Most bridal couples find that the trickiest part of planning their wedding is just the attempt to stay organized. If you have a long engagement, you may spend months or even a year involved in various aspects of planning. A short engagement? You're now trying to get everything done at the last minute.
So, what can help you stay organized and less stressed about your wedding plans? Here are five easy tips to try.
Use Printables. Modern technology gives brides and grooms access to pre-printed — and often free — planning materials designed by pros. Look for downloadable wedding planning printables, checklists, forms, and reminder cards. The advantage of pre-printed material is that you don't have to reinvent the wheel — simply borrow what's brought success to others.
Use the Internet. The internet is a planner's friend for many reasons. But its usefulness goes beyond finding cheap bridesmaid dresses or ordering flowers in bulk. Create a wedding website early on, then use it as a gathering place for information. You can store, consult, and adjust information like the guest list, RSVPs, wedding theme, showers, and menu — all online where you, family, and guests can use it to make plans.
Post a Calendar. "Out of sight, out of mind" is a truism for many. So, don't hide all your pre-wedding commitments on your phone or in a binder. Instead, add important reminders on a calendar placed prominently in your home or office. Decorate it with printable wedding stickers, then use it to remind yourself of big events like dress fittings, vendor payments due, or picking up Grandma at the airport.
Try a Spreadsheet. Spreadsheets may intimidate some couples, but they are incredibly useful for planning. Use a simple, cloud-based spreadsheet to keep track of vendor contact information and payments, RSVPs, budget vs. actual costs, and thank you note mailings. Don't stress over the layout, though. The point isn't how it looks but how it helps you stay organized.
Get Help. The best way to stay organized? Get some assistance with this big project. If your budget allows, a wedding planner is a great investment for anxious or frazzled couples. If you can't afford to hire someone, find organized friends or family members and ask them to be your assistant. You can either solicit assistance with the whole wedding project or "outsource" particular aspects (like coordinating the RSVPs or planning a rehearsal dinner).
Any of these ideas will undoubtedly help you stay more in control and reduce your stress levels before the big day. And then you can sit back and enjoy this special time with your partner.