Joyce Scardina Becker is a leader in the West Coast wedding industry. She has owned Events of Distinction, a high-end event planning company, for over 20 years. She is the founder and instructor of the only University accredited Wedding Planner Certificate Program offered at California State University East Bay, and she is the founder of WIPA (all links below). She’s also won a ton of industry awards and is the author of ‘Countdown to Your Perfect Wedding’ - the wedding planning bible, as far as Christy and Michelle are concerned. Joyce is a big deal, a mentor and titular pro in the wedding planning industry. We are so stoked that Michelle had the opportunity to crash Joyce’s class, share her story, and chat with Joyce a little!
A wedding planner needs to be organized, pro-active, and friendly...sure. But a GREAT wedding planner - the kind that you want to hire - is educated. Pretty much, anyone can call themselves a wedding planner - it’s not like we have to pass a bar exam. So make sure you hire a planner that has taken the steps to educate his or herself about the wedding industry, about contracts, traditions, etiquette. It’s more than reading a couple wedding magazines, people! Make sure you hire a planner who is planning as a career - not just a hobby.
Joyce teaches a certification course, one of the top courses in the world, and her syllabus is THOROUGH. Taking her course set both Michelle and Christy on the right track to be wedding planners and entrepreneurs. The course was absolutely invaluable.
Look for a university credential when you are looking to hire your wedding planner. Either a hospitality degree, or a reputable wedding planner certificate program. The one Joyce runs is the only one with university credits - it’s based at California State University, East Bay, and it is now available as an online course as well (which is awesome!).
The whole point, according to Joyce, is that a couple hires her because she is a professional, and then they trust her to execute their vision and handle the planning of their wedding.
Links we referenced
Events of Distinction, Joyce’s main website
Cal State Hayward wedding planner certificate course (Michelle and Christy BOTH took this course. And passed with flying colors, of course ;)
Wedding International Professionals Association