The International Academy of Wedding & Event Planning is a global leader in the area of wedding & event planning, styling & design education. Offering flexible, engaging and interactive courses via virtual campuses in Australia, New Zealand, the United Kingdom, North America and the United Arab Emirates, the Academy is proud of its 3000 + Graduates, from around the world.
Supporting the Academy is an Advisory Board of over 30 internationally respected industry experts. We’re excited to have assembled the top industry thought leaders from around the world for the 2018/2019 Advisory Board. Members of this board play many important roles in our organisation and for our industry. They provide guidance for our students, contribute their input into our course materials, and are instrumental in giving our students a practical look at the industry by providing a variety of work experience opportunities. They also give input into the Wedding Business Magazine and our International Wedding Trend Report.
The Academy proudly partners with others in the industry to offer students work experience and Internship opportunities and the chance to learn how to use the latest in event planning and design technology. You will find information about our Educational Partners on our regional sites.
We love talking to fellow professionals, who are as passionate about education and the Wedding & Event industry as we are. We invite expressions of interest from training organizations and businesses which believe that we could work together to deliver exceptional wedding and event education around the world. If you would like to discuss how our business and yours may be able to work together, please contact us.
The International Academy of Wedding & Event Planning’s commitment to the industry goes beyond offering courses, however. The Academy’s CEO Kylie Carlson is a regular at industry events and conferences, where she is invited to speak and share her vast knowledge of the industry. The International Academy is also the publisher of the Wedding Business Magazine and the International Wedding Trend Report, which features contributions from over 75 experts from around the world and each year becomes the Style Bible for anyone working in the wedding industry.
The International Academy of Wedding & Event Planning is also committed to the on-going professional development of the industry and now offers a Certification program for Wedding & Event Professionals.
Our Industries Best Leading Professionals
Ceci New York
A force in the design world, Ceci Johnson is an influential and highly regarded entrepreneur, artist, editor, and loving wife and mother. She is renowned for her creative talents, always pushing the envelope in business and design, as well as with her own fashion-forward style and sophisticated brand aesthetic. Dedicated to a lifetime pursuit of living glamorously through design, Ceci has built a powerhouse atelier and transformed the art of inviting and branding.
Born and raised in Southern California, the theater and arts weren’t just hobbies for Ceci – they were a way of life. Growing up the daughter of a successful small business owner, Ceci’s entrepreneurial spirit was sparked at an early age. Many of the valuable business lessons Ceci has put into practice in her own company were learned while growing up and listening to her father in his office from her bedroom next door. Ceci attended Cal Poly San Luis Obispo where she received her degree in Art & Design. As a senior, she was featured on the cover of Communication Arts Magazine and named one of the top ten young artists in the nation– a rare honor for a student. Post graduation Ceci moved from San Diego to New York City for a role as creative director with a major web consulting business.
It was in NYC with an invitation she created for a coworker’s wedding, that the Ceci New York story began.
One referral lead to another, and another… In 2004 and armed with a fierce desire to disrupt the industry that did not offer true “couture” design Ceci established Ceci New York. Ceci was soon recognized as an innovator and lauded as the founder of “couture” invitation design. Her New York studio has won numerous awards including the prestigious ModernBride “Trendsetter” award, named “Expert Stationer” by New York Magazine and won successive “Best of invitation design” awards leading to her induction into The Knots Wedding Hall of Fame.
Ceci New York’s reach spread to a global clientele and soon expanded beyond the world of weddings into Social & Parties, Corporate, Baby & Kids, Stationary and Home & Gifts.
Ceci Johnson has been named by Tory Burch as a “Woman to Watch”, and called by Anna Wintour of Vogue magazine “a favorite designer” Ceci New York has designed for international celebrities, rock stars, artists, royalty, dignitaries, presidents and titans of industry. Her corporate client list includes “The Emmy’s”, Perrier Jouet, Patek Philippe, Mandarin Oriental, The Four Seasons and Hugo Boss to name just a few.
Ceci Johnson is a highly sought-after speaker on branding, design and entrepreneurship for women in business, designers, wedding industry professionals and numerous companies around the world from Goldman Saks to Adobe Software and luxury symposiums from Moscow to Paris. She is passionate about mentoring and consulting with other entrepreneurs as the first step in changing the path they’re on and transforming their strategy, branding and design for the better.
