How Important is Certification to Becoming a Wedding Planner?

As with any profession, training, whether it’s a certification program or not, is important. There’s disagreement among people in the wedding industry about the benefits of certification programs. Some feel that what is taught in many of those programs is “dated.” Others are concerned that a certification program is not the “end all be all” for knowledge in their field, since many certification programs are valid for a lifetime (meaning: you learn the material, you take the test, and you’re certified forever). Is training from 5, 10, even 15 or more years ago still enough?

In a sense, maybe the material is dated. There have been so many changes in weddings in the past 20-30 years. Used to be that the couple often grew up in the same town, and people got married and had their reception at the same place as everyone else. The bride’s mom and dad paid for everything, and the groom often was not involved in the planning. Formal training programs often only cover the “traditional” ways concerning weddings and wedding planning.

Today, we have so much more variety and options – where the ceremony and reception take place, to how traditional (or non-traditional) the wedding is. More and more couples are paying for the whole event themselves (maybe with a little assistance from parents). These days there can even be two brides or two grooms. So the “traditional rules” often no longer apply.

But the knowledge gained from certification or other training programs is a foundation from which to grow. Any training/certification class or program does not teach “all there is to know.” There is always more to learn, so continuing education is important. Whether a workshop on cake design, to assisting a florist or photographer on wedding day, or working as a server at a banquet facility to learn what they all deal with behind the scenes.

That seems to be a couple things that people in the wedding industry DO agree on. 1) Getting a well-rounded understanding of weddings, and 2) the importance of continuing to get education.

It’s silly, but many who agree with getting knowledge of other types of wedding vendors are the same people who scoff at getting any type of formal training in their own field. So ridiculous. I mean, how can anyone claim to be a wedding expert if they don’t know how a ceremony processional goes, or where certain people stand during the ceremony, or the reason why there is a cake cutting ceremony at the reception, or . . .

If they don’t know the basics there’s something wrong. Get that foundation. Learn the “traditional rules” then tweak, adjust, or omit them to fit each couple. Create new traditions if that will be the best choice for the couple. It’s not “one size fits all,” but a development and discovery of what will work best and make the most sense for your couple.

Also, since there is so much information in the wedding world, and a constant shift in the way things are done, trends, and so forth, it is just not possible to learn it all. But something new can always be learned. And the more a person learns, the better he/she can provide the best possible service to their clients.

Some organizations that offer training/certification are:

Which one is best? There’s no right or wrong answer to that one. None of these programs is universally better than the others. The best way to determine that is to look into each program and see which fits you best.

If you’re looking for fun ideas, or need help with your wedding plans contact me at jean@weddingsfromtheheart.net or at 937-235-2586.

Hearts, Joy, Love!
Jean

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