Get Organized and Plan a Wedding

1. Get Organized

This is the hardest and most important step for seamless wedding planning.

Set up a system to keep track all the details. A binder with tabs is an excellent way to organize your planning material.  Divide the binder into tabs for each major element of wedding.

  • Tab 1   Budget
  • Tab 2   Contacts and Vendors
  • Tab 3   Timeline
    • Detailed breakdown of what happens, when it happens, where it happens, and who needs to be there for both rehearsal day and wedding day.
    • Anyone involved in the wedding planning process – vendors, minister, wedding party, family, hotels, etc.  Make sure you have cell number, email and address for everyone involved.
  • Tab 4   Checklist
    • Detail planning checklist of everything that needs to be done in preparation or your wedding including a checklist for day of.  Assign anything you can!
  • Tab 5  Photographer Information
    • Package Purchased
    • Detailed Shot List
    • All names of family members and bridal party that you want photographed
    • Make sure your planner has a copy of names of those being photographed
  • Tab 6 Ceremony
    • Venue information
    • Schematics and Floor Plans
    • Seating Charts
    • Copy of your ceremony text
    • List of your processional/recessional order
    • Your marriage license, ready to be signed!
    • Anything else related to your ceremony
  • Tab 7 Reception
    • Venue information
    • Schematics and Floor Plans
    • Setup Instructions and Diagrams
    • Seating Charts and Instructions on How To Implement
    • Menu/Beverage List
    • DJ Contact as Well As DJ Planning Packet
      • All Special Songs Listed w/ Artist
    • List of who is giving toasts & list of people you want to remember to thank!
    • Anything else related to your reception
  • Tab 8   Guests
    • Guest list and all revisions
    • Gifts received & thank you notes sent
  • Tab 9   Décor/Floral
    • Contact Information for Designer
    • Detail Breakdown of  Floral Ordered
    • Detailed Instructions of Setup and Pictures if Possible
  • Tab 10   Vendor Contracts
    • All of them. Always have it in writing!!!

2. Make Backup Plans

Ok, now that you’ve got everything in one place, there are probably some things for which you should have backup plans. Examples are – outdoor events, which should have an indoor location secured in case of inclement weather, flower girls/ring bearers who may be suddenly shy and unwilling to walk the aisle in front of all those people and your iPod playlist which should be copied onto someone else’s iPod too!

3. Find the Missing Details

Read wedding grad posts, consult online checklists or friends who’ve gotten married, ask a planner – whatever. There is probably something you forgot, reserved signs for your family’s seats, someone to press play on the iPod, toasting glasses your grandmother sent you a month ago and if you take a little time now to check your list twice, you’ll figure it out before the big day arrives and thus avoid panic.

4. Make sure you have a planner or day of executer

On your wedding day, you do not want to be setting up chairs and centerpieces before you run back to the hotel to get ready, wearing a watch to keep things happening on time, or talking to the catering manager every twenty minutes about what food to bring out and which tables go where.

5. Practice

I know everyone’s schedules are crazy and it’s hard to get people in the same place at the same time, but even if it’s fifteen minutes the morning of the wedding, try to schedule at least a quick walk through of your ceremony.

6. Relax

Hand over your binder, your watch, and your cell phone to your planner and simply relax!   Soak up all the moments in the first day of the rest of your awesome married life.

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