As an aside, we had talked for a long time about getting engaged, but I pretty much told him that I wanted him to take the lead as far as when it happened... I lived to regret that a few times- near the end I was really impatient to be engaged! But God's ways are best, and I learned a lot about patience and trust. Trust in God, and trust in my future husband. I later learned just how sure BL was that he wanted to marry me, because I found out that he had purchased the ring and kept it a secret for months. Seriously guys, that made my heart skip a beat, I had no idea. but anyways... back to getting organized.
Bookstores carry so many different options for wedding planners. It was so tempting to go out and buy the prettiest one. However, I'm such a do-it-yourself-er that I knew I needed to start from scratch and make my wedding binder my own.
I started with a binder in a pretty blue and filled it with some helpful things like pocket dividers, reinforced filler paper, and page protectors. (If the Martha Stewart line was available at Staples when I put together my binder, I might have done some different things.)
Then I divided the paper and dividers into sections that made sense to me:
The Bride- everything pertaining to my dress, hair, and accessories
Wedding party- all about the bridesmaids and groomsmen and their attire
Ceremony- the details for the ceremony itself and on down to the decor and seating arrangement
Reception- This is the biggest section. It has everything from table centerpiece ideas, places to buy paper lanterns, lists of possible song choices, and on and on.
Photographer- lists of possible photographers and pros and cons of each. Now that we've chosen our photographer it will hold our contract, and a list of photo shots we don't want to miss.
Flowers- inspiration pics and ideas for bouquets, centerpieces, ceremony decor...
Honeymoon- BL did the planning for this, but I'll put our travel itinerary and packing lists here
I also have a bunch of documents going on Google docs that both BL and I can see:
Master To Do List- with everything that pops into my head, big or small.
Day of to do list- categorized and with a column to assign to people
Budget- including a tab for keeping track of spending
Guest List- with names, addresses, RSVP codes, and checklists for save the dates, invites and RSVPs
Wedding Day Timeline (long version)- to plan from the moment I wake up until our send off at the end of the night
Wedding Day Timeline (short version)- to keep everyone who is involved informed but not fill them in on alllll of the details
Wedding Shopping List- top of the list? vintage toy airplanes and world globes...
Wedding Contact List- with names and numbers for the wedding party, family and vendors.
Some of these things will stay digital and some will get printed out for giving to people the day of the wedding or sticking in my binder for reference.
Resources I've used:
- The best thing I've read so far on being organized is this post on A Practical Wedding.
- Printable wedding checklists at Russell+Hazel and Real Simple
- Online checklist on theknot.com
*All books pictured above were found on Amazon.com