To be or not to be a certified wedding planner is the question.
The question that nobody really has a great answer for.
Why? Because it’s a personal choice. Contrary to what you’ve heard, a certification alone will not guarantee your success as a wedding planner. It only confirms that you’ve had formal wedding planner education. In today’s education market, there’s a lot of emphasis put on the power of a certification, but it is not a means to an end. It is only a starting point.
Wedding Planner Certification
Every day in my Becoming a Wedding Planner Facebook group, I see aspiring wedding planners becoming certified thinking it will make them stand out in the marketplace. But the truth is, a bride doesn’t really care if you’re certified or not. They don’t go to their friends and brag about your scholarly wedding planner degree. A wedding planner certificate can be an expensive investment, and that is why you need to know your own personal reasons for wanting to get one. I personally believe that education can give you the power to break through many barriers, but I also believe experience can be a far better teacher at times. In today’s post I’m sharing the lowdown on wedding planner certificates.
The truth about wedding planner certifications
As of right now, there is not one state in the US that regulates wedding services. This means that unlike a beautician or a Realtor who needs a state license to practice, there is no such legislation on wedding planning. So, what does that mean for getting a wedding planner certificate? It means there’s no government entity checking to see how rigorous a curriculum really is. Ultimately, these programs can vary a great deal, and not all certificate programs will give you the same knowledge base. Now, this is not to say you shouldn’t become certified. It just means you need to understand your “why” if you decide to pursue a certification program.
What is a certified wedding planner?
A certified wedding planner is one that has gone through a program in which a certificate is awarded at the completion of the coursework. This usually means they have received a well-rounded education, had hands-on training, and passed a test. There are different types of programs a wedding planner can enroll in and receive different types of certifications. For example, design is a hot area that more and more wedding planners want to invest in and therefore you can get certified in it.
What to look for in a wedding planner program
Because no bride will ever come to you and ask you where you got certified, it’s important you know why you want to become certified. For some people, like myself, I want my education to reinforce my hands-on experience. Some people feel more sophisticated when they have a degree. Others believe a degree means increased pay. More education is never a bad idea. You just need to make sure the value you’ll receive will equal or exceed the amount you’re spending. Certification programs that offer a membership or an association have an extra advantage you’ll want to consider. This makes it easier to network, get support, and stay educated.
How to become certified?
If being certified is an important educational step you want to pursue, then check out the schools I have listed below. Before you jump in and sign up for one, make sure the school fits your personal needs:
- Bridal Society
- The Wedding Academy
- International Institute of Weddings
- QC Event & Wedding Planning Certification
An alternative to a wedding planner education
The Engaged Wedding Planner Academy is a boutique learning experience that offers many types of courses you won’t find at the traditional certification schools you see above. We were specially designed for the newer wedding planner seeking educational opportunities but who can’t yet afford a certification degree. Though we do offer certifications in Wedding Management and Assistant Wedding Planning, we use a point system that rewards students with expert points for all of our courses. Once a student receives 100 points, they will get their Professional Wedding Planner Badge. We also offer a Professional Wedding Business badge for those wedding planners who complete our Wedding Business Builder Course. It’s a great program for those seeking to build a strong wedding planner business before launching it.
It’s important to note that I’ve met many successful wedding planners who never bothered to get certified. A certification is only as good as the wedding planner who knows their own why. Remember that a wedding planner’s mindset is really what makes a wedding planner successful—not their educational background. If you believe in your worth and the value of what you do, you’ll do great things in this world.
Are you wondering what new things you can learn as a wedding planner? Check out all of the courses here.