Welcome to our very first Blog Hop for 2015!
This month we want to help you start the year off by getting organized as you’re planning your wedding or event. Get ready for some great ideas to help you reduce stress and enjoy the planning process as you move along through the blog hop.
You may just be starting the blog hop or may have come from #19 Kelly Snyder at Southern Charm Weddings on Natalie’s Blog Hop. If you get off track at any time, the full lineup below will help you move along from blog to blog so you make sure to see and learn from all of the articles featured here today.
Save Your Sanity – Organize Your Wedding Planning!
I can’t tell you how many brides come to me and say “I don’t know where to begin”. Wedding planning can be daunting, overwhelming and at times frustrating – but it doesn’t have to be! It all starts with a little bit of organizing and starting with the big picture. Below are my five favorite tools for organizing my clients’ weddings and for helping them stay organized… and most of them are free! So take a deep breath in through your nose – HOLD IT for a count of four – breathe out through your mouth as you count to four and let’s begin! Namaste.
All Your Notes in One Place! – I’m a notetaker, always have been. I have various notepads and scrap paper, post-it’s, you name it all over the place. These are my scratch notes that I use when I’m on the phone or on video chat with a client or just doing some research on my own. I always carry a notebook with me in my bag too. HOWEVER, these notes ALWAYS get transcribed into my Microsoft OneNote notebook that I set up for each client. (note: Mac users can also use EverNote, but I prefer OneNote and have it installed on my iPad and iPhone so that I can access my notes anywhere, anytime)
If you don’t have OneNote already installed on your computer, you can sign up for a free Microsoft account at http://onedrive.live.com and set it up.
Create separate pages for each aspect of your wedding. On the first page, create a section for the wedding with a master page with all the details and contact information. Then pages that breakdown each section in more detail. For example “Ceremony Details”. You don’t have to fill everything in right at the beginning – use this as a workbook to remind you of what tasks you have completed and what still needs to be done.
To share your online OneNote Notebook- click on “File” in the upper left gray bar.
If you have OneNote on your desktop or laptop computer, you can synch your folders so that whenever you (or anyone who you’ve shared your notebook with) posts an item online, it automatically synchs and shows up on your hard-drive. This allows you to collaborate with others and leave notes within your notes! I like to color code questions to my clients by putting them in bold red and/or highlighting them to be sure they are seen. You can do this with your fiancée, maid-of-honor, bridesmaids or wedding planner. As we progress in the planning, we update the notes so that we are all on task. To share a notebook that’s on your desktop or laptop you’ll need to first be sure that you’ve created a separate NOTEBOOK that you want to share. Then click on “file” in the upper and “share”
Save it in the Cloud! – Again, I use Microsoft OneDrive to create shared folders for my clients and I to drop in vendor contracts and other files that we both need to reference. This is also a great place to create a subfolder for wedding related receipts to keep everything in one spot. You can use iCloud Drive or Google Docs. To stay organized, create a folder for each event that you are hosting or working on: [Welcome Party] [Rehearsal Dinner] [Wedding Day], etc. By keeping documents in a shared folder, anyone who needs them can reference them and you can reference them remotely if needed on the fly when meeting with other vendors.
Tandem Bicycle Aqua Wedding Planner Binder by PMCustomWeddings
Check out more Wedding Binders at Zazzle
To Have and to Hold – even with online folders and notebooks, you are still going to want to have a binder or a folder for collecting and holding your wedding related items. I love this cute and customizable binder on Zazzle – just pick up dividers and folders at a local office store and you’re good to go. This is a great place to keep your hard-copy receipts, tear sheets from wedding magazines, signed contracts, etc. Keep things organized in sections so that you can find anything you need quickly.
