Wedding Planning Courses

Wedding planning courses will help you to become a good wedding planner. Wedding planner courses are offered online and off-line, as well as a course may be certified or not certified. So, how to choose the right course for you?

First, do you need a certified course? A certified course can generally be trusted more than a non-certified one, however, it will probably also be more expensive. In fact, references from your satisfied customers will be much more important for finding new customers than just a good certification.

What is the duration of a potential course? Again, it depends on the course. Some wedding planning courses run for 300 hours, while others only for 40 hours. An average course is generally not less than 100 hours.

How much does a wedding planning course cost? Depending on the provider, the location, the number of hours, and whether it’s an online or an off-line course, it may cost between $500 and $1,000.

What’s important to look for in a course is whether it offers internships. For example, some wedding planning courses offer paid or free internships where you can work directly with brides and grooms to be, which is a priceless experience for any potential wedding planner.

Furthermore, a good course will teach you how to handle the couples and their families for months prior your prize – the wedding day. For some people, it might be psychologically hard to deal with agitated, disorganized and uncertain brides and grooms-to-be, so you will need to learn exactly how to help them calm down and to start feeling better.

Just like with anything else, you should perform a very extensive research when you are looking for good wedding planning courses. Do not just settle with information on the websites of these courses; instead, also visit wedding forums and see what real people say.

What exactly will you be responsible for? Here is just a small list: paying taxes, keeping records, marketing your services, setting up your fees, creating contracts, closing sales, consulting, and many more. There’s actually a lot involved in planning a wedding, and a good course will teach you how to turn a wedding idea into a real wedding.

Being a wedding planner might not be as simple as in the well-known movie starring Jennifer Lopez. You will need some real business skills in order to plan and manage someone’s wedding on a high level.

Becoming a wedding planner may not be that easy, but this hard work is worth it. You will be thanked with 10%-15% earnings from each wedding’s total cost, as well as you will be thanked with the happiness of the couple, their family and friends on the wedding day!

“Reality” TV Wedding Shows Versus Real Weddings

As a wedding minister and owner of a wedding planning company, I am witness to the changing trends and fashions taking place in the wedding world. We have noticed that the plethora of “reality” TV shows featuring weddings, are causing an unfortunate distortion of how things work in the real world. I have written about this before, regarding “bridezillas,” but the effect is more wide spread.

There was a time when weddings were a family affair; planned and financed by the groom, and mostly the brides families, in accordance with the resources and budget restrictions of the families involved. Of course, weddings of such celebrities as actors, major politicians and royalty were broadcast to the world. However, the average bride did not expect to have a wedding like Princess Diana’s or Grace Kelly’s. She expected to marry in her neighborhood church and have a reception in the church hall, community center, or her backyard. Family members created the food and often the cake, too. Flowers were grown at home or friends’ gardens. Aunt Carol might create the bouquets. Uncle Bill, the photographer, would take pictures. Rather recently, this has all changed. Weddings have become major social events and families of the bride and groom feel pressured to come up with a lot of money to stage expensive and large weddings. People look for beautiful, private sites, top notch photographers and prestigious caterers. All of this is costly. “Reality” wedding shows normalize this trend.

If the bride or groom’s families are not able to afford the planned wedding, the expense falls upon the bride and groom. If they are young and still in the process of building their careers, they feel forced to borrow money to finance the wedding of their dreams. One bride, who ended up choosing to forego a big wedding, and elope, instead, told me, “It was going to cost us at least $25,000. We decided we would rather put a down payment on a home.” Sounds sensible to me. If a couple is going to borrow $25,000, shouldn’t it be invested in something solid and substantial, like a home? And 25 to 30K is now considered an average cost of a wedding.

I saw a recent episode of a wedding show that “rescues” brides from the alleged misery and deprivation of simple, low-cost weddings and instead they get the upscale extravaganza of their dreams. Of course, the producers of the show foot the bill. But, what about the average bride watching this show, and other like it, who begins to feel like the local veteran’s hall is actually a sad choice, compared to the posh resorts she sees on TV. What happens to many brides is that they begin to feel deprived and resentful and troll for credit cards to upgrade their weddings.

The problem is that when people are spending more than they can afford, tension and stress creeps in. Brides begin to argue with their parents and groom when credit card limits are reached. (This also makes life difficult for wedding professionals. I would rather plan five small weddings, where people are happy and relaxed, than one more costly that no one can easily afford.) Suddenly, more and more costs arise, because once you start planning an upscale wedding, everything costs a lot. More and more resentment and blame build up. I have seen brides and grooms break up at this point, more often than I care to recount.

What is the answer? It’s different for each bride and groom, but I can offer some time honored basic principles:

1) This may seem a shocker, but it’s true: inexpensive weddings can be every bit as beautiful, memorable and pleasing as expensive ones and sometimes they are more so.

2) Creativity, family effort, and imagination can create a wonderful wedding on a small budget. Of course, these qualities will enrich a high budget wedding, too.

