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Wedding & Event Qualifications – Do I Need Them?

Today’s blog post was inspired by questions we receive from those of you considering study with the Academy and careers in the wedding and event industry.  If you have been thinking about a career as a Wedding or Event Planner, Stylist or Designer, you may have also wondered; Do I need wedding and event qualifications to work in the industry?

To help with answering this question I turned to UK Academy Tutor and Course Advisor Zoe McKeown, who also works in the industry as a Wedding Planner.  Zoe knows first-hand what employers and clients are looking for from the professionals they work with. Here’s Zoe’s answer to the question of what qualification you will need to work in the wedding and event industry.
Officially there is no one specific qualification that will enable you to work in the industry. It is more about matching your learning needs to a course. If you have more up to date knowledge of the job your confidence will increase and that will give you the best chance to succeed. So decide what you think you want to learn and at what level. It is always best to choose a course that is accredited and recognised in the industry as this will carry the most weight on a CV/Resume. A qualification will allow you to explore your own skills and to see where you can best utilise them moving your career forward. It is always a good idea to take a course that allows you to get full support from an experienced tutor to ensure you get started on the right path with the best advice.
This is the same answer we will give you whether you are enquiring from Australia and New Zealand, North America or the United Arab Emirates.

Put more bluntly, you can call yourself a Wedding Planner or Event Manager right now, without doing a course.  You can save the money you would use for a course and put it towards a website for example. But and this is an important but, if you haven’t gained the skills and knowledge you need to do the job, will you have the confidence you need to stand behind the claims you are going to make about yourself on that website (or on your CV if you are going to go after a job)? Will you know where to start when it comes to working with clients and helping to manage their wedding or event?  Will you be able to convince people to buy your services instead of your competitor’s, who may have the qualification that you decided not to get?  To answer these important, ‘but’ questions, consider the skills, knowledge and experience you have and then review our courses to determine if there are things within them that you need to learn or become better at and then also consider how you are going to give your future clients the confidence they need to choose you, instead of someone else.  This will help you decide if YOU need a wedding or event qualification.

A final word on qualifications.  Sometimes we can talk ourselves out of working towards something, like a qualification, because it seems too big and out of reach.  That is fear talking.  Ask yourself what is it that I really want and how can I achieve it. At the Academy we say; dream BIG!

The post Wedding & Event Qualifications – Do I Need Them? appeared first on Blog for Wedding Industry Professionals.
Wedding & Event Qualifications – Do I Need Them?

Work-Life-Balance, Exactly How Does That Work?

One of the reasons that people turn to wedding and events as a career is because they are in search of that elusive Work-Life-Balance scenario that is talked about so much everywhere these days. It is quite normal now for employers to talk about how their organisation operates a flexible workplace with great child care options and family friendly HR policies. Another big area is the Virtual Workforce which is often embraced by allot of the larger companies out there. They have realised that many jobs can be done virtually by using all the modern technology we have at our finger tips. They know that without offering these options they are cutting out a large percentage of the highly employable, as more and more people need or want a balance between family and work life.
So what exactly is Work-Life-Balance? Is it a term that has been invented by someone to make us feel even more guilty than we already do about our hectic schedules? Or is it simply a term that makes us really think about the choices we make in our personal and business lives? I am not sure that any of us can say we truly have the perfect balance in our life – I’ve always thought that was a bit like the ‘Holy Grail’ – impossible to find. However, we do have more options available to us now than we did even 20 years ago.
I know that when I made the decision to start my own company in the event planning industry many years ago in London, part of my decision was made because I knew it would allow me to spend more time at home with my daughter as I grew my business. I was 5 months pregnant when I started my business and it was the one thing that kept me sane through my pregnancy and for all those months after she was born. It allowed me to maintain my corporate life without the pressures of having to be up at the crack of dawn and out the house by 7.30am. For the first 6 months, it was easy to fit things in around my life, as I was really only going through the launching stage and doing more marketing than anything else. Once things picked up and I had my first couple of events to plan I made the decision to send my daughter to day care two mornings and two afternoons a week. It was a good balance for me as I was able to get all my phone calls and meetings done whilst she was in day care, and the rest I fitted in around her naps etc. Was it perfect? No, but it worked for me and was definitely better than the alternative. I was in charge of my own day and was earning a good living without having to rejoin the rat race.

What you need to remember about this type of work is that what works for some won’t work for others. Working virtually can be a challenge sometimes and you need to be able to work happily on your own without getting lonely. Mix it up a bit. If you have a quiet week coming up where you won’t be seeing many people then grab your laptop and head for the nearest coffee shop and work from there for a while. People watching can really spark creativity too, so you are killing two birds with one stone. Breaking the boredom of being on your own and hopefully filling your head with ideas at the same time.
I recently came across a great Huff Post article called How To Achieve The Perfect Work-Life Balance. Have a read through it and let me know what you think. To quote Albert Einstein “Life is like riding a bicycle. To keep your balance you must keep moving.”
The post Work-Life-Balance, Exactly How Does That Work? appeared first on Blog for Wedding Industry Professionals.
Work-Life-Balance, Exactly How Does That Work?

