Staying Organized While Planning Your Wedding

Wedding season is upon us! Are you or anyone you know recently engaged or in the process of planning a wedding? Weddings often don’t go exactly as planned, and that’s why it is important to stay as organized as possible.
Here are some tips from my own personal experience, as well as tips I wish I had when I was planning mine:
  1. Keep all of your wedding planning information together, whether it be a word document (or several), a binder, a notebook etc. This doesn’t mean that you have to go out and purchase a brand-new “wedding planning” book for $60, but even a notebook from the dollar store can work well. If there is a way to separate this book by sections (venue, food, attire, décor) it will make it a lot easier to reference back to whichever subject you are looking for. But the key is to keep everything wedding-related together, that way you don’t lose the contact info for a great photographer, or forget where it was that you saw that really beautiful centerpiece idea. Use this book as a catch-all for information: tape in business cards, paste in pictures, jot down ideas – plus this makes for a beautiful scrapbook that you can cherish and pass on.
  2. Keep track of your spending – either have an excel document with costs for everything, or another page in your notebook. Keep your budget for the wedding at the top of the sheet – that way you can always refer back to it to make sure you are on track. Keep all receipts for wedding expenses in a folder that way you can return things if needed, or if you find a better deal on something, but also to see your grand total at the end.
  3. Keep a folder in your email (or a separate email account if you prefer), to file away anything wedding-related. That way if you need to look something up, you don’t have to scroll through your inbox.
  4. Set aside time every week (even just an hour or two) to make phone calls, research local venues/caterers, design centrepieces etc. That way you don’t feel like you’re always planning your wedding, but instead you have a designated time to do it.
  5. Don’t try to do it all yourself. Are there things on your list that you’re really not looking forward to doing? You don’t have to do it ALL! You have your fiance, bridesmaids, family members that are willing and able to help you out. You may find there are people that are better at making phone calls or doing creative things than you, and you may as well get their assistance! Just make sure that they know what you are looking for, so you don’t have unexpected things happening.
  6. Start early! Though honestly this one probably doesn’t even need to be here. I feel like most future brides start planning the day that they are proposed to. But don’t procrastinate on planning, because there are always a few last-minute things that arise, and it will be better if you are done with the major planning well in advance.
  7. Have an excel document on your computer with a list of everyone that you’ve invited. Have columns for: whether they’ve RSVPd, who their guest is, what their song request is, and if you’re having a potluck like I did, have a column for what dish they’re bringing, or if you’re doing catering, write down whether they have any allergies/food preferences. By keeping it all together it makes it a lot easier to refer back to. Also keep this document for after the wedding itself, and keep track of what gifts they got you, and whether you’ve written a thank you note yet.
  8. When doing your seating plan, draw a diagram of where you want the tables to be and how many people can sit at a table. Write each guests’ name on a small sticky note and colour code them if possible (bride vs groom side, family vs friends). Place the names as best you can, and then if there are any changes/cancellations you can easily move around the names without having to make a whole new diagram.
  9. When sending out invitations, write a number corresponding with the invitations and RSVP card so that if someone sends you back an RSVP card without their name, you will know who you sent it to.
Happy planning! They key is to keep all information together, delegating if possible, and starting as early as possible. Hopefully these tips will help the process go smoother and less stressful!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Photos by Racheal Stevens Photography http://www.rachealstevensphotography.com/