Wedding Wednesday- Beginning your planning: Some tips!

February 29, 2012

When I started planning my wedding, I had no idea about how to go about the budget or how to keep everything organized. I originally thought I would keep a binder full of everything, but as time went on, I realized that I needed some way to have it all on a spread sheet of some kind so I could see the big picture all at once. I am not very familiar with Excel, so the thought of a spreadsheet was a little daunting.

I ended up using Google Docs and it worked out SO well. Google Docs is a section of google that allows you to work on and store documents online. It is very user friendly and the best part about it is that is saves automatically and you can access it from any computer that has the internet. This came in handy many times when I was not on my personal computer and wanted to quickly look at my budget or lists.

And let me tell you... there were LISTS. There were so many lists that I had lists about which list was which! And anytime I didn't have a list for something, in about 2 seconds flat, there was a list! Google Docs made it so easy to keep track of everything!

Here is a LIST of all my lists:

The budget was the most important piece of the planning. Here is how I organized mine. I had a spread sheet that looked like this:

I used the headers as a base and firstly added the things we wanted to do for the wedding and what their projected cost would be. After I entered what I THOUGHT things would cost and added up the total, I tweaked things here and there to work within the amount we were hoping to spend. The projected cost became the amount that we had to stay within when we were shopping and planning. If I went over somewhere, I made sure to cut somewhere else. In the end, it was a very intricate sheet that included every expense down to the last cent.

Here is what one of the categories looked like:

As well as keeping everything in Google Docs, I had a box and a binder in which I kept all my ideas and other paperwork. This included magazine clippings, receipts, contracts signed with the vendors and other little pieces of planning memorabilia that I wanted to save. By the time the planning was over, the box was overflowing!

I also made sure to keep all my email correspondence with anyone involved in the wedding and kept them in separate folders from all my regular personal emails. This is always a good idea in case there is a discrepancy between what you thought was agreed upon and what someone else thought! Evidence in writing is key to success!

In true wedding planning fashion, here is a LIST of my tips for organized planning:

1. Find a way to keep everything in one place where you can see it all at once. I highly recommend Google Docs, but if you are more Excel savvy than me, I'm sure that would work too!

2. Keep a paper trail of everything and keep it all in one place.

3. Create a budget that includes everything as early on as you know. Stick to your budget and much of the stress of the planning will go away! Especially the stress part of it when your fiance questions your spending- as long as you are organized you can always say, "it's in the budget!"

4. Cross things off your budget as you complete the payments and buy the items. It ends up being like a countdown to the wedding- the more things that are crossed off, the closer you are to the big day!

5. Have fun! Half the fun of it is the talking about it, looking at ideas, ordering, organizing and putting it all together!

Happy Planning!

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