Instructor spotlight
Other Instructor Spotlights:

Melissa Wagner-Gens

When my students leave my class, they not only understand modern wedding styles and trends, but also timelines and how to get best out of their vendors.

There are millions of weddings every year in the United States. Somebody’s got to plan them.

Enter: Melissa Wagner-Gens, PMP, owner of Emerald Events & Weddings, DFW’s original eco-chic event planning company. She specializes in “Brilliantly Green” special events and planner mentoring – planning and teaching others to plan stylish soirees while saving the Earth.

Wagner-Gens teaches the Wedding & Event Planner Certificate Series offered exclusively by the Continuing Education department at Collin College. In the courses, she utilizes her extensive event experience and her project management certification to teach event and wedding planners the solid framework for an event small business.
She also oversees the course’s new graduate externship program in which graduate planners shadow actual event professionals to gain real world event experience.

“I approach each event as a ‘Project With Pizzazz’. All the style in the world won’t help you as a wedding planner if you don’t have a solid grasp on time, expense and vendor management,” Wagner-Gens said. “When my students leave my class, they not only understand modern wedding styles and trends, but also timelines and how to get best out of their vendors. It’s a lot of information but I make it fun with interactive games like ‘Bridal piece Theater’ in which students have to respond in real time to real world wedding disasters”

“Many amateur planners experience what I call the “J-Lo” effect. They believe wedding & social event planning is all glamour and cake tastings and they don’t realize the hard work it takes to make a fabulous celebration. I give my students a solid background of what to expect and how to stand out from the rest of the planner crowd,” Wagner-Gens said. “They learn about social networking, first impressions and branding their business.”

Wagner-Gens’ acumen in the classroom is substantiated by the success of her students. “I am still in touch with all my former students,” she said. “Quite a few have already launched their own wedding planning businesses and one just landed a job with a local prestigious wedding company. To me, those success stories are the best testimonials.”