Students wishing to become a bridal consultant can enroll in online programs from several institutions in the country. Here we discuss some things to consider when choosing a program, as well as look at the degree options and a few schools that offer online programs.
How to Select an Online Bridal Consultant School
Several schools and colleges offer bridal consulting programs for students interested in online learning options. These at-home programs provide a complete overview of the wedding industry for those interested in starting a career as a wedding planner or bridal consultant. Typically taking less than one year to complete, online bridal consultant programs can also prepare students for optional certification examinations. Students should then weigh program type and delivery with the focus areas and career assistance factors.
Type of Program
Students can enroll in an accredited program to earn an academic diploma or certificate or opt for programs that confer professional certification. Many of these programs are available completely online, requiring no campus attendance.
Course delivery varies from at-home study with video lessons and textbooks to online consultation and real-time classes.
Areas of Focus
Students can enroll in a program that focuses solely on wedding consulting or select one that incorporates planning for various types of events.
Some schools also offer graduates job placement or internship assistance and the opportunity to communicate with alumni and professionals in the field.
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List of Online Bridal Consultant Programs
Online Diplomas and Certificates in Bridal Consulting
These programs can take anywhere from a few days to a few months to complete. Students can usually enroll at any time and study at their own pace. Course materials are either available completely online or sent to students at their homes. Communication with instructors takes place via e-mail, telephone or through online messaging. Students learn about:
- Design elements
- Business management and setup
- Wedding cultures and traditions
- Reading and understanding vendor contracts
Online Certification Programs in Bridal Consulting
A few schools and organizations offer online classes and programs that confer professional certification in the field. Some programs provide lessons on DVDs along with an instruction manual that contains homework assignments. Other schools offer telephone and video conferencing as well as online opportunities to communicate with other students and graduates. After earning certification, individuals can often seek assistance from the school or institute for internships, job placement or bridal referrals to gain experience.
Upon completion of the program, students receive a certification, such as the Certified Wedding Consultant credential offered by the Association of Certified Wedding Consultants or a Certified Wedding and Event Planner certification conferred by the Wedding Planning Institute. Membership in the certifying organization might be recommended or encouraged, and graduates could need to complete continuing education courses and activities to keep the credential updated. Topics include:
- Wedding planning and coordination
- Bridal business basics
- Ceremonies and receptions
- Wedding vendors and services
- Professional etiquette
Schools With Online Programs in Bridal Consulting
The U.S. Career Institute offers an online Wedding and Event Planner School that can be completed in only four months. Program lessons include topics in record keeping, religious ceremonies, management, contracts and more. An enhanced and standard version is offered depending on students' academic and career goals.
Penn Foster Career School has a Wedding Planner Certification program that partners with the Association of Bridal Consultants (ABC). Students learn the required business and marketing skills, as well as important wedding etiquette. Students will be eligible to become certified wedding planners upon completion of course and exam, which can be completed in three months.
The New York Institute of Art & Design offers a wedding planner course that results in a certificate in wedding planning. Students can take up to 18 months to complete the course if they wish, and are paired with their own professional wedding planner mentor.
Online certificate programs are the most common option for aspiring bridal consultants. Potential students should consider the format of programs, as well as internship opportunities or specializations offered when choosing a program.