Today Bride Blogger (and uber-organized bride-to-be) Karla is sharing 4 time-saving tips for wedding planning! She and her fiance Matthew are planning an August wedding at Al Ringling Mansion in Baraboo and we CANNOT WAIT to see their day come together!
When Matthew and I were first engaged, we originally thought we would have two years to plan our dream wedding. After starting to scope out venues, we found our dream location, only to find out they would not be hosting weddings after 2018! Since we loved the venue and it was very flexible/affordable, we opted to move up our time table to less than one year, with a lot to tackle in our new timeframe. Here are some things we found helpful in working with our new (shorter) timeframe.
Tackle the “Big Ticket” Items First
Working with a rough guest count, picking the venue should be towards the top of the To-Do list since it affects the majority of other decisions and because they usually book out well in advance. For a wedding date in late summer, a good strategy for efficiency is knocking out booking the biggest expense items by the end of the year, including food, music, and photographer. These items can book out six months to a year or more, so by booking early you can avoid scrambling (and praying) at the last minute.
Keep All Your Information Organized/In One Place
I’ve found one of the biggest keys to efficiency and tracking timelines, budget, and checklists is to keep the information as consolidated as possible. A spreadsheet with multiple worksheets has helped me keep track of all of my floating ideas for everything from budget to music, to food, to the guest list, and every random idea in between. I’ve also used The Knot’s dashboard and wedding website to help guide the timeline of my checklist and suggest things to do that I hadn’t even considered. Some items on the website’s checklist were unnecessary for our particular set-up and some items needed to be added to ensure they weren’t forgotten, but I’ve loved being able to customize it to suit our needs. Keeping your wedding website and other checklists and idea boards up-to-date will ensure your ideas and priorities stay streamlined so you can focus on the next priority for your big day.
Divide and Conquer!
While it’s great to plan every detail together, it can be a real challenge for some couples, including those who have opposite schedules or who may have an uneven split of the guest list. Embrace having a partner to plan with and allow them to take some of the tasks for them to handle on their own. An example of this was letting my fiance take care of the rehearsal dinner and the main meal. Though we knew we needed to agree on the food and general information, I left the details and arrangements to him. We still check in with each other, but the actual coordination is something that is off one person’s plate, allowing tasks to get done quicker.
Talk to the People You Know
Friends and family are great sources of information, especially if they’ve been married or involved in a wedding recently. Don’t hesitate to ask for suggestions and resources. In the end it’s still your day and your choices to make, but many friends and family I’ve spoken with appreciated that I asked for their input and often provided insight and ideas that helped organize our timeline and checklist.
Hopefully these suggestions can help you streamline your schedule to save you both time and stress.