New wedding planning certificate available to all students

Reanna Comiso, Features Editor

In the Fall 2018 semester, College of Dupage students can learn about the art, history and preparations for planning a wedding with the new Wedding Planning Management Certificate program.

The certificate was offered for the first time in the Spring 2018 semester to all students. The program aims to teach students how to plan a wedding from the beginning leading up to the final event. HOSP-2256 is the only course required to earn the certificate. The program consists of only four-credits, all earned in one class, as part of the Hospitality and Tourism program.

Wedding planning was nationally recognized as an AACC 21st Century Best Practice, because of the growth and popularity of the profession.

“The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts that the meeting and event planning industry will see a significant increase in jobs over the next decade, with wedding planning being one of the main areas of growth,” said Mary Beth Leone, professor and program coordinator of hospitality.

The class is meant to be an affordable, accredited option for students interested in the wedding industry. Students learn the history of marriage, cultural and ethnic elements in weddings, consumerism, destination weddings and stress management.

Students will then apply themselves by interviewing industry professionals, participating in case studies and attending guest lectures. The program will also include a focus on entrepreneurship, as many wedding planners aspire to start their own businesses, according to Leone.

“Millennials are getting married at a later age, and they’re busy with their careers,” said Leone. “Their parents often do not assist in the planning process, and they are in need of quality planning on a budget. This makes the role of wedding planners much more important.”

No prerequisites are required to enroll in the program, “just a genuine desire to help families navigate through a very important day,” said Leone.

Since the course began, 25 students have been awarded their certificate, with 15 more students expecting to earn their certificate by the end of the semester. The course will eventually be offered online as well for students unable to make it to campus.