Schools for Becoming a Wedding Planner: How to Select the Right School

Wedding planning combines business and public relations skills with knowledge of design, tradition and ceremony. Aspiring wedding planners can attend sessions for hands-on learning, or find an accessible course through a virtual classroom.

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Students can receive wedding planning training through individual courses or at certificate, bachelor's and master's degree levels in the field of event planning. Training is often provided through the professional studies, culinary arts or hospitality departments of universities, arts colleges, career institutes and community colleges.

Schools with Event/Wedding Planning Programs

Below is a list of schools with programs in event/wedding planning:

College/University Location Institution Type Degrees Offered Tuition and Fees (2015-2016)*
Ferris State University Big Rapids, MI 4-year, Public Certificate In-state: $10,970
Out-of-state: $17,562
Carver Career Center Charleston, WV 2-year, Public Certificate $3,232**
Atlanta Technical College Atlanta, GA 2-year, Public Certificate In-state: $2,746
Out-of-state: $4,882
Madison Area Technical College Madison, WI 4-year, primarily associate's, Public Associate's In-state: $4,217
Out-of-state: $6,143
University of Massachusetts-Amherst Amherst, MA 4-year, Public Certificate In-state: $14,171
Out-of-state: $30,504
Southwestern Michigan College Dowagiac, MI 2-year, Public Certificate In-district: $4,921
Out-of-state: $5,967
Out-of-state: $6,370
Fox Valley Technical College Appleton, WI 2-year, Public Certificate, Associate's In-state: $4,373
Out-of-state: $6,299
College of the Ozarks Point Lookout, MO 4-year, Private not-for-profit Bachelor's $18,730
George Washington University Washington, DC 4-year, Private not-for-profit Master's $27,851
Iowa State University Ames, IA 4-year, Public Bachelor's In-state: $7,736
Out-of-state: $20,856

Sources: *National Center for Education Statistics, **School Website

School Selection Criteria

Consider the following when choosing a wedding planning school:

  • Look for programs that will set you up with an internship or mentorship with event planners already in the field.
  • Highly specific topics of study, such as wedding history, florist selection, destination weddings, engagement parties or bridal shows, are covered in some programs and not others.
  • Depending on how much time or money an individual wants to invest in a program, some wedding planning courses last only a few hours, others take weeks or months of class time.
  • If students plan to take the Association of Bridal Consultants exam or earn certification from the Wedding Planning Institute, they should choose a school to prepare them for professional certification.

Correspondence Courses for Wedding Planners

In a correspondence wedding planning course, students work on their own using online course materials. They may have e-mail or phone contact with an instructor. Students are encouraged to pursue individual research projects and internships.

Classroom Courses and Certification Programs

These courses may offer a combination of online and in-class learning. Students might be asked to present a final project for evaluation, such as a staging guide for a simulated wedding.

Aspiring wedding planners may most commonly earn a certificate in event planning or management at a 2-year or 4-year school. Individuals interested in earning a degree should consider event planning programs where they will gain knowledge on planning different types of events, besides weddings.

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