Nobody can quite prepare you for the amount of paperwork that comes out of wedding planning – between vendor contracts, bridal party contact sheets, ceremony checklist requirements and so on, it is easy to quickly get overwhelmed and lose track of details.
This is where Type-A personality organization comes into play. For me, this was simple – between an organized electronic folder on my desktop and a hard copy binder divided into each section of the wedding weekend, I developed a system that was clean, organized and easy to reference at a moment’s notice.
However, I understand that organization and details is not everybody’s passion or strong suit. But, when it comes to wedding planning, you will need to dig deep to find your inner-planner and organizer so you don’t – quite simply put – lose your sanity.
Not sure where to start? Don’t worry! I’m here to help in offering my best tips for how to organize wedding information and stay on top of the details throughout your months of wedding planning.
1. DON’T BE LAZY!
Of course you should bask in the glow of being newly engaged, but don’t rest on your laurels for too long. Some couples make the mistake of waiting until four to six months before their wedding date to start planning – this is a huge mistake! Not only does this cause you unnecessary stress, you also may have trouble booking vendors, venues, etc. Enjoy the beginning of your engagement, but get going on those wedding day plans, too.
2. PURCHASE A PLANNER OR CALENDAR.
If you’re anything like me, deadlines help keep you focused and on track. Have a planner or calendar strictly dedicated to wedding plans so you can specify dates for when you want certain goals or tasks completed.
3. CREATE AN ELECTRONIC FILING SYSTEM.
Set up an electronic folder on your computer’s desktop to house all the electronic files that come in from vendors. You also may want to create subfolders for each part of your wedding – ceremony, reception, flowers, etc. Be sure to name each document clearly so you easily can search and reference what you’re looking for. You also may choose to scan any receipts into your system so you don’t lose track of hard copies. If you want your fiancé, bridal party members or close family to also be able to access the folder, consider using Google Drive or Dropbox.
4. … OR CREATE A HARD COPY FILING SYSTEM (OR BOTH!)
Similarly, you also may want to have a hard copy binder where you can keep hard copy contracts and receipts in one place. This also is a simple way to have everything with you when you meet with vendors. I used this DIY wedding binder tutorial when I first was engaged, and it played a critical role in keeping me organized throughout my months of wedding planning.
5. UTILIZE ONLINE RESOURCES.
The beauty of getting married in this day and age is the amount of free online resources that are available to brides. Wedding planning websites, such as The Knot and Wedding Wire, can help you keep everything organized in one place – from vendor contacts and agreements, the guest list and RSVPs, brides would be doing themselves a disservice by not taking advantage of these fantastic tools. Real Simple Magazine’s wedding planning tools are my personal favorite and recommendation – their ultimate wedding planning checklist is a must-have for any soon-to-be married couple.
6. SET ASIDE ONE DAY PER WEEK DEDICATED TO WEDDING PLANNING.
Although you probably wish otherwise, your daily routine and activities don’t get put on hold during your months of wedding planning. So, on top of planning undoubtedly the biggest day of your life, you also have to keep up with other life responsibilities, whether it be your job, volunteer work, maintaining a workout schedule, and so on. This can (and probably will) hinder your wedding planning progress and also cause interference in schedules with your fiancé when trying to get things accomplished. Try setting aside on day or evening per week that both of you are free that is solely dedicated to wedding planning – this will help you both to know where you’re at in the planning stages and keep you both in the loop and on the same page as to what each of you expects of one another.
7. KEEP YOUR BRIDAL PARTY IN THE LOOP.
Your maid of honor and best man and/or bridesmaids and groomsmen are there for a reason and probably are willing to help you with whatever you need leading up to the big day. Consider providing a notebook to your maid of honor and best man and/or a bridesmaid and groomsmen that lists all the contact information for the bridal party and vendors, a timeline of the wedding day, and so on, so somebody else also can be aware of how events are supposed to flow from one to the next.
8. SHARE DUTIES, BE FLEXIBLE, AND DON’T FORGET TO TALK!
Just like most major events and activities that you have and will planned throughout your life, you usually can’t go at it alone. Luckily, that’s why you have your fiancé – he or she is your partner throughout the wedding planning process! Don’t be afraid to reach out for help as you don’t have to do everything yourself. Make sure you both divvy up the duties and responsibilities to help tackle multiple tasks at once. Be flexible in your wants and needs from one another – okay, so you didn’t envision your groom and groomsmen wearing colored socks that match the bridesmaids dresses, but if that is something that your groom really wants, let him have that small victory. Above all, don’t forget to talk! If you’re feeling overwhelmed, stressed or emotional, you need to let it out to your fiancé so you both can come together to create a solution.
If you start wedding planning early on in your engagement and create an easy-to-follow (for you, most importantly!) organization system, you hopefully shouldn’t have any struggles in staying on top of all the tasks that accompany planning your big day.