Category Archives: Organization

Making a List, Checking it Twice!

*First, a disclaimer:  Dr. Groomy, do NOT read this post.  There are dress photos and talks about your gift in here!  Thank you, love you!*

Happy Friday, everyone!  Let’s take a look at the list and see what random projects got crossed off this week (I promise, if you make it through reading the list, you’ll see some fun pictures below!):

As of right now, the list stands as such:

Make-Up Trial.
Finalize Accessories.
Find something old, new, borrowed, blue.
Create song play and do-not-play lists.
Finalize music selections for special dances (first dance, mother-of-the-groom, anniversary dance, etc).
Make wedding favors.
Create out-of-town bags:
–Create labels and label water bottles
–Purchase snacks and treats to go inside bags
Purchase Guest Book.
Final meeting with the Cathedral Musical Director.
Finalize the menu for the rehearsal dinner.
Finalize, finish purchasing, and wrap the attendant & parent gifts.
 Create escort cards.
Apply for marriage license.
Meet with photographer to discuss day’s schedule and finalize shot list. 
Meet with DJ (our Emcee) to discuss day’s schedule.
Pick up dress from salon.
Pick up tuxes from salon.  
Final head count to caterer.
Drop off everything for reception at reception site—family pictures, wedding dresses, mannequins, escort cards, table numbers, day-of schedule, vendor contacts, favors, etc.
Confirm all wedding day beauty appointments.
Organize tipping envelopes.
Mani-pedi.
Relax, enjoy the week, and spend time welcoming family and friends.
GET HITCHED!!

This was a busy and productive week for me.  I finished our table numbers, finalized our floral arrangements and finished the kids’ packs.  I also finished the aisle pomanders:

036 10 little pomanders, jumping on the bed…

And had my last dress fitting (she fits perfectly!  Hallelujah!)…sneaky peeky of the bustle:

Bustle

Just last night, I think I finalized the bridesmaids’ jewelry:

002

And we’re pretty much D-O-N-E with the seating chart (which I fully intend to do an entire post on next week):

001

Also this week?  I finished up another cute-yet-unnecessary-but-I’m-gonna-do-it-anyway project:

010

Those, my friends, would be socks…which will be a part of my gift for the groom (the other part, as Em would say, rhymes with “shmudoir shmotos.”  I will post more about that experience after the wedding!).  I saw this idea in the blog world a long time ago and thought it was so cute.  And bonus, it’s a pack of 3 socks, so if any of the groomsmen forgets a pair, there will be extra to pass out!  Up close shot of the label:

011

Dudes, I did this in about 5 minutes on my lunch hour…20 minutes ago.  Cardstock, Microsoft Word, double-sided tape.  Go do it!  I could even see this translated to cute stocking stuffers (obviously you’d have to come up with a different slogan than something about cold feet, but you get the idea). 

So, all in all, I feel really great.  This weekend we are going shopping for & assembling  the out-of-town bags, and I will be going over our final details with the DJ.  I also hope to finish our day-of timeline and wedding weekend memo.  Yay!

And now, a quick plug:  I am looking for guest bloggers for posts the week after the wedding when we’re on our mini-moon.  It can be on any topic you’d like, and I am not limiting the number of bloggers.  If you are interested in guest blogging for me, leave a comment on this post or shoot me an email at amyandbradleywedding@gmail.com, and I will get back to you with some general guidelines!

I hope you all have a wonderful weekend!

*All pictures are mine.  Do not use without my express written consent.

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Oh. Em. Gee……..

We are officially

One Month 
away from the big day! 

Guys.  I know I’ve been saying this a lot lately, but honestly? I cannot believe it.  I remember when I first started this blog, and we were 20 months out.  Then we were a year out.  Then we were 100 days out.  And now, suddenly, we are one month away! I am so, so, so happy and excited.

Today would be a good day to check in on the list, hey?  You can see the previous list from last month hereAs of today, ONE MONTH (!!!!) out, we have this left to do (my notes are in Italics):

Make-Up Trial. [This week or next!]

Dress Fittings. [Finishing up next week]
Finalize Accessories. [I think this is done…I just purchased some jewelry and need to get a hair accessory this weekend]
Find something old, new, borrowed, blue. [Freaking out about this! Well, not really, but I have no idea what I am using for old, borrowed or blue]
Finalize bridesmaid jewelry. [I am honestly freaking about this—I am having real trouble finding some I like!]

