Staying organized while planning a wedding (or any event for that matter) is crucial. Not only for your sanity and stress level, but for the safety of those around you. I've always been an organized person, but planning one of the biggest events of my life has caused me to be a little more organized than usual. Here are some quick tips I've found to be useful along the way that can be applied to many more life events than just weddings.
1. Make a planning binder. This will ensure all of your vendor contracts, contact lists, lists of lists, etc. will be easily accessible in one place. Separate each section with a new tab and keep everything clearly labeled. Yes, it will be a lot of work upfront but once you get organized you'll be able to rest easy. I've divided mine by vendor (including vendor contacts, our contracts and other important info), a to-do list that I keep updated every time a task is complete, budget (very important), guest list, and family and friend contact sheets. Organize it in a way that make sense to you (and whoever else has to use it) and you'll be amazed how much your stress level will plummet once you know you've got it all in one place.
2. Put everything in Google Docs. Yes, seriously. You know that binder I just talked about? What if you leave it somewhere? What if you update a document and forget to reprint the new copy? All of your planning documents will be available anywhere and you can access them from any device and share them with anyone. The documents will be updated automatically (by you and anyone you share them with) so you'll always have access to the latest copy without having to carry around a flash drive.
3. Create a inspiration board in Pinterest. This will be the easiest way to organize all your ideas in one place. You can find ideas from others and re-pin these to your boards. You can also create pins from blogs, websites and other sources of inspiration so you can easily access these all in one place. When I started planning the wedding I just had one general wedding board on my Pinterest page. That quickly changed and I now have different pages for the cake, flowers, wedding makeup, reception decor, etc. It is an easy way to check back at what inspired me to keep me on track with all of the planning.
4. Over communicate. NEVER and I mean never assume that you're on the same page with anyone (including the bridal party) when planning. You'd hate to think you told someone one thing and in reality they heard something different. Is something really important to you? Make sure everyone helping out knows! I'd rather get 500 reminders about something than hear it once and forget it. I know other people that want to help feel the same! Don't feel bad about being clear about what you want, it's your day and it should go how you want it to.
5. Hire a planner. Or in my case find an amazing family friend (with tons of party planning experience) to keep you totally organized and stress-free on your big day. Luckily for me one of my mom's close friends organizes several events year round and has generously offered her time and expertise to keep the event coordinated and on schedule. I can't wait to hand these documents, binders, boards, etc. over to her on the big day so she can handle all issues that come up. I can't tell you how much better I feel knowing someone I trust is looking after things so I don't have to worry about it.
Bonus: Just remember it's just one day! The wedding and your life together is the most important thing. Will things go wrong even with amazing organization and coordination? Unfortunately, yes. But before you freak out -- just remember, at the end of the day you get to marry the love of your life and that's ALL that matters. No one will notice the little mishaps anyways and they will just be funny stories to share later on. No go, get organized and enjoy this time with the one you love!
Do you have any good organizational tips? Share them with us in the comments!