Coming from our own personal experience, there are a lot of (free) resources out there to help you. Before we jump into the organizational tool, some precursors:
- Know your budget: A wedding can get expensive and fast. Knowing your budget will only help as you review vendors and cost items. It's helpful to create a budget sheet to track all expenses as well as when they are due, to keep this against the money you have saved/coming in.
- Don't recreate the wheel: Scan fabulous and EXTREMELY helpful sites like The Knot to start understanding timelines, timeframes and every item/little detail you want to accomplish. Pick and choose what makes your wedding your wedding.
The above tips will be useful as you build out your Wedding Plan. Below steps talk about how to set yourself up for wedding organizational success with my favorite project management tool, Trello. Trello has been extremely helpful because of it's flexible and collaborative capabilities.
To get started, sign up for Trello and create a Board that is called Wedding. Here are some steps on how to go about using this tool towards nuptial bliss!
1.) Build Your Lists: Building lists around groups that make sense to you is important here. My recommendation (and the way I've gone about tracking my wedding) is to build lists for different timeframes (i.e. January-March, April-May, June-September, October, Week of Wedding).
2.) Cards: Add Cards around each Item (i.e. Favors, Wedding Dress, Guest List, Save the Dates, Photographer - again, be sure to use a list like The Knot's as a guideline to ensure you don't miss any detail you'd like to incorporate), and within each card, save pertinent information. Each card has the ability to add notes, checklists, due dates and more. Speaking of Due Dates…
3.) Due Dates: With an event like this, it's imperative to stay on track with Due Dates. Trello allows you to assign one Due Date to a card at a time. If your card has several checkpoints (i.e. Photographer), I would recommend added a Checklist with an overall outline of dates things need to be completed (For example 1.) Research & Availability Photographers 2.) Interview Photographers 3.) Select Photographer 4.) Sign Contract). This way, you can add a Due Date for the most near date, and as you move into the next item, check this item from your Checklist and change the Due Date for the card accordingly.
4.) Assign tasks: Splitting the duties between you and your dearest? Have them sign up for the tool and easily know who is doing what. The tool conveniently shares information under your Cards with anyone you've invited to the Board. This also helps to understand who should be working on what. If multiple people are assigned to a task? Specify who is responsible for which piece
5.) Labels: These can truly be used for whatever you like. I used Labels to identify the overall cost and deposit cost of items. Being visual, I found this to just be a helpful reminder.
Some closing tips and useful notes:
- Change is Okay!: As you continue to read and learn more about building your wedding, don't be afraid to add Cards or adjust Due Dates accordingly.
- Do Early: Definitely (and I mean, definitely) do as much as you can, as early as you can muster the ability to do it. For example, making your favors and they're non-perishable? Create a Due Date that's 3 months in advance (with a Checklist, of course!)! You don't want to be getting ready for your ceremony and worried about tying ribbons on favors!
That's it! Goodluck and don't hesitate to reach out to us if you have any questions.
Happy planning! :)