Category Archives: wedding planning 101

7 Tricks for Organizing Your Wedding Planning

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beautiful wedding day after couple organizes wedding planningPlanning your special day comes with a whole list of wedding planning tasks, all of which can leave couples asking, “How am I going to get it all done?” The answer is organizing your wedding planning, though getting the process of setting every detail of your large, formal or small, intimate wedding may not feel as obvious (plus it can be slightly overwhelming!)

Fortunately, wedding planning doesn’t have to feel like navigating through a maze—or make you as crazy—if you use these tricks that organize your wedding planning. As an added bonus, organized wedding planning also can make you feel on top of things and perfectly okay about taking an occasional break.

Trick #1: Hire a wedding planner (even a part-time one).

The first wedding planning tips that definitely helps with organization—and sanity—is to hire a wedding planner. Every couple’s needs are different. Some couples want a part-time wedding planner that can assist with a few key details. Others need a full-service wedding planner that can manage every detail.

Both options give you the chance to give input and plan as much—or as little—as you want. When selecting a wedding planner, consider hiring a professional that is intimately familiar with your wedding venue, which gives them an edge planning your big day. (And gives you the chance to actually enjoy the planning!)

Trick #2: Find the right apps.

If you’re a couple that prefers phones and computers, it’s time to search for the best wedding planning apps. Ideally, those apps should have a wedding planning checklist and wedding budget calculator. A good wedding planning checklist app should help you track deadlines and details. The wedding budget calculators help allocate funds and keep you within budget so you still have money throughout the process. (Tip: even if you use a wedding app, still have a paper with the contact information for each vendor just in case your phone or tablet goes down on your big day.)

Trick #3: Use the binder method.

Even in the digital age, traditional wedding planning binders are still a common choice for engaged couples. The paper binder is convenient and easy-to-access for busy couples. Every wedding planning binder should have a wedding planning checklist, budget calculator, wedding venue staff contact information (and any other forms), vendor information, payment envelopes (for passing out cash payments on the wedding day), and anything else needed for your big day.

Trick #4: Make the process visual.

If you want to take color-coded wedding planning to another level, take a large bulletin board or wall calendar and use post-its to mark all the deadlines and meetings. For a smaller organizational tool, enjoy the task of color-coding a small paper planner. All that color-coding makes the process visual and easy to break down into easy-to-tackle pieces.

Trick #5: Create an e-mail address just for wedding planning.

Crowded e-mail addresses can make wedding planning e-mails hard to spot. To avoid trying to sift through a million e-mails trying to find “that one e-mail,” create an e-mail just for wedding planning. A wedding e-mail also makes it possible for you to step away and take a break (if you can ignore the urge to open the inbox!)

Trick #6: Delegate.

If you have friends or family that have offered to help, it’s completely acceptable to take them up on their offer to help with wedding planning. You should proceed with caution; many couples have had issues with a friend or family member who didn’t follow through or tried to plan it their way. Instead, make sure you set deadlines and regular check-ins to ensure that every detail is planned the way you want it.

Trick #7: Take breaks.

De-stressing may not help with organizing your wedding planning , but it definitely helps to keep couples sane! (Use this list of de-stressing ideas for enjoying some downtime.) Schedule regular dates with your fiancé (with no talk about the wedding) and outings. Enjoy yourself—and enjoy planning your big day.

‘Must Have’ Wedding Vendors You Need to Book

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beautiful wedding venue for romantic weddingAfter all the wonderful feelings of your engagement wears off, it’s time to face the wedding planning list—and hold the necessary conversations you need to have with your family and fiance. Once you’ve decided on the location, budget, guest count (tips for crafting your guest list here), and date (or season-use these tips to choose the right wedding date), it’s time to go down the list of wedding vendors and start booking the wedding vendors you need for your big day.

Venue

Your wedding venue is a key part of wedding planning, so make sure you book “the one.” Once you’ve decided on your venue style (rustic, historic, elegant?), it’s time to start searching for the venue that checks off all the boxes on your wedding venue checklist. Ask each wedding venue these important questions (“Is my date/season available? How many people can you accommodate? What is the cost? What does it include? Do you allow caterers to come in?” and these other questions) before you tour the site—and never skip the tour. Contact the wedding venue to set up a tour; don’t rely entirely on the venue’s website or social media pictures. Use your venue tour to look for spaces you need on your wedding day, such as a welcoming foyer, mingling areas, handicap access, changing areas, and a beautiful area for your dinner and dance.

Ceremony Site

If you want to hold your ceremony at your wedding venue, ask your venue if they have an area available for ceremonies (and don’t visit venues that can’t accommodate you). If you prefer to hold your ceremony at another site, visit the site and make sure that it logistically makes sense. You don’t want your guests to go from one end of the earth for your ceremony, only to have to drive forever to get to your reception.

Wedding Planner

bride and groom on steps of elegant historic wedding venueOverwhelmed by all those wedding planning details? Hire a wedding planner to help you wade through all the decisions (or to make the decisions for you). If you don’t want to make another call, contact your wedding venue to see if they offer wedding planning services. You can also ask your friends or family for recommendations for a wedding planner.

Caterer

Wedding food is a key part of your guests’ experience, which is why choosing and hiring a caterer is toward the top of your wedding checklist. Your wedding venue may require you to use their caterer (if they have an open vendor policy, they don’t). If they don’t, ask them for recommendations or poll your friends and family for a wedding caterer who makes delicious wedding dishes.

Entertainer

The best bands and DJs are in demand. Decide on what kind of entertainment you want at your wedding, and start contacting your preferred entertainment vendors. Now that you have secured your venue, you can give the information to your entertainer and start putting together a timeline for your special day.

Invitation Printer

Once you’ve got all your major details nailed down (where and when), it’s time to plan out your invitation strategy. Today’s couples have more options that couples of 30, 20, or even 10 years ago. Inviting your wedding guests is about more than just locating a printer and sending out invitations in the mail. Couples today can use many channels, and it’s your job to locate a vendor that can assist you with invitations and the graphics for your wedding website and social media sites.

Videographer/Photographer

wedding foodIt’s time to choose the wedding vendor that can help you capture all the special moments of your wedding day. Decide whether you want a videographer or photographer (or both), and start asking around for recommendations. You can also start by researching local videographers and photographers online, but make sure you choose a high-quality videographer and photographer. Don’t forget to read the fine print in the contract so both of you are satisfied after your wedding day is over.

Décor

Your wedding decorations are a great way customize your venue (though it doesn’t need to be a budget buster if you use these tips). Talk to your wedding venue for recommendations of décor vendors that can make your dream wedding a reality.

Cake Baker, Wedding attire, Flowers…

Once you have all your major wedding vendors booked, it’s time to fill in the blanks. Your caterer may be able to make your cake, or you can ask your event venue, friends, and family for suggestions. Use these tips for organized wedding planning and this wedding planning checklist to help you stay on deadline right up until your special day.