Weddings are very exciting, but before the big party arrives there are so many things that need to be done. Here are some tips on how to stay as organized as you can to ensure you have a successful and smooth wedding weekend.

1. Do as much as you can, as early as you can.

Getting things done early will save you a great deal of stress and allow you to enjoy all of the wedding festivities you have planned with no feelings of terror. The checklists you find on Pinterest and in wedding books are a good guideline as to what needs to be done, but don’t follow their timelines. The best advice I received was to stay 3 months ahead of any checklist and if you can do it even sooner just do it! The reason for this is because you never know what will be thrown your way. Vendors book up quickly, things go on back order … you just never know. Also make sure to have everything done the month before the wedding in case emergencies come up. My sister did this and sure enough there were many time consuming emergencies that arose but luckily she was prepared! Overall, allowing for lots of time will make you breathe a sigh of relief once crunch time comes, trust me.

2. Create spreadsheets.

Create spreadsheets that track your budget, guest list (with addresses, emails etc) and seating plan. It’s been very helpful and has helped me to stay on track. I also created spreadsheet of tasks to complete every month leading up to my wedding. I also have who is responsible for that task so I stay on top of things. Another spreadsheet or document to have is a contact list for all your vendors as well as the deposits that you’ve already paid, the date you’ve paid them and when the full amount is due. This will be very helpful in the final weeks before your wedding.

3.Keep records handy.

Keep files, records, contracts, invoices on an online drive so you can access at any time. Google Drive is a good one and you can download the app for your phone and access anything at any time.

4. Catalog your inspiration.

When doing research for wedding inspiration save all items you like in a folder or a board (if you use Pinterest). Then before you meet with vendors pick your top 5 favourites from each category (centerpieces, bouquets, etc) and save them on your drive so you can show vendors what you like and want. Doing this will help you to avoid confusion and will allow you to remember what you have sent to the vendors.

5. Look at your budget every month.

Track what you’ve spent to you make sure you are not going over your budget. My fiancé and I have been going over budget every month and seeing where we can cut costs. Also we have a savings account just for the wedding and both contribute so much a month so we know we have the funds available and no credits cards balances are left unpaid. Think of purchasing the little things as early as you can as little things do add up such as signs, cake toppers, guest books, bridal party gifts etc.

6. Keep a notebook.

Having a small wedding notebook on hand at all times is a great way to stay organized. Write down all your checklists and your fiancés checklists.

7. Delegate, but know when and who to delegate to.

The one question you will be sick of hearing I guarantee is “What can I do, how can I help?” It’s usually easier to just do things yourself but this is just not realistic. You will need help and the best people to ask are family and bridal party. You need people who you can trust and that will get the job done and these people fit the bill.

8. Communicate effectively with those involved.

Communication is key to ensuring your wedding weekend is successful.

Communication with Vendors: The first thing is to make sure your vendors have all the accurate information. Finalizing everything and sending reminders is important no matter how bothersome you think it may be. In the end you are the client and they will want to make sure they do everything correctly. Another thing to consider is backing up all of your information and correspondence with vendors. Once you have met with the vendors, email them outlining everything discussed and what was promised for what price and ask them to confirm. My sister did this after every meeting and good thing she did because one particular vendor had a fire at their facility and lost all of their paperwork so my sister was okay as she had everything in writing.

Communication with people involved: Hash out the entire wedding weekend in advance. Sit down with both of your families and bridal party 3-4 months before the wedding to confirm what is happening and when it’s happening. They will be asked a lot of questions from other people as well and the more information you give them the less you will have to answer yourself on the day of festivities. Craft a handout with the itinerary and give it to your parents and bridal party.

9. Photos from wedding events.

Designate a cousin or friend taking part in festivities such as the engagement party, wedding shower, and bachelorette to take photos. This will come in handy if you make a slideshow for your wedding day, and also are a nice keepsake!

10. Have back up plans.

It’s good to have back up plans in case things go awry for example a weather plan if you’re having an outdoor wedding to make sure you have an indoor option if it rains.

I hope you have found these tips helpful! Things may not always go smoothly and as planned when it comes to planning a wedding but by being organized you will cut down on stress and be able to have a truly memorable experience! Happy wedding planning everyone!