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Certificate in

Wedding Planner

Gain the skills to excel in the growing wedding industry. Learn the tricks of the trade through a flexible program designed for busy adults and stand out by adding nationally-recognized university training to your resume.


The Only Program of its Kind

Cal State East Bay’s Certificate in Wedding Planning is the only program of its kind offered on a university campus. The program provides you with the industry skills, required knowledge, and practical training needed to pursue a career in wedding and event management.

CSUEB is proud to empower hospitality professionals with the Wedding Planner Certificate training 

With convenient offerings both online and in-class, you are free to choose what learning option works best for you. Whether you prefer the 10-week online program or the in-person course that spans across a five-month period, you’ll receive the same exceptional training from nationally recognized program director and instructor Joyce Scardina Becker.


Endorsed by the Northern California Chapter of the International Special Events Society (ISES)

World Class

Internationally recognized by event professionals

Distinguished Faculty

Taught by award-winning hospitality industry veteran Joyce Scardina Becker

I loved this class and left feeling a thousand times more knowledgeable about weddings than before. Joyce is a wonderful teacher who will guide you through everything you need to know to become a successful wedding planner.

Elle MitchellClass of 2013

What You Will Gain


The knowledge needed to enter and excel in the challenging and rewarding field of wedding planning.


A thorough understanding of the myriad aspects of researching, designing, planning, producing, and evaluating weddings.


The skills to work as an independent wedding planner or seek employment as a wedding and event specialist for a hotel, resort, caterer, or event management company.

Discover what exciting opportunities await you in the Wedding Industry. »

The Business of Happiness

Where else can you find a career that constantly surrounds you with happiness and celebration? The wedding and event management industry is indeed an exciting and rewarding field.  Wedding planners are able to lend their talent and creativity to an industry that is constantly bringing in new ideas and trends, updating itself with each and every season. Wedding planners can expect to work on everything from budgeting and timeline development to selecting and managing bakers, caterers, florists, musicians, lighting designers, photographers, videographers, and more. 

Your job: Making dreams come true

Occupational Trends

33% growth

Employment of meeting, convention, and event planners is projected to grow 33 percent from 2012 to 2022, much faster than the average for all occupations.
—Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor

$165 billion

The wedding business is a $ 165 Billion industry, with over 2.4 million weddings every year, just in the United States alone.
—Association of Bridal Consultants 

$45-79k Salary

In 2012, event planners earned a median annual income of $45,810, with the top 10% of earners making more than $79,270 per year.
—Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor

As challenging as this class was, all the hours of studying and work truly paid off. I am now far more knowledgeable than I was before taking this class, and it has given me a competitive edge in this industry.

Amy BridgesClass of 2009

Make Dreams Come True

Distinguish yourself from the many wedding planners in the field today by earning your Certificate in Wedding Planning from an accredited university. Professional certification from Cal State East Bay informs your clients or potential employers that you have expert knowledge in all aspects of wedding planning and management. 

I am currently the Wedding Specialist at The Carneros Inn in Napa and oversee all weddings and related events that take place on property. The Wedding Planner Certificate course was the starting point for my career. The course led me to my first internship and my first paid position within the industry.

Brooke BagliettoClass of 2005

In fact, many successful graduates have used this program as a starting point for their careers. Upon completion of the program, students have launched their own wedding planning businesses or secured leading positions with wineries, hotels, and private venues in their wedding and special event departments. Others have pursued their interests with caterers, rental companies, entertainment companies, or other service providers in the wedding industry as directors of sales. 

Your job possibilities are endless. With a comprehensive and dynamic education in the field of wedding and event management, you’ll be equipped to excel even in the most challenging opportunities.

What Students Have to Say

This class has exceeded every expectation I had coming into it. It wasn’t easy, it was challenging and motivating and my life has changed because of it.

Michaela RodgersClass of 2007

This is an excellent program. If you've ever wanted to learn the ins and outs of planning a wedding, this is the class to take. Joyce is an excellent teacher and resource in the wedding industry.

Joyce MartinClass of 2004

Program Format

You’ll have the option to earn the Certificate in Wedding Planning in one of two convenient ways:


Have the flexibility to work at your own pace with the online format. The 10-week course is offered quarterly, so you can start the program when it best fits your schedule. 


If you prefer learning in a classroom and working with the instructor and classmates face-to-face, the in-class option is ideal for you. This in-person course is offered on the Hayward Campus beginning in Winter quarter each year. The course format is organized into six Saturday sessions over a five-month period, making it an easy fit for your busy schedule. Each session is eight hours in length.

Certificate Requirements

In addition to participating in all in-class or online sessions of the course, you will demonstrate your wedding planning knowledge by:

  • Preparing a staging guide, a compilation of documents and information relating to a simulated wedding.  It is recommended that 60-80 hours be spent preparing the staging guide assignment. A passing score of 75 percent is required.
  • Completing a comprehensive exam covering all course material. A passing score of 75 percent is required.

Program Highlights

You can be certain that you will learn everything and anything that has to do with the wedding and event industry. Below are some highlights of what you will be learning:

  • 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 & beverages, 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.

Please click here to download the detailed course outline

Joyce Scardina Becker

Internationally recognized expert on weddings and special events Joyce Scardina Becker is President of Events of Distinction in San Francisco, an innovative designer, and an inspiring educator. After developing the Wedding Planner Certificate Program in 1997, Joyce joined Cal State East Bay as Director and Instructor of the program in 2003.

