My DIY Wedding Planning Binder

In order to get organized before we get really into planning our wedding, I decided to create a binder. This way we could really organize and consolidate all of our research, contracts, documents, notes etc. After doing some research, I finally had an idea of what to include and how to do it. Gloriajoy’s blog post from 2013 helped me the most.

What I made sure I had:

All the links are either the item I actually purchased or a comparable one.

Tabs & Organizing

Kass and I have decided to do a very small, intimate ceremony at Walt Disney World and then do a separate reception/dinner a few months later for all the guests from up north and around the country we would have loved to invite but for various reasons can’t. This has significantly influenced how I organized this binder. I can’t break it up in a traditional method because we’re essentially having two events! So it made much more sense to divide it up by event rather than item. So here are my major tabs:

  1. Budget
  2. Calendar
  3. Disney
  4. New England Reception
  5. Honeymoon
  6. Thank Yous
  7. Registry
  8. Miscellaneous

I color coded everything as well in order to attempt to keep everything organized. I more or less used our wedding colors (Purple, Yellow/Gold, Grey) but used green and blue to complement and divide appropriately.
Budget – Green
Calendar – Yellow
Disney – Purple
New England Reception – Blue
Honeymoon – Yellow
Thank Yous –  Purple
Registry – Blue
Miscellaneous – Grey

Gloriajoy’s blog post inspired me to create my own tabs rather than using store bought. So, my (ambitious) game plan:

  • Watercolor each card stock page my desired color
    • Have some fun with it
    • Don’t get the page too wet. Since these are card stock rather than water color paper, the pages will start to deteriorate if you’re not careful
    • Tape the pages down keep as flat as possible (and go back over the corners after the rest of the page has dried)
    • Watercolor an extra page in small swatches (one page, multiple colors/patterns) for the tab circles that you’ll make later
    • Truth be told: this took me a while. I had to experiment to figure out what colors and patters I liked, and then if something messed up while printing I had to do it all over again! Instead of water coloring, if that’s not your thing, go to the craft store and get fun patterned scrapbook paper/card stock. Your binder, your choice!
  • Run the page through your computer printer to label (I found that easier rather than using my Sillhouette Cameo for this part)
    • Be careful. The watercolored paper is no longer completelu 100% flat so the printer left some ink residue along the bottom edge of the page
    • If you don’t want to run the paper through the printer (or it’s being a pain in the tuchas, get clear labels and print/sharpie your text onto them)
  • Laminate the full page following the directions of the laminating pages/box
  • Design and create circle tabs in your Silhouette Cameo or Cricut Explorer (or by hand if you don’t have either of these machines)
    • Create 2 circles, one inside the other. Text only in top half/third
      • Mine were 2 inches wide for the outer circle. The inner circle was just small enough to have an an exterior boarder in the solid card stock color that matched
    • Use the gel pens (or sketch pens) to write out the text of your circle tab on the color swatched card stock.
      • To make the text attach smoothly, once you’re settled with it, weld it! That way the pen will glide over each letter, connecting them, with a seamless transition
    • Heres what my tab circles looked like on the computer before printing themBinder Tab Dividers.jpg
    • Use the blade tool to cut out the inner circle on this same page
    • Use the blade tool on a solid, matching color to cut out the outer circle
  • Glue the two circles together
  • Once all the circles are done, laminate them on one page with enough space to cut out between them
  • Cut out each individual tab circle
  • Space them out on each page before hot gluing down to make sure they are spaced evenly and not overlapping and are about the same height/depth within the binder
  • Hot glue down to the full laminated page
  • Hole punch and add to binder

The fonts I used were:
Waltograph for the Disney Font
SNF Sunday for everything else

So here’s an example of what mine looked like when complete:

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Within each tab, I added some sheet protectors for future documents. Under the Disney and New England Reception tabs I included the business card sheet protectors as well. Any spare/remaining pages are kept under the Miscellaneous tab.

Documents & Stationary

Budget
So I made a budget tracker (in green of course) to keep track of all our spending. In my personal copy I have each category labeled as “Disney Event,” “New England Reception,” “Honeymoon,” and “Other.” The copy I have uploaded for you all is a bit more universal, but still by event rather than item. Whether you choose to use this for yourself or use it as the basis for your own budget tracker I hope it is useful to you.
Budget

I have also created a “running total” spreadsheet to track how much I’ve spent in total so far on everything. This way I can track it chronologically, sort by event or category subtype.
Running Total Excel Spreadsheet

The fonts I used were:
SNF Sunday for the front page header & for the headers on the documents below
SW Par-tay Thyme for the internal headers of the budget tracker
Chocolate Covered Raindrops for the tables & main text of the documents below

Calendar
I really wanted an undated calendar because my wedding planning and events will span over more than one year. So I created this for us to use. Feel free to print out onto your favorite card stock or craft paper.
Calendar

Invitation Tracker
To track my invitations, I used the “Wedding Invite Tracker” template from Microsoft Excel. Technically I’m using two of them (one for each event) and color coded them to match the binder. I found it the most simple and convenient way to keep track of whom we wanted to invite, when things are mail, addresses/contact information etc.

Planning Timeline
I combined and modified several timelines I found on Pinterest in order to develop two personalized timelines, one for the Disney Ceremony weekend and one for the New England reception. I found it easier to create my own and use the ones I found online as guidelines and reference points.

Additional Stationary
Thank Yous
Questions & Notes

 

Hope this was helpful. For more wedding related ideas, check out my board. Don’t forget to follow along here for more stories and tales as Kass and I try to plan our wedding!

