Hello! My name is Barbie Fidura and I am so very excited to share my knowledge and expertise about wedding planning with you. Before I go on, I would first like to say congratulations on your engagement. This is just the beginning of the adventure, so hold on you’re in for a fast, fun, and exciting ride. I started working on weddings as a favor to a friend. She told me that I was one of the most organized and detail orientated people she knew and thought I could really help. Turned out that wedding coordinating was the outlet I needed to channel my talents as well as do what is most important to me…. and that is to make others happy. I have had the pleasure of working with brides for almost 10 years and have learned so much through these experiences. The focus of my blog is to provide you tips, tricks, tools, and a little sanity to help you through the wedding planning and execution process.
It has never been proven but I think the minute we brides hear that question, “will you marry me?” some chemical is released into our brains and we automatically go into overdrive….I call it bridenaline. Before the ring is securely on our finger we’re mapping out venue locations, colors, flowers, and food options. Slow down, there’s plenty of time to get in a panic (I hope). We are going to start this first blog off with the basics….getting yourself focused and organized. It is crucial to remained focused and organized throughout the entire process of planning your wedding. There is a lot to do and endless options and it can be easy to get off track or overwork the details. Okay, here we go!
Step 1: Get Organized
As I have said before, staying organized is a crucial part to planning a successful wedding. I have always heard people say, “Something always goes wrong at a wedding.” I argue that point. There are always details that were unaccounted for like the need for an extra fan or extension cord (hopefully your planner takes care of this and it is unbeknownst to you). If you have a good plan in place, everything will come together. Here are the items I recommend:
- 3 ringed binder with dividers. There are websites and craft stores that have wedding binders. I found them to range from $50-$78. You can definitely do this for less money and still make it fun and personable.
- A pencil holder that goes into the binder. I use these to keep track of receipts.
- Plastic business card holder sheets
- Note pad
- Wedding box. There are lots of little details you’ll want to save along the way up until your wedding and a wedding box is great for that. If you decide to use feathers in your bouquet, putting one or two in your box is great for scrapbooking later on. Put an extra save the date and invitation and so on….collect as you go.
- Another 3 ringed binder for ideas and design. Your first one should be for organizing and this one to store things you pull out of magazines, pictures, fabric, paper samples, and so on.
Step 2: Organizational Binder Set Up
- Master Details List: Wedding date, location, photographer etc. Fill this out as you go along. It’s valuable to have all this in one location especially if others are helping you with your wedding.
- Master Contact Information Lists. You can accomplish this using a plastic business card holder filled with vendor cards.
- Venue Details. Include contracts, pricing, agreements, invoices, and blank pages for venue layout details.
- Guest List
- Save the Dates and Invitations
- Day Of Timelines/Details
- Contracts for “other” vendors and site rentals
- Other details (special requests / unique details)
Step 3: Take a day for inspiration
It’s important to collect your thoughts and find your starting point. Most of the brides I work with pick a certain color or object that they love and that serves as the starting point for pulling the other details together. I recommend you take a Saturday with a friend or family member and hit the town to look for inspiration. Visit some craft stores to look for ideas, look at flowers, and check out areas of town for venues. Take pictures of things that inspire you. Also if you don’t already have them, get some wedding books and magazines. In San Diego, there are publications that look at local weddings. These are very helpful. Start tearing out ideas you like and filling your second binder. Most every vendor I have spoken to has agreed that a bride that has some ideas, especially things they can look at helps them tremendously. It can be easy to go overboard. Initially that is OK. We’ll talk about refining your ideas in another blog.
Each of my upcoming blogs will focus on a very specific part of planning your wedding day. I will discuss in detail each section of your binder to keep you organized as well as hot wedding trends and some do’s and don’ts. Ok, off you go….get your binders and have some fun!