accept invitations and always have business cards with you to promote your business. You can promote yourself as an event planner if you are not receiving enough business operating under the title of wedding planner. Depending on the market, the extravagance of weddings goes up and down. Many brides are too busy to plan a wedding or need help planning a wedding in an area they are not familiar with. Wedding planners can also add specialties such as bachelor or bachelorette parties in Las Vegas and destination weddings. There are also trends for the wedding industry. If a wedding planner stays on top of this and conveys it in the interview process, it is difficult for a potential client to turn you down because you present yourself as an authority on weddings. Study trends and what celebrities are doing for their weddings. Many brides want to capture glamour for their big day and are willing to listen to your ideas for a wedding that will stand out for guests.

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