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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 11-week online program or the in-person course that spans across a four-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 enrolled in the program because I want to explore opportunities in the wedding industry. I completed the program and believe I am well prepared for my new adventure. I felt a huge sense of accomplishment upon completing the course.

Lucy WebbWedding Planner Graduate

This program provided a great foundation for event/wedding planning. Before completing the course, I was blindly planning events. Now I have structure and guidelines that allow me to produce successful events.

Erin BakerWedding Planner Graduate

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

10% growth

Employment of meeting, convention, and event planners is projected to grow 10.4 percent from 2021 to 2031, faster than the average for all occupations.
—QCEW Employees - Emsi

$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 

$51-88K Salary

In 2020, event planners earned a median annual income of $51,560, with the top 10% of earners making more than $88,360 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 BridgesWedding Planner Graduate

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. 

After you complete the program, there is a sense of pride and confidence that will take you through your work. During the program when you are working long hours and putting together your Staging Guide, take a step back and recognize what you have accomplished and this community you have joined. This is just the beginning, and this program can shape you and your business into what you want it to be.

Marissa AdamoWedding Planner Graduate

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


I went into the program knowing little to nothing about the wedding planning and food and beverage industry, but I knew I had an interest in wedding planning.  I gained a tremendous amount of knowledge from the program. It has truly helped me get jobs in that industry and helped me to succeed at those jobs.

Madison YoshidaWedding Planner Graduate

Having taken the online program, I didn't expect Joyce (as well as Dana, her husband) to be so hands on and involved in the program! Anytime I had any questions, Joyce was readily available to give answers, assistance, and feedback. Even after the program has ended, Joyce continues to engage with us and sends us correspondence in regards to opportunities in the field!

Christina YabutWedding Planner Graduate

I was in the industry for over 8 years before I decided to enroll in this program. The program has made me understand many aspects of the industry which builds my self confidence which in return provides me with happy clientele. I would recommend this program to anyone starting out or anyone who has been in the industry. You will be shocked at how much there is to know!

Saneta HusainzadaWedding Planner Graduate

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 11-week course is offered in fall and spring semesters, 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. The course format is organized into six Saturday sessions over a four-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

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 Becker 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.

Chrissy Wolfman

Chrissy Wolfman is the owner and principal planner of Plan to be Wowed. As a Cal State East Bay alumni, Wolfman has a BA in Sociology. She also completed the Wedding Planner Certificate Program at CSUEB. Wolfman brings a wealth of knowledge and experience with her as the former senior catering sales manager at the InterContinental Mark Hopkins in San Francisco. As an expert in event logistics and hospitality, she is steadfast and passionate about raising the bar for wedding planners in the events industry.

 Swipe left or right for the next/previous instructor
Joyce Scardina Becker

Joyce Scardina Becker

Chrissy Wolfman

Chrissy Wolfman

You’re Invited to Enroll

All interested students who can satisfactorily complete the program coursework are invited to enroll. 

Term Program Format
Spring 2023 Online

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.
How long will it take to complete the program?
The online program can be completed in 11 weeks, and the in-person program can be completed in 4 months.
How long is the course?
The course is a total of 40 hours of instructional time.
Is there any work to do outside class time? If so, how much?
Three hours of studying is recommended for every one hour of class time (approximately 120 hours total of studying).
What is the program format?
The program is offered both online and in person at the Hayward Campus.


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 $2,900. 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.
Are any discounts available for this program?
Yes, this program qualifies for the Forever Pioneer discount for Cal State East Bay alumni. You can complete and submit the Forever Pioneer Registration Form to receive the discounted pricing. Advanced registration is required to qualify for the discount.
What are the tuition costs for the program?
Tuition costs: $2,900 (Tuition fees are subject to change at any time.)

Accessibility Services

Does the university provide accessibility services?
Yes, our Accessibility Services department provides academic accommodations and support services to address the individual needs of students with differing abilities, permanent disabilities or temporary disabling conditions. For more information, including program details and contact information, visit

Certificate of Completion

How do I request my printed certificate?
To obtain your official certificate, you must complete all requirements of your program and then complete and submit this form. Upon verification of requirement completion, your certificate will be mailed to you.

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

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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

Number of courses: 1 course 

Program length: 

Online: 11 weeks 

In-person: Six Saturday sessions over a four-month period

Tuition Cost: $2,900 (Tuition fees are subject to change at any time.) Forever Pioneer discount is available for Cal State East Bay alumni.


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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