Photo Credit: Rachel Robertson Photography

If wedding planning has you feeling overwhelmed, have no fear! Today’s guest post, brought to us by Jamie Chang of Passport to Joy, will help you get organized. Enjoy:

One of the initial steps you’ll want to figure out before you start looking at venues is how you’re going to stay organized during the wedding planning process. It’s going to make life much easier and will save time, money, and your sanity along the way. Here are some of my best tips for how to get organized and stay organized while planning your wedding.

Read the full post after the cut!

Communication

If you’re like most people, email is probably one of your most frequently used communication tools. This is also true of most wedding vendors and will be their preferred method of connecting with you (at least initially). So, get ready to start checking your inbox frequently! First, you’ll need to decide if you want to continue to use your existing email or if you want to create a separate wedding account. One option isn’t better than the other, it’s really all about personal preference. Some couples love it because everything in your inbox is wedding related and in one place, while others don’t want to be bothered with checking another email account.

Once you’ve decided which will work best for you, create an organization system within your email – whether you work best with folders and sub-folders or prefer a labeling system, it doesn’t matter. Just pick one that works for you and set it up.

Photo Credit: Bethany Carlson

Personal Documents

Throughout the wedding planning process, you are going to be inundated with pamphlets, brochures, proposals, contracts, contact sheets, and much more. All of these documents can quickly become disorganized without establishing a system. Some like to organize documents using electronic programs such as Google Docs, DropBox, or the notepad on their phone, while others prefer physical pen and paper (like me!) or binders and notebooks. Or some combo of the two. Once again it doesn’t matter which you choose, as long as you pick and establish a system that works well for you. Secret tip– what you use right now is probably what you’re most comfortable with, so use what you know!

Photo Credit: Andria Lo

To-Do Lists

Your to-do list is really going to be the difference between remaining calm throughout planning your wedding, and constantly having that feeling you’ve forgotten something. Again, doing it electronically or with pen and paper doesn’t matter, as long as you have one. Remember, your to-do list is not your timeline, although they do work together. The to-do lists consist of action items that you or your partner need to complete along the way. For example, if you are DIYing your centerpieces, then on your to-do list you would include what, where and when to buy the items needed to make them. There is no set formula for how to create the best to-do list, but in general, you’ll want start with what you need to do now and add to it as time goes on. You don’t need to worry about DIYing a centerpiece if you’re still trying to create your guest list.

Grouping to-dos into categories can also help so you can sort them and make sure you’ve got everything covered. Not everyone is the same, so what worked for your friend may not be the right choice for you. The most important thing to remember is that it doesn’t matter what organization system you choose, just that you pick one that works best for you and you actually use it.

Jamie Chang is the creator of  Passport to Joy, a step-by- step program that guides couples in planning their own destination wedding. She is also the founder of Mango Muse Events, a leading destination wedding planning company based in the San Francisco Bay Area and serving destination couples all over the world. For more information about Passport to Joy, please visit their WeddingLovely Vendor Guide profile.

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