Whether or not you're planning your wedding with the help of a professional, every bride-to-be could use a little extra helping getting organized. That's why creating a wedding-planning binder, packed with all the important ideas, paperwork, vendor correspondences, and contact lists, is a really good idea—especially if you want to keep your stress in check. We asked two wedding planners to share what they think is absolutely necessary to include in your own planning binder.
Keep an incredibly thorough checklist as it pertains to each vendor, including their basic contact information (including phone numbers and email addresses) as well as their wedding duties. "It's important to consult with your planner about what tasks should fall under each of your vendors, including what you and your planner are each responsible for," says Virginia Edelson of Bluebird Productions. Being able to access all of this key information in one spot will make your life so much easier.
Having a clear list of what everyone's responsible for is great, but you'll also want to keep your signed contracts here, too. They'll outline everyone's responsibilities in detail, and also break down when payments are due.
Whether it's made up of printed Pinterest boards, images torn from wedding magazines, or mood boards created by your vendors, keeping your inspiration imagery in your wedding planning binder makes it easy to reference during vendor meetings. "This is something we give all vendors, regardless of what their responsibility is, as it's the best way to get the feel of your wedding, and helps to put imagery and visuals to you, your fiancé, and your wedding date," advises Elizabeth McKellar of The Nouveau Romantics. So, if your meeting with your cake baker to choose sugar flowers for your dessert, you can easily reference your florists vision board to help you create a cohesive look.
The Guest List and Gifts
Add a section to your binder with all of your wedding guests, including their addresses, RSVPs, and any gifts they've sent. "Including a series of pages will prompt you to record all gifts received, who gave them, and whether or not a thank-you note was sent," says Edelson. You'll be thanking yourself for all that diligent organization when you sit down to write thank-yous.
It's extremely important for every person involved with the wedding to be given a timeline of events. This includes family and vendors. "This might be something that you work with a planner on, and/or create one yourself, but it's a handy document to have when vendors begin to ask questions," says McKellar. Keep a sample timeline in your planning binder, then adjust it as necessary as you finalize the details.