Earning certification as a wedding planner shows current and potential clients you have the advanced education and skills needed to maintain a successful business. Clients may even feel more comfortable hiring your business over others who may not have the same certification as you.
Certification can be earned through a multitude of providers, institutions, and associations. One of the many schools that offer this type of certification is Penn Foster Career School. Penn Foster offers an ABC (Association of Bridal Consultants) Certified Wedding Planner online program for individuals who wish to earn this kind of certification.
This program consists of five units. Each unit involves a certain number of courses that relate to the current topic, such as wedding vendors, wedding traditions, etc. The units are as follows:
• The first unit will give an introduction to the program, as well as an introduction to planning.
• The second unit will define the role of a consultant, discuss wedding etiquette, and explain wedding ceremonies, customs, and traditions.
• In the third unit, students will explore the bridal business with topics such as wedding vendors, choosing wedding attire, attracting clients, etc. In this unit, students will also embark on Independent Project 1 with a visit to conduct a site inspection. A six-month novice membership in the Association of Bridal Consultants is also given during this unit.
• Unit four discusses topics such as specialty kinds of weddings (military, ethic, religion), working with clients, and preparing for business ownership. Independent Project 2 also takes place in this unit, with a focus in Wedding Research.
• The fifth and final unit includes areas in multimedia marketing, running a business from your home, and how to become involved in a bridal show. The third Independent Project takes place here; students must create a wedding collage. After learning all course material, students must then take a final exam.
Upon graduation, students will receive a book titled Emily Post’s Wedding Etiquette and a voucher to use towards novice membership or Certified Wedding Planner membership. Participants who successfully complete this course will also be eligible for Certified Wedding Planner status and consultant-level (higher than novice) membership with the Association of Bridal Consultants. Students should check with their state to see if additional certification or licensure is needed for their chosen field.
Certified wedding planners may find positions at catering halls, bridal boutiques, fashion shows, formal wear businesses, department stores, or at their own business. The majority of wedding consultants are detail-oriented, self-motivated, creative, cooperative, and are good communicators.