When the initial shock and excitement of your engagement is over, you, being the natural wedding planner that you are, hit the ground running with planning anticipation. As you should! You can NEVER start planning too early. Have you heard the saying “The early bird gets the worm”? In this case, the early Couple gets to have Your Cake & Eat it Too! You can get 1 st pick at venues, possible discounted rates for booking so far in advance, and relief from all the last-minute details that can make even the toughest woman (or man) cry. Just remember, this will be one of the biggest events you plan in your life. Make sure you embrace every moment and remember to have fun!
My advice, to help ease your planning process, is to create your very own, tailor-fit Wedding Planning Binder. Oh yeah! This binder will be your New BFF. With you when you go shopping for your wedding, when you attend Bridal Expos, when you meet with potential vendors and venues, with you as you discuss all the details with your fiancé, family, and wedding party. Your New BFF will be the keeper of all your new secrets…ideas, all your inspirations, wedding planning timeline & calendar, To-Do Lists, wedding day notes, contracts, receipts, vendor and venue brochures & contact info, Bridal Party contact information, EVERYTHING.
Here is what you need:
- Three (3) ring binder – it can be ANY color. Choose wisely, because again, this will be your New BFF.
- Clear Plastic Sheet Protectors – These will hold all your inspirations (such as images and concepts from magazines, material swatches, ribbons, etc…) that inspire you in a safe cover. No ripped and wrinkled pages for you! After all, we are Wedding Planners! **For smaller images and concepts, feel free to tape them onto a blank piece of paper and then store them into your sheet protector. This actually looks nice when finished.
- 3-Ring Business Card Holder – You will come in contact with several vendors throughout the course of planning your wedding. Your business card holder will keep them organized and allow for quick reference.
- 3-Ring Pocket Dividers – These dividers will be titled according to things you desire for your wedding. Bakeries, Florists, Photographers, Venues, etc… Your dividers will vary according to the uniqueness of your wedding. You will not have a divider for Videographer and Disc Jockey if you do not plan on hiring them for your wedding.
- Large re-sealable bag – receipts will come a dime a dozen. You can keep them in this re-sealable bag for safe keeping. You can have one for each service (i.e., décor, print, etc..) or you can have only one to keep them all. Regardless if you have one or several bags, you should always have your expenditures/ budget broken down as you spend. This should also be in your binder.
- Note Paper – Use your note paper in your binder to make sure all your thoughts, feelings, ideas, decisions, are in one place at all times. As a new bride, you will be handling a lot of different tasks at once so make sure your New BFF has all your secrets so you can have EVERYTHING you desire for your special day so you can have Your Cake & Eat it Too!
There are many sites online you can register with (TheKnot(dot)com, Weddingwire(dot)com, ProjectWedding(dot)com) to help track and maintain your budget, guest list, wedding website, etc… So you are definitely KNOT alone.