Getting Hitched Without a Hitch
Your wedding, although a celebration that serves as one of the best days of your life, can be quite a stressful occasion, even if you’ve brought a wedding planner on board to alleviate the responsibilities. Fortunately, there is one way to keep your plans organized and on track: a wedding binder.
If you recently became engaged over the holiday season and are eager to get started, your wedding binder is the best way to begin planning the wedding of your dreams. To help you stay organized, we’re sharing the seven sections every wedding binder needs.
1. The Guest List
The higher the headcount, the higher the cost. Although the idea of inviting everyone sounds nice, it isn’t always feasible. The guest list section of your wedding binder should contain the names of those you want to attend, those you do not want to attend, and your “maybes.” A visual representation of your guest list will come in handy when it’s time to create the seating chart. It serves as a reference, so you won’t have to worry about accidentally seating someone beside their mortal enemy.
Once you’ve assembled your guest list, you’ll need to decide how you want your invitations to look. This section is the perfect place to collect ideas and inspiration for invitation design, wording, font, and color. You can also keep examples of invitations you’ve come across with pricing for easy ordering.
Keep detailed information about any potential venues in this section. Include interior and exterior pictures of each space, along with details regarding pricing, decor, catering, and what each booking includes. Tracking these details is particularly helpful if you’re exploring your options and looking at wedding venues that aren’t all-inclusive. While some places offer packages that include everything from decor to drinks, others provide nothing more than an empty room.
For many, your wedding dress is something you’ve dreamt about since you were a child. This section of your wedding binder should include pictures or tear outs of wedding dresses that have caught your eye when looking through bridal magazines or websites. You could even add fabric swatches of your preferred color and material. It would also be wise to add color swatches of your bridesmaid dresses, so you can make sure every the color palette goes together nicely.
Wedding decorations tie everything together, from the colors in the bouquets to the sashes on the seats, so you want to make sure the section of your wedding binder contains an exhaustive list of all of your preferences: everything from the aisle runner, to floral arrangements, to lighting, to tablecloths. When you meet with your florist, DJ, or caterer, you’ll be able to flip to this section and point to your inspiration, and they’ll be able to adjust their plans accordingly.
Your wedding is going to be one of the best days of your life, so you’ll want to make sure it’s captured on film and video for you to look back on for years to come. Check with friends and family who have recently married and ask for their recommendations for a vendor who can combine photography and videography in the same package. If you come across pictures in your research that you’d like to recreate, include printouts for easy reference.
Transportation, though one of the most important aspects of a wedding, is one of the most overlooked. You need a reliable transportation company that can get you to the ceremony on time! In this section of your wedding binder, include pictures of your preferred method of arrival, as well as pricing for wedding packages. Some transportation providers offer additional amenities or concierge services in different packages, so you’ll want to make sure these details don’t get overlooked when you sign the contract.
Planning a wedding doesn’t have to be so stressful that you find yourself wishing you had just eloped. All you need is a little organization. Feel free to use these sections as a starting point. It’s your wedding binder, so take creative license and add to it. An organized wedding binder that contains all of your specific preferences will make the entire planning process easy and enjoyable.
*Editor’s Note: This article was originally published in October 2014. However, it has since been updated to reflect the most accurate information.