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Tuesday, February 2, 2016

DIY: Wedding Planner

DIY wedding planner

I jumped into wedding planning the day after I got engaged. I remembered from back when I worked at a bookstore that there were big binders available full of worksheets, lists, tips, etc. I looked at some on Amazon and they all seemed to be tailored to an heiress who was having a 100+ guest wedding and would do all the traditional wedding things. None of that suited me and I certainly wasn't going to pay $25 for something that would probably only have 3 pages that I found useful.

DIY wedding planner

Here's what I used for my DIY wedding planner:
  • a 3 ring binder, I recommend a 3 inch
  • subject dividers with tabs
  • printer, paper, and ink
  • wedding planning worksheets, I use these and am very happy with them (hint: go through and only print the pages you need, it's time consuming but why waste ink?)
  • plastic business card pages, like these-- I collected 25 business cards at just one wedding showcase, this was a great way to keep them all organized instead of floating around at the bottom of my purse
  • sheet protectors to keep vendor contracts safe
  • a hole puncher, I used a handheld one but I definitely recommend a 3 hole puncher 
  • your favorite wedding magazines 
  • scissors
  • pens
  • glue sticks 
  • or! a pen-gluestick combo, which I love
DIY wedding planner


As you may be able to tell from that list and the above photo, I am not a Pinterest-person. I prefer to cut images out from magazines. Obviously, purchasing wedding magazines can add up. Here are my wedding magazine tips:
  • don't buy an issue for just one article
  • see if the issue is available digitally, usually they are, and usually they're less money or even free (and if you're like me and want to cut things out, you can always print the images/articles)
  • you know how The Knot also has regional issues? I learned the hard way that they re-use articles from previous issues-- check it out before you buy it to avoid redundancy and wasting money
  • sometimes smaller regional wedding magazines all seem to feature the same weddings at the same time--not that I didn't love that June elopement in Acadia National Park, but I don't need to see the pictures in 4 different magazines-- I say again, flip through before you buy
DIY wedding planner


I divided my binder into 8 sections:

 Timeline/Checklist: most magazines have checklists in them, websites have checklists, and the worksheets I posted above have 'em. You could always get ideas from various checklists and compose your own. 
♥ Budgeting: because really, everything else depends on this. I have in this section the current price sheet for my venue and the budget worksheets. 
Hair/Clothing/Accessories: I filled this section with pictures of hairstyles I loved and the beauty plan worksheets. 
Stationary/Guests: in here I keep ideas and information about invitations I loved, worksheets about the stationary, the guest list with contact info, where they are staying while in town, and ideas for place cards.
♥ Ceremony: ceremony worksheets,flower ideas, specific wedding day timeline.
♥ Reception: cake ideas, reception worksheets, music, seating charts, etc.
♥ Vendors: I printed my venue's preferred vendor list and stuck it in here, here is where I put all the business cards, and other vendor info that I found online or got at wedding showcases.
Contracts: keep all your sheet protected contracts back here.

DIY wedding planner


My favorite wedding planning sources:
My favorite Maine/New England oriented sites/publications:

Here's some last words of advice:
  • find local/regional wedding oriented websites/publications-- they are great sources for finding venues, vendors, officiants, planners/day-of-coordinators, etc.
  • speaking of venues, look at something a little different. Parks! A random pretty field! Art museums! Historic buildings! Botanical gardens! Libraries! 
  • once you secure a venue, utilize their preferred vendor list
  • other vendors (florists, photographers, caterers, etc.) probably have preferred vendor lists, too!
  • save and/or print everything (and put it in your binder)
  • make a Google Docs folder full of wedding-related stuff-- links, Excel sheets, guest lists, etc.
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