Each engagement season brings a new assortment of wedding trends, predicted and promoted by the nuptial experts.  For instance, 2019 is veering from soft classic colors to bright and bold hues, as in “Living Coral”, the Pantone Color of the Year for 2019.   From larger-than-life ceremony floral installations, to mixed genders standing on both sides of the aisle, to “Gifting Rooms” where guests select their own favorite favors, there are so many things to love about 2019 weddings.

But despite what may become “trendy” at any given moment, there are bedrock principles to planning a successful wedding that have remained important over the years.

To help separate the latest fads from enduring practices, the Wedding Planner Certificate Program at California State University East Bay continues to provide the benchmark for “inside knowledge” about the wedding industry.  Developed by Program Director Joyce Scardina Becker, and now celebrating its 22nd year, the Wedding Planner Certificate Program provides students with the industry skills, required knowledge, and practical training needed to pursue a career in wedding and event management.

Photo by Stephen Lam

Whether students take the Program on campus or online, successful graduates receive a Certificate of Completion from California State University East Bay and 4.0 Continuing Education Units (a nationally recognized standard for professional development and training), as well as the knowledge required of a professional wedding planner.  Students learn about the following topics, essential for success in the wedding industry:

·         Event management fundamentals, including: budgeting, long-range planning, vendor negotiations and contracts, insurance coverage, timeline preparation, and on-site management.

·         Details about key vendor services, including: food & beverage, music, flowers, cake, photography, transportation, invitations, and videography.

·         Information about wedding protocol and customs, with a special emphasis on ethnic and religious traditions, as well as same-sex weddings.

Students enrolled in the 2018 on-campus Program also had the opportunity to learn from Carolyn Wilson, Assistant Instructor and former graduate of the Program, as well as several guest speakers: florist Karen Baba, Owner ofPlan DécorJill Branch, Owner of Branching Out Cakes; videographer Daniel Gruen, Owner of Daniel Gruen WeddingsChristina Hernandez, Owner of Nightingale PhotographyStephanie Hevezi, Director of Sales & Marketing for Black Tie Transportation; and Kathy Newby, CERP, Sales Manager with Abbey Party Rents.

In 2018, the graduates from the Wedding Planner Certificate Program were:  Carter Allen (Santa Cruz), Andréa Clavijo (San Mateo), Victor Colon (McAllen, Texas), Stephanie Domingo (San Ramon), Victoria Haney (Castro Valley), Fariza Jamal (Hayward); Natalia Kowshik (Saratoga), Lynda Lundgren (Santa Rosa), Lauren Maser (Castro Valley), Ashley McDowell (San Jose), Johnette Orencia (San Jose), Erika Riley (South Pasadena), Veronica Stumpf (Mountain View), Jenny Swiatlowski (Dublin), Amanda Verrips (Moraga) and Carol Yeaman-Sanchez (Paso Robles).

A globally recognized authority in the wedding industry, Ms. Scardina Becker is President of Events of Distinction and the recipient of 16 Gala and Esprit awards and 33 nominations for her wedding and event expertise.  She has been featured in numerous national publications including BridesBridal GuideMartha Stewart WeddingsThe KnotStyle Me PrettyThe New York TimesThe Chicago TribuneThe Los Angeles TimesThe Miami HeraldThe Dallas Morning News, and many more.  Ms. Scardina Becker is the author of Countdown to your Perfect Wedding, an award-winning book arranged around a 52-week timeline for planning a wedding, with each chapter covering sequential steps to producing a flawless celebration.  Ms. Scardina Becker is the Founding President of the Wedding International Professionals Association (WIPA), the first non-profit trade association created specifically for providers of wedding products and services, the founder of the Tahoe Wedding Industry Group (TWIG) and publisher of Tahoe Engaged.

The Wedding Planner Certificate Program for Spring 2019 has already begun, but the Program is also offered online each Semester.  Course fees are $2,900.  For more information about the 2019 Fall Wedding Planner Certificate Program that starts in August 2019, please contact Joyce Scardina Becker, Program Director and Instructor at 415-751-211, or visit California State University East Bay’s website.

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