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  • Writer's pictureAshley Billone

Planning for Your Happily Ever After

After I got engaged, I would get advice to just “enjoy being engaged” and then start planning. Now, I have a very Type-A personality, which means that planning is part of my nature. Any given opportunity where I can plan, I will do it. So as you can imagine, it was a little hard to take this advice.

With that being said though, I did take a couple of weeks (and I really do mean a couple) to enjoy my engagement, but then it was crunch time. Even though we are getting married in spring of 2018 (recently decided), it’s important to start getting all your ducks in a row because i’ve quickly found that there are girls who literally have their entire wedding planned out by the time they get married. Though I am Type-A, I am also very indecisive but I’m getting better!

Whether you are getting married in six months, a year or even two years from now, it’s always good to take a step back before you start any planning just to get a sense of where to start. Now, there are many ways you can tackle this. If you’re a list person (eh-hem like me), this is probably the best route for you. If you’re flustered and aren’t sure of where to start first, there are different resources you can (and should) utilize to keep yourself organized and sane.

Kate Spade has a “Love Is In the Air” binder that has pages filled with checklists, sections for notes, more lists, budget information and even pages to create your own mood boards. (I have one of these binders and it’s been great so far)!

The Knot is also a great source because once you create your own profile with basic information, it creates a dashboard for you and has a digital checklist for you (if you prefer typing over to writing). It also has a checklist for all the vendors and breaks it down into a timeline and when you should be completing those duties based on your wedding date. Obviously, you don’t have to stick to the timeline verbatim, but if you like that precise timeline then this is a great outlet for you! You can also put your overall budget for the wedding and each time you mark off vendors and deposits, it will automatically subtract from the total budget.

Google Spreadsheets is a place maybe you wouldn’t think of using, but works just as great! If you like spreadsheets and having multiple tabs, this would be a great outlet for you. Also, there is no specific layout and you can tailor it to however you and your fiancé will best understand it and keep track of things. To my surprise, my fiancé made one of these very shortly after we got engaged and it’s been a great source for us. We have a main page with our budget and two columns broken down to the main elements of a wedding (venue, catering, florists, photographer, music, etc.) and we have a “low ball budget quote” and a “high ball budget quote” so that we can see roughly what we can work with and how these different categories will fluctuate as we move forward.

Once we lock down that category, we mark it in green and keep track of the deposits we’ve made, how much more we will owe later on and then the numbers will automatically change based on what you put. The tabs come in handy because you have a tab for everything: vendors, music, florists, catering/bar, photographer/videographer, guest list, other wedding services, etc. For each tab, you can keep track of your research and store all of the information because everything will start to seem similar and you will forget what quote that person gave you or what information you told them. Once you start talking to more and more vendors of all categories, start making notes of why you liked them or maybe why you didn’t like them (bad reviews, too expensive…) and it will help immensely down the road!

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