Communications and gifts have started flooding your mailbox. Every couple of days, a new Target box appears at your home filled with registry goodies. A large pile of opened boxes begin to stack up while your list of thank you notes becomes more pressing every week. Being organized is key to planning your own wedding. If you are extremely disorganized, you probably need to budget for a wedding planner or reevaluate your wedding day goals. We’ve already started going down the list of responsibilities that you, as the bride or groom, is handling to plan this special day.

Your savings account has been put on hold because the bank didn’t recognize your Etsy purchase. Aunt Mildred needs confirmation that you will let her ride in cousin John’s car to the wedding. There are three hundred silk flowers waiting for you at Hobby Lobby and you just found a fantastic coupon. Write it all down. There is no way that a normal human being can remember these millions of details and tasks each day without a list. I kept a small hardcover notebook in my purse. I wrote everything down. At the end of each day, I typed everything into a Word doc. I saved the doc, sent it to my own e-mail and had an updated copy each day. If my notebook was lost or forgotten, I had my Word doc available anywhere that I had internet access. Little pockets of time throughout your day can be committed to some of the ten minute tasks on your list. When your mother calls you and asks you when your silverware shipment is due to arrive, you just copy and paste the tracking number into your text and send it to her. If some of the things on your daily list are of long-term importance, you can copy and paste those items into your other Word docs. I had one document for each aspect of my wedding. Wedding Cake, Wedding Flowers, Wedding Photographer, etc. If I loved a picture, it was copied and pasted into the corresponding document. When I got a receipt, I did a screen cap and pasted it  into the document. This way, each update and each detail for, let’s say food, had a master sheet.

Having the notebook also helped cut down on the large task of writing thank you notes. As I mentioned, the registry gifts begin to pile up, and happily so! But if you don’t stay on top of it, you’ll find yourself with a hundred open boxes and no idea who sent you any of the gifts. Before I sent out our Save the Dates, I bought my thank you cards. They were in our color scheme and I bought them in bulk because I knew I’d be writing at least two hundred of them. Not only will you need thank you’s for guests and gifts, but also for bridal parties and anyone who goes out of their way to offer you assistance. After all, weddings are not just about you and your fiancée. If they were, you could sign a downloadable marriage license and e-mail it in before spending the day in bed together eating noodles. No, your wedding is actually very much about celebrating your happiness with the people that bring you happiness. And that means that it is especially important to show your gratitude to those who invest in you. After I bought our thank you’s, I pre-labeled each one. Every person that we invited had an envelope addressed to them. So when Laura Hirschey sent us a gift, I pulled out the envelope with her address on it, wrote the thank you and put it in the finished box. After we received our first few gifts in the mail, I created a gift record. I made it with a space for who sent it, what it is, when it arrived and a box to check when I had physically put the thank you in the mail. I kept that paper with me and added to it for each new gift. Then every week I sat down for an hour and wrote the thank you’s for the gifts we had received that week. In fact, so many people sent us our gifts before the wedding that I was completely finished writing and mailing them the week after we got married.

I didn’t want to feel stressed about telling other people how much I appreciated their support. It may sound silly, but I wanted to turn writing thank you’s into a positive and fun process. After all, people are sending us presents! It’s awesome! I wanted to let them know that I appreciated it, sure. But I also wanted to revel in feeling so blessed as well. Telling someone they are wonderful shouldn’t feel forced or stressful. Because I committed to an organized and simple to maintain system of operation before I became overwhelmed, I have great memories of sitting with D and writing little letters to people we love.

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