Online Bridal Consultant Certification and Training Programs
Find tips for choosing the right online bridal consulting or wedding planning training program for you. Discover course, degree and professional certification options.
What You Need to Know
Online bridal consultant training programs are available and typically lead to career diplomas or certificates. Training programs cover various aspects of the bridal consultant field, giving you a strong foundation to work in the industry.
|Certification||Association of Bridal Consultants offers multiple levels of certification|
|Courses||Planning, etiquette, consulting and wedding ceremonies|
|Training||Programs cover all aspects of the wedding process|
What Online Bridal Consultant Training Programs Are Available?
The terms ''bridal consultant,'' ''wedding planner,'' and ''wedding coordinator'' are often used interchangeably to refer to someone who organizes nuptials, which can include helping to select a venue, establishing a budget, and communicating and negotiating contracts with vendors. Some bridal consultants are independently employed, while others work for department stores, bridal shops or catering companies.
Some programs prepare you to take professional certification exams, such as those offered by the Association of Bridal Consultants (ABC). Online programs are also available that lead to wedding planning certificates; although not generally required, some online programs provide internship opportunities so you can gain hands-on experience. Some online event planning programs may also include courses in wedding planning.
What Will I Learn?
Regardless of the official title, most online training programs for bridal consultants or wedding planners offer similar curricula. You'll learn about every aspect of the marriage process, from dealing with wedding stress to obtaining marriage licenses. Other topics of study include ceremonial music and honeymoon plans. You'll also learn how to start and market a bridal consulting or wedding planning business. The following topics could be explored as well:
- Bridal showers
- Food and entertainment
What Gets Covered in an ABC Program?
Additionally, online certificate programs may be available through professional organizations such as the ABC. Course topics may include planning, sales and marketing. With the ABC, there's no specified time limit or sequential order in which to complete your courses; as a member, you'll have the option of enrolling in as many courses as you like. These topics might be addressed:
- Wedding ceremonies
How Do I Choose Between Online Programs?
Several online programs in bridal consultant training are available; this can make it difficult to choose the right program for you. One factor that might influence your decision is whether you'll be prepared to take certification exams. Although certification isn't required to work as a bridal consultant or wedding planner, earning credentials may lead to increased job opportunities. Certification levels can range from novice to master bridal consultant, although terminology may vary depending on the organization. Also, you may want to enroll in a program that helps you qualify for membership with professional organizations. Membership benefits can include networking opportunities, access to information on local training seminars and job placement assistance.
Additionally, upon graduation, some schools provide you with materials to help start your new career. These materials may include CDs with wedding music choices and books to guide you in the bridal consulting process.
Are There Any Training Requirements?
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), bridal consulting isn't a regulated field, so there are no specific training requirements (www.bls.gov). However, the BLS also suggests that formal training, certification and membership in reputable professional organizations can be helpful. Because there is little regulation in this field, industry insiders cited by the BLS recommend that you do your research before signing up for certification programs to make sure that associations and programs are legitimate; you might research how long they have been in business or check with the Better Business Bureau for consumer complaints.
Internships and apprenticeships are also considered valuable for gaining hands-on experience in bridal consulting; therefore, you might look for programs that offer in-person components working with experienced industry professionals.