After I first became an engaged lady I immediately wanted to jet to the store and pick up a wedding planning book. Something that I could take with me to all of my venue and vendor meetings and physically make check marks in and scribble down notes. I researched online the best ones and CL even bought my pick for me (he's such a doll).
Weeks went by and I still hadn't used it with the exception of putting two business cards into the plastic holder. Now that I am older and wiser (by nearly 2 months), I regret to tell all of you pre-engaged ladies that you should save your pennies.
My secret planning tool: Google Documents
Google Docs has made me feel so organized and happy that all of my wedding lists and planning tools are in one place. Sure it's not on a piece of pretty pastel paper, but there are so many pros to using this!
Chris and I created our guest list within excel - listing out the name of the attendants, are they bringing a guest, total in party, are they on the bride/groom's side, are they family or friend, what is their address, and RSVP Yes/No. Once we were done I uploaded the excel spreadsheet into Google Docs and BAM! There was my excel spreadsheet ready for me to update it at any time.
But the best part... I can "Share" this document with anyone I want by sending it to their email. Once you share the document, they can view and edit it anytime within Google Docs. When you are within the document you can see who else is in it (everyone has their own color) and see their updates in real time.
Why is this so awesome? This allows me and Chris to update our list at any time and neither of us are out of the loop. It saves a ton of time combining both of our edits and we can view it on any device. Sometimes we even pull it up on our phones!
Another reason this is so awesome? Send it to your parents! Make them feel involved. This way they can update the list with addresses and add people they want to invite. Just a word of advice: you and your groom should decide ahead of time how many people you would like to invite and that realistically fits within your budget. Add a separate section to the spread sheet for people you would like to invite. That way if someone RSVP's No, you have a back up guest. Sure, it would be great to send out invites to everyone you know ahead of time, but make sure your budget allows you to go up. You never know, I'm sure there have been instances where everyone says yes!
Chris and I have multiple tabs within our document:
- Guest List
- Wedding Budget - Make sure you add columns for Item, Price, Taxes, Gratuity, Delivery charge, Total and Notes! A column that tells you how much has been paid so far is extremely useful too!
- Music List - Song name, Artist, Ceremony/Cocktail/Reception, and Notes!
- Wedding Registry - Gift Name, Store, Price, Registered, Amount are a few good columns to include.
I'm sure I will be adding more.. Tables (decorations and flowers), Bridal Party (who has placed their clothing orders and who has received), and maybe even Flowers (so my mom and I can discuss which flowers we like).
I know it isn't fancy, but for the modern organized bride who likes all her info in one place I highly recommend this tool!