If you love the idea of planning and organising a wedding, and the thought of having bridezilla as a client doesn't scare you, two Hong Kong-based programmes can lead you down the path to a blissful career.
Last month, The Wedding Academy (www.twa.hk) opened in Sheung Wan. Launched by Michele Li, founder of The Wedding Company, the academy offers courses covering everything from basic wedding planning and event management to Chinese customs and tabletop styling, with each course length varying from 12 to 36 hours.
'While wedding and event planning is attractive to potential job-seekers, not many realise what it entails,' Li says. 'With various programmes on offer, we hope that students will have a better understanding of weddings in general and for those who are more serious and intent on entering the field, we will offer intermediate courses.' Most of the courses begin next month.
'Prior to joining The Wedding Company, most of my staff had enrolled in some wedding-planning courses, but found that it was very theory-based and lacking experience,' Li says. 'They said that once they started working as a planner, it was so different from what they had learned. We aim to provide students with more practical knowledge.'
Course work will involve writing ceremony scripts, master-of-ceremony scripts, preparing timelines and checklists. Another important aspect deals with thinking on your feet, particularly when dealing with weather issues and contingency plans. 'A wedding planner has to be a problem-solver at the end of the day,' Li says.
As the sector in Hong Kong continues to grow, couples are spending more on the big day. 'Weddings are becoming more luxurious, even for couples on a budget. They may choose one element of their wedding that they wish to be a bit more extravagant with, be it a better wedding photographer or letterpress wedding invitations,' she says.
Li believes the biggest insights for students will come from learning about the hard work and dedication that goes into a large-scale wedding. 'Hopefully, the programme will raise the standards of the industry as a whole and provide students with a realistic look at all the different aspects of a wedding, from how to work with vendors to working out the day's schedule,' she says.
The Li Ka Shing Institute of Professional and Continuing Education at the Open University of Hong Kong (www.ouhk.edu.hk) also offers a certificate in wedding-planning management, in collaboration with Katemagg Event and Wedding (www.katemagg.com).
Students gain a solid foundation in wedding planning, which includes Chinese and Western etiquette, how to execute plans for different types of local and overseas weddings, master-of-ceremony techniques and how to present proposals to clients.