What would we do without the tools that help us to be more efficient and save time on the wedding preparations? Today I wanted to share with you the tools that I use as a wedding planner. But that every bride and groom needs to organize his wedding. Most of the time, you don’t necessarily know what you need for your preparations. And so you tend to start the organization a bit disjointed and you lose time. Of course, it’s normal to start the preparations without really knowing what you’ll need. As a result, it quickly becomes a festival of flyers joined by a wall of post-its. Not to mention the endless number of screenshots on your phone or the chaos of the wedding file on your computer. Through this article, my goal is to show you what you really need without further delay. And I’m sure you’ll save a ton of time on your preparations and feel more serene with the clarity of organization. Without further ado, here is my list of essential tools for the organization of your wedding.
The daily tools
The central piece of your wedding organization. I recommend a paper agenda rather than a digital one. Simply because you can note, scribble, and put all your thoughts in the same place. It’s up to you if you prefer to take an agenda dedicated only to the organization of your wedding. My advice is to write down all your appointments with suppliers, all the little details you don’t want to forget and the tasks you want to move forward each week.
If you are like me, an addict of stationery in general, you will love it! This is your chance to get your best pens, pastel highlighters and mini colored post-its. They will allow you to highlight your priorities. Don’t forget to get an organizer to store your invoices, quotes and important contracts.
The inspiration box
It takes the form of a classic shoebox. It’s like your treasure chest of preparations. In this box you can store objects, fabrics, magazine clippings, threads and ribbons etc… All the things that inspire you and that are bigger than a simple sheet of paper. They are a part of your moodboard and wedding theme.
The essential digital tools to organize your wedding
Thanks to the XXIst century, we can have so many inspirations and advices at our fingertips. It is a real time saver for your preparations. The first essential social network is Pinterest. It is the easiest free image bank to use when planning your wedding. Just like a search engine you enter keywords and thousands of results are instantly displayed. The great thing about Pinterest is that once you sign up you can organize, categorize and save all your wedding ideas and inspiration.
Next, without surprise I recommend Instagram. Of course, you will also find thousands of inspirations but not only that. You can come across wedding professionals who share their portfolio, their experiences, their advice. It will also be an opportunity to share, discuss and help each other with thousands of other future brides. And believe me, on Instagram, there is a strong community of bridetobes who create an account especially for their wedding where they share their inspirations, their DIY, their advice.
Specialized wedding websites
I wanted to say a few words about Etsy. Simply because this site is a real gold mine. It is an international sales platform where artisans offer their DIY creations. They make for you decorations, stationery, guest gifts etc… It is a crossroads of creation, home-made customizable proposed by entrepreneurs specialized for each element of wedding decoration.
Wedding blogs, between inspiration shootings, real weddings, tips, tricks, tools and information on the news of the sector and the wedding organization, you will have a lot of reading! The advantage is that these blogs will find for you the best tips to help you in the organization of your wedding. I invite you to follow mine every week with a new article, a new podcast episode and exclusive tips in your mailbox!
The first one is Excel! It’s a bit my best friend, I use it every day because it’s just magic when you manage to tame it. Of course I don’t invite you to become a pro on Excel. But most of my wedding planning tools work with Excel, and the good news is that they are already built from scratch and automated so you just have to fill in your essential information and you’ll save hours of time!
Here is another one of my favorites: Canva. It’s a free online design platform that is super easy to use. I use it daily and it can be used to create visuals: Save the date, posters, logo of the bride and groom. It is the opportunity for you to visually create the graphic charter of your wedding. I advise you to make your moodboard directly on it
My essential wedding planner tools
The global checklist
It lists all the tasks to be done during your preparations and be sure not to forget anything. The checklist also allows you to see your progress in your wedding planning. It groups hundreds of tasks of varying importance, specifying who is responsible for them, the deadline for completing them, and to which category of preparations they belong. By definition, the checklist must have a status: Not started, in progress or completed. And as you carry out the different tasks: they are erased, crossed out or ticked off to leave you with a real feeling of satisfaction.
