The Master Plan

I am what might charitably be described as Type-A…all the way! So when it came to planning my wedding, I didn’t just have a notebook, I had a notebook, a file folder, a binder, an online wedding file, and a step-by-step guide to our big day. As you might imagine, then, wedding organization is a topic that is near and dear to my heart.

Let’s take a look at some of your wedding planning and organization options—mix and combine as much as you like to find your wedding planning style!

Wedding Planning Professionals
First, a word about wedding planning professionals. I cannot stress how critical it is to have someone else to take care of the details in the days leading up to your wedding. There’s a lot of talk now about “day-of” planning packages, but personally, I’m not a fan. If you were NASA, would you want a new pilot to step in on launch day? Well, same thing with your wedding! If you’re going to take care of most of the details yourself and then hire someone to come in and help you pull it together, I recommend bringing them in at least two weeks before your wedding day. Take my word for it, the last few days before your wedding are stressful enough and you don’t want to be trying to bring someone up to speed on top of everything else. Plus, their professional reputation is on the line! Any planner worth their salt is going to want to start working with you before the morning of the wedding — if someone offers to charge you $200 to come in that morning and take care of things for you…run the other way, fast! The money can be spent on better things than handing over your wedding to someone who hasn’t been involved in the wedding before the day of!

If you can hire a wedding professional to help you design, plan and coordinate your wedding, do it! You can still be involved in the planning, and you won’t have to deal with adding hundreds of wedding tasks to your already busy schedule — you’ll have someone to help you through all that!

If you can’t hire a wedding professional to help you with (or handle) the details, then make sure you have designated family and friends standing by to help, and make sure they know who is doing what — true funny story from my wedding: I got a call in the limo asking if I knew where the toss packets were! Um…not in the pocket of my wedding dress! Which goes to show, even the most Type-A people can overlook details (like asking someone to take care of the toss packets!), which is why it is CRUCIAL to have help on your wedding day. Personally, I recommend starting that policy a few days before your wedding. Just like it’s a good idea to take time to enjoy being engaged before you jump into wedding planning, it’s nice to have a few days to savor being almost-married.

If you’re going the DIY route, there are a multitude of wedding planning tools out there!

russell+hazel Wedding Tools

If you’re like me and still love writing things down, then russell+hazel is about to be your new best friend. They have a wedding organizer, planning notebook and lots of other wedding prettiness to keep things organized without looking cutesy, which you know I abhor :)

As much as I loved my paper notebook, I did most of my planning online, and there are so many great options out there. A few of my favorites:

WeddingWire
You can look at vendor reviews (including those who have received WeddingWire’s Bride’s Choice Awards), keep track of your guest list and RSVPs, and manage all of the other aspects of your wedding using WeddingWire’s planning tools. I primarily used WeddingWire when I was planning my wedding.

Google for Weddings
A new option on the online wedding planning scene, Google for Weddings is a joint collaborate between Google, Michelle Rago, and Style Me Pretty. If you’re a fan of Google Docs, this one is for you!

Evernote
No, it’s not a wedding planning website, but I use Evernote for everything. Every single thing I plan, from a small dinner to a big shindig, from grocery lists to daily downloads (speaking of which, are you participating in The Challenge?), gets its own entry in Evernote. You can store text entries, photos, web clips, scanned notes (text inside your images is searchable). You can store anything. Seriously, if Evernote went down I would be in big trouble!! 

And because I can’t end a post without sharing a gorgeous inspiration photo, how great of an idea is this to dress up your wedding idea board?

Corkboard and shutters? Yes, please! Photo via Laura Winslow Photography.

How are you organizing your wedding planning details?