If you’ve ever planned a wedding before, you know it can be tough to stay organized. I mean you have how many vendors emailing you, you’re trying to track your money so you can maintain your budget, you’re basically trying to stay sane while dealing with the other 1 000 000 000 things going on in everyday life. So how do wedding planners do it? How do we maintain numerous weddings at the same time and manage to live our lives and still be the absolute best we can be for our clients? Organization my friends!
It takes some serious organization skills, system building and time management to get things done. So whether you are a bride and prospective client, wondering how I will be able to manage your wedding, or you’re a fellow wedding industry-er, here’s how I stay organized.
1. My inbox!
Oh how I love an inbox with no messages. What a cluttered space that can become. Inquiries, follow up, clients, vendors & friends- oh my! I’m a Gmail user, and Gmail has this amazing tool called “labels”. Each of my clients have their own labels. I have a label for things like marketing and finances, and a personal folder for the emails I send myself ( I realize that sounds really silly- the emails I forward myself). It’s a great way to keep everything in the right place. When I need to look for an email from so and so, I just check their folder!
Seriously, this is the most helpful Gmail app! You can schedule emails that go out as well as have an email pop back up in your inbox for follow up. I like to stay on top of inquires. After I respond I click boomerang and have the email resurface in a few days, that way I can make sure my email was received and I can see if there’s anything I can help with. I also love to use it with current clients. If I send an email with a bunch of questions, and I’m waiting on a response I’ll boomerang the email to remind them to reply. This way nothing gets lost in the inbox (b/c we all know how easy that happens!)
This is something I don’t know if I would work without. I love love love having this software. It allows me to track absolutely every part of my clients wedding. The most fab part is that they get to keep track along with me! At anytime they can log in to their event and see what we’ve been doing. It’s especially great for out of town couples who don’t get to talk to me as often.
4. A good old-fashioned binder.
Yep, I still use client binders! It’s a great quick reference if I’m working on something in the office and I want to see a vendors invoice or contract. It keeps all the details together, so when I’m out with the client attending vendor meetings or walk-through’s I can quickly peek in my binder.
The easiest way to be the greatest wedding planner ever? Communication. You need to know what is going on inside your clients head in order to properly “serve” them. When I work with my clients, I develop a pretty good idea of what they will like and won’t like. What they will splurge on and where they will cut costs. However I’m not a mind reader. That’s why I always encourage open dialogue. Have an issue? Need to vent? You secretly hate the linen I suggested? Tell me! It keeps us on track and moving in the right direction, which is all part of being organized.