AACWP Training

Are you considering a career as a wedding planner?


Here’s how it works:

AACWP's training is the first step towards a successful career as a Certified Wedding Planner. Upon training course completion, you will receive a course completion certificate.  You are then eligible to apply for membership as a Trained Wedding Planner (TWP) with AACWP.

AACWP has three designations for its members:

Trained Wedding Planner
Certified Wedding Planner
Certified Master Wedding Planner

AACWP has been training professional wedding planners since 2007. Brides and vendors in the industry look for professional planners, and they know the first thing to ensure competency is training and certification. There are many programs available, but only AACWP offers you an excellent curriculum, a mentor experience, continuing education, and fellowship with other professional planners.

Training Course

AACWP's four training courses provide in-depth training by experienced professional planners, along with guest speakers chosen from among the top wedding industry vendors. Our Training Course Committee continually strives to review, update and ensure the attendees receive the most current information on wedding planning, how to build a business, and trends in the industry. AACWP believes in the importance of great education and growth. As we expand our course and broaden our curriculum, we encourage you to join us!

Payment for the complete course includes:

  • Continental breakfast, lunch and light snack each day
  • All training materials in digital format include our course book, handouts and exercises
  • Online examination at the end of each course day




Following is a breakdown of what each course day offers:

Course 1

  • Defining the Role of the Wedding Planner
    Identify skills needed
    Service categories and different services offered by professional planners
    Understanding services offered by professional planners
  • Presentations, Personality and the Interview
    Professionalism and Personality
    The initial Interview
  • Cake!
    Types of frostings
    Consultation Do's and Don'ts
    How to cut

Course 2

  • Basics of Planning
    First phone call/email correspondence
    Building a budget
    Wedding planning timeline
    Assembling the "Dream Team" for your client
  • Choosing Vendors
    Building a contact list
    Compiling your data base
  • Handling Emergencies
    How to prepare and handle as a planner
    Emergency Kit
  • Design
    Different approaches
    Working with your client
    Trends and themes
    Incorporating into your services
    Styled shoots

Aug 2014 Austin class photo

Course 3

  • Business Fundamentals
    Business ownership
    Start-up information
  • Business Plan
    Defining and Developing your business
    Building your portfolio
  • Pricing
    Operating costs vs. price
    Pricing your services through different fee structures
  • Ceremony Planning
    Basic elements and ceremony structure
    Religious and Cultural traditions
    Mock rehearsal and ceremony walk-through


Course 4

  • Reception
    Choosing a venue
    Floor plan - table sizes, seating, dance floors, etc.
    Banquet Event Orders
    Reception traditions and etiquette
    Role of planner during reception
    Mock reception walk-through


Each course is taught in one day. To receive a Certificate of Completion, you must attend each course, pass the examination at the end of each day, and complete and pass the assigned homework within a 24-month period. For those who take the course days separately, homework will be assigned after the final course is completed.


Frequently Asked Questions

1. Does AACWP offer an online course?
Yes! Our online course consists of webinars, videos, and digital downloads of course materials. Each student has two months to complete the entire course (4 sections divided over two-week periods each). The best part? They still get direct interaction with our amazing instructors in live Q&A sessions scheduled for each section! Click for more information.

2. Can you recommend a course in my area?
We do not have a list of courses taught by other organizations or listed by area.  We encourage you to reach out to your local industry organizations if you prefer local training opportunities.

3. Does this course apply to my area?
Yes!  AACWP developed these courses using general information that applies to most weddings in the United States.  We do not focus on a geographic area other than we invite local vendors as guest speakers to the courses.

4. Do you allow international students?
Yes, however, we do not offer certification to international students as this requires a membership. Membership is only available to those in the United States.

5. Will I be certified after taking the course?
After the course, if you complete all requirements, you will receive a Certificate of Completion.  To become a Certified Wedding Planner, you must become a member of AACWP and complete the requirements listed here.

6. How long is the course?
Each in-house course day is from 8:30 am to approximately 5:30 pm.

7. When and where will the next course be?
Typically, dates are announced and registration is available three months prior to courses. Information can be found on our Homepage and on the Certification page of our website. The best way to learn about future courses is to sign up to receive our emails on our Homepage (lower right corner).

8. Who can I contact with more questions?
Please contact our Training Course Director, Shannon Lepard, with questions about our courses at tcd@aacwp.org




  • Each course day is $400. An advance registration rate of $350 per course will be available to students who register and submit payment prior to the deadline stated on the application.
  • PLEASE NOTE - Applications received without payment will not be processed.
  • Many questions you might have will be answered in the “Frequently Asked Questions” located on the lower left section of this page.
  • For additional information~
    Shannon Lepard, Training Course Director  844.202.2297, ext. 1
  • Please register to receive our email if you wish to be notified about future Wedding Planner Training Courses.

In-house Training
February 4 - 8, 2019
Lakewood Country Club



What some of our students are saying~

"My favorite part about this course was that we got to learn from a lot of different planners and industry professionals about the industry in different aspects of planning a wedding. Learning how to budget to run a company and learning each point of contact with vendors and clients for a wedding really helped me understand how I can do better in my job every day."

"It was very thorough. Having some industry experience and still learning something new each day was really awesome."

"I think that everything taught was complete, and it was really incredible to learn all the things from this class. I learned some things that I was doing wrong and things that could really help me improve and make myself a better wedding planner."

"The professionals who came to speak to us each day were so prepared, so open, so knowledgeable. They were incredibly engaged, and it was obvious how much they care about the AACWP and our success."

"I loved the information I got from this course. It definitely lived up to the hype and I'm excited about the continuing education meetings if they are anything like this education."


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