The magic tool that the entire event industry needs. So why not you? It is simply a visual retranscription of the global checklist. The retroplanning allows you to see month by month what you have to take care of. You have immediately all the upcoming deadlines in a very visual way. I consider it as the panorama of the preparations of the wedding organization over 1 year.
It’s important to remember the need to budget for your wedding. And I’m not just talking about an amount to be decided together. To save time, and to see the progress of your preparations from a financial point of view you must be able to follow your budget daily. Thanks to a dashboard you will be able to see the amount already spent, what you have left, the fees related to the providers and the status of the payments, your purchases in decoration, outfits and accessories.
The guest list
This is one of the first tools I created and proposed on the blog for the organization of your wedding. Thanks to this Excel file you have a complete dashboard of your guests’ information. At a glance you have access to the number of adults and children for each moment of the day (Ceremonies, Wine of Honor, Dinner and Party). Of course, the table is already designed and automated, your role will be simply to enter the names of your guests. This guest list is also used to prepare the sending of invitations to your guests.
This is the tool that will follow you everywhere in your wedding preparations. It reflects the guiding line of your wedding, i.e. your style, your theme and your key details. Its purpose is to make your suppliers understand the atmosphere and mood you want for your wedding. I have pre-designed for you a moodboard format on canva. All you have to do is add inspirational photos and print it or save it on your phone.
The automatic drink calculator
Here is a tool that gave me a hard time when I was creating it. I know how hard it is to estimate how many bottles of champagne, wine and water you’ll need on the big day. That’s why I created a tool that automatically calculates the quantity of each drink you need. Your role is simply to specify your number of guests for each moment of the reception (wine of honor, dinner and party) and then indicate the type of drinks you want to offer. And then, it’s magic, on the first page all the quantities are revealed.
The questionnaire of the providers for your wedding
I should say questionnaires, because you don’t need the same information depending on the provider you choose. To help you find the best providers for your wedding, you will have to ask them some essential questions. The goal is to be sure to choose the right professional according to your budget, your desires, the quality of the proposed service. In addition to these questionnaires, there is a list of information to be provided by you so that the service is a success.
The decoration census
Now, I want to talk about a tool that is under-used even though it saves a lot of time. During your preparations, you will accumulate ideas and decoration purchases to sublimate your D-day. It will be important to create a document that lists all these decoration items by category (ceremony decoration, car decoration, wedding reception decoration, table decoration) and specify their quantity. This way, on the big day, the set up will be incredibly efficient and the people present will be able to easily help with the installation.
The table plan
The most difficult tool in wedding planning is the table plan. I know how hard it is to imagine whether or not your guests at the same table will be able to communicate with each other. Between who shouldn’t be separated, who shouldn’t be next to each other, who should be alone, and what mom’s wishes should be taken into account. You will certainly have to make and redo your seating plan several times and even at the last minute. I advise you to visit the website: Mes Hôtes which allows you to build your table plan online according to the size of the table and the layout of the room. A table plan that can be easily and endlessly modified.
The bride’s survival kit
Another essential tool is to prepare an emergency kit to ensure the comfort of the bride-to-be. It will be necessary to start the preparation at least two weeks before the wedding. Inside I summarize what you need to keep with you: makeup, hygiene products, pharmacy, sewing, hair, nails, spare clothes, food, electronics and all the important documents.
The checklist from D-3 to D+3
The countdown is almost over and the stress of the preparations can be felt. Of course the last three days before the wedding will be intense for the installation and in the rush you might forget things. That’s why this checklist is essential. It will guide you every day until the big day to be sure not to forget anything. You can add to this preconceived list a certain number of additional tasks concerning your wedding. Prepare it well in advance and everything will go smoothly
The roadmap of the D-day
One of the most important wedding planning tools of all: the D-Day roadmap! It is the minute by minute planning of the wedding day. It indicates the departures and arrivals of the different providers, the ceremony times, the task schedule for the bride, the groom and the witnesses. And it also lists all the essential information of the providers: contact details, payments to be made on the D-day, names of the referent persons…