Last year, I planned the majority of our wedding. Personally, I really enjoy planning things and my now-husband knows I can be a bit crazy about the details or how things are done. Those who know me are quite familiar with my “quirks” and I almost get pleasure from being annoyed and complaining.
I was asked several times if I was stressed over planning. No, not one bit. I was annoyed at times, but I thrive while annoyed. The only stressful part was paying for it. Wedding planning wasn’t stressful for me because I plan events for work, but also, I used a few tools to make everything a lot easier.
Rather than scrolling, I will just tell you what I used to stay organized in my wedding planning:
- a dedicated notebook with all my notes, checklists, to dos, etc
- Gmail and Google docs
- a wedding website
In my wedding notebook, I wrote out everything I needed in a wedding, the timeline to get it all done and all quotes with vendors. This way I could reference everything I needed to make a decision and stay on a solid timeline. I also love making lists and writing to myself. It’s less looked down upon than when I talk to myself out loud.
You can make this electronically (i.e. Evernote app), but I prefer writing it out and I get a lot of personal satisfaction of crossing things off the list. If you haven’t tried it, I recommend. Makes you feel like you’ve accomplished something.
Gmail & Google Docs
Second is using the shit out of Gmail. Obviously you should have an email. If you don’t, I don’t think I can help you at all. And I don’t just mean with your wedding planning, but in life. So I used my gmail to correspond with all my vendors and put everything into a ‘wedding’ folder for easy access. Simple enough.
I also used Google Docs in my Gmail. I created a spreadsheet with multiple tabs for our guest list, seating plan, and budget. It’s so easy to copy/paste between each of the tabs and create formulas to calculate your total spend. I also created a song list for the DJ and a “day of” timeline. All of these were shared with my then-fiance and we could easily make changes or add notes.
He especially enjoyed when I cut off his ability to edit the docs when his suggestions annoyed me. Another “quirk” of mine 🙂
Third (and what I think is most important) is you need a wedding website. I used TheKnot.com, which is free. You don’t need any html experience but if you type with two fingers, you might be SOL. My wedding website had all the information for the wedding that guests needed to know. I wrote information about the ceremony/reception location, church ceremony info for the heathens, accommodations, maps for parking, and basically everything that people would ask that I don’t want to have to repeat over and over. I also added in extra info for the out of town guests (nearby restaurants, points of interest, etc).
I used my guestlist spreadsheet to upload into the wedding website for RSVPs. Everyone could RSVP with their meal choice online and I exported it and sent to the caterer. It saves paper, postage, and the dreaded “lost mail” RSVP situation. Just make sure you spell people’s names correctly…I had a couple issues with that.
I’m sure some of you might be like, “Hey Ola, I don’t want to use technology. It scares me” or maybe, “I’m not using technology, I’m a traditionalist”.
Well I’m a realist and not sure if you realized, but you’re currently using technology right now to read from a website and to not use technology to organize your wedding would be insane. Don’t believe me? I urge you to use zero technology for a day. How’d you make out? Unless you have a wad of cash under your mattress or live in a commune, you failed.
Some old people might struggle with an online RSVP option so you can send them a paper RSVP. Or you can call them to discuss or ask them to morse code it over to you.
So those are my tips on how to stay organized and stress-free while wedding planning. Use these tips, if not, that’s fine too because I wouldn’t know either way #realist.
But PS – my wedding kicked ass and all my fun guests agreed so maybe consider these tips.