Weddings aren’t that difficult to plan. The choices aren’t hard to make, it’s just that there’s so many of them. They go on month after month until you’re just plain tired of making up your mind.
Plans will be easier to make if they are well organized. A simple way to do this is to make a binder that will keep all your choices in one place. A binder is easy to carry from one vendor to the next. It eliminates those moments when you wonder “now what did I do with Watson’s Bakery’s phone number; I know it’s around here somewhere.”
To make a wedding binder you will need a notebook that is at least two inches thick. Tab dividers will make it easy to sort the ideas out into sections: calendar/schedules, cake, decorations, ceremony/vows, rehearsal dinner, reception/rentals, guest list, budget, caterers, dresses/tuxedos, DJ’s/play lists, hotels, registry, goodie bag and gift ideas, etc.
You’ll also want to include pockets for keeping track of flyers, brochures and contracts that have to be mailed in and can’t be three-hole punched. Pockets can be purchased at Office Depot on Bayou Blvd. You can make them, too. Use an old file folder, and cut one side in half horizontally. Trim the folder to 9 x 11. Tape or glue the trimmed edges of the half side on the bottom and side to make a pocket. Punch the cut edge so that the folded side is on the outside of the book.
In the budget section, punch the long side of a manila envelope. An envelope is a good way to store receipts. The clasp on the flap allows you to open and close the envelope, preventing the small pieces of paper from falling out and getting lost.
You’ll also want to include a means of keeping track of business cards. Plastic pocket pages that are used to keep floppy disks or CD’s in a binder work well. The pages are clear, which allows you to face the cards back to back, storing twice as many cards per page. There are also plastic binder pages that are specifically designed for holding business cards. If you don’t have these, or can’t find them, tape the cards to a stiff piece of paper or the tabbed index divider.
Plastic presentation pages, clear plastic sleeves that are used to put pages into a binder without punching them, can be used for collecting programs from other weddings, fabric swatches, and other odds and ends.
The first section of the notebook should include a calendar. These are available from a variety of web sites. Each one will be a little different; some are more detailed than the others. Keep in mind that these calendars list the deadlines for making those choices. There’s nothing stopping you from making a decision early. The earlier you make a choice, the more time you will have for dealing with last minute details. You’ll want to put the calendar in the front of the book because you will be reading it the most often.
When you find something you like and want to consider, print the picture, punch the page, and put it in the correct section. Make sure the print out has the web site listed, or the vendor’s address and contact information. If it’s a product or rental, include the price. This will save time trying to remember where you saw that idea or product or how much it cost.
If you can’t print a picture or make a copy from a book, draw a sketch of the idea and make notes about it. Add some notebook filler paper in the back of the binder for this purpose. Notebook paper is also good for brainstorming sessions and notes.
Office binders from Office Depot have a clear pocket on the front and back cover and spine that allow you to add a cover or title to the binder. Use a word processing program or a scrap book computer program to design a nice cover for your collection.
Keep the binder after the wedding, and you’ll be able to share it with your friends when they get married. After all, no journey is complete until you share what you have learned.