Shabbat Shalom

Winter Wreath

I made my first wreath! I’ve never made a wreath before and I decide, why not?

I happened to be at Michaels during some pretty awesome sales, so it didn’t cost me too much to make it. Bought 3 different spools of ribbon, some snow flakes, a Styrofoam wreath ring, some pins, fake flowers, and tree branches.

I had almost no idea what I was doing, only drawing inspiration from some wreaths on pinterest. After some fruitless attempts at creating volume, I just started wrapping and gluing the ribbon down almost randomly, eventually topping it off with the flowers, branch, and snowflakes.

By no means is it flawless or “etsy-worthy”, but I don’t think its half bad for a first attempt. Hope you enjoy!

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Title Trivet

I made a tile trivet!

Several months ago my boyfriend bought some tile because we were going to inlay it in our dining room table when we were re-staining it. Due to the nature of our table, it’s from IKEA and therefore mostly particle board, and the ambitiousness of this project, we decided to forgo it. So instead I glued, using my new hot glue gun that my boyfriend got me for my birthday, the tile onto some felt, and now we have a trivet to put hot dishes and pots/pans on!

I think it came out alright. What do you think?

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Do you remember how I made a menu box for all of our takeout menus? Well I also used this opportunity to add some felt to the back of it so it can slide along our coffee table and not scratch it.

So that’s my newest crafting excursion. Quick, simple, and practical.

Have you made one too? How did it come out? If not, go out and make one! You can (almost) never have too many trivets.

My Birthday continued

So yesterday was my birthday and it was wonderful and adorable.

My boss brought in a cake and balloon for me, and everyone (including our customers) sang happy birthday to me. It was so cute. Thanks everyone!

Then my boyfriend came home and gave me a bunch of stuff for my birthday! He got me this crazy awesome glue gun, not the little crafting one I had been eyeing, but a powerful one that I can use wood glue on too! And he got me an cute origami book, tons of origami paper, and some really pretty alphabet stencils. Now I can do ALL THE CRAFTING!!! SO EXCITED!!!

Finally he made me the most wonderful dinner (complete with a chocolate ganache cake from Publix): Sesame chicken!

The recipe we use came from this blog called serious eats and it’s amazing.

Here’s the link to the full recipe

We’ve made a few small changes, to the recipe, substituting things like rum for vodka when we’re out, using dry sherry instead of Shaoxing wine, some fresh ingredients for dried (only because we just didn’t have them…I’m talking about you minced ginger).

The recipe calls for a lot of prep-work, so if you’re prepared for that, it’s totally worth it. We also just threw some rice in our rice cooker to complement it. We get short grained rice at a local Asian supermarket instead of long grain because it’s easier for us to cook and, personally, we like the taste better. Our rice cooker we bought on Amazon for like $25-$35 I believe. It can make white or brown rice, and has a removable trey above it to steam vegetables in. If you eat a lot of rice (or want to) but aren’t sure how to cook it: invest in a good rice cooker, and it’ll solve a lot of you’re problems (as long as you follow the directions).

Now armed and ready with new crafting tools and some amazing left overs, onto my next task: GILMORE GIRLS ON NETFLIX!

I got crafty again

I had an idea. i have been in love with this series of paintings that I discovered on Pinterest of a single tree depicted in all four seasons, or at least that’s how it can be interpreted. I love the pieces and have wanted to do something similar to it. Well, earlier I posted about a Cherry blossom tree I painted, inspired by a post on Pinterest that I was in love with, and I thought, why not do 3 more trees in the same style but with different colored leaves for the other seasons! So that’s what I did. This was seriously one of the fastest crafts I have ever done.

I used canvases from a set that I bought at Michaels, Crayola paint (leftover from my boyfriend’s Halloween costume a few years back), and my black acrylic paint that I use for everything. To paint the leaves on I used a small (empty) seltzer bottle, which I rinsed off really quick when changing colors.

They didn’t come out identical by any means but I hope you enjoy.

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I hope this helps you to create something inspired by your favorite pieces. Even though they might not look the same, you can still make them convey the same meaning.

Cherry Blossom Tree (Pinterest success!)

I finally got around to making one of my longtime favorite Pinterest pins: a Cherry blossom tree painting!

All I needed was some paint, a canvas, and a soda bottle (I used a smaller seltzer bottle because my canvas is smaller than the one depicted on Pinterest). I just used the black and pink that I already had, so it came out a bit darker than I probably would have preferred, but I think it’ll be nice once it finished drying.

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Hope you enjoy and go off to make art of your own!

Text Art Painting (Pinterest almost success!)

In another attempt at Pinterest art, I decided to make a quote painting that showed the colors underneath where you peal the stickers off of. Original pin that inspired me can be found here.

I decided to use one of my favorite R. W. Emerson quotes for this piece, “The earth laughs in flowers.”

I also used a bunch of stuff I purchased from Michaels (paint, canvases, stickers, new brushes).

This is what it looked like before I added the stickers and top coat:

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And completed:

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For me it wasn’t a total success, nor a total failure. I ended up painting over the stickers too much; so paint ended up underneath and in some areas was too difficult to pull up cleanly. Next time I will sponge or dab the paint over the stickers instead of brush- painting, which is what I did this time.

Hope you enjoyed! I’ll be adding a bunch of stuff soon (and nothing to do with my lack of exercise. lol).

Shana tova/Happy new year everyone!