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Never Stop Learning: A Guest Post by Micki Novak

This piece is brought to you by Micki Novak of Dream Weddings. Micki is one of the founding members of AACWP, and she has taken this time to share her musings on how the wedding industry has changed for planners in the past 20 years. We hope you enjoy her thoughts!

Guest Post Disclaimer: AACWP is committed to continuous education for wedding planners. This is an editorial piece that provides one perspective on wedding planning. There are many ways to approach doing business as a wedding planner and we invite our members to think critically about their businesses. The views expressed in this blog post belong to Micki Novak, and do not necessarily reflect the views of the AACWP.


1997 was a very good year!

  • The Titanic won 11 Oscars
  • Seinfeld was the #1 TV program
  • The first installment of the Harry Potter series was published
  • Texting was unheard of and we were happy using flip phones
  • Key technological inventions were:
    • In-Vitro fertilization
    • MRI scanner
    • Inkjet printer


Now that you’re back in my era, 1997 was also the year that I became a Certified Wedding Consultant after sitting in a class for four days – and I thought I knew it all!

A wedding consultant (that’s what we were called) was a luxury way back then. There were not a lot of wedding consultants – that’s why it was really quite simple to secure a domain name like (In the dark ages, domain names were a fairly new item to anyone who planned weddings!).

Print advertising was king, and potential clients actually called regarding an ad they had seen in a magazine! I was introduced to Facebook in 2004, which fascinated me, but I couldn’t see how it might be able to help my business!

Between 2006 and 2010, there were several newbies on the scene. Facebook had become so successful between 2004 and 2006, that four young men decided to launch a new website called Twitter. Not to be outdone by Twitter and Facebook, in 2007 Steve Jobs introduced the iPhone to the world!

My head was spinning with new technology to learn – and then came Pinterest! The main thing I had going for me was that we were all moving forward together at the same pace. All the new technology wasn’t something I had to catch up with, it was something to keep up with!

I had been planning weddings for almost 10 years at Dream Weddings when a brand new service website called Wedding Wire launched. As one of their first advertisers, I was able to purchase a headline ad, which then became my new source of referrals. My Wedding Wire representative promised that one day, in the not-too-distant future, Wedding Wire would become a household name to newly engaged young couples.

On top of all the technological advances presented, wedding planning began to change. In the early 2000’s, the typical wedding had 6 vendors in addition to the ceremony and reception venue: the minister, photographer, bakery, DJ or band, and florist (Although available, videography was not yet considered a necessary part of a vendor list.).

Even though it was gradual, the vendor list began to expand as weddings became more and more lavish. Pinterest was full of wonderful concepts, and clients were all too happy to present us with any number of photos depicting things they wished implemented into their own weddings. What was once a list of six vendors, slowly began to evolve into three times the number of wedding professionals necessary to execute a wedding. Timelines became much more extensive, and the necessity for a wedding planner became much more prevalent. The presence of more than one assistant became a necessity as the timeline grew.

The question of pricing was a hidden secret way back then, and competition abounded among wedding planners. I always felt that I would rather have a client choose my services because of the “connection” that we had rather than the fact that my service fees might be lower than those of my colleagues.

I have compared the original wedding planning course from 1997 to the AACWP training that is presented today. Without a doubt, today’s Trained Wedding Planners are far superior in their educational background of wedding planning, and much more qualified than those who were trained in the 1990’s. And so, the key to success in this ever-changing world of weddings is simple:


Life often shifts between feeling like you have it all figured out and like you know nothing at all. There are always challenges, whether it’s building a strong career, a happy home, or a better you. Fortunately, every experience, good or bad, ends up teaching you something. If you never stop learning, you will remember that the journey is a series of new starts that make you wiser and stronger each time.

For more tips on continuous learning, check out this post on LifeHack with the 30 best quotes to inspire you to never stop learning.

Featured image photo credit: Joseph Mark Photography


Micki Novak is a Certified Master Wedding Planner
who has been serving the Dallas/Fort Worth area
since 1997. As founder of Dream Weddings Texas, Micki's pledge is that everything will be done within her power to be sure her clients' wedding plans and dreams are carried through smoothly, without flaw.

Micki is a founding member of the American Association of Certified Wedding Planners.




Categories: Education, Guest Post



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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