Create song play and do-not-play lists. [Doing this weekend]
Finalize music selections for special dances (first dance, mother-of-the-groom, anniversary dance, etc). [This is pretty much finalized—still need to decide on anniversary dance and grand march]

Make wedding favors. [This is, alas, the one major thing we will be doing the week of the wedding.  We are making popcorn favors—I will post about this soon!]
Create out-of-town bags: [Will be finished next week after my mom and I go shopping for the bag’s items]
–Create labels and label water bottles [Label created, water bottles bought next week]
–Purchase snacks and treats to go inside bags [Next week]
Purchase Guest Book. [This weekend—we are doing a picture frame with a signature mat!]
Finish Table Numbers. [Also this weekend—I am working on them as we speak!]

Finalize flower arrangements. [Tomorrow!]
Final meeting with the Cathedral Musical Director. [Likely next week]
Finalize the menu for the rehearsal dinner. [This weekend!]
Finalize, finish purchasing, and wrap the attendant & parent gifts. [Likely next week]
Finish aisle pomanders. [This weekend!  I only have 1.5 left to do]
Finish kids packs for the children attending the wedding. [Also this weekend.  They are done, I just need to package them up nicely]

Draft seating chart. [Will start next week after all RSVPs are in]
Create escort cards. [Will do the week after next (two weeks before wedding)]
Apply for marriage license. [NEXT WEEK, woo woo!!!]
Meet with photographer to discuss day’s schedule and finalize shot list.  [Hopefully next week]
Meet with DJ (our Emcee) to discuss day’s schedule. [Next week—we can do it via email, so I plan to get that done after this weekend when we finalize everything]

Final dress fittings; pick up dress from salon. [Week of wedding]
Final tux fitting for Dr. Groomy; pick up tuxes. [Week of wedding]
Final head count to caterer. [September 29]
Drop off everything for reception at reception site—family pictures, wedding dresses, mannequins, escort cards, table numbers, day-of schedule, vendor contacts, favors, etc. [Monday, October 4]
Confirm all wedding day beauty appointments. [Two weeks before wedding]
Organize tipping envelopes. [Week of wedding]

Mani-pedi. [Day before wedding]
Relax, enjoy the week, and spend time welcoming family and friends. [Hopefully the whole wedding week!  The only things to do will be pick up what we’re wearing, drop things off at the venue, get a mani-pedi and package up our favors on Thursday with the help of our best man & maid of honor.  I am working Monday-Wednesday that week and then have Thursday-Friday and the whole next week off for our honeymoon, which I will also post about soon.  Yay!]
GET HITCHED!! [October 9, 2010]

It looks like a lot, but honestly, it feels really manageable to me.  A couple of marathon wedding sessions on the weekend and about half of this stuff is knocked off.  So that’s where we stand, one month before the big day.

How far along are you in your wedding planning?  If you’re already married, any tips for me for this last month?

*The One Month graphic was created by me in Microsoft Word. 
Please ask permission before using!*

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Task-Master! (Aka The List)

Today is August 2, and with my goal to be as stress-free as possible during the Wedding Week, this means that I have two months to get, well, everything! done. I thought I would do a quick check-in to see what’s left to do, and maybe you guys can help me figure out if I am missing something.  Here goes:

Mail Invitations.  I just talked to our invitation lady yesterday, and they are done!  I am picking them up tonight, doing some postage and RSVP marking tomorrow, and they should be in the mail by Wednesday latest.  Expect a post revealing these later in the week!

Hair Trial.
Make-Up Trial.
Dress Fittings.
Finalize Undergarments & Accessories.
Find something old, new, borrowed, blue.
Purchase flower girl dress and shoes.
Finalize ring bearer tuxedo.

Create song play and do-not-play lists.
Finalize music selections for special dances
(first dance, mother-of-the-groom, anniversary dance, etc).

Finalize wedding favors.
Order or make wedding favors.
Create out-of-town bags:

                    –Finish welcome packet
                    –Create labels and label water bottles
                    –Purchase snacks and treats to go inside bags
Figure out/create/purchase Guest Book.
Figure out/create/purchase Table Numbers.

Finalize flower arrangements.
Finalize ceremony with Father Mike.
Finalize the menus
for both the rehearsal dinner and the reception.
Finalize, finish purchasing, and wrap the attendant & parent gifts.
Get Dr. Groomy’s gift!
Attend bridal shower and bachelorette party.
Write and mail shower thank-yous.
Finish aisle pomanders.
Finish kids packs
for the children attending the wedding.
Find mannequins for displaying the mothers’ wedding dresses (my MIL is currently working on this for me!).

Draft seating chart.
Create escort cards.

Distribute copies of selected readings to ceremony participants.
Apply for marriage license.
Meet with photographer
to discuss day’s schedule and finalize shot list.
Meet with DJ (our Emcee) to discuss day’s schedule.

