Wedding Planning 101: Create a Wedding Planner

Did your wonderful husband-to-be recently "pop the question" and now you are wondering what on earth you have gotten yourself into with trying to plan a wedding? Don't panic! I was there once and I remember the first few weeks of having no idea what to do or where to start. Our wedding date was only five months away and I was completely clueless as to what type of ceremony I wanted, what colors I liked, who would officiate, where the wedding would take place, and on and on the endless unknowns went. There seemed to be an enormous amount of details to figure out, and time was running out.

Before you do anything, make up a "wedding planner." This was literally the best thing I did and it saved me so much hassle and allowed me to have a beautiful, stress-free wedding day. There are all sorts of lovely pre-made wedding planners available, but I recommend you make your own. Get a 3-ring binder and notebook paper. Title a separate sheet of paper for each month until the wedding. For the last month, make a separate page for each week. For the last week, make a separate page for each day.

As you are thinking of the 1001 things which need to be done before the big day, instead of letting them overwhelm you, write it down in your wedding planner on the appropriate page when you would like to have that item figured out, done, or taken care of. Use these monthly, weekly, and daily lists to help keep you on track. As items are finished, cross them off your list. If something doesn't get done one month, move it to the next month.

In my wedding planner, I not only had a whole section with these lists, but I kept everything else needed for the big day. There was a section for receipts (I put some clear plastic pockets to hold these in), a section which listed everyone who was involved in the wedding (so no one would be overlooked on the program), and fabric swatches (so we could match the dresses, the flowers, and the decorations). Another section listed all the out-of-town guests, where they were staying, when they were coming in, and if they needed transportation. There was a section for wedding and shower gifts and thank you cards which still needed to be written. As we met with various individuals (florists, wedding coordinator, and so on), I took notes and kept these notes in my wedding planner for future reference. There was also a section which listed all the contact information for the key people/businesses involved in our wedding (from cake decorator to officiator).

Your wedding planner will be different than mine, because no two weddings are the same. Customize your planner to fit your exact needs for your special day.

As you plan your wedding, make sure and take time to enjoy preparing and looking forward to it. Don't get so caught up in all the details that you drive yourself and everyone around you crazy! In the end, everything will work out and it will be a beautiful day!

Crystal Paine is the owner of Covenant Wedding Source, LLC, an online retail bridal business specializing in custom-made gowns and other unique wedding products. She lives with her husband in Kansas. For more information on her business, visit her website: http://www.covenantweddingsource.com

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