Dear Donnie, I am very interested in getting into the wedding/event planning field and was wondering if there are certain programs/courses that are required or just valuable in helping me do so.
I am so glad you have asked me this on the forum here. I get this question many times each month from people and perhaps this will assist those seeking guidance in this arena more efficiently in reading my response to you.
The best advice I can give you is to get certified through an accredited program. Once such program, which I can say from personal experience, is the best on the market which is offered by Robbi Ernst, III, founder and president of JWI (June Wedding, Inc.). Robbi is known in the industry as having developed the modern day wedding planner in the late 1970’s. He is a wealth of knowledge and can educate you in how to go about setting up a wedding planning business and conduct yourself ethically and soundly in this ever-growing industry. Additionally, he is the best at training you to not only conduct your business, but get your name out there in the public eye.
Brides are becoming more knowledgeable in how to look for wedding professionals and those who are certified. Therefore, this is my best recommendation for you. Once you have completed the course, it also gives you a membership in the JWI association that is filled with the best of the best of the industry. Robbi writes books as well as articles in all the major bridal publications and takes those certified students along for the ride. He is largely responsible for my having gotten so much initial publicity, which has grown from there. I could never have gotten where I am without him in the beginning. He was integral in getting the Style Network to initially look at me in consideration for the shows. He can begin the process for you as well.
The important thing to do is take the course, do a good job and listen carefully to everything he says to you. Become a sponge! You will be glad you did. You can see the programs he offers in the website at www.junewedding.com.
Good luck and I wish you well in your endeavors!