There is a small window of time right after you get engaged when you are so purely excited then the pressure sets in, along with the realization that you now actually need to start planning the event. You loved dreaming about your wedding pre-engagement, but now it’s time to put ideas into action, and you begin to panic.
Let me start by saying, that overwhelmed feeling is pretty standard for most brides – especially ones who are not familiar with planning events. Our wedding was the first large event I ever planned, so I had no idea what I was doing, and I felt just as I described: panicked and overwhelmed. Thankfully, we had a friend that planned events for a living – plus she was recently married and was a fantastic resource for me throughout the entire process.
I sincerely believe that getting organized is the most important part of the planning process. It’s a foolproof way to relieve seventy-five percent of your potential stress. Weddings are put together in pieces much like a puzzle; it’s essential to keep tabs on all of your pieces, so you don’t end up scrambling to fill gaps by the end.
How can you start organizing for your wedding?
I recommend getting a binder; however, I am aware that these days many people prefer to use technology. If you’re a tech-savvy person, use a cloud storage service such as Google Drive, or Dropbox to hold all things specifically for the wedding. I liked having a binder because I was able to keep everything in one place. Also, since I kept paper copies of all the proposals and contracts, I had the ability to make changes on the paper by hand when I met with vendors. Find a method that works best for you; a binder you can hold or online folders, just be sure that you have it organized in some form. My binder was broken down by vendors and also by the section of the evening, for example, rehearsal, ceremony, and reception.
In addition to having a binder, I suggest some organizational or project management application. But again, if you are more of writing out lists kind of gal then, by all means, go for it. Typically I am; however, my husband, Bernard used a project management application at work called Trello, and he suggested utilizing that to keep track of where we were in the planning process.
I LOVE this app – one of my guilty pleasures in life is making a list and crossing items off once they are complete. Trello allows you to create tasks, add attachments, assign them to others, and track their progress.
You set up your board to include the number of lists you wish to have. We had three lists: To Do, Doing, and Done. I then added everything that we needed to complete for our wedding onto the To Do list, breaking things down into specific, manageable tasks. I had everything from “Get Wedding Dress” to “Get Pens for Guestbook, ” and our To Do list when it was all, said and done was seventy-nine items long. I assigned certain tasks to others and set due dates for any that were time-sensitive.
Now, you may be thinking seventy-nine items to complete? I thought we were trying not to be overwhelmed; this will just add to my stress. Well, Trello is a fantastic app that keeps on giving – as we started completing a task we moved it to the doing column and once completed to the done column. By our wedding day, all seventy-nine items were in the done column, and it felt super satisfying. Also remember, I said to be explicit as possible, so for example, “Ask MOHs / Bridesmaids to be in Wedding” was on the list, this was a simple enough task to wrap up.
The beautiful thing about using this app is it assists you in keeping everything straight. You can see what you are working on, what your fiancé is doing, and what you still need to get done.
The last organizational suggestion I have which the friend I previously mentioned suggested was to get an email account just for all things wedding. Give it to vendors, use it at bridal shows if you go, etc. It is one way to keep all correspondence regarding your wedding in one spot; plus, you can delete it once everything is over, and you won’t have to worry about bridal spam muddling your personal email account.
Disorganization can be a gateway to wedding day confusion and unhappiness; therefore, taking time, in the beginning, to get organized could save you from potential issues later.