After years of focusing on her own business and brand, Ceci has been able to use her unique skills and the creative power of Ceci New York to give back to causes close to her heart. At the center of Ceci New York’s philanthropic efforts is their partnership with The Birthday Party Project, a non-profit dedicated to bringing joy to homeless children through the magic of birthdays.
Leading Wedding & Entertaining Expert, David Tutera is hailed as an artistic visionary whose ability, uniquely creative talents and outstanding reputation have made him a tremendous success in the lifestyle arena. Tutera has created a name for himself by taking his passion for designing spectacular events and transforming it into a lifestyle. He continuously exceeds the expected with an unmatched level of inspiration, imagination and innovation to create the latest trends in entertaining.
Tutera’s grandfather, a successful florist, first noticed his grandson’s artistic ability at an early age and encouraged David to pursue his destiny. At age 19, with the sound advice of his grandfather and only one client, David opened his own event planning business. Today, David Tutera presides over an award winning company built from experience, dedication and Tutera's natural talent for transforming the ordinary into the extraordinary. His name has become synonymous with style, elegance, creativity and vision.
David Tutera has a natural talent for transforming the ordinary into the extraordinary. His name has become synonymous with style, elegance, creativity and vision.
Honored by Life & Style Magazine as "Best Celebrity Wedding Planner," David's impressive client list includes Jewel, Star Jones' wedding, Real Housewife Taylor Armstrong's wedding, Los Angeles Clippers’ Chris Paul’s wedding, NY Giants Antonio Pierce's wedding, Shannen Doherty’s wedding and events for Jennifer Lopez, Matthew McConaughey, Brandy and Ray J, Jenni "JWoww" Farley, Lil' Kim, the Official Post Grammy Parties in New York City, Elton John, Barbara Walters, the Rolling Stones, Nancy Reagan, Prince Charles, The White House, private events for the Vice President, Kenneth Cole, Tommy Hilfiger, Susan Lucci, The John F. Kennedy Center, as well as countless film premieres and celebrity parties for royalty, politicians and socialites. Tutera has also designed events for several charities including the Prevent Cancer Foundation, the Alzheimer’s Association, DIFFA (Design Industries Foundation Fighting Aids) and the Make-A-Wish Foundation.
David has made guest appearances on Today, Extra!, Good Morning America, The View, CNN, The Rachael Ray Show, The Talk, Steve Harvey, Wendy Williams and many more. In addition People, USA Today, In Touch, Wall Street Journal, New York Times, In Style, Cosmopolitan, Redbook, Bridal Guide and Town & Country have all featured his work. Tutera has also made special television appearances in the popular daytime soap, The Young & the Restless and TV Land’s The Exes.
David lives in Los Angeles with his husband Joey, daughter Cielo and their rescue dog Lucy.
Well‑known for her knowledge and expertise, Chloé Atlan brings 18 years of experience to her company, Aava. She specialises in organising luxury events, with most of her clients coming from the UAE, UK & USA. After graduating with a Bachelor's Degree in communication from the Nice University, Chloé interned for a well-renowned events company, based in Monaco, going on to be the company’s youngest Marketing Director. In 2002, she decided to start her own company with her mother Carole Sebban, co‑founding the very first wedding planning company in France.
The founding of the company in 2002 coincided with the date of her own wedding, which while being a challenge, gave her a unique insight into bridal expectations as well as the anxieties that naturally arise before the big day. 16 years later, and mother of 3 children, Chloé is an expert in creating beautiful celebrations that reflect the individuals’ involved, where no detail is too small, and no task too big. The overarching theme of each event she creates is elegance, sophistication and exclusivity.
Bruce Russell ‑ Weddings Experiences Destinations
Bruce Russell designs world‑class weddings and events – from multi‑day destination celebrations to more intimate occasions. His innovative creativity, passion and flair, coupled with a keen eye for detail and bespoke touches, sees him curate unforgettable experiences which are enjoyed by an ever‑expanding global portfolio of prestigious and discerning clients.
