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Wedding planners learn the ropes to tie the knot

By Caroline Berg in New York | China Daily | Updated: 2013-05-27 10:16

The ABC option costs 9,000 yuan ($1,460) and the CWS option costs 18,000 yuan. Accommodation and meals aren't included and classes meet daily from 9 am to 5 pm.

Ling believes enrolling in an accredited program such as WBW was "absolutely necessary" to successfully capture the luxury wedding demographic.

WBW's program, which includes 610 pages of content in its English version, was translated into Chinese.

"The institution of marriage is a universal thing, but we authorize our licensees to make changes to the curriculum based on local customs," says Wright, CEO of WBW, which was founded in the US in 1968.

Course content is enriched through adding etiquettes to equip wedding planners with professional knowledge in various fields and also feature Chinese-style wedding practices, such as the red sedan, the couple bowing to one another, serving tea to parents and lively banquets.

Weddings Beautiful China has enrolled about 200 students and about 97 percent have received certification, according to Vasquez.

"The other 3 percent of students eventually realize wedding planning is not for them," Vasquez says.

Average salaries for a wedding planner in China are between 3,000 and 5,000 yuan ($488-813) per month, if employed by a wedding planning firm.

"Most of our students possess an entrepreneurial spirit, so instead of looking for a job with a planning agency, what they really want are brides-to-be for their own business," Vasquez says.

Vasquez says the program helps students market themselves to brides throughout China. The Weddings Beautiful China website has a "Find a CWS" feature where wedding planners are listed along with their portfolios and contact information.

The program also participates in large events where a few wedding planners are invited to exhibit with the program to provide additional exposure for their brands. Students are also offered opportunities to intern at Weddings by Ling.

"I would have to say there are a lot of wedding planning jobs in China, but our students are not motivated by these opportunities," Vasquez says. "They want their brands to deliver a higher standard of service, so they see this as an opportunity to create their own opportunities."

Wedding planners learn the ropes to tie the knot

Wedding planners learn the ropes to tie the knot

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