Monday, October 1, 2012

Day 1--Planning Tools and Resources

Planning a wedding is a lot of work! It can be overwhelming and it can be stressful. can also be fun and organized. I hope in the next 31 days to share my experiences, tips, tricks and help you have a more enjoyable wedding planning season.

To begin planning, you need some resources and tools to help you stay organized through all the arrangements. Here is what I used and found extremely helpful.

1. A spiral-bound notebook.
That's right. They are cheap and doesn't have to be fancy (although since it's for a wedding it could be).  I had a notebook that I wrote EVERYTHING in. I wrote ideas, to-do lists, phone numbers, names, shopping lists, numbers, etc. etc. etc. I am very much a write-it-down list person. Even if you aren't, planning a wedding will require lots of organization so a notebook is a great place to start.

Practically every page of my notebook had lists and notes on it.

2. Calendar
About two months before my wedding, my mom and I decided that I needed a calendar. We needed a timeline to know when to get the last big things done, keep track of appointments, and know who to call when. It doubled as a to-do list that I could cross off items as completed. 
3. Wedding Magazines
So many to choose from! When I got engaged, my mom gave me two Bridal magazines. One was more pictures and ideas that I enjoyed looking through. The second one was "Real Simple Weddings" and was more like a Wedding Guide. It was so great. It had ten chapters about various wedding topics and broke everything down explaining it very well and helping you determine which route to go that best fit you.

4. Websites
There are dozens of blogs and sites related to weddings which can make it overwhelming. I used the following to help me:

Pinterest of course! I had been pinning wedding ideas since before I started dating my now-husband. Once I got engaged, I went through and purged from my wedding board to narrow it down to what I actually wanted to do.

TheKnot This site has so many great pictures, resources, ideas, and tools. We used this site to create our own wedding website complete with stories, pictures, information, RSVP capability, links to registries, hotel accommodations, and an online guest book. It's free and easy to use. On this site, they also have checklist and guest list tools that were helpful!

5. Helpers
I would say I had 3 main helpers in planning this wedding--my mom, fiance, and dad. I would strongly recommend you have someone who can help you on a regular basis. I chose my parents because I was living with them, they were paying for it, and they are some of the best help I know! As the time got closer, I of course enlisted several other people to help with specific tasks but throughout the planning process, they were my go-to's for decisions, discussions, details, and doing!

Those were my biggest tools and resources for planning. Of course there are many more and what I post is not necessarily right or wrong--it's what worked for me and what could possibly help you! What other tools/resources did you use or you would want to use?

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