For all you new brides out there you may have realized shortly after getting engaged that you are not a wedding planner! (It was a surprise to me too.) And bringing all your Pinterest dreams to life might take a lot more effort than you ever imagined. I thought I’d jump into wedding planning and know exactly what to do, boy was I wrong. I wanted to start buying décor and making DIY’s, which I’m pretty sure is the last thing you focus on, oops! Check out the 4 tasks below that will help you get started planning your big day and make you feel confident moving forward.
1. THE BUDGET
First thing we did, after I realized I had no clue what I was doing, create a budget. Then I took it one step further and actually mapped out four different budgets, comparing the costs of our top venues. We thought our favorite venue on the list would be a lot more money because of all the rentals we needed, turned out it wasn’t. Having the comparison right there allowed us to see how the budgets added up. We were able to realize having a caterer of our choice and a host bar at our favorite venue was the same price as another venue we were considering. You can download my excel spreadsheet HERE. Start comparing and make sure to calculate everything! It’s easy to leave out little details, but they add up so quickly.
2. YOUR GUEST LIST
After we locked down our budget, based on an approximate number of people, we started to make our real guest list. For us our friends and family were most important, so we created that list first. Once we had the number from this list, we let our parents know approximately how many people they could invite in order to stay within the budget we were estimating. (Yes we told the moms how many people they could invite! It worked though.) You can download the excel spreadsheet HERE for your guest list. It’s an easy way to keep track of everyone.
We accomplished those two tasks first which seemed the most logically to start with! Now what? I had no idea. I went to the internet, there was too much information, I still didn’t know where to go next. This is what helped me with the next steps of planning.
3. THE CHECKLIST
I found a master checklist and this has made all the difference in the world. I can see the timeline. I know what I need to do next. I can make notes and check items off my to do list. I don’t know about you but I love paper lists! Digital is not the same. Plus I have this lovely wedding binder where I can keep all my quotes, vendor information and timeline notes. You can find the beautiful checklist I am using from BOTANICAL PAPERWORKS.
4. A WEDDING BINDER
Once I had my checklist I created a wedding binder where I could include quotes, ideas, inspiration, a DIY list, vendor information and so much more. It’s really easy to update Mark when we have items to discuss like the venue costs or catering quotes. I, of course, took the budget route, went to my local copy shop for a binder and tabs. It’s nothing fancy but it’s durable and easy to update.
I hope these 4 tips help you get organized on the road to your big day. For me having everything from the budget to décor to timeline all in one place has definitely taken the stress out of planning.
All photos and words created by Tijana Popovic of A Plentiful Life.
Wedding Binder – printables link courtesy of Botanical Paperworks
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