His experience is hospitality, and includes tenures at The Plaza, New York and at London’s Savoy Hotel. Whether it’s a lavish wedding abroad, or a private party at home, you can rest assured that Bruce’s professionalism, strategic counsel and passion for perfection ensure that he delivers six‑star, unique experiences every time.
Kevin Mintaraga started his career by establishing a digital agency
called Magnivite in 2008. Later in 2014, he started another venture in
the wedding industry known as Bridestory, which is now a leading
online wedding marketplace in Southeast Asia that connects engaged
couples with wedding professionals around the globe.
Through his contributions in developing his companies and the local
tech start‑up, Kevin is recognized as one of the youngest CEO in
Indonesia and has received several awards including Ernst & Young's
Young Entrepreneur of The Year 2013 award.
Carousel Events FZ LLC
Gifted with a natural sense of grace, and a passion for creating and celebrating beauty all around her, Zainab is the founder and creative force behind the Dubai based luxury weddings boutique, Carousel.
One of the most respected authorities in the Middle East on all things related to weddings, Zainab has been covered and quoted in numerous regional and international programs and publications, in various languages, on radio & television, in print, and online. She is also recognized as one of Dubai's leading female entrepreneurs.
Through Zainab's vision and her passion, through her love of people and her compassion, and through her attention to detail and personal grace, Carousel has become one of the most highly sought‑after luxury wedding design and planning agencies in the Middle East, and a true inspiration for Middle Eastern women of her generation, and the generations that follow.
Elie Berchan Wedding and Events Creation
Founder Elie Berchan is a graduate in Hospitality Management from both Les Roches International School of Hotel Management and the Institut Hotelier Cesar Ritz in Switzerland.
Elie Berchan has over 10 years' experience in top hotel chains around the world including Armani Hotel, Grand Hyatt Atlanta, and Raffles Dubai. In 2010, Elie Berchan set up Elie Berchan Wedding and Events Creation to allow his own creative flair to create the events that his clients dreamed of.
Elie Berchan is an award‑winning, internationally acclaimed event creator. He is frequently quoted in newspapers and magazines in his capacity as a wedding expert. He is often invited to speak at global conferences and offers workshops at Les Roches International School of Hotel Management in Switzerland to future event planners from
around the world.
Founder & Creative Soul of gettingmarriedinitaly®, a bespoke destination wedding planning boutique with over 22 years experience, based in Florence, Italy. She is one of the very first professional destination wedding planner in Italy.
Sandra Santoro has assisted couples from all over the world, and thanks to her wonderful success, her company now serves as a preferred partner and local onsite agent for international partners, which has led to the planning of several luxurious celebrity weddings over the years. Featured in numerous national and international publications, such as Harper’s Bazaar, The New York Times, Style Me Pretty, WhiteRussia and Yes Wedding Brazil among others.
SnowStorm Solutions / Certified Catering Consultants
Meryl wakes up each morning with a big smile on her face because she knows that her clients are crushing it! They’re using what she teaches to reach their goals and increase sales within a matter of weeks (often even days) with laser focused
training techniques. Meryl has spent 28 years in the special event & catering industry as co‑founder of Feastivities Events, along with its subsidiaries OffShoots Decor and Philadelphia's Picnic Company. She also is the author of Booked It! , Cha Ching and
three how‑to Style & Design videos.
She's ambitious, focused and confident.
This is more than a job; she’s on a mission to help businesses get on their own path to success. Meryl's a passionate believer in entrepreneurship and uses her gifts to support businesses build a stronger economy. Her philosophies have proved successful for not only her own business, but also many other companies, trade organizations, and universities have benefited from her training and advice.
Also a Senior Consultant for Certified Catering Consultants, Meryl has worked throughout the US. Her particular areas of focus are sales and marketing, as well as design and branding. She provides consulting, coaching, and training services for a wide range of clients. Her innovative leadership has earned prestigious accolades for her companies locally, nationally and internationally. She has undoubtedly helped many other companies through her keen insight and an effervescent approach to teaching methods of success.
Combining knowledge from her decades of hospitality experience with humor, she creates informative and interactive presentations. These range from small internal company meetings to large‑scale conferences. She speaks with groups from the heart with warmth and knowledge, and covers the funny side of life and business.
