It's important to research schools before jumping into an online wedding planner program, since the award level and delivery options can vary greatly. Whether you're looking for a certification prep program or a degree, you'll want to check out a few schools to make sure you're getting the education you need.
How to Select an Online Wedding Planner School
Students considering online wedding planner schools must make their decision based on several key factors. Numerous schools offer wedding planner certificate programs that can be completed partly or entirely online. Individuals seeking an associate's degree might consider a related program, such as event planning or hospitality management. Students should also consider personal achievement goals, as well as content delivery systems, when choosing an online wedding planner school.
Wedding planners often pursue certificate or associate's degree programs that focus on weddings, event planning and hospitality. Certificate programs hone in on specific wedding-planning details, such as conceptualization, contract development, budgeting, etiquette and ceremony details. Many are offered online and prepare students to test for national certification through the Wedding Planning Institute and other professional organizations. Associate's degree programs offer broader event planning and hospitality management coursework that may be delivered online, on-campus or in hybrid format.
Students choosing online wedding planner schools should consider content delivery methods. In fully online programs, all work is completed online. Hybrid programs blend online and on-campus elements. While students might attend virtual lectures and manage assignments via online course management systems, they also might be required to attend on-campus orientations, departmental meetings or select bridal trade events.
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List of Online Wedding Planner Programs
Certificate in Wedding Planning
Many schools offer online courses that prepare students for national wedding planner certification. These courses delve into bridal industry protocol and offer students a roadmap for launching their own wedding planning businesses. They typically communicate with faculty and classmates via e-mail and message boards and often have access to online libraries. Coursework often addresses business contracts and practices, wedding etiquette and customs, flowers, music and gown selection. Other topics include:
- Wedding ceremonies, customs and traditions
- Creating profitable business packages
- Fabric board displays
- The business of weddings
Associate's Degree in Event Planning
Aspiring wedding planners who are seeking an associate's degree could also pursue a discipline like event planning or hospitality management. Students should be comfortable using message boards and submitting assignments through online content management systems, such as Blackboard. Industry-related courses include:
- Legal contracts
- Business catering
- Event coordination
- Decoration orchestration
Schools with Online Programs in Wedding Planning
Many schools offer wedding planner programs online aimed specifically at meeting certification requirements. Graduates can often qualify to become certified wedding and event planners through organizations such as the Wedding Planning Institute. Costs for the program usually run around $1,000 to $1,500 and allow students to complete the course at their own pace.
Virginia Commonwealth University offers a 40-hour online certificate program that includes instruction on client relationship management, bridal shows, event coordination and marketing. The University of Georgia's Certified Wedding Planner program is available through Ed2Go and includes an opportunity for an internship. The University of New Mexico provides a 260-hour Certified Wedding and Event Planner program and a Certified Green Wedding Planner program online that students can access up to six months. Unlike VCU and the University of Georgia, both which offer open enrollment at any time, UNM's programs are scheduled, and students must enroll and complete the programs within a specific time frame.
There are many considerations when looking for an online program in wedding planning, including education level, certification preparation, fully online availability, and course scheduling.