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Student organization members hone skills as wedding planners

Being a student at Central Michigan University and living away from her fiancé was stressful for Elise Christlieb, who is getting married July 14, 2018.

The bride-to-be joined the Society of Future Wedding Planners, a registered student organization on campus focusing on planning the perfect wedding.

Christlieb said her time with the group has changed her life.

“Not only have (the other members) helped me out with ideas, but they are there to listen to me complain about how I don’t know what I am doing,” the Battle Creek junior said. “Before I joined this club, I had no idea how expensive weddings really were, so doing the activities during our meetings really opened my eyes and helped me realize how much effort goes into this huge event.”

The Society of Future Wedding Planners is run by Detroit senior and President Whitley Young. She said the eight-member organization was created to help unite and educate students who are interested in becoming professional wedding planners or simply love the wedding planning industry.

“(We are) striving to offer knowledge, experience, and connections that give our members the best chance at professional and personal growth,” Young said.

Clinton Township freshman Natalie Bradley serves as the organization’s treasurer and vice president. Bradley said her favorite element of the group is the members’ differences and how diverse viewpoints help each other reach one’s potential.

“I am most proud of the group being able to come together and think of creative things that we can do while learning about the process and industry,” Bradley said. “I joined this group to make new connections with professionals and group members, along with being a part of a club that I see myself pursuing a future career in.”

This year group members have been busy fundraising, raising roughly $300. They have sold pancakes, grilled cheese sandwiches, baked goods and handmade cake jars on campus. Group members plan on raising enough money for a trip to Castle Farms in Charlevoix, where they will have a chance to shadow a professional wedding planner and help set up a wedding.

Last semester, the RSO members traveled to Detroit and visited an event called Table Top Wow!, put on by the Greater Detroit Chapter of the National Association for Catering and Events. Members entered a competition to showcase their designs, trends and personal styles based on that year’s specific theme.

“(Table Top Wow! showed) me the different types of creativity that are possible in the planning industry,” Young said.

The club comprises eight women, but anybody is welcome to join. Young will graduate this semester and the club will be voting to replace its executive board for the upcoming fall semester.

Those interested in becoming a group member can join "The Society of Future Wedding Planners" open group on Facebook or email Young at