Bride-to-be Blogger Jennifer: Advice to Newly Engaged Brides: Stay Organized

First of all, I want to say thanks for all of the great music suggestions in response to my last post! I really appreciate it and welcome more. I sat down for a birthday dinner with a few of my bridesmaids last night, and we talked more about music — and it’s possible that Anthony and I may have found our song! Big sigh of relief all around …

So as we close in on the two-month mark, I realized (well, I guess I realized a little while ago … but have been in denial) that I am not very well organized in terms of all of this wedding stuff: I have little notes of paper in my wallet and notepad that I keep in my purse. There is a small stack of papers in our office labeled “to file” — and somewhere sandwiched in between copies of mortgage statements and car payment bills, I am sure I would find our wedding-venue agreement.  I know I have everything someplace — maybe tacked to the fridge, or in the box with the extra save-the-dates — but I wish that it was all in one place, and that maybe I would have actually written more down in our meetings with vendors.

I find myself, instead, now e-mailing our vendors things like: “So when, exactly, is final payment due?” “When did you want to go over final music/floral samples/vows/etc.?” My disorganization has me doing double time. And brides, as you know, there is no room for double time, double work or disorganization. It is a lesson it’s taken me almost one year to learn, admit and begin to come to terms with.

So this is my plea for those of you who are at the beginning stages of planning: Ladies, find a system that works for you. Early on I purchased a bulky, inconvenient, overpriced, self-proclaimed bride’s “essential” organization toolkit. You can hear the sound of the clouds parting and doves springing into flight in the direction of a halo of light, can’t you? I did too, but don’t be fooled. It may not be for you. For me, it’s a klunker. It’s collecting dust, and not because I haven’t tried to use it. It was too specific, and many of the “essentials” that it claims I need don’t work for me  —and so it went the way of the dinosaur, in my house anyway.

Have I found a better system? No, but this upcoming weekend, once the birthday celebrating is complete, I hereby resolve for a more organized 29th year — and I am going to get all that paperwork together. I think maybe a few clearly labeled folders or a blank three-ring binder might be best for me. With that, and a little help from a few checklists,, I think I can make it along just fine. If not, I can only imagine the Bridezilla scene I might pull off when I am at the end of my rope just days before the Big Day.

How are you staying organized? What have you learned along the way?

And for tips on how you really can get it all done — even with the full-time job and otherwise crazy life! — click here to read our newlywed blogger Emily Goulet’s article (written just after her own wedding) from a past issue of Philadelphia Wedding.

Getting married? Start and end your wedding planning journey with Philadelphia Weddings' guide to the best wedding vendors in the city.