Where are all my newly engaged brides at!? Springtime in Minnesota is slowly starting to emerge from under the piles of snow that we’ve accumulated this winter! (FINALLY!) And it’s getting me excited for wedding season to pick up again!
For those of you who got engaged over the winter and are in the process of planning a wedding right now, I want to share a handful of tips on wedding planners. I’m guessing some of you out there probably dropped a wedding planner in the Amazon cart before sharing the engagement news with anyone, and others have yet to spend any time even thinking about buying one. So for everyone reading this, I’m hoping there will be some value regardless of where you fall on the spectrum!
I can share from personal experience and from talking with other brides that being organized during the planning process will take a lot of stress off your shoulders! It will keep you laser-focused on what you really want and it will help ensure that you stay on top of your to do list too. The thing with ready-made wedding planners is that sometimes they’re missing components that would actually be really helpful for planning. So I’m not going to tell you which type of planner to purchase (that’s a topic for another post!) but I am going to give you some ideas for what to add to whatever you currently have!
PS if you have a planner that comes in binder form with room to add materials, you’re going to appreciate this list even more!
- Real-life photos of your venue(s). This is going to be arguably the biggest influence on the overall feel of your wedding day, so it will probably be helpful to have visuals of your venue with you for all stages of the planning process. Use photos from the venue’s website or take your own, but get them printed in color and slip them into those brand new page protectors you already bought for your planner.
- Wedding inspo. Come on, you’ve been pinning ideas to your “Mrs.” board since you first signed up for Pinterest. Don’t leave it all out there on the internet, bring those images into the real world and get some old fashioned collages going. Buy wedding magazines and do the same thing. Go ahead, cut and paste away. You can’t deny that your 13-year-old self is dying to do this. Pro tip: Splurge on the Elmer’s rubber cement for this, since that’s obviously a thousand times more fun than using a glue bottle.
- Folders, stick-on tabs, and zip-up pockets. If your planner didn’t come with these, go out and buy some right now. You will thank me later when you’re looking for a place to store copies of your save-the-dates, receipts, business cards, and coupons. Remember, organization is next to godliness. Or something like that.
- Receipts and invoices. You’ll want to keep all of this stuff in one place, and what better place to keep it than with all the other planning materials you own. It will also keep you on top of paying bills on time. No one wants to get behind on doing that…
- Fave articles from all those wedding magazines you bought yourself. We all know you have to get your money’s worth out of those magazines–who knew those things were so expensive, jeepers… You want to keep track of that article about choosing between a DJ and a band? Rip it out and throw it in the planning book! Still haven’t decided on a honeymoon location, but you read about the “Top 5 Romantic Never-Before-Honeymooned Places” and want to revisit that later with your boo? Hole-punch that thing and get it in the book! Go crazy here, you’re planning a wedding.
- Plans for your bouquet. Start thinking now about what you’ll want to do with your bouquet. If you’re using real flowers–and if you’re the sentimental type–you may want to start exploring different options for preserving your flowers. Don’t wait until after the wedding to do this or else nature will probably make the decision for you.
- List of your guests’ addresses. You’re probably going to end up using these addresses three times at minimum: save-the-dates, invitations, and thank you’s. So once you have all your addresses, get those things mail merged (is that a verb?) and printed on labels so that you’re ready to mail out everything out as deadlines come up. Pro tip: Keep this document updated so that you can print labels instead of hand-writing addresses for all those Christmas cards, birth announcements, and everything else that will be getting sent out in the future!