Wedding planning feels exciting at first—but it can get stressful pretty fast. While this shouldn’t be the case for what is supposed to be the happiest day of your life, there are so many details to take care of! So, how can you prevent yourself from being overwhelmed? The secret lies in organization! If you’re organized from the very beginning, you can take the majority of planning-related stress off your shoulders. Here’s some suggestions to keep your productive and streamlined as you inch toward your wedding day.
Keep Track of Finances Within Your Wedding Budget
Most people have a set budget they try to adhere to when planning a wedding, and money is one of the most important things to keep track of in the entire process. Unfortunately, when a bunch of numbers come into play, things can easily get confusing. You don’t have to be an accountant to keep your finances organized, but you can use a few tricks to make things easier.
Use a Single Credit Card for all Wedding Purchases
Choose one credit card and use it solely for wedding-related spending. You can even open a new one just for this purpose. For added benefits, choose a card you can get something extra from. For example, if you’re planning a destination wedding and a lot of your spending will be travel-related, choose a card that gives you a bonus of airline miles or other travel purchases. You should also look for a transaction fee-free card if you’ll be spending a lot overseas.
Of course, there may be cash expenses now and then, but the majority of your bookings and reservations should be able to be placed on a card. This will make it easier to keep track of things later on.
Use Spreadsheets to Track all Expenses
You don’t have to be an Excel guru, but you should be able to make a basic table where you can count up how much you spent and where. Spreadsheets are a must if you use multiple cards or mix your modes of payment.
When creating a spreadsheet, you should make note of your total wedding budget and what portion of it you plan on spending in each category. Update this regularly so you’re aware when you’re close to your spending limits. That way, you can adjust things as necessary. If you’re using credit cards for all expenses, to save time you can download all your statements into a spreadsheet as you go, and categorize them as necessary.
Download a Financial Tracking App
Those constantly on the go may find an app easier to use than Excel. You can find many different options for your phone or tablet. Spending Tracker is fantastic for cash expenses, or if you don’t mind inputting your receipts manually. Mint is also a useful option if you primarily use credit cards.
Create a Website for Guests to Reference
When it comes to wedding guests, you will likely have to field a lot of questions about things like gift registries and dress codes. To simplify things, create your own website that your guests can visit if they want more information about your event. There are many wedding-specific site templates available to make it as easy as possible for you.
There’s lots of information you can include on your website, such as directions to the venue, the day-of program, food menus, dress codes, or gift registry details. If you want to be creative, you can even add a page for an e-RSVP. After the wedding, the website can be a go-to for people to download photos from the event.
As an accompaniment or alternative for destination weddings, you can keep all the guests in the loop with TripIt.com. Both the free and pro version work well. The service allows you to keep all your travel plans in one large itinerary, which you can email to anyone.
Keep Your Wedding Vendor Contacts Separate
It can be useful to open up a separate email account for all wedding-related communications. That way, you won’t have to frantically search through all of your emails on your usual account every time you’re in wedding planning mode. And unless you don’t mind carrying a second phone, keep your phone contacts organized by adding a short description of the person or service in the “Company” space. You might also be interested in downloading an additional app to keep your wedding-related phone numbers separate and easy to find.
Create a Custom Hashtag to Find Guest Photos on Social Media
Custom hashtags are all the rage right now when it comes to weddings, and they’re a brilliant idea. No matter what social media platform people use, you’ll always be able to find any photos that were taken at your wedding. Make sure to come up with one that hasn’t been used before, but don’t make it too complicated, as people will have to add it to all their posts. Keep it simple and memorable, for example: #mrandmrsjones2019 or #joneswedding2019.
Invest in a Wedding Planner
By a planner, we mean an old-fashioned book or binder and not a person. There are plenty of options for sale at bookstores and online, but you can also make your own! All you need is a binder, a set of dividers, and color-coding tools such as sticky notes or highlighters. Add in some loose-leaf paper for notes. It can also be useful to purchase folders and business card holders to store all the pamphlets, receipts, and random pieces of paper you’ll gather. Like financial tools, wedding planners also come as apps. If that’s more your style, there’s lots to choose from online!
Don’t Hesitate to Ask for Help
Of course, if your best attempts at keeping things together just don’t work out, why not hire a professional wedding planner? Although they can be pricey, they can also help save you money thanks to their personal connections. If you’re planning a huge wedding, you might find it worth the investment. Alternatively, consider just booking a day-of helper, which can be much cheaper but will still diminish any stress.