When you were a little girl (or boy), you probably dreamed about your wedding day. Maybe you even donned a pillowcase on your head, made your brother stand in as the groom + made your walk down the aisle.
Of course, planning that wedding was sooooooo much easier than the one you’re about to plan now.
Now, our real Prince Charming has come along + the time has come to pull the plan off for real (like, for real for real). No pillowcase veils this time.
I’m a former certified wedding planner. In the Wedding Workshop–a virtual workshop for wedding couples–I share with you all of the creative + cost-saving ways you can put together your wedding.
Planning a wedding is similar to tackling any big project. Your first step down the aisle requires you to get organized so you can get started on the right stylish foot.
So that is exactly what we’re going to do. We’re going to get your wedding binder/notebook/bible (whatever you want to call it) ready so that you’re ready to hit the aisle running.
(If you decide to go the online route for a wedding planner, check out Aisle Planner. Start with a free trial + then save 25% off your first three months with code WeddingPlannerCopy.)
Judge this Book by Its Cover
We all like pretty things, right?
Of course, we do.
What your definition of pretty is might differ from mine, but that’s A-OK. Figure out what your pretty is so you can buy a binder, notebook, or file folders that you L-O-V-E.
Not only do want to make sure you love them now, but make sure that it is something you’re going to still L-O-V-E six months + even a year from now when your wedding planning days come to an end.
When you run into your fave supply store or pull their website up online, be sure to throw these items into your basket too:
- Sheet protectors
- Business card holder sheets that are made for binders (if you go the binder route)
- Plastic/cloth pencil case (made for binders)
- Notebook paper
- Pens, pencils, colored fine-point Sharpies
(If you need some help finding pretty office supplies, check out See Jane Work at Office Depot.)
Judge This Book by What’s Inside
Once you have all of your goodies, it’s time to put it all together. Start by dividing your binder into sections that represent each planning stage or part of your wedding.
I did you a solid + created some pretty binder dividers for each category you’re going to need.
Here is a sneak peek of what the dividers look like:
If you haven’t downloaded them yet, now is the time, lady (or gentleman). The binder dividers come as part of the Wedding Workshop or you can download them all for $7!
Of course, if you’re using file folders instead, that’s perfectly fine too. Simply name your file folders for each category.
These are some of the sections that you may want to
- Guest List
- Ceremony Venue
- Reception Venue
- Food + Beverages
- Invitations + Wedding Stationery
- Attire (Dress, Tuxedos, Bridesmaid Dresses)
What’s All This Stuff for, Anyway?
I’m glad you asked.
Place at least one sheet protector in each section of your wedding notebook. Use the sheet protector to collect pictures of the items + ideas that you like + do not like, swatches of fabric, ribbons or other small items that may be lost otherwise.
When you are flipping through magazines or searching online, cut out or print out pictures that you like + dislike + store them in the correct section of your binder.
Take your wedding notebook with you on appointments to meet with your vendors so that you can show them the pictures + samples that you have collected. It gives your vendors an idea of what you like for your wedding.
If you give your vendors a basic idea of what you are looking for by showing them samples + pictures, they can come up with a way to create a similar look + feel for your own wedding.
Place at least one the business card holders in each vendor section of your notebook. You can store the business cards of vendors that you meet along the way in the appropriate section of your notebook.
Be sure to make notes on the backs of the business cards that you collect so that you can remember where you met the vendor, who referred them to you, or what you discussed so that you can reference this information later.
When you have finalized the hiring of your wedding vendors, you want to create a contact sheet in Excel® or Word that lists each of the vendors, what each vendor is going to provide, their contact phone number, email + address.
This is a great quick reference sheet for you to easily locate the contact information for the vendor when you are trying to reach them.
Put the pencil case in the binder. Fill it with pencils, pens, colored fine-point Sharpies, highlighters. You always want to have something to write with on hand when you’re out + about or meeting with a vendor.
Add some notebook paper into the binder, so you can take notes during your meetings or when a brilliant idea pops into your pretty (or handsome) little head at any time of the day or night.
(That’s right, keep that notebook by your bed, so if you wake up in the middle of the night after being struck with a stroke of genius, voila! you can write it down before you forget it!)
Think of your planner as your bible or “other husband.” Take your planner with you everywhere that you go, even if it is not wedding related.
You never know when you might come across an item that you would like to use for your wedding or run into a potential wedding vendor + want to show them what you are looking for a vendor to provide for your wedding.
Now that you have a wedding planning notebook, you are well on your way to being an organized bride. Definitely the right start to your journey down the aisle. Now, the challenge is to STAY ORGANIZED!
I’m Kristie McCauley, a former certified wedding planner + lover of wedding planning. I share tips, advice + how-tos with brides + grooms that are planning their own weddings. Check out The Wedding Workshop, a self-paced course that walks couples step-by-step through the process of planning their own wedding.