A binder/organizer. Regardless of whether or not you hire a professional wedding planner to assist you in planning your nuptials, you will need a system to organize all of your wedding-related tools and materials. Most wedding books and magazines suggest a three-ring binder, a set of tabs, a three-hole punch and a set of categories (i.e. catering, flowers, photographer, attire, etc.). However, what I have learned over my almost ten years of event and conference planning is that different systems work for different people. For some it’s the binder system, others it’s a folder system and still others the expanding portfolio system.
Me, I love, love, love my binders. My favorites are the
Russell & Hazel Signature binders with the big rubber band that holds everything
in place. However, when it comes to tabs, I organize my tabs based on the
actual elements that I will be planning and/or using. I don’t need a tab for
“rehearsal dinner” if I’m not planning a rehearsal dinner. Also, I organize my
tabs based on my most accessed files. If I access a particular tab daily that
tab is the first one in my binder which brings to mind another thing - I don't
create all of my tabs at once either. I only create a tab when I have a need.
Sometimes I don’t need a flowers tab and a décor tab; sometimes they can be
combined (especially when there aren’t a lot of flowers or décor elements for a
How do you determine which system works best for you? Start
with the binder system and in a month or two evaluate whether or not it’s
working. Do you have a stack of papers filed inside the binder, but they’re not
punched neither are they categorized? Then experiment with a new system. Over
the years, there were times when I would stop and evaluate my productivity. If
I found that I spent most of my time organizing rather than being efficient,
then I knew it was time to try something new.