3) Understanding these concepts, brides and grooms should decide what they can sensibly afford to spend on wedding and reception before wedding planning can start. Families may want to help financially, but remember some control will be lost.

In conclusion a wedding is a very important and life changing event in the history of an individual, couple, family and community. Therefore, it is important to reflect on the larger meaning, when planning a wedding. Fashions, style, and refreshments are all fun and significant. However, what is most important is bonding, harmony, ease and a sense of the sacred.


Buy Silk Flowers – Wedding Planning

Wedding celebrations are among the most joyous and memorable times in a person’s life. Preparing for a wedding, however, can be one of the most stressful times in a person’s life. So let me use this time to try and help ease the stress of one aspect of wedding planning: the purchasing of flowers and bouquets. There are many benefits of using fake flowers over real such as: you can use flowers that are not in season, don’t have to worry about people’s allergies, silk bouquets will last forever, artificial flowers are more durable than real flowers and will not wilt due to heat and lack of water, and finally, they are a better investment.

Depending on the season a wedding is scheduled some flowers may not be available or the price for out-of-season flowers will be raised to a ridiculous cost. Seasons or climates will never affect artificial flowers, and every rare and popular flower has an artificial counterpart.

The last thing a wedding needs is the best man or bride’s maids sneezing during the ceremony and throughout the night due to pollen in the flowers. And, if your wedding is during allergy season, beware. Avoid potential allergy problems by using fake flowers. Artificial flowers can be scented with that fresh flower smell but with none of the harmful loud allergic reactions of pollen.

Wedding bouquets are beautiful and expensive. And when the day is over what do most brides do with that keepsake? Well, they usually dry them out and stick them in a vase somewhere in the house. The wonderful thing about silk bouquets are that the keep their timeless beauty. With practically no maintenance a silk bouquet will look as beautiful thirty years from when the bride first carried it down the aisle.

Artificial flowers are durable. Real flowers are fragile and prone to disaster, especially throughout the hustle and bustle of setting up a wedding. You have to worry about the flowers wilting if the day is hot. You have to make sure they have water so they don’t die, and you have to be careful to not break or tear their leaves when handling and arranging real flowers. All this can be avoided by going silk.

Silk flowers are by far a better investment than real flowers. In fact, real flowers are not an investment at all. If you’re a wedding planner, you could keep sets of silk flowers and arrangement and use them over and over. After a wedding fake flowers can be sold over eBay or Craigslist to help recuperate some of the money that was spent on the wedding.

Real flowers are great. We purchased real flowers for our wedding. But, no one told us we had options. If you are teeter-tottering between silk or real wedding flowers keep in mind that you can get artificial flowers any season for no additional cost, silk flowers won’t affect people’s nasal allergies, silk bouquets will last forever, fake flowers are less likely to be damaged before and during the wedding, and finally, artificial flowers are a better investment because they can be reused or resold.

Five Ways to Cut Costs When Planning Your Wedding Reception

If you’re planning a wedding, chances are that you have noticed the high prices that many wedding trends demand. Even if you’re on a budget, though, there is absolutely no reason why you can’t plan a fabulous wedding. Because a wedding reception is expected to cost as much as 50% of your wedding budget, it would be wise to find ways to save money in that area first.

1.) Save money on your cake by pairing a large groom’s cake with a small, two or three-tiered wedding cake. Especially whenever a reception holds more than 50 to 75 people, it can become expensive to purchase a wedding cake to accommodate all of those people. By simply purchasing a large sheet cake in the same flavor as your wedding cake and cutting those pieces first, guests will never know (or mind, for that matter) that they weren’t receiving the real wedding cake pieces.

2.) Make your own reception centerpieces. Flowers arrangements are classic methods for adorning reception tables and can be purchased affordably when you choose to make them yourself. There are many flower companies that offer online ordering where you can purchase your flower stems at discounted prices and have them delivered on the day that you need. To save even more, consider borrowing vases from close family friends in a variety of shapes and coordinating styles for an eclectic and trendy appearance.

3.) Find tablecloths and other supplies at a discounted price on eBay or through wholesale retailers online. The web provides a wealth of resources for wedding supplies and all you have to do is be willing to search for the bargain. Sometimes people will sell their old wedding supplies on eBay just to get rid of them and many wholesale retailers sell tablecloths and other decorating supplies for less than it costs to rent.

4.) Cut your entertainment costs by nixing the deejay and supplying your own music. MP3 players and I-Pods are abundant this day in age, so surely you or someone you know will have access to these devices and a computer with internet so that you can download songs and create your own playlist for your reception. You may also consider renting a microphone and speakers.

5.) Find a venue that will allow you to organize your own food and beverages. One thing that costs couples tons of money is the catering and open bar expenses, especially when the reception venue requires that you use a certain company to provide your catering and beverage needs. To choose your own catering and beverage providers based on your individual needs, find a reception venue that has an open vendor policy so that you can negotiate and compare prices.