Today I am sharing five tools that you can use today to organize your event planning. Even when the road ahead seems uncertain tools to organize and systematize your approach can be critical to making the process less stressful. A sense of predictability and organization can bring so much peace to a process – particularly when the process is likely one you’ve never experienced before.
I’ve had numerous conversations with engaged couples about feeling overwhelmed by the desire to keep all-the-things together and efficient when you are planning your event. With all the guides, checklists, reminders, contracts floating around – its no wonder your engagement ring doesn’t come with a three ring binder – am I right?
So when I polled my audience on Instagram to see if past and current couples felt similarly – the answer was a resounding yes! One of their biggest frustrations with event planning was knowing where to start and how to organize it all. In full transparency – I’ve tried a lot of systems and as a team we continuously work to improve our approach every season. I think refinement is a critical to growth and growth in business is essential. For this reason, our approach changes as we learn – we work tirelessly to make our process better for our clients. What worked last year and even last month – may be different from what we do now. I’ve always been a firm believer that there truly is no one right way to do something and that as a life long learner – change is good.
Our viewpoints, styles of learning, and experiences help shape what works best currently – but being open to change, learning new things, and flexibility is key. The point – take the advice here and adapt it for what your needs are.
Organization when planning a large event is critical. It can be easy for details – both big and small – to slip through the cracks if you don’t have a system that allows you to stay on top of the past, current, and future to do’s. But where do you even start with getting it all organized? I recommend starting with tools. Knowing what tools are available to you – will allow you to determine the best approach for you.
Today I am going to share my top five organizational tools that I use and recommend to clients. These are tools that will empower you and will ensure your event planning details will remain in one place – a place you will be able to refer often. They are also tools that take advantage of all that technology has to offer. One of the things I’ve found is that most couples aren’t necessarily physically planning in the same state they are getting married – being able to collaborate with their family members, vendor team, and each other makes using technology even more valuable.
Pinterest – this one might surprise you! Many industry professionals are leary of pinterest and rightfully so. There are many ways images – especially wedding images – can be misleading, but with the right approach this tool can be a gift. I love Pinterest and use it with all of my design clients. I would like to argue that you can in fact build an incredibly approachable design using this tool. My number one recommendation for newly engaged couples is to start a new clean board once you’ve confirmed your event date and venue. If you are like most, you probably have a board that is full of images you’ve collected fo years – many of which may no longer align with what you currently love. And then use the sections in Pinterest to help you organize your design selections. Using pinterest like a catalogue will allow you keep what you love neatly put together so you are able to quickly access your inspiration as you move through the design process.
Google Drive – the next two tools are ones our team personally use with clients and it varies slightly based on the experience the client has elected. Google drive is a great tool – we use it for tracking vendor details, organizing contracts for quick access, for helping to build out our timelines, for garnering an understanding of what decor a couple will bring on site, for helping to communicate with the bridal party those important day of times, and so much more. The key to using Google Drive effectively is the setup of the folder and the tools used within the folder – something we plan walk through how we setup in the very near future, and to share the tools we’ve developed (including how and when to use them!).
Aisle Planner – We absolutely love this tool! We use it with our partial and full service clients to help guide our monthly planning process. It serves as an elevated organizational electronic binder – and being able to toggle through tabs on a single planning page helps to ensure we are capturing all the big and small details in a systematic and strategic way. It has all the essential elements included in the google drive folder but with a few more bells and whistles to help support the added work we do on a monthly basis with these couples. Things like a guest list tracker, a floorplan designer, a design studio, and monthly checklist – this tool really helps to support these important facets of event planning.
Reliable Resources – knowing where to turn for advice is another important piece of the puzzle. Finding reliable resources can be hard – this is where I think pinterest and wedding blogs can get a little overwhelming – especially when the advice is conflicting. It can leave you wondering what is the right answer or worse confused as to how to move forward. My advice here is to use pinterest and wedding blogs for inspiration (like The Knot, Style Me Pretty, Martha Stewart – all resources we love, ones we reference often, and that have truly stood the test of time) and then seek out guidance from one source (see below for what we recommend).
However – this again goes back to the idea there really isn’t one right way to do something its more a matter of finding a reliable resource and then letting that be your guide. The best way to determine the reliability of the resource – ask yourself what is the strategy behind the recommendation? If you are someone who wants to try to stay ahead, work on to do’s early, and not feel like your scrambling in the end – then that strategy is important to you. One that focuses on early work that seems to be ahead of most recommendations. Knowing your planning preferences is key here – that will help you determine how best to evaluate the resource you use to guide your planning experience.
A Trusted Professional – this can be just about any wedding vendor. But working closely with a professional to gain insight on the process of planning an event can ensure no detail is overlooked, that you have a sounding board throughout the process, and that you have reliable guidance and advice. Your level of help will vary – some couples are interested in walking through the entire process with a professional, others want them to come in and out of their planning process – so regardless of what you are looking for having a trusted – or better yet a team of trusted wedding professionals – will greatly enhanced your experience. Building this team during the foundational phases of event planning is important – these professionals will help guide you through when each element of the process should happen and what information is needed at what point – and asking the right questions so that you align with the team you build is critical. A trusted professional can be one of the best tools to organize your event planning.
Today I shared the tools to organize your event planning – focusing on five tools we use when we plan events with our couples. But you may be wondering so now that we know the tried and true tools to use how do we effectively use them? Don’t worry we’ve got you covered. I believe there are three important things you need next: (1) how to setup the tools so they effectively work for you, (2) a system for using them, and (3) a guide to keep it on all track.
Our team is in the process of developing a never been seen before step by step tool to organizing, planning, and designing your event. It will feature video tutorials, checklists, information guides, and so many more bonus features.
I will be sharing more with our private facebook group as we continue to work through the development of this platform – including early access and special discounts – but in the meantime be sure to check back here for sneak peeks of what will be included. We’ve been dreaming of bringing this to you as a way to cut through the noise – to go beyond a checklist and really equip you with the how to, the tools, and the confidence to plan your once in a lifetime event.
We’ve been pouring our hearts into this and cannot wait to release it to you soon! Until then friends – let us know what organizational questions you have in the comments below.