When students are looking for work in the wedding industry, their potential employers will be seeking the best. So, I not only teach important content, but I also groom students for a successful career in the wedding industry.

Joyce Scardina BeckerPresident, Events of Distinction &
Director and Instructor of the Wedding Planner Certificate Program

Joyce is the author of Countdown to Your Perfect Wedding, a groundbreaking “how-to” book for couples and wedding professionals alike.  She is the Founding President of the Wedding Industry Professionals Association (WIPA), the first national non-profit association created specifically for providers of wedding products and services. In recognition of her accomplishments, Joyce has been honored with 16 international Gala and Esprit Awards and 31 nominations.

In the Wedding Planner Certificate Program, Joyce covers all aspects of the profession, raising the bar for every student, demanding more out of them and requiring that they work hard to do their best, which prepares them to become well-rounded professionals equipped to handle even the most challenging of situations and excel in the hospitality marketplace.

Find out all you need to join the program. »

You’re Invited to Enroll

All interested students who can satisfactorily complete the program coursework are invited to enroll. No application is needed to enter this program, simply register and enroll! 

Enrollment Deadlines

The online course is offered quarterly. Please note that the in-class course is only offered during winter quarter. 

QuarterEnrollment Dates
Spring 2015 Enroll by March 15
Class dates: March 30 - June 14
Summer 2015 Enroll by June 8
Class dates: June 22 - September 6
Fall 2015 Enroll by September 7
Class dates: September 22 - December 9
Winter 2016 Enroll by December 20
Class dates: January 4 - March 20
Spring 2016 Enroll by March 14
Class dates: March 28 - June 12

Enroll Now

Common Questions

How do I know if wedding planning is the right field for me?
Career choice is always a personal decision. Even after many years of loving one career, you may decide to go in a different direction. This program will enable you to explore and learn in-depth knowledge about the production of weddings and special events, which might help you make a career decision. While people may dream of being a wedding planner, it's not always as glamorous as it may look. Wedding planners work long days and sporadic hours. They work most weekends. They spend a large portion of their time in the office, mainly with only phone or email interaction. On the other hand, where else can you find a career that so constantly surrounds you with happiness and celebration? Wedding planners are a huge part of the happiest day of many couples' lives. They are able to lend their talent and creativity to an industry that is constantly bringing in new ideas and trends, updating itself with each and every season.

Is there anything I can read/do to prepare for the class?
Joyce Scardina Becker has authored Countdown to Your Perfect Wedding, published by St. Martin's Press. This book is not only a great addition to your library as a planner, but it is the perfect supplement to the course, giving you a second, detailed look at topics covered.

Participating in or belonging to non-profit associations (such as the International Special Events Society the National Association of Catering and Events or the Wedding Industry Professionals Association) can also be beneficial in preparing for this course.

Are there any skills that might be particularly useful to have in this field?
Analysis, communication, coordination, design, flexibility, multi-tasking, and technology skills are just some of the skills that are helpful in this field. Experience in the hospitality industry (hotel, restaurant, travel) or the customer service industry can be useful, and having supervisory or managerial experience is also a plus.

What items do I need for this class?
If you are taking the online format of this course, a desktop or laptop computer with a dedicated and dependable internet connection is required. A printer connected to your computer is highly recommended, so that you can print study guides and handouts. 

If you are taking the in-class format of this course, you will want to bring pens, highlighters, note cards, and any other items you may need to feel successful in the course. Notebooks will be provided. It also is advisable to bring water, lunch, and any other items you might need throughout the day.


Do I have to be admitted to the University to take the Wedding Planner Certificate Program?
No. The Wedding Planner Certificate is offered through Cal State East Bay Continuing Education, which does not require University admissions for its programs. Simply register and enroll in the program.

How much does tuition cost?
The total estimated cost of the program is $2,800. Once the program has begun, no refunds will be given. Please note that program tuition fees are subject to change at any time.

Who to Contact for Help

Before deciding whether to enroll for the Wedding Planner Certificate Program, can I communicate with someone who has gone through the program?
Yes, please feel free to email the Program Director, Joyce Scardina Becker. Ms. Scardina Becker will be happy to answer your questions and put you in touch with a former student whom you may contact and ask any questions you may have about the program.


What are the financing options available to me?
Traditional Financial Aid (such as completing the FAFSA, Pell Grants, etc.) is not applicable for certificate programs, but there may be other suitable options to help you in financing your program. Learn more about other financial aid options.

Search Results

At Cal State East Bay, we pride ourselves on putting students first, from the moment your inquire until you graduate. We hope you've found answers to your questions in this support center, but if not, please get in touch.

Contact an Advisor

At a Glance

Area of Study: Certificate in Wedding Planner

Ideal for: Professionals who wish to enter the wedding and special events industry, either as a planner, catering sales manager, or any other position in the industry

Wedding planners, event coordinators, or catering sales managers seeking to improve skills and marketability

Program format: Online or In-Class at Hayward Campus

Tuition Cost: $2,800 (Tuition fees are subject to change at any time.)


Please let us know if we can answer any questions about the Wedding Planner program. Many answers can also be found in our online Support Center.

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