This is the third of a five-part series written to help brides who are planning their weddings. The “Five Things” are my wedding-day must-haves. They’re the things, in my opinion, that are non-negotiables for your wedding day to run smoothly. ENJOY! I hope you find these posts helpful. Check back each Wednesday for the next “Five Things” post.
Planning a wedding can be overwhelming. There are so many decisions to make…venue, flowers, food, photography, wedding party attire, decorations, favors, etc. The list seems never ending.
So in addition to a great wedding coordinator and a detailed timeline, the third thing you need to make sure your wedding day is great is some way to organize all the information you’ll be sorting through while you’re planning. Having everything organized in one place, will help you think through and plan better which will make your wedding day more relaxed.
There are several options for organizational systems. You can choose an old-fashioned notebook type planner, a digital variety, or a hybrid of the two.
No matter how advanced technology gets, there are people who will always prefer paper. They like the way it feels, looks and even smells. If you’re one of those tactile types, have no fear, there are several great wedding planner notebook systems available or you can create your own. I don’t have a personal favorite notebook, but a quick Google search will show you dozens of options.
If you want to create your own notebook, here’s my recommendation:
1) Get a three-ring binder, the prettier the better.
2) Get dividers with pockets for your notebook, and create the following sections in your notebook: Calendar, Venue, Attire, Flowers & Other Decor, Cake, Photography, Gifts, Food, Ceremony, Reception, Rehearsal and Rehearsal Dinner. Carry your wedding planning notebook with you everywhere, and use it to track your appointments, store information you get from potential vendors as well as keep notes of your ideas.
Trello is a free online list-keeping, task management system that is perfect for wedding planning. It’s user-friendly and can be customized easily; you can even assign tasks to other Trello users. With an online task management system, you’ll always have your notes with you as long as you have your smart phone or laptop, and you can share your Trello boards with your wedding coordinator, family members, and wedding party. HERE is a blog post about how to use Trello for your wedding plans.
If you want to use online systems for your wedding planning, you’ll also want to have some type of online calendar system (like Google calendar or iCal) and a note-keeping system like Evernote. Your calendar system will help you keep up with appointments and deadlines, while a note-keeping system will be important for storing information from vendors, keeping contact information, and storing ideas for every part of your day.
A third organizational option is to use a paper organizer combined with an online system to plan your wedding. I use this type of organizational hybrid with my photography business as well as for my personal life. I like the convenience of online access but also find writing things down very helpful. I use an online calendar for the month-in-view and then a color-coded paper calendar for weekly and daily appointments. I find the visual of color and the act of writing to be really helpful for remembering my commitments.
Whether you choose a paper or online organization system or a combination of the two, having tools that help you sort and store the vast amount of information that goes into making a wedding day, will make the planning part easier and the actual wedding day better.
As you move forward in your planning, I’d love to hear what is and isn’t working for you. What type of system works best for you? What does and doesn’t work for your personality?