Creating the Perfect Wedding Planning Binder
When it comes to planning a wedding, having a place to store all of your ideas and important information is key to staying sane.
Whether you are one week into planning your wedding day, or 6 months, I am sure you already know organization is the key to a stress-free planning process. Well, maybe not totally stress-free, but it helps a lot. One thing that is a must to make sure you have everything you need for your wedding day to run smoothly is a wedding planning binder.
As wonderful as it is that we can do practically everything on our computers and phones now, it will put your mind at ease to have a tangible copy that you know will not get lost in the mysterious “cloud.” It is also another thing you can go back years from now and reminisce on all the fun you had planning this amazing day.
First, you’ll need a timeline. What needs to be done early on in your engagement and what should you double check a few weeks before the wedding? Keep your timeline at the front of your binder, and check off steps as you go.
Keep a folder and plastic business card holders in your binder. This is especially important when you go to meetings with vendors or bridal shows. You can store all of the business cards you collect for future reference. We suggest having two folders – one for information and pamphlets you’ll pick up throughout this process, and one to organize all of your contracts and receipts. Make sure to keep a section stocked with blank sheets of paper for you to take notes on, too!
One section that some brides don’t think to include in their wedding binder is an Inspiration section. This section should have pictures of your favorite pins, color scheme samples, wedding dresses you love, or whatever else fits the theme of your wedding! Not only will it guide you as you continue to make plans, but it can be a great resource to show prospective vendors so they understand your vision. Find your inspiration with our blogs, real weddings, and Pinterest galleries!
To make your wedding binder, you’ll need a cute binder – at least 1.5 inches thick – organizational tabs, folders, colorful markers or pens, and printables! The 40-Page Wedding Planner in the back of our Today’s Bride Magazine is an amazing starting point for creating your wedding binder, as it has every detail and question you’ll need when meeting with vendors! You may also want to download some of our free printables, or make your own! Sheets for your vows, must-have and do-not-play song lists, a checklist for RSVPs received, your travel arrangements for your honeymoon, a registry checklist, a checklist for your emergency kit, etc. can be super helpful when keeping things organized.
When organizing your planner, we recommend you sort first by timeline – 8-12 months until the wedding, 6-8 months until the wedding, 3-6 months until the wedding, etc. – and then by category within that time frame – flowers, entertainment, invitations, etc. Feel free to customize your planner however you feel it will benefit you most when planning! Don’t hold back when it comes to decorating, either! If you don’t want to spend $10+ on an adorable planner from Target or Etsy, buy a cheap one from Walmart and create your own cover with markers, puffy paint, stickers, stencils, and more! You will be staring at this binder a great deal up until your wedding day, so make it something you want to look at.
Need an outline? Here’s how we’d organize our ideal Wedding Planning Binder:
- Vendor Contact Information
- To-Do Lists
- Wedding Party
- Contact Info
12 Months Until the Wedding
- Guest List
- Contact Info
- Venue Site (Ceremony and Reception)
- Readings and Vows
- Shot List
8-12 Months Until the Wedding
- Seating Plan
- RENTALS, LIGHTING, AND LINENS
- PHOTO BOOTH
- RSVPs Received List
- Place Cards
3-8 months until the wedding
- CAKE AND DESSERTS
- Guest List
- WEDDING DAY SCHEDULE
- Arrival and Departure Times
- Emergency Kit
- Travel Accommodations and Confirmations
- MARRIAGE LICENSE INFO
- How to change my name
- Checklist of info that needs to be changed
Now curl up on the couch with a hot cup of coffee and your favorite crafting materials and get organized, ladies! You’ll thank us later.