Wedding days are supposed to be a day of love between you, your spouse, and the witnesses who attend your ceremony. If you’ve attended weddings before, you’ve probably seen some wedding mishaps, but you’ve also likely seen extremely successful weddings without knowing about all the planning and organizing that went on behind the scenes.
Now that you’re planning your own wedding, you may be wondering how on earth you can pull it all together and have the most successful stress-free day. While there are many ways to go about planning your wedding, here are some key tips for staying organized while you do it.
Make Your To-Do List
Before diving too deep into your planning, make a full list of things that you need to do. Some things will be basic, like asking your bridesmaids or groomsmen to be in your wedding party. Other areas will be big, like meeting with a venue, finalizing your menu, and other ideas.
Write down every item that comes to mind, and then categorize it by area. The broadest areas on your list may include the following: guest list, seating chart, stationery, gifts, generic budget, detailed budget, venue, caterer, DJ, florist, photographer/videographer, cake, attire, and your wedding party.
However, you may also need to make plans for travel and accommodations for you or guests if you’re doing a destination wedding, so think through your specific situation and make a list based on that.
Establish a Timeline (And Stick to It!)
Some areas of wedding planning are more time-sensitive than others. Finding your venue, choosing your caterer, and booking photographers, DJs, and other services is essential. The last thing you want is to be a week out from your wedding and realize that you forgot to hire a florist! So, look at your to-do list and set due dates for each item. Even if it’s not a hard deadline with specific due dates, setting up a timeline will keep you on track and help you prioritize what’s most urgent.
Keep It All in One Place
Whether you’re a fan of physical notebooks or online portfolios, keep all of your wedding plans in one location. Some find it helpful to do a spreadsheet with different pages for each big area (flowers, venues, catering, etc), or you can have one large file folder with a document for each topic. In a journal, use tabs to separate sections, and be sure to have a “miscellaneous” area for any of the random things that pop up in your head and don’t have a proper place in the plan.
Share the Burden
You and your future spouse are getting married and becoming partners, so it’s important to include them in the planning and not take on everything yourself. Do make it clear what needs to be done, but collaborate with your significant other, your wedding parties, families, etc to help out where they can. Communicate clearly with everyone about every aspect of the day so that there are no unexpected or unwelcome surprises.
One Step at a Time
There’s a lot that goes into planning a wedding, and if you try to tackle it all at once, you’ll drive yourself and your fiance insane. Take a deep breath, look at your timeline, and tackle each item in order of priority. If you’re on track with the plan and have some extra time, then you can allow your mind to wander into other areas.
Wedding planning can be daunting, especially when it’s your big day and you want everything to go right. In the midst of your planning, do all you can to be organized and prepared, but when your big day comes, enjoy it! Whether things go according to plan or not, you should walk out of the day happily married and excited for the next stage of life.