screen shot of one of many excel spreadsheets
I started with getting my bridesmaids organized. I have some great ladies planning to stand up for me and I wanted to make sure that they had a good time being in the wedding party. I went to a wedding where I saw the bridesmaids sitting at the table with annoyed faces the whole night and it seemed as if it was a chore for them to be there. I didn't want my girls to feel the same way by the time the wedding came around and what was the best way I could think of to create a fun filled night for all?! Information! I started sending the girls monthly newsletters to inform them of what was new in the planning process and what I expected of them come game time. I tried to make it as light and fun as I could, while thanking them profusely for taking a part in this journey with me.
I hate to admit that for a while there, I was really unsure if I would be prepared enough for this whole wedding thing. I mean sure I could make lists and budgets, but would they actually work?! Would I look like an insane bridezilla in the process?! To get myself in wedding planning shape (and to calm myself down from freaking out), I bought the best wedding organizer I could find... Rather the best organizer that fit my type A personality. It had things like vendor comparisons, questions to ask your vendors, check off lists for things to bring to the rehearsal, guest list manager and a file folder to keep referrals and contracts in!
But then I read about all the other awesome brides staying organized using binders that they created themselves. They had tabs for things like contracts, payments, vendor correspondence and cut outs of the things they liked... Now there is a DIY project I can get behind! So I rummaged around the house and found a binder that wasn't being used and made the following tabs: contact lists, payments/receipts, contracts, guest list, misc-ceremony, misc- reception and honeymoon. For me, it seemed to be the perfect remedy. I used some of the preprinted sheets from the planner and added my own personal touches (like excel print outs) to make sure it fit what I needed. I also purchased a small billfold that had 3 holes so that I could keep all of the business cards I collected during the planning.
Then I realized Mr. Yankee would be in on this whole planning thing too and I had to readjust my approach. Mr. Y is all about the internet and spreadsheets. So I brought the planning to him in the form of google docs! I exported an array of excel spreadsheets so that we could both work on wedding related tasks. The excel google doc file was a bit different; this is where the list freak inside of me came out shining. My spreadsheet includes an expense list, song list, guest list, honey do list and a list of table name possibilities (more on that later!). Some may think this is too much for one woman to keep track of, but believe it or not- this is how I have been able to sleep at night. Between the binder, book organizer, excel, google docs and my iphone I feel like I could rule the world. It has helped me stay focused and kept me ahead of the schedule on every wedding task to date (we're done with our Save The Dates, registering, our tasting, wedding website and our invitations have been selected! Yeah, I rock). I get made fun of by those who know and love me most, but I am happy with the results.
How are you staying organized? Have you employed multiple medias to help you stay on task?