Wedding Planning: Getting Organized

I announced last week, in this post, that I got engaged!! Yay! Needless to say, I have had wedding on the brain since the ring hit my finger.

Or maybe it has been since I was 4 years old. Whatever.

This week I put together my wedding planning binder. I love a good organizational tool, and even better, a well organized plan. My mother does too. And, since we are both control freaks, we’re working with a budget, and I live in a small town (currently) there will be no hired wedding planner…we’re going this one alone.

Wedding planning binders can be purchased, already put together and with various ‘tools’ inside. Most of the time when I purchase a pre-put-together binder of some variety it comes with stuff I will never use and doesn’t have items I wish it had.

Making my own seemed the only logical answer.

I found this pretty purple binder at Walmart and knew it would be perfect for the job – wedding colors are going to be Black & White with accents of Purple.

I also bought tab dividers for each section. The ones I purchased are colored and have a fun design on them, but plain ones would do also.

My tab dividers have the following categories:
-Wedding Party
-Master Contact List (for an at a glance, quick view of the bridal party, vendors, etc.)

These categories will need to be broken down further into sub-categories so I have purchased tabs that can be written on for these sub-categories. For example, under “Ceremony” I already have a sub-category tab for the church info (including contract). For “Guests” I will have sub-categories of Guest List, Hotel Block Info, etc. You see how this is playing out?

I also included a zip pouch for the front of the binder to stash my tabs for use as they are needed, or any other item that can’t be 3-hole punched and stuck in the binder that way.

I printed free calendars, both in a year at a glance and monthly until the date of the wedding from My Calendar Maker. This website allows you to customize and print calendars (as many as you want) for free. A calendar in your planning binder is essential for keeping track of appointments, due dates, and the like.

I also found this fabulous checklist from Real Simple (I love this magazine, go figure they would also have a fabulous website). The checklist starts 19-9 months before a wedding and gives an idea of what you should be doing when.
Note: I found this especially helpful on our first scheduled planning night with my mom (yes, we have scheduled meetings for this) and we needed a focus point because we (or, maybe it was more-so ME) were getting ahead of ourselves worrying about things that need not be worried about at the moment.

I also should point out that I am a complete sucker for checklists. I can’t get enough of them! I am a tad Obsessive Compulsive like that, and I am a qualified mental health professional to make that judgment call, so there’s no denying it.

A wrap-up of what this binder cost:
-3 ring binder
-2 packages tab dividers
-sticky tabs
-zip pouch
=approximately $12 at Walmart

What I already had on hand:
-3 hole punch
-computer with internet access
=free (though I paid for them at some time, but that’s not the point)

The other binders I’ve seen, made especially for a project like this, cost around $25. Making your own, especially if you have many of the supplies on hand (I could have used a binder I already had, and plain tab dividers that could be re-purposed…but I wanted to make it fun this time around), can be a savings.

And so the planning <madness> begins.

Anyone have any wedding planning (on a budget) tips for me? I’d love to hear them!

Love is in the air-




5 responses to “Wedding Planning: Getting Organized

  • Lisa Ammerman

    That OCD and loving a checklist thing is genetic, I’m sure, because I have it, too! I’m so excited that this is starting! Can’t wait to hear all about it! (and help in any way I can).

  • abeautifuljourney01

    Yard sale. 🙂 we found most of our jars etc for my wedding from yard sales and bought lanterns and Christmas lights after Christmas on clearance. We also bought flip flops for our guests (outdoor summer wedding) from the dollar section at Target…. We also assembled our invites ourselves and our programs…. And bought flowers whole sale and my family put together the bouquets for the girls. We also used a sheet cake for guests and had a smaller bridal cake, with the bottom layer being cardboard, covered in fondant. Hmm… What else? I sought out an artist who hand made my gifts for the bridal party, so it actually ended up being less expensive to give them pearl necklaces, but I also had a say in the design which was awesome. We used a lot of candles instead of flowers, and probably last, because I had a fall wedding, we used a lot of nature in it- we spray printed a branch and did Polaroids for a guest book and people hung the pictures on the branch, we also didn’t do things like table linens…. But it was an outdoor wedding, so it worked. I’d say check out the they have local boards with great recommendations and share their experience- it was hands down my best source of information because you can also look at people’s profiles and see their wedding ideas- also… Go test cake! Lol.

  • Wedding Planning: Getting Organized « Simply Eclectic | What You Need For A Wedding

    […] the planning begins. Anyone have any wedding planning (on a budget) tips for me? … Link: Wedding Planning: Getting Organized « Simply Eclectic ← Head Start to a Wedding Planning Course for a Greater Career […]

  • photog

    Good luck with your plans, and congratulations! I hope you get some sound advice and a few smiles out of our blog when you’re in the middle of your wedding planning.

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