Course Code: CPD130
Duration: 300 hours, 9 months*
Prepare for a career in wedding and special event planning by mastering the fundamentals of planning, orchestrating, and delivering stunning weddings and parties. This program allows you to earn your certification as a professional wedding and event planner, and will give you an opportunity to put your new skills to work in an optional internship.
In these lessons, you'll get step-by-step training and learn concise formulas for ensuring the success of any social event, from weddings and anniversaries, to birthdays and baby showers. Once you've grasped the basics of wedding planning, you'll translate theory into real-world applications as you discover how to cultivate the vendor and client relationships that are crucial to building your business. You'll learn insider techniques on how to market your business and expand your revenue streams in the fun and exciting celebration industry.
With the aid of more than 150 business templates and other resource documents, you'll also gain the financial understanding you need to complement your wedding planning talents. This program provides you with an entire set of financial tools you'll be able to use for years to come, including contracts, business plans, timelines, fee structures, project plans and service offerings. Each business template is carefully designed to address the specific demands of the wedding-and special event planning industry.
The program includes a Dina Manzo's It's My Party and I'll Plan if I Want To workshop, which teaches the fundamentals and etiquette involved in proper party planning. It includes lessons on table etiquette, tableware, glassware, and flatware, in addition to proper place setting, menu selection, and food and wine pairing.
Upon successfully completing this program, you will be certified as a professional wedding and event planner. In addition, you will qualify to apply for an internship customized to your career objectives and goals. Internships can range from one day to six months in length. As a result, you can begin building your professional résumé right away!
Upon successful completion of the Wedding Planner program, you will:
- Have a portfolio of business contracts, pricing information, packages, and presentation tools.
- Understand the process for setting up a legal wedding planning business and be knowledgeable about business structure; licenses; insurances; and major local, state, and federal laws and regulations that affect business, as well as the procedural requirements necessary for compliance.
- Be proficient in prospecting for and contracting with wedding planning clients.
- Understand how to use marketing, publishing, and public relations to promote and increase your business.
- Understand how to develop service packages that give you a competitive edge in your local market.
- Know the difference between traditional and non-traditional etiquette
- Be proficient in skills such as budget planning, vendor selection, and wedding design.
- Be familiar with various wedding traditions and cultures and how to incorporate a client’s ethnic or cultural background into the celebration.
You will be proficient in the following:
- Planning a budget, selecting a vendor, and designing a wedding
- Reading and understanding existing vendor contracts, and creating new ones
- Understand the six stages of an event experience and ways to implement them.
- Understanding the science behind food & wine pairing for special event menu planning
- Preparing the proper table setting and establishing etiquette techniques
- Using wedding and event planning software, tools, and resources
- Implementing a wedding event timeline
- Developing your preferred local industry vendor network
- Working with a bridal client to plan, design, and deliver a dream wedding
- Wedding Industry Overview
- How wedding planning has evolved around the world
- The purpose of an engagement
- Current statistics for marriage-bound couples 2014
- Wedding seasons
- The wedding budget
- The opportunity of the engagement party
- Engagement ring basics
- Engagement announcements
- The bride’s timeline/checklist
- The groom’s checklist
- Traditional meanings
- Engagement party and bridal shower ideas
- Engagement/wedding FAQs
- Your Role as a Certified Wedding Planner
- The Event Planning Process
- Questions to ask a new bride-to-be
- How to develop a client profile
- How to set vendor expectations
- How to set the expectations of the bride and her family
- Event/project management
- RASCI charting
- Wedding etiquette, mishaps, and mayhem
- Running Your Own Business
- How to Run Your Own Business Based on your marketplace
- How to evaluate your competition when establishing your services
- How to set preliminary marketing objectives
- Tools and tips for organizing your home office and business practices
- Business start-up costs
- Documentation and Goals
- The importance of documentation
