How I’m Organizing Our Wedding Planning & If We Are Hiring a Wedding Planner

Happy Wedding Wednesday!

I am excited to start sharing the wedding planning process with you! I felt like the most natural place to start was how I’m staying organized! 

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I have always been one of those people who is overly eager to start planning a wedding. If we are being completely honest, most things are already planned, picked out and idealized out in my mind. I am very decisive someone used this word to describe me once and I really like it! I make decision easily, I know what I like and am able to express my vision clearly. 

Are We Hiring a Wedding Planner?

Honestly, I thought about it. Because I have some insane ideas I’ve never seen done or executed before and I really wanted to make sure I wasn’t crazy. I reached out to a few people but when I was reviewing proposals I really thought to myself that I can do this. 

So no, we are not hiring a wedding planner. If I wasn’t so Type-A and on top of my own stuff all the time I would consider it. I’m just really confident we can do this on our own and truthfully, I just didn’t want my budget to go towards a planner when I really think I am capable of it on my own. 

I also really think I have the bandwidth to take this on. My cooperate job in planning content for c-level executive conferences has made me heavily rely on organization, email and vendor management and because of that I really think I’m qualified to tackle a wedding. 

I say that now, but ask me in twelve months if I regret this decision. 

VENUE & MONTH OF COORDINATOR 

Our venue does require us to have a coordinator for the wedding day itself. I am still considering hiring a month of wedding coordinator who basically comes in at the last month of the planning process and helps tie up loose ends with vendors. 

I think this makes the most sense for me because I think I can work with our photographer to get the wedding day timeline ironed out and could really use the help on the month of preparation. 

Our venue does have a coordinator fee we can opt into if we choose to not hire a wedding planner the last month. The downside to that, is that I would still have to do all the month of preparation and the venue coordinator would just execute the wedding day itself. 

I am really leaning more towards the month of coordinator and that way we can have the wedding planner with us the whole day and not just once we get to the venue. If you have Fort Worth/Dallas area wedding coordinator recommendations for just that final stretch execution let me know! I am still looking for this person. 

How We Are Staying Organized 

When I started looking into wedding planners like physical notebooks to keep track of everything I was overwhelmed. There are so many options out there and really when I thought hard about it, I am just not a pen and paper person. 

I spend all day on the computer and my whole life lives in excel. When I thought about how I wanted to execute the planning process, my mind was thinking in excel tabs. Everyone is different in how they like to organize, but in both my corporate career and my blog, I use excel for everything constantly. 

I started looking on Etsy for some excel templates because I knew in my mind this would keep track of everything from budget, guest list, and to do lists. I didn’t want a Microsoft Excel template because when I envisioned us using this it was with Google Drive. 

My mom lives on the East Coast and Pierce’s mom although she lives in DFW it didn’t make sense for us to have a notebook that only I had in my possession be the one final thing that had all the wedding planning information. What a nightmare, can you imagine if I lost said notebook?! 

I wanted my mom, Pierce’s mom, Pierce and myself to all be able to work in a working document at the same time. It just made the most sense. That way my mom could go in and add her addresses and I could even tag Pierce’s mom in a to do item and she could get a email and reminder. 

I found this template on Etsy and I LOVE IT! 

FAVORITE FEATURES & HOW WE’VE BEEN USING THE EXEL DOC

There were a few things about this template that really stood out to me, one the price. You know I’m always in an internal competition with myself to pay the lowest price for anything at all times. A lot of the Etsy templates were expensive and they weren’t as compatible with Google Sheets. I wanted the template to be designed in Google Sheets since that is how we were planning to use it. I also knew I could really in theory design this myself so I didn’t want to spend an arm and a leg on something I could do myself.

I really liked that this template had a budget tracker that turned into two different chart visuals. It’s been nice to see how much money is going to what. 

I also really liked the to do list feature. It has pre populated deliverables such as hire a photographer, 8-10 months out. Having never actually planned a wedding it’s nice to see those timelines and I love that you can check the box. I’m a huge check the box person! I also love this feature because I can assign deliverables to someone. Example, order tuxes I can @Pierce and the task will be assigned to him and he is reminded to go in and check it off. 

The guest list feature was also even better than I imagined! 

This is the tab we have spent the most time in at this stage and I just love how everything is tagged and cross tagged. Every guest can be tagged by who they are invited by. This is helpful to see how many guests are invited by which person. You can see where we tag that in column H which has a drop down menu and you can see in B11-14 where that data is captured. 

The invitation group in column I allows you to group contacts by household. So you can see Pierce and I were grouped with the tag Zoe-Pierce which then signals we are one household and the address field in column K allows for one address for both fields, you can see it grayed out Pierce’s name which equals one invitation. 

There are also columns further down that allow you to track RSVPs, rehearsal dinner invite yes or no, table number, dietary restrictions, and gifts received. It is so user intuitive and I am just obsessed with all the data. 

Once you have numbers on how many tables and seats you have per table, there is another tab that lets you assign people to tables which links to their guest list coordinate. 

Ok, now that I have really let my excel addiction known, I think that wraps us up! I hope this was helpful to see how I am anticipating keeping track of everything on my own! I can also do a post on how we pulled together the guest list but honestly, it was really easy for us! We know who needs and deserves to be there and it was easy for us to pull that group together!  

Post on Building Your Guest List?

I have so many fun ideas planned for Wedding Content and can’t wait to let you be part of them! I really want you to be involved in the planning process. We are finalizing color pallet and our vision board this week so will share that hopefully soon! I also have to share how we went about the ring shopping process so more to come soon! 

xoxo, 

   Zoe 

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