Final dress fittings; pick up dress from salon.
Final tux fitting for Dr. Groomy; pick up tuxes.
Final head count to caterer.
Drop off everything for reception
at reception site—family pictures, wedding dresses, mannequins, escort cards, table numbers, day-of schedule, vendor contacts, favors, etc.
Confirm all wedding day beauty appointments.
Send all bridal party members final installment of Wedding Party Newsletter (aka The Wedding Weekend Memo, which lays out every.  last.  detail! for the weekend.  I’ve been working on it for two months already!)
Organize tipping envelopes.

Mani-pedi.
Relax, enjoy the week, and spend time welcoming family and friends.
GET HITCHED!!

Wow.  This feels like a lot of things left do, and it is.  However, if I look more closely, a lot of this stuff will be easy to knock out.  All in all, I feel pretty good about where I am at.  I have a lot of the stuff listed here started, if not almost completely finished (a lot of the DIY projects, most of the songs, some of the ceremony, etc.).  So tell me, gang:  what am I missing?  Anything? 

And where are you at in your wedding planning?  If you’re already hitched, tell me about your wedding week.  Was it stressful, or did you manage to get a lot done beforehand?

P.S.  Wanna check in and see where I’m at?  I created a List-Tastic page where I’ll cross off the items on the list as I get them done.  Dorky, I know, but you know I love my to-do lists!

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The Wedding Party Newsletter

**Update:  If you are looking for a template of this newsletter, please click on the “Wedding DIY” tab at the top of the page.  There, you’ll find links to almost all of my DIY projects, including a template for a wedding party newsletter.  Thanks!**

Oh, how Type A I can be.

Look, I’m Type A.  I know I’m that way, my friends and family know I’m that way and I think from past posts you all know by now that I’m that way.  So, naturally, I have to have the most organized and informed bridal party known to man…which means, of course, that I had to do a Wedding Party Newsletter!

There are lots of great templates and ideas out there for wedding party newsletters, but in the end, I started from scratch and made it up as I went along. It ended up being a nine page PDF document (I know it’s long!), but at least our wedding party now has all the pertinent information necessary at this stage in the game.

Newsletter 1
Page one is an introduction, which thanks them all for being part of our day and points them in the direction of our wedding website and my blog (and my reasons for blogging, most of which I whited out here), as well as tells them what they’ll find on the following pages.

The next three pages are all an introduction to our wedding party as it stands now (we are still in the process of deciding some ushers, readers, etc.)

Newsletter 2

Newsletter 3

Newsletter 4

Page 5 is the Wedding Party Contact List, which has all of their names, phone numbers, and email addresses.  Clearly, that information has been whited out here (sorry!).

Newsletter 5

Page 6 starts some of the important info about the actual wedding weekend.  On the next few pages, I discuss our venues, a preliminary wedding weekend timeline, and include a note about attire (when we’ll shop for it, where we’ll go, etc).

Newsletter 6

Newsletter 7

Newsletter 8

Lastly, I included a page on our hotel room blocks, so our peeps can all get their wedding weekend rooms lined up.

Newsletter 9

And there you have it, our Wedding Party Newsletter!  What do you think?  Admittedly, this took more time than I thought it would, but I am really pleased with the results, and as a bonus, I will be able to morph this into our wedding weekend document, which I think will be in a similar vein as Mrs. Daffodil’s.  I am still working on setting up a template for you guys for this, so if you would like a copy, please leave a note in the comments and I will get one to you!

Did you do a Wedding Party Newsletter?  If not, how are you keeping your wedding party informed?

*All of the above screenshots by me.  That Snipping Tool in Windows 7 is the coolest thing EVER!

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On Staying Organized, Part Two:

also known as The Guest List Post!

In part one of the staying organized series, we discussed what I’m doing to keep sane and coordinated for the wedding in general.  In part two, it’s time to show you how realllly type A I am…let’s talk about that guest list.

It’s no secret—we are having a large wedding.  We just have too many wonderful family and friends who we want to include in our day.  It sounds cheesy, but yes, there really are 275 or so people in our life that we want to spend time with on one of the most special days we will share as a couple.  We all know that managing (and affording!) a large wedding can be a big-time headache, so with that in mind (and much to Dr. Groomy’s dismay!), we started on our guest list EARLY.  Early as in, it was the very first thing we did. 

Each couple came up with their list—my parents, his parents, and us—which I then took and created one master list…that had over 350 names on it!  From there, each group whittled down their list to their must-invites and then their would-want-to-invite-but-don’t-have-to.  We are still in the process of finalizing, but I would say that we have the guest list at about 75% of where we want it to be. 

