I’m only 30 but at work I’m surrounded by lots of younger girls. I remember being that girl, watching all the women a few years older than me starting to fall into the wedding/baby mode. When a few of the girls at work asked me to share some of my tips from wedding planning, including my planning documents, I thought I might as well share it with the internet world, so here it is!
I just want to reiterate that I’m not a wedding/party planner by profession. And as I’ve stated before, I tend to lean on the side of a modern, non as traditional bride in some of my thoughts. But hopefully some of the tips I share can be helpful for someone else who’s planning their big day or just a big party!
Here are 3 tools I find really useful for these occasions!
#1 – Google Docs
Google allows you to upload documents that can be shared amongst other email addresses online. They have a spreadsheet program (not as good at regular excel but still good for online use). I used Google Docs to keep my vendor contact list. I was then able to access my list when at work or at home in case I needed to give someone a call.
Besides being a virtual cloud location for your information, you can also share Google Docs amongst other people. Use this when planning a party (say a shower or bachelorette weekend) with other bridesmaids. I did this when planning my MOH’s bachelorette weekend for her wedding. I was able to share the spreadsheet with ideas and proposed pricing with the other bridesmaids who were helping me plan.
TIP: As with anything on the web, of course use your discretion on what information you’re putting out, to not share anything too sensitive, like credit card numbers or passwords.
#2 - Microsoft Excel
I think I just heard the angels singing hallelujah! I use spreadsheets daily in my work life so it was an easy transition for me to use this in wedding planning also.
I based my spreadsheet document on this one from Wedding Junkie. I found this super helpful as a start but have added and altered this version to fit my own needs. (Email me at spotofteadesigns (at) gmail (dot) com if you want my version!)
TIP: When working on your beginning planning, BE REALISTIC! It’s nice to assume everyone wants or can come to your wedding. These documents include a “likely to attend” column which you should take very seriously and be realistic. We were within 5 guests of our likely to attend count which was a great help when creating estimates for budgetary needs. I’m happy to report that we stayed in budget as I think we had realistic expectations about the whole planning experience.
#3 – Pinterest
In case you’ve been living under a rock, Pinterest is the newest social media sensation that circles around photos! You can now sign up for free and use Pinterest to create your own inspiration boards. You can virtually “pin” inspiring pictures to your pinboards, which if done correctly, will link back to the blog or website where you find the inspiration. It’s a visual bookmark basically. Here’s a great tutorial on the proper way to pin on Pinterest.
Pinterest was a great source of inspiration for me when it came to wedding photography shots I wanted to make sure I had, creating a color palette and making a list of things I wanted to DIY. They even have a whole category that will only show you wedding items! I never once cut out any articles or photos from any wedding magazines. Pinterest is now your virtual wedding binder!
TIP: Just remember, as of writing this post, your boards are public. So if you want any part of your creative process to be a secret, this might not be the place to hoard these images.