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:

IMG_20170206_131619.jpg

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