By Julie Watts
KPIX-5 Consumer Reporter
HAYWARD (KPIX 5) — A unique training program is helping wedding planners polish their skills and gain an edge in an increasingly competitive field.
Cal State East Bay is the first school in the nation to offer a certificate program in wedding planning. The five-month course is the brainchild of event planner Joyce Scardina Becker.
From choosing the right cake, to picking the best venue and videographer, planning big weddings is a serious business, said Scardina Becker. Learning how to run the show takes time and dedication. “The most surprising thing is this is hard work,” Becker told ConsumerWatch.
Student Nicole Kalafate is enjoying the hard work and feels the $2,800 tuition is money well-spent. “I found my niche,” Kalafate said. ”I found a job that I could do that I actually love to do.”
Scardina Becker says hundreds of students have traveled from all over the world to take her course. The program is offered just once a year at CSUEB. It’s also being offered on-line for the first time.
Weddings are a 40 billion dollar a year industry. According to TheKnot.com, the average trip down the aisle costs nearly $30,000.