Those who wish to begin careers as wedding planners can earn certificates through various online programs. While there are no online wedding planner degree programs, students can learn the trade through certificate programs and earn credentials through professional organizations.
Several schools and professional associations offer online certificate programs for wedding planners. These programs usually allow students to watch the lessons and complete assignments online at their own pace; however, most programs must be completed within six months.
Wedding planning certificate programs generally consist of fewer than 10 online lessons. They are open to people who want to get into the field as well as to experienced wedding planners who desire a certificate to demonstrate their training to clients. Courses cover budgeting for a wedding and reception, working with clients, wedding customs and wedding gowns. Students also learn about the business side of wedding planning, with courses on contracts and other business practices. Internships usually aren't required, but graduates seeking certification from a professional organization may need training and experience as a wedding planner.
Wedding Planning Certificate
An online wedding planner certificate course prepares students to guide clients through the process of planning, coordinating and staging wedding ceremonies and other wedding-related events. Most online wedding planner certificate programs are open to anyone with an interest in the field.
Program Information and Requirements
An online wedding planner certificate can typically be earned in six months. Many online wedding planner programs allow students to begin the program at their convenience, but the program must be completed within six months. Students learn about planning weddings through videos, readings and discussions with instructors and classmates, all of which take place either online or via telephone.
A computer with Internet access is needed to complete an online wedding planner course. Many schools encourage their online students to keep consistent schedules and appropriately organize their time so they can remain successfully committed to the program.
Wedding Planner Classes
The classes offered in an online wedding planner certificate program teach students about the business and creative aspects of the career. Through online classes, students learn about ethnic weddings, bridal fashion, site selection, contract writing, payment collection and vendor negotiation.
Most online wedding planner certification programs include an introductory class to teach students about the history of weddings, industry etiquette and wedding traditions. Students also learn about engagements and receive an overview of the role of wedding planners.
Wedding Planning Business
A business class gives students in an online wedding planner certificate program the tools necessary to start their own businesses, price wedding packages, write proposals and create budgets. Because many wedding planners work for themselves, the business course sometimes covers home office set-up and market evaluations.
Wedding Planning Contracts
Wedding planners need to understand the contractual agreements they make between themselves and their clients and vendors. A class that covers contract law in an online wedding planner certificate program teaches students how to read and create contracts, negotiate contracts with suppliers and create packages.
Online wedding planner certificate programs teach students how to work within bride's expectations and vision. Through role playing, students learn about selling services to the bride and educating her about registries. Students also learn about traditional and non-traditional wedding ceremonies in a bridal class.
Students learn about bridal gown selection. The class covers fabrics, veils, designers and various body types.
Marketing and Public Relations
As a business owner, wedding planners need to know how to attract clients through marketing and public relations. This class teaches students how to use online marketing tools, write press releases and network.
According to Payscale.com, certified wedding planners, also called wedding consultants, can work independently or within companies. The pay varies, Payscale.com says, by experience and the number of clients the wedding planner is able to attract. Wedding planners can earn $22,000- $74,000. Client referrals from professional organizations can be an important factor in gaining business, says the Association of Certified Professional Wedding Consultants (ACPWC).
Continuing Education Information
Wedding planners can earn professional certification through various organizations, some of which offer their courses as distance learning programs. Membership in a professional organization, including the ACPWC, can help attract clients, according to the Salary Stories blog at Payscale.com.
Wedding planning certification is available fully online, and some professional organizations offer credentials. Programs typically have courses that cover business, customer service and design skills.