Being a bride-to-be is such a fun experience. You only get to be a bride and plan a wedding one time for your entire life so you have to make the most of it. I can honestly say I have enjoyed every single moment of it thus far. Part of the reason for this may be the fact that I’ve been looking forward to planning a wedding for so long that I’m making a conscious effort to enjoy the process. That being said, the biggest reason that wedding planning has been easy to love is that I’ve stayed super organized. There are so many things to remember for planning the day so it’s easy to get overwhelmed by the details. Especially if you’re not someone who has always thought about what your wedding day would look like, the planning process may be inherently stressful. Trust me, though – the more organized you stay, the less stressed you will be.
The very first thing you need to do is get yourself a master folder to hold all things wedding. This can be as intense or relaxed as you want it to be! If you like to keep things simple, just get yourself a big folder to keep all of your contracts, contact information, fabric swatches, invoices etc. This way, you will never have to wonder where that one vendor’s proposal went or if you paid a certain invoice or not. You will be so happy that you have a place to contain all the things you’ll need to reference. If you’re the kind of person that goes crazy with office supplies, this will be heaven for you! You can make it as perfect as the white adoption binder that Monica goes crazy over in Friends if you really want to. Some ideas to organize your folder would be: by separate vendors, by category (food and beverage, decor, music, etc.), by timeline (when payment is due, when you booked the vendor), by type (contracts, proposals, invoices contact information, etc.). No matter what type of folder you make, it’s a good idea to have a master copy of all the contact information for your vendors. Side note: This will come in really handy when your wedding coordinator asks for this list on the wedding day!
Check It Off
Having a check list is an absolute non-negotiable. There are certain things you should have completed by 12 months prior, 9 months prior, etc. These schedules are so easy to find online! To make sure you stay on track, write up to-do lists that you need to get done by the end of the week, month, or day. Breaking it down like this will ensure that you’re doing things on time without making you overwhelmed or stressed. Having a list of 4 things to do by the end of the week is a lot less stressful than a full wedding timeline sitting in front of you.
Chances are, when you choose your vendors they will all have a certain amount of payments due on different dates. Usually, especially for the large ticket items, the final price is divvied up into 3-4 installments. This makes it a whole lot easier to pay things off but a whole lot harder to remember all of the due dates. I recommend making a payment schedule for any and all payments that need to be made before and after the big day. The easiest way to do this is to draw up a table with each vendor, when the payment is due, how much is due, and if you’ve paid it or not. In addition to keeping you organized, this will give you a black and white picture of how much money you’ll be spending altogether.
One of the hardest things to do in wedding planning is get every single mailing address for your guests. This may take a while (people are slow to respond, have recently moved, etc.) so start this process as early as you can. 20 years ago – this was easy! You had everyone’s address in a Rolodex just in case you needed to send a Christmas card or thank you note. But sadly, those days are gone. We barely know anyone’s phone number by heart, let alone their mailing address. The last thing you want to do it have your invitations all ready to be sent out and then realize you don’t have a single address. This will delay your invitations greatly, which will in turn delay your RSVP’s! To avoid this, keep a spreadsheet on your computer with your entire guest list. As the addresses come in, slowly add them to the spreadsheet until you have a complete list. Keeping them organized like this will save you hours when you address those special envelopes!
Have you been an organized bride so far? How are you keeping yourself on track?
Image credit: Southern California Bride