Wedding vs. party planning certifications

Wedding vs. Party Planning Certifications: Is There a Difference?

What do corporate conferences, music festivals, and 20th anniversary parties have in common? They all can benefit from the expertise of a professional planner! Some planners choose to start with planning an array of different events and eventually specialize their skills to plan particular types that suit their tastes.

While there is a big difference between planning an industry event compared to a milestone party, is there really a difference between regular party planning and wedding planning? Read on to find out!


wedding and event party catering

Both party and wedding planning require the planner to be familiar with most of the same planning processes. Regardless of your type of event planning certification, you’ll develop organizational skills, interpersonal skills, forward thinking skills, problem-solving skills, and be expected to be a well of creativity and possess an eye for detail.

These attributes and skills are all necessary in order to do the following:

  • Goal: Your goal is to make sure your client and their guests enjoy themselves in the celebration and that everything goes smoothly.
  • Program design: You have to design the appropriate program with the appropriate rituals (if applicable) to achieve the goals.
  • Traditions: You’ll need to be familiar with cultural and/or religious traditions from around the world no matter the kind of party you’re planning.
  • Employment: You can become your own boss!
  • Vendors & Suppliers: You may not need to hire many vendors for Kyle’s 8th birthday party, but you will for cocktail parties, Quinceañeras, and big holiday parties.
  • Creative event components: You oversee décor, media (photography), and entertainment.
  • Client relations: You have to be professional when interacting with your clients before, during, and after events.
  • Budget: You have to be able to work within your client’s defined budget.
  • Flexibility: You can expect to work unusual and long hours, especially in the days leading up to an event.


cookie decorated with bride and groom icing

Despite the many similarities between the two, there is a reason why many schools offer wedding planning as a separate course from regular event or party planning. The fact of the matter is that wedding planning is really involved. It takes a lot more time and energy to plan a full-service wedding compared to a birthday party. Let’s see where the big differences lie:

  • Nature of the events: While some parties can be private, public, or semi-exclusive, weddings are mainly private affairs!
  • Emotional weight of the event: While bar/bat mitzvahs and Quinceañeras can be emotional, they don’t quite carry the same emotional weight of uniting two families and two people under the wedding arch.
  • Venue locations: Unusual locations are popular for weddings, and with them come more logistical planning.
  • Duties: Wedding planners find themselves doing extra duties such as consulting on the bride’s dress and the wedding party’s attire.
  • Number of sub events: Full-service planning often involves your coordination of pre-wedding gatherings such as stag and does, bachelor/bachelorette parties, and bridal showers—not to mention the wedding rehearsal, ceremony, reception, honeymoon, and travel arrangements.
  • Length of time: Weddings can be more complicated and typically take longer to plan.

The final verdict:

There isn’t a world of difference between party and wedding planning. The basic event components remain the same so you can expect a similar curriculum in your courses. Milestone events are the most similar to weddings when it comes to regular parties. The main differences between them come to light when you’re tailoring your services and familiarizing yourself with specific cultural traditions and rituals. No matter the path you choose, you’ve got an exciting career ahead of you!

The road to achieving your certification isn’t easy to navigate. Check out this article to find out what’s in store for you!

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