You’ve got the ring on your finger (or her finger), and you’re ready to get married. But how the heck do you go about doing that? Before panic sets in, let me give you some helpful hints. This series is designed to get you on track to a beautiful and unique wedding.
Sure, you could go out and spend $25 or more buying a sappy pink and beribboned wedding organizer, or you could save a few bucks and make your own. And you know you’ll need to pinch pennies wherever you can, because weddings can be pricey.
So first off, buy a 99-cent, three-ring binder. Go crazy and pick a color that’s not pink. While you’re at it, buy a package of loose-leaf lined paper and a package of at least six dividers, preferably with pockets so you can stash things you pick up along the way.
Second, label your dividers as follows:
Then, as you may have already guessed, put the lined paper in each of these sections.
What you’ll want to do now is start asking friends, family, and the yellow pages about local bakeries, florists, reception halls, tuxedo rental stores, and bridal shops. Designate one page in each section for each vendor, and include their address, phone number, and whomever you speak with when you call. As you make appointments, write these down as well. This page should include any pricing information you receive, and, as you go along, how much you owe and when it is due. Having everything for each vendor on one page (or two, if you end up with a lot of information) will make your life a zillion times easier.
To keep your appointments straight, if you don’t already have a pocket planner or if you are super-crazy like me, you’ll want a monthly calendar in your homemade planner, as well. I was bored at work one day and so I hand-drew my calendars (12 months worth!) but you can find blank calendar templates online (http://www.printablecalendar.ca/) to make it easier. Punch some holes in those, put them at the front of your planner, and you’ll have an easy reference for all of the numerous appointments you are bound to have from now until your wedding.
You may be wondering what information I would include under Ceremony. I would suggest a page each for ceremony site, wedding officiant (whether priest, Justice of the Peace, or family friend), music you want to walk down the aisle to, who you want to play your ceremony music, and processional order.
For Reception, you’ll want a page each for the caterer/menu, the band/DJ, the reception site, and for table seating arrangements (which will come later).
Under Miscellaneous, you will want to have pages for invitations, other stationary, gift registries, guest list, to do lists, and transportation. If it will make you feel better to give each of these items its own section, feel free to buy more dividers.
As you go about your planning, you will see pictures in magazines of the flowers or cake you like – stick those in the divider pockets so you can show your vendors exactly what you want. Likewise, they might give you business cards or other information on loose paper – it’s always good to hang on to these until you are sure you don’t need them any more.
With this homemade organizer, you’re sure to be the more put-together, calm bride around. You’ll know when your appointments are, who to call if you need to cancel, and exactly how much you owe everyone. Good luck!