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Staying Organized While You Plan

081213-stayingorganizedNo matter where you are in your wedding planning, you’ve probably figured out that a lot of information is going to exchange hands. Whether you do things digitally through email or on paper – or a bit of both – a lot of communication is going to cross your desk. There will be numbers, dates, and contact information to keep track of. Take the time to stay organized, and your wedding planning will cause fewer headaches.

A Really Big Book

Get yourself a notebook or planner. You can buy a planner specifically made for weddings, or you can get a binder and dividers and make your own sections for each aspect of your wedding. (Some suggestions: budget, dress, bridesmaids, groom, cake, photographer, ceremony, music, guest list, honeymoon, etc.) You can even find wedding planning apps to keep you organized. If you’re going digital, though, just make sure you can access your apps from everywhere.

Your big wedding planning book should also include a directory of your vendors with contact information. Keep them all together, and you won’t be hunting for a phone number when you need to contact someone.

Stay on Schedule

You’ll also need a datebook or calendar to keep track of appointments, deadlines, and other important dates. You can also do this digitally, which is handy if you want to share your calendar with anyone.

At SoMdWeddings.com, visit our Wedding Planner to find task checklists to help you figure out what should be done when. You can also use them to keep track of what you’ve done and what has yet to be done. (Our planner section also includes inspiration photo galleries and an easy way to get quotes from Southern Maryland wedding vendors!)

Keep It Together

Keep all of your wedding planning stuff together. For physical items like contracts, receipts, and written correspondence, sort everything into folders in a file box. Keep your planner here as well as magazines and other materials you’re using for inspiration. That way, you’ll spend less time hunting for the things you need.

If you’re doing a lot of your correspondence through email, sort everything into a folder specifically for your wedding. You can even make subfolders for each vendor to sort your email even further. This will save time because you won’t be hunting through your inbox for an email that might have been sent months ago.

Take the Time

You don’t need to start planning your wedding the night you get engaged, but don’t wait until the last minute, either. Vendors’ schedules will fill up, and dressmakers need time for ordering your gown and making alterations. You’ll have to compromise less – and probably worry less! – if you allow yourself enough time to plan. The conventional wisdom is that it takes a year to plan a wedding, though it can be successfully done in less.

Schedule time with your spouse-to-be to plan throughout the process. This will ensure that you’re on the same page and not duplicating duties. Use this time to work through your to-do list, discuss potential vendors, and make sure you’re both getting what you want. Divvy up the work so that it doesn’t fall on one person’s shoulders.

Get Ahead

According to wedding etiquette, you’ve got a year from your wedding to send out thank you notes, but there’s no reason to delay this task. As soon as you receive a gift, get a thank you note out in the mail. Between your engagement, shower, and wedding, a lot of gifts are going to come your way. Break the task down into smaller chunks and it will be more manageable. Many couples make a night of it – dinner in, a bottle of wine … and thank you notes.

What are your tips for staying organized while you plan your wedding?