Planning a wedding can be daunting, especially since most of us who take on this mammoth task have never done it before (and with any luck won't be doing it again, here's to a long and happy marriage and all that!)
Those of you who are about to start or are in the process of planning a wedding... well this post may just be for you.
If you are unsure where to begin, then why not begin right here!
I've compiled a short list of some of the tools and techniques I used which helped me in organising my wedding (and a couple that didn't!)
1. Wedding Apps - I love these! There is something so rewarding about crossing a task off the to-do list. They are also useful for telling you when tasks should be completed by. I created a 'Wedding' folder on my iPhone for the apps and stuck it on the first screen so it was easy to access and it was always the first thing I checked in the morning.
There are loads of apps available and I did download a whole lot of others which I ended up deleting for one reason or another. Granted I probably didn't need all of these either but it made me feel super organised and some apps had tasks listed that other ones didn't! :-)
So here are the apps that I used and loved:
a) Wedding Checklist Guide: A simple straight forward checklist with a timeline.
b) Wedding Happy - Wedding Planner: This has a checklist and timeline and it also has space for you to fill in your vendors (or suppliers) and budget if you want to. This was probably my favourite app.
c) Wedding UK - Again another checklist but you can also search for UK suppliers which is handy. Not the prettiest looking though and did sometimes crash when in use. I persevered with it though!
d) The Wedding Planner by Guides for Brides - Another checklist because you can't have too many obviously.
2. Pinterest - This is a difficult one as I had a love/hate relationship with Pinterest while I was planning my wedding. Whilst it is helpful to gather inspiration and ideas, it can be disheartening, for example if you are unable to afford what you have pinned or you cannot recreate something you have seen and fallen in love with on there. It can be overwhelming and make you feel that your wedding is somehow inadequate.
However, what I did find it useful for:
a) Flowers: I could then show my Mum (who was my florist) and she could do her thing without much input from me. I don't know the names of many flowers and I certainly didn't know what was in season (basically every flower I initially wanted was out of season). This way it was easy for her to see the style and type of flowers I liked and substitute where needed.
b) Hair and make-up: It was useful to show my hair and make-up artist the type of look I was after, however just remember that you may not end up looking exactly like the girl in the picture! I was so disappointed when I didn't transform into a Brazilian goddess, wtf?!
c) Photography: I put together wedding photos that I loved and gave access to my photographers so they could see exactly what I was hoping for them to capture. It is also a good idea to go through the photographers portfolio and be clear about what styles/poses you do and don't want. Then trust them, they know what they're doing!
3. Wedding Folder: I didn't really use this at all. I rushed out to buy it as I thought it was pretty but actually it was much easier just making notes in a normal notebook or on my phone, especially when visiting venues. I did file a couple of receipts in there but that was about it. Other people may get more use out of a dedicated wedding folder however I didn't so I definitely don't think its a necessity.
4. Excel: Unless you are mega rich and money is no object then you NEED a way to monitor your budget and keep track of your spending (as boring as it is). Craig created a spread sheet with formulas so we could see at a glance how our budget was doing (dwindling). We created an estimated and actual column...and yes we did go over budget!
5. Email Folders: This may seem obvious but I created a 'Wedding' folder and put it at the top of my e-mail folder list, then created sub folders such as: DJ and entertainment, Venue, Hair and Make-up, Honeymoon etc etc so I always knew exactly where we were with everything and I could easily find emails/agreements/orders when I needed to.
6. Address Book: I didn't have one but I should have! I managed to delete all our guests addresses after sending out our invites and then had to ask everyone for their addresses again when it came to sending out the thank you cards! I really wish I had stuck to an old fashioned address book!
7. Whats app - I created a whats app group with my bridesmaids and it was lovely to be able to ask those quick questions about whether we should have eton mess or chocolate tart for dessert and then ignore them and go for a trio of desserts ;-) Or so they could send pics of their shoes and nail varnish shades ;-)
I also had a constant stream of messages going to my Mum and she was always at the end of the phone but not sure if I can list my Mum as a wedding planning tool :-)
I hope some of that may help get you started in organising the most amazing day! Happy Wedding Day to all you lovely Brides to be!