Her recent claim to fame is raising her well‑behaved chickens, Gertrude, Jack & Chicken and her very busy bees.
Events by Nightingales
Kathy Apostolidis is the creator of leading Australian Wedding Planning and Styling agency –Events by Nightingales and Nightingales Wedding Designers. Established in 1994 with a vision to be able to offer a bespoke Wedding Planning and Styling service that embodied the highest standards of quality and service and cutting edge style.
Ahead of the field in the wedding industry Kathy’s secret to success is a collective passion to pursue new ideas that expand the boundaries of both style and service and exceptional relationships with venues and suppliers. Kathy has planned events in Australia, Europe and Asia ‑ her reputation in wedding industry circles is impeccable, with requests for media appearances as well as requests to style high profile and celebrity weddings. With over 24 years of valuable experience to call on, Kathy is now focusing on sharing her experiences in education and training in event and wedding planning and styling.
Pamella Dunn Events
Growing up in the vibrant city of Leeds in the north of England she is a huge advocate of the wonderful Yorkshire hospitality and it's fabulous choice of venues.
A lover of all things super stylish and an avid believer that life is just too short not to enjoy the moment.
Full of fun, committed to quality and excellent customer service - passionate about producing and designing first class events.
Following a successful corporate senior management career, Pam launched Pamella Dunn Events in 2010 to bring glamorous, sassy styling, planning, and design to you.
Having grown the hugely successful Hire Collection - which boasts luxury props and event accessories, alongside the floristry and floral design. The launch of the Wedding Store compliments the brand perfectly offering exquisite gifts and decor details.
Striving for the visually stunning and affordable luxury; planning and styling the perfect wedding, celebration, event, shoot, and party is at the heart of her business.
Her creative vision, unique sense of style, and love of luxe details sees her travel the globe for inspiration and unique pieces.
It's a fun and fabulous event design and planning love affair that begins right here!
Planned for Perfection
Jane Riddell is a multi-award winning International wedding and event
planner based in the Cotswolds and London. Jane has been running
Planned for Perfection for over ten years and plans weddings throughout the U.K, Europe and the world. Providing an experienced, professional, yet truly personal approach to luxury wedding and event planning, Jane’s exceptional eye for detail and clear connection with her clients has earned her a reputation as one of the leading wedding & event planners in the UK.
Sage Wedding Pros
Michelle Loretta is a business consultant and financial strategist for wedding and event professionals. As founder of Sage Wedding Pros she blends her past as an accountant for Deloitte, a sales and marketing manager for DDLA, a merchandiser for Coach, and a stationery entrepreneur to strengthen wedding businesses worldwide.
Sage Wedding Pros produces the next‑level summit Be Sage Conference. Michelle has been asked to speak at a number of industry conferences, including NACE Experience, Biz Bash Live, and The Special Event.
Simon T. Bailey-
Simon T. Bailey International
Simon T. Bailey teaches individuals and organizations how to be fearless.
A best‑selling author, Success Magazine's 2018 Top 25, and renowned teacher, Simon has shaped the lives of more than 2 million people in 45 different countries. Whether advising CEOs or speaking at a conference, Simon challenges individuals to shift their thinking and create their future.
The Party Goddess
Marley Majcher, CEO of The Party Goddess!, has planned events for A-list celebs such as Pierce Brosnan and Sofia Vergara, and now, with her book, But Are You Making Any Money? she has become a sought-after expert on pricing strategy, issues and trends facing entrepreneurs and small business owners. Her business savvy has been cited in The Wall Street Journal, BusinessWeek, Entrepreneur magazine and more. For more information, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org, or follow @ThePartyGoddess on Twitter and Instagram.
The Bridal Bar
Harmony Walton is the founder of the wedding marketing agency, The Bridal Bar and host of Bridal Bar Radio on iHeartRadio. In addition, she also expanded the brand into her passion of destination weddings with Jet Fete by Bridal Bar, a blogsite dedicated to weddings abroad and romance travel. With a vast celebrity clientele and fourteen years experience in the luxury wedding space, her company has been recognized around the world in media outlets including The Associated Press, The New Yorker, The New York Times, Entertainment Tonight, People Magazine, Martha Stewart Weddings, and many more.