Being organized is one way to minimize the stress and worry associated with planning your wedding and we recommend you start getting organized first before you do anything else! Knowing you have a plan for everything on your ‘to-do’ list will help you have confidence and feel assured that you will get everything done in time too. Even if having lists and paperwork aren’t really your thing we highly recommend you consider these tips and we think you’ll be happy that you did.
First things first! Right after you become engaged start a Master Guest List. We recommend starting this list as you begin your wedding plans and make up a Google Doc file or spreadsheet with your guest’s information in it. Even if you start your list with the top ten guests you know you’re inviting, its then started and easier to keep up.
“ Rule number one with this Master Guest List is update it often! ”
Google Docs, for those that don’t know, is a free Web based application you can use to create and keep spreadsheets and word documents on line. This can be handy if you don’t have Microsoft software on your home computer or are using your phone. An advantage to a Google Doc spreadsheet over using your own personal software is it can also be accessed by multiple users and you can easily access it from multiple locations as well, like from either your home or you’re your office on your lunch break. Parents, and your fiancé can also access and update it to help you keep it up to date and accurate too. And if you engage a Wedding Planner, she will have all this information easily available to her too. However, do keep a back up copy, either on a hard drive or printed out too, just in case!
Rule number one with this Master Guest List is update it often! It has a ton of information in it you’ll use repeatedly so it is essential you keep it up to date! From address corrections to RSVP’s, to early arriving gifts, this list is your friend, so treat it like its valuable. It will simplify a lot of the record keeping and tasks you’ll have to accomplish and save you quite a bit of time, stress and energy. When you set it up to begin with, add any and all columns you can think of but its not difficult to add a new category/column as you find you need it either. From recording who you sent what to, to whether they responded to your invitation, to a column you record the gifts you receive, you’ll have an up to date accurate guest count and follow up list to work with at any given time.
During the first weeks of your wedding planning, you’ll have more time and if you do ten or twenty envelopes a week you’ll get them all done and ready for the thank you notes when it’s time to send those out saving you several minutes per thank you note! It will also help you keep from forgetting to send one or two too.
While there are scads of available checklists and calendars to help you with what needs to be done in what order and how far in advance of your wedding, there is no option for a personalized guest list already filled in for you. Its easy to make one, and its easiest to get it done very early while you have more time to make it. Making this list will assist you in countless ways and make keeping track of guests and gifts painless.
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