Pin It Sister! If you haven’t heard that Pinterest is the best thing since sliced bread for planning your wedding, then you must not be from Earth. I seriously don’t know how I lived before Pinterest!! This is such an amazing and FREE tool and it doesn’t have to suck up all of your time. In fact, when used properly, it can actually save you a lot of time. Be sure to create separate vision boards for each aspect of your wedding – don’t just create one “Wedding” Board. This will help you to organize your thoughts and narrow down your style. Create a board for “Wedding Hairstyles and Makeup” to keep track of the looks you like for yourself and your bridesmaids. Create a board for “Wedding Flowers” so you can pin not only flowers, but colors you like, shapes of bouquets and other items of inspiration. Download the Pinterest Browser Button for your computer so that when you are browsing online and come across something you like, you can quickly pin it to the appropriate board. This way you’ll start collecting your thoughts. Once you go back and look at your boards, you’ll likely see common themes, colors and your vision will start to come together. You can even add notes below your pins. And don’t forget “Secret Boards” – these are boards that only you and the folks you invite will be able to see. This is a great way to keep certain aspects of the wedding, like your dress, a secret and maintain the surprise.
Facebook Groups – I love Facebook Groups, especially for Destination Weddings! Facebook groups are easy to set up … and free. You can invite just your bridal party or all of your guests (of course they will need to be on Facebook). Make sure to set it as a “secret” group so that only those invited to join will see your posts. This is a great place to set the tone for your wedding, exchange ideas and create excitement! It’s also a great way for those coming to the wedding to get to know each other and break the ice in advance. Ask fun questions and get ideas of what you’re group wants to do at the destination. Let everyone know you’re hosting a “Best” flip flop contest at the rehearsal dinner, etc. Let your guests join in on the fun as the date gets closer.
These are just a few of the tools that I use to keep the weddings and projects that I’m working on organized. Do you have a favorite tool or resource? Let us know below in the comments 🙂
The next stop is #21 Kimberly Parks at KP Photography on Natalie’s Blog Hop!
Thanks for visiting and I hope to see you again next month!
- Natalie Bradley at Natalie Bradley Events
- Katherine Shorter at Creating Awesomenessity
- Kristi Richardson at Bloomed To Last
- Chantal Benoit at Chantal Benoit Photographer
- Elizabeth Batte at plainjane designs
- Andie Freeman at Andie Freeman Photography
- Brenna Fields Taylor at An Elegant Affair LLC
- Irene Tyndale at Irene Tyndale Events
- Tessa Marie at Tessa Marie Weddings
- Peter Merkle at Chicago Wedding DJs
- Anshwa Lewis at SwaLaRue Events
- Deborah Ashe at Rev. Deborah Ashe
- Angela Christoforo at Elite Wedding and Event Planning
- Liz Coopersmith at Silver Charm Events
- Amber Peterson at Cheers Wedding & Event Planning
- Maggie Evans at Maggie Evans Designs :: handmade bridal couture
- N’neka Scruggs at Images by N’neka
- Kelly Snyder at Southern Charm Weddings
- Cindy Clearwater at Something Blue Virgin Islands <–you are here!
- Kimberly Parks at KP Photography
- Simone R. Ross at Lil’ Tux N Tiara’s Event Sitters & Entertainment
- David Osborne at Sound Insight Productions
- Nicole Hill at Flora Bond
- Shaun Cox at A D.I.Y. Affair Weddings and Events
- Katrina McCullum at Made of Honor Weddings
- Sandy Salle at Hills of Africa Travel
- Rachel Huntoon at Ashford Manor Bed & Breakfast
- Daphne Simpson at Elite Design
- Kishana Highgate at Kishana Highgate Photography
- Loraine McCall at Mojica Photography
- Teresa Rhodes at Nearly Nesters
- Andrea Freeman at Andrea Freeman Events
- Nikki Michel at Ciao Bella Weddings
- Kelly King at Affordable Wedding Invites by Gossett Printing
- Christine Ringuette at Down The Aisle Wedding Planning & Design
- Myiesha Antwine at Kiss and Tell Weddings
- Ashley Rae at Ashley Rae Events
- Laurie Kuerlemann at Platinum Party Events Entertainment, Inc
- Lydia Wells at Writer Mom
- Melissa Pepin at Melissa Pepin Photography
Learn How to Use these Tools Live on January 26th!
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