Planning your wedding can be quite a big task and very overwhelming.  From selecting the perfect dress to finding a photographer to booking a reception hall, there are a ton of details to keep track of. Staying in control and being organized is the key to a stress free wedding planning experience.

Here are my top 7 tips on how to stay organized during your wedding planning

1. Start your planning as early as you can

Set the Date as soon as you can – This is SO important as wedding related things book up a long time in advance! Keep in mind that your dream date may be taken, so try to be flexible if need be. Most brides tend to procrastinate and popular wedding venues book out early. Whether your wedding date is four months or two years after your engagement, start your planning process right away. Do remember though to take some time to enjoy just being engaged!

Image via 5 Steps To Becoming The Ultimate Organised Bride

2. Get yourself a binder with dividers

Most pre-made wedding binders cover the basic sections of wedding planning, from wedding cakes to dress designs. Every wedding is different, so why not create your own binder that you can customise to your needs. Buy a binder you love (as you will be using it a LOT!) and get some dividers to separate the different parts of your wedding.

Make sure you take your wedding binder (which will now be your wedding bible) with you to every wedding vendor meeting. You will be able to show your ideas rather than trying to explain them. For example, rather than describing the shade of purple or green, you simply show the paint swatch. You can also show your florist what your cake looks like; give your reception coordinator the phone number to your DJ, etc. As far as wedding planning goes, your wedding binder is your wedding bible.

3. Keep your inbox organized

Open a separate email account just for wedding planning related emails. When you are doing your online wedding research, you will be signing up to lots and lots of newsletters and your inbox will quickly fill up. In other words, you will be bombarded with wedding emails. So having a separate email address will prevent your everyday email account from clogging up, but most importantly you will have all wedding related emails in one place!

4. Make Lists, Lists and more lists

Create a MASTER wedding planning list with all the things you need to do for your wedding. This will keep you on track, but most importantly show you what to do next. Make lists for everything wedding related such as guest list, to-do list, music list etc. Having a list for everything will keep you sane and you won’t forget a thing! Google Docs is a great way to keep your lists in the cloud so you and your fiancé can access and edit your planning documents from the bridal shop, bakery or pretty much anywhere.

5. Keep track of your budget.

Keep track of all your expenses; your deposits paid, what is outstanding and when to pay the final balance. With so many wedding vendors to pay it can get hard to keep track of what is paid and what is outstanding. You don’t need a fancy wedding program to do so, excel spread sheets will do. There is a Wedding Budget app for iPhone users to use on the go if you are more of an app girl.

6. Use Pinterest as a wedding inspiration board

You can use Pinterest to keep track of different wedding styles you like such as invitations, bridesmaid dresses, colour schemes, etc. You can even mark wedding blogs you want to check out, and websites you want to go back to.  Pinterest now offers secret boards as well, so if you don’t want people seeing what you have chosen, you can keep it a secret using a secret board.  There are so many ways to stay organized for your wedding using Pinterest!

For the bride that likes to flick through wedding magazines, your wedding binder with dividers is another good option for keeping hard-copies of samples, swatches and business cards at your fingertips.

7. Enlist some help

Don’t take on everything yourself. Ask your friends or family members for help. Delegate responsibilities and have others help you with the initial research and legwork. You can always enlist the help of a wedding planner if you get stuck and feel overwhelmed.

The most important thing is to try to stay as calm as possible… breathe and relax! Things will go wrong, but you will always surprise yourself with great alternatives! I hope this list has helped you think of some time-saving, stress-relieving ways to plan your wedding.

Good Luck!

Ms Gingham says: I agree with absolutely everything here. Great tips!

Melina Adelaide is the director and founder of MaxiMy, a Professional Organizing Service. By allowing us to organize and create systems for you, you will gain back time to do the things YOU love.