5.28.2014

Wedding Wednesday: Wedding Planning Hacks

I am ALL about being efficient. I have to-do list for everything and I am SUPER Type A. Organization is my middle name. I knew when we started planning our wedding I wanted to be on top of things so we knew we were hitting milestones and saving money, etc. I especially did not want things to get crazy in the days leading up to the big day (24 DAYS TO GO!!!!). Below are a few of the ways I have been able to do this!

1. Use a pre-made wedding checklist and tailor it to your timeline and needs. Within a week of getting engaged, M bought us this awesome planner from Barnes and Noble. We love it and have used it consistently throughout the past year (I can't believe it has been a year). I have also used The Knot for adding to this checklist as they have a more detail oriented list.


2. EXCEL. Although the above book has a great budgeting sheet, I also kept track of our budget in excel since we had various accounts from which we were funding the wedding. I also had a guest list excel sheet that listed: Name(s), address, Save the Date? (meaning I had mailed them one), Invite? (similar to save the date column), Invite to rehearsal?, Rehearsal regrets, Tentative RSVP, RSVP # (more on this later), RSVP? (Y/N and date), RSVP names (if different from those on invite listed in Name(s) column), Number of attendees (this column added up for a total count of guests at the end of the sheet), staying at wedding hotel, Table #, Thank you?, Special requests/kids, other info, and e-mail address. This thing has been my LIFE since putting together our guest list and sending out invites.

3. Numbering RSVPs. I saw this hack on pinterest when I first started planning. You basically just number your RSVP cards on the back so that if people return them without names you know who it's from. Mostly everyone returned theirs with a name on them, but the numbering was also helpful for checking off RSVPs on my long excel sheet since they were in numerical order on my sheet!

4. Post-it table arrangements. I have also seen this hack many other places. We wrote everyone's names on little post-it notes and arranged them around our tables accordingly. This allowed for a visual representation of our arrangement, as well as an easy way to move people around. Sorry for the crappy iPhone quality.



5. EBates and promo codes. I used EBates for most of the online purchases I made for the wedding, which got us cash back (read more about it HERE)! Before buying anything I would also Google promo codes for the company, such as Minted. I also kept track of the promo codes they would send me through e-mail so that I could use them when I needed to order things. I ended up saving close to $200 on our Save the dates, wedding invites, and rehearsal enclosures between these two!

6. Traveler's Joy and Cheap Caribbean. Traveler's Joy is a registry that allows people to purchase things for your honeymoon, such as massages, day trips, you name it! You can customize the items you want to list on there and Traveler's Joy will send you a check when you want it! You can see mine as an example HERE. Cheap Caribbean was a LIFE SAVER and allowed us to book an 8 day honeymoon on a budget! I highly recommend it.
 
7. Fake calligraphy. I refused to pay someone to address my invites and other paper goods, so I learned "fake calligraphy" and did all of my things my hand including my invites, table numbers, seating cards, you name it. It took some practice but it was totally fun to learn! You can find a good tutorial HERE.


8. Buy local. We used a local florist and our local grocery store (Hyvee, who caters for the KC Chiefs!) for catering and this saved us a TON of money. The quality was just a great as some of the bigger names and the people working with us were just so much more personable throughout the planning process.

9. Ask vendors to match other vendors. Some of the venues we had looked at originally offered day of champagne for the wedding party, a free projector, and a few other things. Before deciding on our current venue, we asked them if they would be able to provide these things for us and they happily obliged! Don't be able to ask for vendors to match what others offer, they usually will! We did this with our photographer, florist, and a few other vendors and they were all great about being accommodating.

10. Don't sweat the small things. People are going to say awful things, plans are going to fall through, things WILL go wrong and THAT IS PERFECTLY OKAY. When it comes down to it, the day is about you, your husband and GOD. Do not get caught up in the things that do not matter.


I hope this is helpful to all of you currently planning a wedding. For those of you whom have already successfully put on a wedding, what other hacks worked for you?

Tomorrow I am off to Vegas for my bachelorette weekend! I will have some lovely ladies on the blog so I hope you stick around for them!

NC Belle in Boots

13 comments :

  1. such good ideas! coupon codes and just asking got me a lot of good deals! We also numbered the RSVPs!!

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  2. i wish i had the numbered RSVP tip when i got married...would have saved some headaches!

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  3. Love these tips! Thanks for sharing the fake calligraphy link, as well! I've been trying to figure out a different way to address our invites & this is perfect!!

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  4. Hahaha! Organization is totally my middle name too :) These are great tips!!! I had a huge Excel spreadsheet that was super detailed and perfect for organizing my info. I love that you have one! And I did #9 with my dress...I found it in another city so I came back to mine, found it at a boutique and asked them to match the price and they did!

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  5. Ummmm why am I just now hearing about fake calligraphy? I don't know why I didn't think to number the RSVP's, especially for my sisters wedding that I did (since planning it from China-where she lives-was a no go). It would have saved so many emails of pictures of her RSVP's and me being like what?!?! Who is Mr. Dimples Mcdork? Oh you mean Devon McConner....got it.
    (there was no one named Dimples or Devon at her wedding, but you know what I mean). CONFUSING.

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  6. THE BEST RIGHT?! Did you have a lot of people RSVP without names?

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  7. Haha! Just getting them back has been my biggest battle!

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  8. Glad to help! I had so much fun doing it, I now want to do it on EVERYTHING!!!!

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  9. EXCEL IS A GOD SEND. Price matching is the best thing ever.

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  10. I didn't know your sister was in China! That all makes sense now why you were so involved! HAHAHAHA Dimples...

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  11. I like the numbering RSVPs idea. Wish I would have known about it for mine. Excel was my BFF during wedding planning. I was definitely more organized with it.

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  12. Excel is just the best invention ever.

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  13. We planned on a budget, so we did as much ourselves as we could.... From making decor, to decorating, to making my own invite. biggest help for me? Make a list of EVERYTHING that needs done the week before/day of and assign things to your wedding party. I gave my groom things to take charge of, and he rocked it. Lists, details, even just labeling boxes helped everyone be able to help and it was seriously stress free because it was all written down and I relinquished control. That might be the best point.... Don't try to do it all yourself. If you end up married your wedding was a success. Spend your time planning your marriage too.

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