Wednesday, 1 May 2013

Keeping Organised: My wedding planning and budgeting tool kit

Until I started planning our wedding properly (more than just ogling pretty dresses and centrepieces) I didn't realise truly how much work would be involved, and all the decisions to be made and kept track of. 
I swear, I have never been so organised... in. my. life. Through planning our wedding my general organisational skills have improved significantly (one of the unexpected bonuses of planning your own wedding.)

I used a lot of new gadgets and tools to accomplish this, and I cannot rave about them enough.

Of course I got completely wedding obsessed, thanks to Pinterest, this website is a real time waster (in a good way... sort of) you can pick up all sorts of inspiration, DIY hints and tips, budgeting and design ideas. Just be aware and keep in mind that a lot of these posts are from VERY expensive weddings or professional wedding planning services, so don't set the bar too high this early in the planning process, details can come later.

My savior, and a document Chris used extensively as well, was our All in one Wedding Planner. This well laid out spreadsheet has everything you have thought of and many things you probably haven't yet.  With the freedom to add or subtract the pages that do or don't apply to you. There are many planning spreadsheets on the internet so do your research first, but this one worked well for us.

For those of you who have never used Google docs a.k.a Drive, you don't know what you've been missing! We used this for all of our wedding spreadsheets, along with every other aspect of our lives. It saves automatically, you can access your documents from any computer and is just as easy to use as any Microsoft product. Plus the documents can be shared and edited by multiple people - great for planning with others.

The Knot is another website that I practically lived on. They too, have check-lists, budget calculators, scrapbooks and registries. Along with heaps of really interesting articles, pictures, blogs, forums and stories about real weddings. The only downside I found was that it is targeted at an American or Australian audience, so some of the suggestions didn't apply to our wedding. For those of you with kids, they also have a sister website called "The Bump"

Wedding Bee, come join the hive. This is a forum/blog site with a huge community of brides to be and brides who have been through it all before. Some really interesting reads. I loved the "before and after" pictures segments.

Have you considered making yourself a Wedding WebsiteGoogle Weddings is an option, that way you can keep everyone up to date, have your registry linked to it etc. We didn't use this but it sounds like a good idea.


Money, money, money

Keeping your wedding money separate from your everyday money is a good idea. 
Keeping it in a term deposit until you need it, is even better (let your wedding pay for itself). 
We did all this, but also got a Credit card especially for the wedding. Now, I know you can easily get into a lot of trouble here, but if you are sensible with your budgeting, it can really pay off.
Here are some reasons to have a wedding credit card 
  1. Rewards - Now we all know weddings are expensive, but if you pay off your account every month you can actually benefit from it. Depending on your bank, you can get a % Cashback or Airpoints rewards to go towards your honeymoon or house.  The more purchases you put on the card the more you will earn in return.
  2. Insurance - What if you purchase goods or services that prove unsatisfactory or never arrive? When paying on a Credit card the bank may be able to cover your ass expenses as you will be covered by the Consumer Credit Act. (please talk to your bank first, I'm not an expert on this)
  3. Purchasing online is easier
  4. Keeping all your wedding purchases in one account or card makes things easier to keep track of, and you will realise sooner if you are going over budget.  

Household Organisation 

Now, im not telling you how to run your home, Im sure you all have your own way of doing things. I tried to keep everything wedding related in a specific wedding folder/box/drawer etc. 
In our house, things have a habit of spreading themselves around; making that business card someone gave you three weeks ago, or that swatch of material from your bridesmaid dress, pretty hard to find.
One last tidbit that I really liked, was creating a Facebook group for my Bridesmaids' and Mums'. In my case, so many of whom lived overseas or far away. It was great to get everyone's input, keeping them up-to-date and letting them feel more involved. These can be private groups, so that no one else knows all the secrets you are planning.

Thats about all I can think of at the moment, apologise for those of you who were eagerly awaiting another personal blogpost, I promise it will be back to the usual next week. For those of you who are planning a wedding or event, I hope you enjoyed this post, learnt something new and I wish you all the best.

If you have any other ideas you would like to share, leave a comment below.


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