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American Association of Wedding Planners Training Course 2018

AACWP Welcomes New Students in February 2018

The mission of the American Association of Certified Wedding Planners is to educate wedding planners and to promote wedding planning practices of the highest quality to ensure that client expectations are surpassed. The first step in instilling this quality in all of our members and community is the AACWP training course. ⠀

We recently held a training course at the lovely Lakewood Country Club and a group of great ladies had the opportunity to learn from some of the best in the Dallas industry. Every course we have a mixture of students who come from various backgrounds. Some are already in the wedding industry, maybe interning or assisting with another planner, or perhaps they have been planning weddings for many years but feel that they need a refresher to bring life back to their business. Others might be in the industry but they have never planned a wedding, maybe they are a florist or musician who wants to get into the planning side of things or add that service to their business. And sometimes we even have students who have never even assisted at a wedding and they just want to learn what this whole crazy industry is all about!

We welcome anyone and everyone to our courses and we love to see the mix of people who come to learn from our talented seasoned instructors and learn from one another while creating long-lasting friendships with people they can call up for help or advice, or just a drink after a long day with clients! We strive to not only teach everyone what is important to know in our industry, but also to encourage relationships and show that the Dallas wedding industry is a supportive and happy place where everyone can work together to make all of our clients’ dreams come true.

This February we held our latest wedding planning training course and had a lovely group of students join us for the fun. Students spent four days together at the Lakewood Country Club learning from many of our favorite vendors and wedding planning colleagues and members of AACWP.

     

On the first day our students learned about what their role would be as a wedding planner for their clients, or if they are not planning to be a planner themselves this helps them to understand what is expected of a planner entering their venue or helping at one of their events. This is beneficial for everyone to understand even if they are not going to be a full-service wedding planner themselves. So often clients and other vendors do not understand what the role of the planner truly is and the introduction of how this works is essential to the first day of the course. And once everyone understands how this works and has a grasp on the duties and expectations of a planner, we get to celebrate with some cake! The talented Lauren Kitchens of Fancy Cakes by Lauren is always kind to come and teach our students the ins and outs of wedding cakes, how they are constructed, the dos and don’ts, and how to cut them the night of the event if the venue does not provide this service. That can come in handy at many weddings over the years!

     

Over the next course day the team learns all about the day-to-day of the busy wedding planner. Now they understand what a planner does, so we delve into how it all works from a daily point of view. Students learn the proper way to manage client expectations from day one through the wedding day, how to organize everything and create the documents your clients will need, how to work with different vendors and recommend the right team for your clients’ needs, and even how to design your events if you are providing the design element as well.

Now that the students understand how to run their business on a day-to-day basis and how to work successfully with their clients, they need to know how to run their business effectively. So day three we teach everyone how to structure their business as owners and entrepreneurs. This day is spent learning all about how to be a good business owner from a start-up company all the way through a well-known and fruitful business in the industry. Instructors who own their own businesses show the students how important it is to define your company and create a unique footprint for yourself through development with advertising, building a portfolio to show clients your past work, and understanding your worth. This day ends with running through mock ceremonies and teaching everyone how to organize the basic structure of a standard ceremony along with different traditions including special religious and cultural ceremony aspects you could be expected to assist with for different clients.

    

Then lastly on our fourth day students get to dig into the real meat of the wedding day: the reception! The entire day is spent learning all about how to organize the flow of the reception from the beginning of choosing the right venue for your clients’ vision and needs, creating the detailed diagrams, working with the venue and/or caterer on the banquet event orders, and going through how the whole evening will flow with the guests and the timeline. There are many responsibilities of the wedding planner during the wedding reception and each wedding is different. But this day helps students to understand the basic structure of a reception and what could be expected of them and the whole vendor team. Students even have the opportunity to do a mock reception where they walk through the event from the arrival of the wedding party through the last traditions at the end of the night.

At the end of every course we hope that the students have learned how to navigate in the industry and what is going to be expected of them in their individual roles with their clients and vendor team. This is a wonderful, exciting industry to work in and everyone can have fun and make a difference with a good solid foundation of education. We hope that all of our students want to continue learning more every year. And after completing the AACWP training course and acing the exam, each student is presented with a certificate of completion and offered the opportunity to join the AACWP team and continue furthering their education within a group of fabulous industry professionals to support and guide them. We hope to see each one of these ladies join our ranks and make an impact in the Dallas wedding industry, or wherever their careers take them, over the years.

 

Left to right: Shannon Lepard (Training Course Director), Christina Reeves, Joana Marzola, Hanna Hixson, Ashley Nordahl, Wendy Rodriquez, Lailaw Taherzadeh, Kecia Scott, Jennae Brown, Laura DeBow (Facilitator)

 

Thank you to all of the instructors and AACWP members involved in making this course a success!

 

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About AACWP

AACWP is a non-profit association primarily focusing on the education of wedding planners. Our leadership consists of current members providing support, resources, and networking for wedding planners, as well as professional development, certification, and continuing education.


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