Founding Members: Karen Radford, Shari Johns, Laura DeBow, Marsha Ballard French, Trudy Baade (not pictured: Micki Novak, Jenny Cline)


AACWP began in 2007, created by wedding professionals who saw the need for an organization dedicated to the education of those seeking to become wedding planners, and to elevate those already in the field through certification and continuing education. These founding members were Marsha Ballard-French, Trudy Baade, Jenny Cline, Laura DeBow, Shari Johns, Micki Novak, and Karen Radford. In creating the American Association of Certified Wedding Planners, they established member statuses that reflect not only a planner’s education but experience level, recognizing them for the hard work they have put in, whether to become a Trained Wedding Planner, Certified Wedding Planner or Certified Master Wedding Planner.

They created high standards for each of these titles, and a code of ethics for all members to uphold in their businesses. Through AACWP, they created a network of support for wedding planners, catering managers, event managers and venue managers, each known for their role in planning and executing weddings. This premier group created and produced their first training course in 2007. Since then, they have produced courses each year, updating the curriculum to make sure their students received the best education in the wedding industry to set them up for success as well as polish the skills of those already in their careers.

The board of AACWP is filled with volunteers each year, each dedicated to helping and supporting the membership through their different roles. Our Executive Director sees to the day-to-day needs of the organization, while our Training Course Director sees to the needs of our ever-changing training courses, instructors and students. Our membership volunteers in various committee roles, helping with everything from creating our annual Vendi Awards (the premier industry awards gala in Dallas-Fort Worth) to developing our curriculum and continuing education events.