How to start a wedding planning business


Have you been debating a new career as a wedding planner?

If so you no doubt have lots of questions about how to start your wedding planning business. We receive many emails and phone calls with questions about how to select the right course and are always happy to answer them. We thought producing this FAQ to wedding planning training would be helpful.

When deciding what course to take ask yourself what do you need help with the most?

1) Learning how to plan a wedding effectively for clients
2) Learning how to start and run a successful wedding planning business?

Some wedding planners need only to do one course as they already have some skills whether event based or business based. When looking at training organisations ensure they cover the modules you need to learn. In our opinion too often new wedding planners take courses on how to plan a wedding but omit any of the business courses.


Who should I train with?

If you have begun your research into wedding planning courses, we have no doubt you have encountered many, many training options. The truth is launching an online course has become easier and easier, thus trying to decide who to train with is an incredibly hard decision.

You can even train to be a wedding planner for £25 through heavily discounted coupon websites. In our opinion you get what you pay for….

Firstly you need to decide whether your preference is in person training courses or online. There are benefits to both.

IN PERSON – you get to interact with other students and bond over the weekend, plus you get to hear real life scenarios from your tutor as they teach you how to become a wedding planner. With the Business Practicalities course students also get the bonus of having mock consultations with Bernadette which although scary is a fundamentally helpful task to master before you have a real consultation. Students also benefit from Bernadette’s almost ninja skills of identifying who your ideal client will be, and how to market to them.

ONLINE COURSE – the benefit of the online courses is you don’t need to spend a whole weekend learning, you instead can split this over weeks and months. You can learn at your own time, even using your commute to watch videos or go through your course notes.

Why should you choose the UKAWP Wedding Planner Courses

The UKAWP has successfully trained wedding planners since 2004, in fact at the last count owner Bernadette Chapman (conservatively) estimates she has trained over 600 wedding planners. Many of the leading wedding planners in the UK have come through the UKAWP training courses.

She has seen the industry go through incredible changes since launching her own business. She knows how vital it is to be flexible in order to not just survive but thrive. She now also works with wedding businesses through her group or 121 coaching programmes.

Many wedding planners called Bernadette the matriarch of UK wedding planners, she is an expert wedding planner trainer and unrivalled in the UK.

I have no experience in events; will wedding planning be suitable for me?

Yes definitely, our courses cover all the basics you need to launch your career as a wedding planner, previous students have come from a range of careers including solicitors, nurses and teachers.

What support after training will you get?

After the UKAWP courses you will have access to our private student Facebook group. On here students encourage and support each other, regardless of what stage of the journey they are at. We also offer various follow on courses like wedding design and marquee receptions.

Plus you can message Bernadette for support , many students still look to her for mentorship years after training. You will also get the opportunity for shadowing experience as and when our wedding planner members need it.

Whoever you decide to train with do ask what support is given to you after the training.

Will training make me a qualified or accredited wedding planner?

Through the UKAWP wedding planner courses you will receive a certificate confirming you have trained with us along with a logo to use on your marketing materials.

We strongly feel your journey as a wedding planner begins after you have trained with us, that is why we hold regular webinars or facebook lives and offer mentoring to past students to increase your knowledge.

Attending a course and receiving a certificate should not mean you know everything there is to know about weddings which is why we will never use the term “qualified as a wedding planner”.

The role of a wedding planner is an important one and treasured by our couples marrying, but we’re not training to be a doctor or lawyer, there are no requirements to be “qualified” to work as a wedding planner.

Remember the wedding industry is unregulated, so before registering and paying for any training qualification, you need to ensure it’s the right course to take. Speak with other (successful) wedding planners to get their recommendations about who they trained with or how they started their business.

Do I become a member automatically after training with you?

Attending our courses does not automatically mean you are a member. You are eligible to apply for membership entering in at our “associate level”. You are then vetted exactly the same as any other new wedding planner member.

How should I compare courses?

We appreciate you may wish to compare wedding planner courses before choosing the right one for you. A few things you should ask when making enquiries:

  • Who wrote the course and is it a US or UK text?
    • Was it written by a successful wedding planner? This is essential in our opinion
  • Who conducts the training and what is their background/experience?
    • Many recent courses have launched where the trainer/owner has not actually experienced success as a wedding planner. They have written the course because they are struggling for business. You want to learn from someone who has been successful and truly understands the business.
  • Can you speak with previous students for feedback?
  • When was the course created / last updated?
  • What support is given after the course?

How can the UKAWP help me?

Bernadettes approach to teaching is honest and down to earth, often bringing real-life scenarios to the training. She absolutely knows the winning formula for success and happily passes this knowledge onto students through the UKAWP wedding planner courses.

1). Sign up to our free 10 day mini course, simply put its 10 emails with advice  . This then gives you access to our active Facebook group called “Build Your Wedding Planning Business” – in here Bernadette provides free training via Facebook lives. Lots and lots of FREE training to watch

2) You might want to train with Bernadette through the in person group courses. If you are looking for a course in a beautiful setting with exquisite styling – this isn’t for you. But if you are ready to be in a room with like minded career driven individuals then book via our website . Please note she only runs these courses twice a year so demand is high to train personally with her.

“Bernadette is a wonderful teacher, full of knowledge and passion about the industry and happy to help with any questions. I found her very approachable and felt I already knew her before I had met her, as I had previously been watching a few of her live Facebook videos!” Sam

3) Launched in 2018 is our online training platform /, new courses are being added all the time. Business Practicalities is available as an online course 4 times a year and Step by Step will be available in the summer 2019 as an online version as well. The difference is you get PDF notes + slideshow presentation with my audio tuition. In other words not face to face like in a classroom. You get access to our student Facebook group exactly like for our classroom course, you still get the logo, templates and certificate.

“I signed up to the Business Practicalities online course at the end of November 2018 after being unable to make the London course in October. I loved the fact I could go through the modules in my own time and even go back and revisit certain points. Prior to the course I was really anxious about starting my own business but now I’m really excited. The course has given me so much confidence. I even secured two bookings before even launching. Bernadette’s support and depth of knowledge really comes through – I picked up so many little gems. I’ll be signing up for another course for sure.” Sarah

training for wedding planners

4) Alternatively you might select 121 tuition is whereby you can mix and match the topics from any of our courses, choose around 10 topics and Bernadette will confirm if it can be covered in the 121 session, normally around 6-7 hours. There is only offer 1 slot per month for this though. If someone has run a business before, OR has worked in events before this is normally the better option.

“Undertaking a 1-2-1 training course and being a member of the UKAWP is without a shadow of doubt one of the best business decisions I’ve made. The 1-2-1 training provided me with a solid business foundation whilst also giving me the encouragement I needed to take the next step, whilst being a long-standing member of the Alliance has provided me with the opportunity to continue my training and most importantly to be part of a welcoming and supportive community.” Katrina


I hope this FAQ – wedding planner courses helps but don’t hesitate to call me with further questions on 01376 561 544



Photo in the red dress is Hayley Bray Photography 

Bernadette in white Anneli Marinovich

Notepads and pencils Phil Drinkwater


1 Comment

  1. […] If you have any questions about how to launch a profitable and successful wedding planning business via our upcoming courses please don’t hesitate to contact me or go here to book a callP.S. Have questions about what courses to take? Read this blog post.  […]

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