Wedding planning is hard, guys. There’s no denying it. Whether you’ve hired an expert planner to do the work, roped in your friends and family to help or are tackling it all on your own, the tasks add up, and they add up quickly. When there’s so much to do and you’re dealing with so many different people, being unorganized really isn’t an option. You risk missing payments, angering your vendors or the nightmare of letting something obvious slip through the cracks, like making sure you have utensils to cut the cake or remembering to pick up the cake in the first place!
Organization isn’t everyone’s forte. If you’re the type of person who pledges every new year to implement new organizational habits that never seem to come to fruition, don’t worry! We’ve talked to our Love Listers who have learned a thing or two about staying organized working in the wedding industry, and they’re sharing their expert tips and tricks to help you get through wedding planning like a well-oiled machine.
Tools, Tools, Tools
There are an abundance of available resources when it comes to wedding planning, so make it easier on yourself and take advantage of all the incredibly helpful tools out there. “We are constantly utilizing Google Docs and spreadsheets so we can be interactive with our coworkers and clients as well,” says Dana Rosenquist of Cypress Falls Event Center. “In addition, Google actually has a pre-made wedding planning template that can be useful.” Chelsea Matson also uses Google Docs and says it not only helps her stay organized for her photography business, but it also was an invaluable tool while she planned her own wedding. “I was living in New York and my now-husband in Milwaukee,” she says. “Having docs that we could share, update in real time and share with other family members, vendors and planners was critical.”
After you set the date, it can be easy to fall victim to procrastination when your wedding day is more than a year away. But in wedding-planning world, you’ll need all of that time plus more, so like photographer Erika Flugge suggests, hop to it! “Start planning early so you don’t start to feel pressure as the day gets closer with things you have left to do,” she says. “Vendors and venues can and do book up months or a year in advance, so if you have your eye on a business or venue for your wedding, contact them for availability sooner rather than later. Once you do that, there’s still the amount of time it takes to meet with them and make sure it’s a good fit for your day.”
Another benefit of starting early? Less stress! The quicker you set things in motion, the more time you’ll have to make decisions and flesh out a perfect vision for your day. If you wait until the last minute, you’ll be rushed, stressed and possibly forced to settle if other soonlyweds book your dream vendors before you get the chance to. So, get started today! You won’t regret it.
Create a Wedding-Only Email
If you’re anything like, well, most people, your inbox is probably chock-full of junk mail that you ignore without second thought. So instead of flooding your already crowded email with wedding vendor inquiries, designate a separate account to handle anything that has to do with planning. “Create an email account strictly for wedding-related items, and only use this email,” says Aimee Takumi of Confetti Skies. “This way you have everything in one place, and you won’t be trying to go through multiple platforms to find all of your information.” By keeping all your wedding correspondence safe in a wedding-only email address, it will be easy to access your appointments, vendor contracts and any other important information that could otherwise easily get lost in between spam emails.
When you first dive into planning, it’s tempting to do all the fun things first — dress or suit shopping, cake tasting, venue touring or accessory hunting! — but it’s more important to prioritize your tasks so that you’re tackling the biggest to-do’s first. If you’re not sure where to start, pick up a wedding-planning book, consult with a planner or do some research. Like we mentioned earlier, there are plenty of resources to help you stay on track. And once you have your tasks prioritized, it will be smooth sailing until the big day!
Create a Timeline
After your have your priorities in order, Chelsea Matson suggests putting together a timeline to keep track of when certain projects need to be completed by, especially if you plan to go the DIY route. “It is so easy to put them off and think they will take only an hour max, but they always take longer,” she says. “I have seen so many wedding parties stressed out about finishing last-minute projects morning-of when everyone should be relaxing and sippin’ on mimosas.” Similarly, if you’ve hired a planner, Ashley Morris of Alpaca Your Bags Travel, says you can ask them to provide a timeline so you know what to expect during the planning process. “At Alpaca Your Bags, we provide destination wedding couples with a timeline so they can see each stage of the process and what they need to be prepared for,” Ashley says. “This way, we keep surprises to a minimum.”
Communicate Well and Often
Communication is key while you’re planning! It’s imperative that you and your vendors are on the same page, so meet in person or talk over the phone so things don’t get lost in translation over email. And don’t be afraid to check in with them, but also don’t bombard them with constant emails. And don’t forget to keep you fiancé/e in the loop! If you’re the one doing most of the planning, check in every once in a while to make sure your SO shares your vision. You might think you know what they want, but they could still surprise you. So be sure to get your fiancé/e involved in the process every once in a while to help you avoid unnecessary hiccups!
Don’t Be Afraid to Ask for Help
Wedding planning can be a huge undertaking no matter your budget or style of wedding, so don’t be afraid to ask for help. In fact, please ask for help! Erika Flugge says, “Let your vendors help you.” That’s exactly what you’ve hired them to do, so let them do their jobs. And while you’re at it, Erika also suggests not to take on too much at once. “Wedding planning takes a lot of time and energy, and I see a lot of couples trying to buy a home at the same time,” she says. “That’s a lot on your plate!” Keep it simple while you’re planning, and focus on the wedding. And once your big day is over, you will have the rest of your lives together to do everything else!