Helping Your Client Decide Their Wedding Style

Ask this question to many wedding clients and they run a mile. It is a fairly loaded question – what is your wedding style? How do you answer a question like that? Helping you couple decide their wedding style should be a really fun part of the planning process and believe me when I say it isn’t that painful you just have to help them understand how the creative process works. So let’s split their style into two – personal style and reception style. Personal style is about what your couple is going to wear, their hair style, the accessories they’ve picked etc. The reception style is a little harder.
Let’s start with the basics. What colours do they want to incorporate? Their colours will form the basis of the wedding style. So what they need to do is to find a quiet space where they know they can relax and sit back, and let their mind drift. Then ask them to think about all the colours that inspire them and let them flood their minds. Which one is tapping away that little bit harder than the others? Which one is slightly more prominent than any of the others?
OK – say orange is the main colour so what to pair it with? They shouldn’t be afraid to experiment as they will be amazed how many colours that they never thought would work together do work really well. They’ve decided to experiment and have chosen fuschia as the accent colour, and what a combination it makes!
Onto the next step. They will need visuals and lots of them. This will help your couple to cement the colour story in their minds and allow them to interpret that vision to the wedding suppliers so they can help them to achieve that dream. Encourage your couple to collect pictures torn from magazines, fabric swatches, paint swatches, invitation paper, ink samples etc because not only does help them visualise their wedding but it also gives them an idea of what it is going to feel like as well. Remember their wedding needs to appeal to all 5 senses, not just one.
We’ve created this inspiration board to show how these bold colours could work for a wedding design. So now we have our colour scheme that will be taken throughout the entire wedding telling a story all of its own and that wasn’t difficult at all. Try using this with your clients to help them feel more relaxed about this side of the process.

Credits: Invite – Sail and Swan via mywedding.com // Table Decor – via Amber Interior Design // Building – Las Alamandas via Pinterest // Dress – Atlantic Pacific via Pinterest // Flower Strings – Jagran Post via Pinterest // Pink & Orange – Mark Rothko via Live Happy By Lisa
Inspiration Board by Martha Tobyn
The post Helping Your Client Decide Their Wedding Style appeared first on Blog for Wedding Industry Professionals.
Helping Your Client Decide Their Wedding Style

Tuesday Tutorial – What a Wedding Stylist Really Does

Lisa Macale is an Academy tutor with our Australian campus, she has been named one of the top 25 stylists in Australia by Modern Wedding Magazine and is co-owner of Styled Images, a stock image resource for creative entrepreneurs. In this blog post, Lisa reveals what a typical working week looks like for a wedding stylist in the lead up to a client’s wedding. 
Here is how a typical week would unfold for me leading up to a wedding…
Thursday: 
Here’s where all the physical work starts. After months (sometimes even years) of planning and organising it’s time to bring the design to life. On the days leading up to a wedding, you will find me driving around town in my van picking up hire items, furniture, flowers, stationery and everything else needed to make the wedding come together. The prep is so important and I will often have to strategically plan how I’m going to pack everything correctly into my van to ensure no breakages or squashed flowers (that’s a disaster I try to avoid).  There’s also a lot of cleaning, packaging, bubble wrapping and sorting out of hire items. I have become a professional van packer and now ratchet straps are a common thing I’ll cart around with me. 
Friday: 
Ok so hopefully by Friday I’ve collected everything for the wedding and I will spend the day making final plans which often involves repacking my van and preparing all the floral arrangements. Fridays can be a little stressful at times. I go through all my run sheets, make final calls to the vendors and check that the bride and groom are all relaxed (well as much as they can be) and prepared for the day.

Saturday:
These is when the magic happens! Our team are normally on the road extremely early in the morning with a full van and bucket loads of flowers! Our set up can typically take most of the day and we like to ensure we have ample time in case there are any unexpected issues that arise. Let’s just say it’s an incredibly physical job. Unpacking vans and moving around furniture and heavy items especially in the Brisbane heat can be extremely exhausting! I once asked a friend of mine to help me with some heavy lifting for a wedding and he was absolutely shocked how physical and time-consuming wedding set ups are.  You have to be prepared to sweat, get a few bruises here and there and use a bit of muscle! 
My favourite part of putting together a wedding is stepping back from it once everything is completed. It makes me realise why I do this for a job and why I love it so much. The finished product makes all the hard work worth it.
Then…. its back to the venue at midnight for a pack up which can typically take a few hours (we have now gone from the best part of being a stylist to the worst). Just imagine this …. you have literally just worked a 12 hour day got home for a short rest and now your back at midnight to pack down the whole thing. This is when I often resort to McDonald’s, more coffee and Red Bull drinks (I’m not proud of it). By this stage, I most likely have blisters on my feet and feel like a walking zombie.
Sunday/Monday/Tuesday:
And just when you thought it was all over the clean up beings! Again not the most fun part but it has to be done and often the pack-down/clean up after is far more time consuming than the prep that goes into the wedding. Everything has to be cleaned, packaged and stored away. We will also have to spend Monday/Tuesday delivering hired items and stock back to local businesses. The worst job – cleaning wax out of candle holders which can take a whole day!
Once that is all over we are back in the office preparing again for another magical wedding

I hope that might give some of you a little insight into what goes on behind the scenes. It’s definitely not the glamorous industry that some would associate wedding styling with but if you are truly passionate about weddings and bringing together a perfectly planned and beautifully executed event all the hard work is worth it.
Interested in becoming a wedding stylist? Get the training you will need with our Diploma in Wedding Planning, Styling & Design through one of our global campuses:

Australian Campus
UK Campus
Arabian Campus
New Zealand Campus
North America
Asean Campus

The post Tuesday Tutorial – What a Wedding Stylist Really Does appeared first on Blog for Wedding Industry Professionals.
Tuesday Tutorial – What a Wedding Stylist Really Does

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