So how am I organizing it?  The guest list is being organized two ways.  The Master List is on my computer and is an excel file.  The guest list also gets it’s own separate binder, and a copy of the master list is stored in here as well:

Guest List 002 

The excel file I created is pretty straightforward…it contains cells for number of guests, first names and last names, children’s names, addresses, emails and phone numbers.  I am so proud to say that with a year left to go (353 days to be exact!), we have 95% of our guests addresses, phone numbers and emails collected.  How’s that for type A for you?!  We were lucky—our parents were smart and gave us their lists complete with that information.  As for our own list, I was a ruthless machine, sending out emails and calling people.  We still have a few addresses to collect, but it is SO NICE to know that that is pretty much done!  Ok, back to the binder…

Guest List 003 In the front are the original lists from all of us and a copy of the master list we just discussed.  After that comes the real gems of the folder:  guest list tracker sheets.  Loosely based off a template from the Russell & Hazel site, I created these myself:

Guest List 005

Each sheet has space for four guests (or couples, or families—I did a space for each INVITE).  The top part is blank to leave room for a label.  Excel files have this great feature called Mail Merge, where you can take the information on the sheet and turn it into an address label.  This is what I used to create a label for each guest/invite. 

Underneath each label is all the pertinent information for each guest.  The sheets will track:

Table Number
Entree Choice
Save-the-Date Card Mailed
Invite Mailed
Thank You Card Mailed
Attending (Yes or No)
Total # in Party
Arriving What Day
Staying Where
Which parties the guest is invited to:  Bridal Shower, Rehearsal Dinner, Post-Wedding Brunch (there’s also space to check off if a bridal shower thank you was sent)
And finally, there’s a place for notes.

Guest List 006

To top it all off, they’re arranged in alphabetical order and each sheet is protected by a sheet protector. 

So far, this has worked really great for me.  I am not a big fan of computer spreadsheets (I use them SO MUCH at work!) and this totally allows us to focus on each guest—when they’re coming, where they’re staying, what they like to eat, etc.  Sure, the day is about us, but I want to make sure they’re all taken care of too! 

How are you keeping yourself organized for the wedding planning process?

Oh, and check this out:  On our “Pre-Wedding Anniversary,” look what Dr. Groomy had sent to my office!

Guest List 001Ain’t he sweet?!  

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On Staying Organized

I don’t know if you guys are like me at all, but I loooooooove to be organized.  Seriously, anyone who knows me knows that I am type-A perfectionist to the max…so why would my wedding planning be any different, right?!  When we first got engaged, I went out the next day! and bought a big ol’ wedding planning organizer and a bajillion magazines. 

Soon, my house was filled with more magazines, website clippings, and bridal books than you could shake a stick at—and, you guessed it, my big ol’ cookie cutter bridal binder fell to the wayside.  I was carrying around contracts, guest lists, and vendor info in a little file folder, and in the meantime having nightmares about losing that important information. 

To the rescue came this post from Miss Cloud on Weddingbee.  Aha!  A lightbulb went off in my head.  It was time to get myself organized, and do it in a way that would work for ME, not the way some big ol’ binder had it laid out.  Off I went to the office supply store, purchasing binders and tab dividers, and then to the internets, where I downloaded list upon list and other great templates for my binder.  In the end, I came up with two binders…my main wedding planning binder and a separate, smaller binder that would be used solely for our guest list.

Miscellaneous 041

I’ll do a separate post on my guest list binder later, because it is an INTENSE display of my Type-A personality…so for now, feast your eyes on my main binder:

Miscellaneous 043

Each page of the binder is held within a page protector sheet—this way, the pages don’t get all worn and torn as the months roll on.  The first part of the binder has our color palette inspiration page and a few other inspiration pages.  I also toss the things I want to research or look into in the front pockets of the binder.

Miscellaneous 067

Then comes the wedding checklists.  I downloaded mine from the Russell & Hazel website…you can find them here.

Miscellaneous 068

They’re pretty basic, but you get the gist!

Miscellaneous 045

After that, the rest of the binder is divided by tabs for all of the different aspects of our wedding day.  I basically followed Miss Cloud’s advice, and created one tab each for…well, everything!  My tabs are:

Ceremony
Reception
Save-the-Dates
Invitations
Attendants
Rehearsal
Cake
Transportation
Floral
Dress
Accommodations
Favors
DJ
Hair & Makeup
Photography
Miscellaneous

Miscellaneous 070

Each tab then gets its own information page, again from the Russell & Hazel website. (My apologies for the blur on this picture—we really need a new camera!).  Each info page has space at the top for vendor contact information, and then a large space at the bottom for miscellaneous notes and activities pertaining to that specific tab.  If the vendors have a business card or brochure, I staple that in on this page as well. 

And that’s that!  Splitting the guest list from the main binder has really helped in my sanity (and you won’t believe how I’m organizing that guest list!).  Plus, having a binder set up the way I want it and with only the information I need has been really helpful in making me full less overwhelmed. 

Stay tuned for Part 2 in the “Getting Organized” series…

Hey, did you know I ran a marathon this past Sunday?! 

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