- How documentation of your business practices plays a vital role in the success of your business
- How to set goals for yourself and your business
- Wedding & Event Design Tool Kit
- Vendor and Venue Selection
- Why vendor selection is a key element in the success of your business
- How to identify quality vendors
- The questions to ask when building your vendor network
- Contracts and Negotiations
- Contract Law
- The key elements of a contract
- Contract rules to remember
- The importance of having business insurance
- U.S. Chamber of Commerce business resources
- Contract negotiations
- The Traditional Wedding Planner
- Traditional vs Contemporary wedding planner fees
- How to create wedding packages as a traditional wedding planner
- Role of wedding planner, wedding coordinator, and wedding director
- How to work with a prospective bridal client
- Tools and suggestions for initial consultations
- Wedding Cultures and Traditions
- International wedding cultures and traditions
- How to incorporate cultural traditions into signature wedding designs
- Traditional and Non-Traditional Wedding Ceremonies
- The key elements of traditional, non-traditional, and civil wedding ceremonies
- What questions to ask when planning a specific type of wedding and venue
- How to delegate bridal party responsibilities and who is responsible for what
- How to keep abreast of wedding trends and fashion
- Emergency tips and what is included in a wedding day emergency kit
- The Wedding Gown
- Selecting and advising wedding gown selection
- Basic gown styles
- Basic veil styles
- The top wedding dress designers
- Wedding Music
- Incorporating music into wedding day activities and events
- Creating a wedding day soundtrack or musical score
- Signature Wedding and Events
- Creating a signature event
- Wedding & Event Design – A6 Production
- Sample wedding themes and seasonal weddings
- Marketing Your Business
- Partnering with the right associations
- The importance of marketing and establishing a mission
- Key elements of your reputation and image
- Marketing on a Local Level
- Ideas to help you market locally
- Organizing and conducting a successful seminar
- Dina Manzo’s It’s My Party and I’ll Plan if I Want To! workshop
- Bridal Shows
- The importance of bridal show participation
- Researching bridal shows
- Essential elements of a bridal show checklist
- Booking a show
- Working a booth
- Conducting a post bridal show follow-up
- Online Marketing
- Importance of an online presence
- Proper way to construct a web page for online marketing
- Importance of keywords and placement
- Recommend web positioning companies, software, and websites
- Public Relations
- Approaching the media and positioning yourself as an expert in your field
- Key elements of a press release
- Press release exposure
- Writing your biography
- Conducting editorial opportunity research
- Creating an editorial opportunity calendar
- Contacting local news and radio stations
- Publishing your articles
- Creating your business press/ media kit
- Destination Weddings and Organizational Software
- Destination weddings
- Organizing your business and streamlining your daily activities
- Planning your work by a work plan
- Using organizational software
- Expanding Your Business Offerings
- Incorporating additional services and products into your business
- Contemporary products and starting expansion
- Expanding your business opportunities
This program also provides you with information on customized internships. You will receive notifications on internships in your area. It is also possible for you to receive invitations to industry conferences and events.
This internship is an opportunity for you to get hands-on experience in wedding and special event planning. An internship enables you to apply your new knowledge and skills in a work setting while making important professional connections.
An internship can be one of the most rewarding experiences of your career. Typical internships can be as short as a few hours of working on an event and often last up to six months. Internship opportunities may be paid or non-paid. In many cases, these positions lead to employment.
The following textbooks will be provided with your tuition:
- Professional Wedding and Event Planning, How to Start a Wedding and Event Planning Business
- Dina Manzo’s It’s My Party and I’ll Plan If I Want To
This program is compatible with the Mac OS, Windows XP, and later operating systems and IE 7 and later browsers. You must be able to view Flash content to utilize the online curriculum. You will also need access to a computer with Internet access and emailing capabilities.
*Upon registering, you are given an initial nine months to complete this program. Should you need more time beyond the initial access period, an extension of one month is available for a fee of $99. Students using VA benefits should refer to the Military page of our site to review the differences between online program access and VA rates of pursuit.