Wedding Planning Series: Part 2!

Today is all about wedding planning! Well, every Wedding Planning Series post is all about wedding planning lol, but today all about organization, venue, and date selection!

I don’t know how many times I can stay that I love, love, LOVE organization, planning, and prepping! I especially love organizational tools and all the cute little things I can use to keep me on track. First and foremost, ya’ll know that my favorite organization tool is my new LYTE planner! I am actually giving one away FOR FREE! Check out the rules on my Instagram (@simplyivoryb) or here! Since I just got my new planner, when I started to gather my supplies for wedding planning I had to use something else. I did some YouTube research of course and found a cheap and easy idea!

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I bought this binder from Target for like $1.00. I made the front cover page using Word and printed out this super helpful wedding guide and planner and put it in the binder. I sectioned off each part of the binder for the different topics that I wanted to focus on. My sections include:

  1. Venue. I used this section to add all the information for any venues that I was considering. I made sure to print out any information packets, worksheets, etc. that any venue coordinator sent me, that way it would be easy to refer back to the information if my Mom, Fubby, or whoever else had questions. It was also helpful for comparison of prices and quickly comparing what each place had to offer.
  2. Bridal Party. All I did here was print out colored images of any dress styles that I liked for myself and my bridesmaids. I made sure to include price points and sizes as well. I also put the men’s attire here. I didn’t do too much with picking out the men’s attire because Fubby and I agreed that he would have full control over that. So whatever he told me to print out and include in the binder, I did 🙂 This was also helpful when it was time for me to show my bridesmaids what I was thinking in regards to their attire (even though they really didn’t have a choice lol just kidding!). I also have hairstyles and makeup looks in this section.
  3. Decor. This section has pretty much any and every idea I have ever thought of lol regarding our wedding. There are pictures of seasonal florals (since we are getting married in the summer), table decor, venue decor, ceremony decor, etc. I have found that it is really important to gather all of these ideas in one place because so many ideas will be thrown at you and without tracking them, you could potentially cheat yourself out of a great idea by forgetting what it was or where you may have seen it or who told you about it.
  4. Guest List and Invites. Okay, so truth moment. My guest list is actually not in my binder in its designated spot lol. It is actually written on my pink notepad that matches the binder I bought for wedding planning. It is just easier and quicker for me to access, keep track of, and make changes as needed. I do have my invitation ideas in the binder though. Fubby and I came to the conclusion to just design our Save-The-Dates and invites ourselves and have them printed either through Staples or Walgreens. It’s all about saving money at this point (this will be another blog for another time) 🙂
  5. Miscellaneous and Calendar. Except for the calendar, this section is pretty much bare. I have a notepad that I keep with my binder that has a lot of odds and ends written on it. I am a sporadic thinker so it is easier for me to jot my thoughts down as they come. If this is you as well, be sure to get a notepad (Target has super cute ones) to go along with your binder. I use the calendar to organize things by date and of course so I don’t forget anything! You can totally color coordinate  your calendar or you can just write things in pencil like I do so you can always erase things and move them around.

Now that you have an idea of how I keep everything organized, let’s move into venue stuff. I won’t give you some long drawn out crazy equation on how to find the perfect venue because there really isn’t one, BUT I can just give you a few pointers on what I did and what I think would maybe be helpful to you!

  1. Start Early. This probably is the best piece of advice I can give! I remember getting engaged in May and I started calling venues in June to check availability for the next year and some places were already booked up!! Isn’t that crazy?! Just remember that people plan weddings almost a year to two years out so get on shopping for your venue QUICK since this is the most important factor of your wedding.
  2. Stay within your Budget. This could be a whole total separate blog post, which it just might be lol. I know when I was looking for a venue I was going off the idea of all these beautiful pictures I have seen on Pinterest or what Kim and Kanye did and whoever else. However, Fubby and I do not have Kimye money lol. It is so important to plan out your budget, discuss with your parents about who will be paying for what or decide if you and your guy will be paying for everything yourselves. The budget plays a huge role in what kind of venues you should even look at. I know that I would look at venues that were way out of range and then just get my hopes up. DON’T DO IT. Just stay within your means and trust me, you will be able to find something that suits your wants and needs!
  3. Don’t Keep Up with the Jones’. Who cares if Sally and Mike had a 10,000 private mansion wedding?! Your wedding is about you and your significant other sharing your love and making committing vows in front of your family and friends. I’m pretty sure no one cares where you decide to do it. Why? Because this day is about YOU. Not about the venue. So as important as the venue is, you don’t need to have a top notch venue just to please your guest or try and keep up with those around you. Do what works for you, your budget, and most importantly represents you and your guy!

Now, the date is one of the easier parts of the planning. Fubby and I are getting married on July 1, 2017! And yes this date has changed TWICE! And yes, it is OKAY lol. When trying to pick the perfect date for your big day, remember that there is no perfect date or time. We originally wanted to get married on a Friday evening (some people even do Sundays and Weekdays) in the late Fall almost Winter time because this is considered “off-season” for weddings. That means things are usually cheaper. To accommodate our family and for other reasons we did decide to change the date, but you can have your wedding whenever you would like! I would suggest:

  1. Make this the FIRST thing you do. Pick your date out first, so that when you go look into venues and you are talking to coordinators you will be able to better tell them what you are looking for and what you need because you know what time, day, and season you will be getting married.
  2. Pick More Than One. If you can, try and select two or three possible dates that work for you and based on the availability of your vendors (venue, catering, DJ, etc). you can select which works best. If you already know off the bat which specific date you want, well then hey! CHEERS to you 🙂
  3. Get It on the Calendar. Once you solidify your date and you have picked your venue and every thing is good to go, get your Save-The-Dates out ASAP! It is important for your family and friends to have your date on their calendars way ahead of time. People plan things out years in advance and you want to make sure that all the important people that you want at your wedding will be able to come.

Making sure you are moving swiftly, especially at the very beginning of planning, is important. Not only will you better your chances of getting the best vendors, but you are saving yourself the extra run around time when it gets closer to the wedding. I hope you guys have liked the Wedding Planning 101 series thus far and I hope it has been helpful. I think I’ll be making some videos soon and will be recording some of these so that I can go a little bit more in depth. If you have any questions or just want to talk feel free to comment below! As always, remember to flourish!

xoxo, ivoryb.

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