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The Advanced Diploma in Special Event Planning & Design is the perfect online course for those of you who want to launch a business offering planning and design services for all types of special events; including weddings, private parties, baby showers and christenings, conferences, meetings, sporting, charity and pop-up events, festivals, product launches and fashion shows.

This is one of our most popular courses and covers all of the elements we teach when it comes to planning, managing, styling and producing weddings and events. You will be introduced to the world of special events, gain knowledge of design theory, learn how to utilise your new styling expertise, and develop keen planning skills. When you graduate you will have the confidence to plan and produce amazing events, launch a business and effectively sell your services.

There are 45 modules in this course, divided into 14 Sections and 14 Assignments. You also have the option to submit a Portfolio for review upon completion of the course. The average completion time for this course is 12 months, but you will have up to 2 years to finish your course with the support of your own dedicated Tutor.

Upon graduation you will receive an industry, nationally & internationally recognised qualification as a Special Event Planner and Designer.


  • 45 Unit Tutorials
  • 30 hours of audio
  • 45 hours of video
  • 75 PDF Handouts
  • 40 checklists and templates
  • Lifetime access to study material
  • Practical content and free templates
  • Access to Planning and Design Software
  • In-depth educational content covering all areas of the role
  • Experienced practicing tutors
  • A community of international industry experts

Course Outline


Section 1 - The World of Events

  • - The World of Events
  • - Think Like a Planner
  • - Creating a Concept
  • - Developing a Theme

Section 2 - The Planning Process

  • - The Stages of an Event
  • - The Event Budget
  • - Event Sites & Venues
  • - Food & Beverage Operations

Section 3 - Managing Your Suppliers

  • - Speakers & Entertainment
  • - Travel & Accommodation
  • - Corporate Gifts & Merchandise

Section 4 - Event Marketing

  • - Event Branding & Marketing Strategies
  • - Event Proposals

Section 5 - The Basics of Wedding Design

  • - The World of Wedding Design
  • - Conceptualisation & Planning
  • - The Principles of Design

Section 6 - The Theory of Design

  • - Colour Schemes & Effects
  • - Design & Décor Techniques

Section 7 - Design Elements

  • - Floral Design & Décor
  • - Fabric Décor
  • - Special Effects
  • - Creating a Centrepiece

Section 8 - Understanding Event Styling

  • - Trendspotting
  • - Harnessing Inspiration and Using Story Boards
  • - Successful Styling Shoots

Section 9 - Wedding Planning Basics

  • - Wedding History, Statistics and the Millennial Bride
  • - Location & Ceremony
  • - Design & Your Venue

Section 10 - Wedding Vendors & Your Team

  • - Wedding Catering & Rentals
  • - Transport
  • - Invites & Gifts
  • - Photographer & Videographer

Section 11 - Wedding Production

  • - 3D Event Designer Software Training
  • - Software & Presenting Your Design
  • - The Wedding Day
  • - Working with Wedding Supppliers

Section 12 - The Mindset of Sales

  • - Client Consultations
  • - The Psychology of a Bride

Section 13 - Marketing & Social Media

  • - Marketing 101
  • - Setting up a Social Media Strategy
  • - How to Style Your Brand
  • - The Business of Blogging
  • - Getting Published & Maximising PR
  • - Finding Your Ideal Client

Section 14 - Starting a Business

  • - The Business Plan
  • - Finance & Pricing Your Services
  • - Contracts & Insurance
  • - Portfolio Submission
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Graduate Experiences

When I first enrolled with the Australian and New Zealand academy I didn’t know what to expect or if I could even accomplish what I set out to achieve. The help from my courses and tutor gave me clear understanding and a sense of direction about where I wanted to go and what I wanted to do. Finishing my Diploma, I am now more than ready to dive into this amazing industry.

Cassandra Temple

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Who is the Advanced course suitable for?

This course is ideal for anyone with a love of both Weddings and Events and of course, design, planning and organisation. You may also consider this course if you would like to launch a business offering both Wedding and Event Planning & Design services. Like our Event Planning course it is the ideal course for anyone who has to plan events as part of another role; for example in Marketing or Public Relations or as a Personal/Executive Assistant. If you work or Volunteer with a Charity or Not-for-profit Organisation which hosts events, you will also find this course very valuable.

What is the difference between Weddings and Events?

At the Academy when we say Events, we are referring to events that would be hosted by a Business/Corporate client, Government Department/Official or Charity/Not-for-profit organisation. Examples of these types of Events are; Meetings, Conferences, Product Launches, Fashion Shows, Festivals, Gala Events, Charity and Fund-raising events.Our Wedding units are focused on teaching you about Planning Weddings and working with couples, however what you learn here can also be applied to other types of Celebration Planning, such as; Birthdays, Engagement Parties, Proposal Planning, Christenings etc.

Will this course help me to get a job?

All of our courses prepare you for employment as they teach you ‘how to do the job’. Employment opportunities can be found at Wedding and Event Venues, with established Wedding and Event Planners and within businesses and organisations that plan events. Because this course teaches you how to plan and design, your employment opportunities are enhanced.

Will this course help me to launch a business?

Yes. This course includes our business units which will guide you through the process of launching a business. You will have the opportunity to design your services and pricing and write a business and marketing plan. We also look at social media, contracts and insurance and teach you how to sell to your future customers. Our business training is detailed and very practical and many of our students have launched their businesses immediately after completing the course.

What courses can this course be used as credit towards?

This is the most comprehensive course we offer and includes units from most of our other courses. If you wish to do further study after this course you may consider one of our ‘niche’ course including; Destination Wedding Planing Wedding Styling Floral & Event Styling



Want to know how you can have your dream career in Weddings & Events?

Download our Cheat Sheet on the Top 7 Ways to Break into Weddings & Events and find out!

New Zealand Academy of Wedding and Event Planning

New Zealand Academy of Wedding and Event Planning