Monday, February 28, 2011

Step 3 - Start a Wedding Folder/Binder

          (9 Months to 24 Months Before the Wedding)
Planning your wedding is one of the most fun and exciting things you may have ever have to do in your entire life.  The more organized you are during the planning process, the less stressful it will become.  One great way you can organize all of your wedding planning activities is to create a wedding planning binder.  Many brides even keep the wedding folder/binder as a keepsake and keep with their wedding album many years after the wedding to show their children and grandchildren and is available to share with any other upcoming weddings with family and friends.

Make sure your wedding planning binder has plenty of folders in it.  You can set up the folder either in alphabetical order or wedding planning order (order of a wedding checklist).  Make sure you label the folders with binder tabs and/or a color scheme.  Many websites break down the wedding categories a little differently, one might use Wedding Dress another uses Bridal Fashions, one might use Ceremony Site another might use Venue and so on and so on.

In my, Kaiser's Wedding Blog the breakdown will show as follows and show in wedding planning order. The wedding categories are Wedding Planners, Officiants and Counseling, Churches and Chapels, Ceremony Sites, Reception Facilities, Catering, Honeymoons and Activities, Jewelers, Bridal Fashions and Tuxedos, Photographers, Videographers, Disc Jockeys, Live Music, Dance Instruction and Fitness, Transportation, Rental Services, Florists, Decorations, Wedding Cake, Bed and Breakfast, Hotels and Resorts, Rehearsal Dinner, Invitations, Gifts and Registries, Favors, Sweets and Treats, Health and Beauty, and Make-up Artists and Cosmetics.

Whew, that's a lot of categories to cover, above there are 28 categories and they are all important into making a great wedding.  There even are a few other categories you can break apart or add.  You might be buying a house and need a mortgage thus you need to add Real Estate and Mortgage.  You might need a new car and add Auto.  You might break apart Bridal Fashions and Tuxedos.  You might break apart Favors and add Bridesmaid Gifts, and Groomsmen Gifts.  You might break apart Bridal Fashions into Bridal Dress, Bridesmaid's Dresses and Bride's Mother's Dress.  Rental Services could be further divided to show Rental Supplies, Wedding Tents, Bartenders, Servants, etc.  Set up the binder to keep you organized, if you need to get a hold of a wedding vendor quickly or they need to get a hold of the bride quickly and inform you of some matter, everything should be all together so everything communicated is duly noted.

You also want to staple a plastic ziploc bag inside of each folder.  Use the bags for various items that will not stay easily inside the folder.  Such items may include fabric samples, cutout pictures such as wedding dress design, wedding cake decorations, hair-style samples, wedding reception decorations, etc.  Also you can include business cards, wedding invitation styles, and sticky notes. Make sure you include a good quality writing pen that makes for good note-keeping with legible writing for your note taking and has plenty of ink.

You may consider picking up some idea magazines such as Bride, Tuxedo, Food, Hairstyle & Makeup, Decorations, Lifestyles.  You may pick up ideas roaming through Department Stores, or rummaging through magazines at your local library or running through websites off of your computer, blackberry, IPhone, or IPad.  You should also talk over with your fiancee and gain insight on how you both would like to decorate your house, later what gift registries to sign up which matches our style.

In your wedding binder, you want to be sure to insert paper in between each folder.  This will allow you to keep notes on both what to look for as you meet with wedding vendors, have interview questions, prior to meeting each wedding vendor.  One last thing to note, some wedding vendors might cover your needs for multiple wedding categories.  A hotel might have a reception area, cover catering, bake their own wedding cake, provide decorations, and provide music for the wedding.  A wedding planner might have favors and invitations.  Bundling of services helps save you some wedding related expenses.  A caterer might provide bartenders.  You will want to be sure this bundling is of high quality though.  A caterer or reception hall might offer a bartender but it may be cheaper if you found one yourself.

You can pick up a nice wedding organizer from your local office supply store.  You want a really good one that keeps all your material together.  Make it your pride and joy, enjoy your wedding planning and talk through the wedding planner, decide on a wedding theme and choose your wedding colors with your mother, sisters, and girlfriends and let them share in the excitement and sharing of ideas for your wedding.

So that's a wrap on Start a Wedding Folder/Binder.  See you on the other side!

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