The last 2 days have been a total whirlwind... I've barely had a chance to catch my breath! I've been networking, learning, and thinking constantly about this business and my goals for it. Saturday evening I left for DC to attend a 2 day crash course all about weddings - The Bridal Society's Certification Course. What is this? Well, basically, it's everything you need to know about weddings, wedding vendors, etiquette, how to communicate and essentially, how to be a good wedding planner (or venue professional). For more info, check it out yourself!
If you're getting married, you may have heard some talk about "certified" wedding planners, and if you're a new planner (much like me) you may have heard other vendors or clients bring it up. Sometimes I don't think everyone understands what this means.
Often times, clients (and some vendors, I think) use this term thinking it means that you're "licensed" and "insured" - both of which are two separate things as well. "Licensed" means you have obtained the license to operate your business in your state and locality. "Insured" means you have purchased a current policy for at least general liability insurance for your business.
"Certified" means that you have put the time and effort to learn and become educated on the industry standards and what the role of a wedding planner includes (and for that matter, doesn't include). It means that someone else (who is accredited in the business and reputable in the industry, and has an actual program to go through) has taught you the ropes. It's not a rule that wedding planners need to be certified - unless a certain vendor requires it and which case if they want to work together it would be necessary. It's not even that common right now, in all actuality.
Okay, so why did I decide to get certified? Well, honestly, because a vendor I wanted to work with brought it up and I started looking into it. I did some digging and quite a bit of research and found The Bridal Society - and after reading everything about it it felt like the natural next step for me as a wedding planner, and also as a great thing for me to do for my clients. Which brings me to my next point...
I didn't get certified just because I wanted to learn more information (though it was loads of fun!!), or because another vendor required it - I did it because I believe my clients deserve the best possible wedding experience and that in order for me to provide that to them I have to be the best version of myself. I can only give them the best version of myself if I'm always striving to improve and be better - and this was the obvious way to do that. I could have picked a styling workshop to go to which would have strengthened my design skills, or a small business conference on how to market most effectively. But this certification was the one option that really allowed me to learn more information to help my clients in a way that I couldn't do on my own.
Now what? Well, I'm officially a Certified Wedding Planner!!! Oh, I'm so excited. I'm still processing everything that I learned and trying to take all these ideas bouncing around in my head and get them down onto paper so I can remember to implement them. I have more knowledge to share with my clients and better communication skills in working with all of my vendors. As another vendor or a bride, why is this important to you? Because by going through this program, I agree to hold myself and my company to high moral standards, fair and honest pricing, and to provide you with great customer service (as a client or another vendor). This isn't a change in my policy... rather, I have the credentials behind it, and a whole organization to hold me accountable.
So that's a little bit about what I did these last 2 days... but hardly enough to really explain it! If you're interested in learning more, definitely check out The Bridal Society or send me an email!!
Here are a couple of fun pictures from the event - though my phone was actually on airplane mode the whole time except for our breaks!