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

Moving Back to Orlando

Last spring, Kass got a new job and basically had to start almost immediately so I put my notice in at the shul and in a mad dash (more or less) we’re moved back up here to Orlando, together this time.

Since we still had two months left at the old place, we left some non-essential items behind that we would then grab on subsequent trips. Honestly, we began to dread these trips. The thought of driving back to South Florida still fills me with anxiety. We were so unhappy there I never want to feel like that again. AND our old complex charged us even MORE money to clean it (even though we were coming back to clean it before we left entirely but oh well).

Our apartment search went rather smoothly and we settled quickly into our new place. We did basically all the heavy lifting and driving by ourselves though, which wasn’t fun. This included hitching one car to the moving truck which Kass drove, while I drove my car with the cats (Ying & Yang).

Side note: we adopted two sisfurs from the Broward Humane Society! They had been their for about 3 weeks before we fell in love with them and chose to rescue them. They have since settled in with us (almost at our 2 year adopt-aversary!!) and love to play and cuddle (including with each other).

Our current apartment is so much nicer and newer than our old place. It’s smaller, but we’ve managed to fit everything from our old place pretty comfortably. We got rid of our dining room table, but we have a massive kitchen island and we rarely used that table anyway. And we’re saving so much money here in rent, utilities, and insurance compared to our last place! With all the added amenities (including being minutes from Walt Disney World & Universal Studios) it doesn’t even compare.

When we moved back I didn’t have a job lined up in Orlando yet because it was so short notice. I took about 2 weeks to get everything unpacked and take a small breather from my last job before applying anywhere. When I did start applying, I came right back to Disney. In less than a month from reapplying I was lucky enough to be rehired (part-time) in Food & Beverage working at a new restaurant in one of the parks. I’ve since put in for full time and have opened my availability so that way I can try to get at least 32+ hours a week. I enjoy my location, my fellow cast members, and the schedule flexibility to be able to pick and choose when I want to work (more or less).

Some might say I have arguably taken a step back in my career, especially since I took a pay hit coming back to Disney and am not using my degree in a way that would be typically expected of me. To that I say, I am happier here and still earning enough to get by. I plan on using my degree to further my personal life rather than career and engage in Judaism that way. I will always love Judaism and Jewish education, but can’t see myself making a career out of it. If I do, I fear I might start resenting it. That doesn’t mean I don’t plan on using my degree and education every single day to combat ignorance, celebrate life, and carve my own path living a meaningful and Jewish life.

Shavuah tov l’kulam

I got approved!

I got approved to extend! As of right now I’m supposed to stay at Outdoor Vending at Magic Kingdom, which is really exciting. It would have been nice to work another part of the system (like attractions or character attendant) but I love ODV/ODF and am glad I get to stay.

Ran into my friend Sydney the other day (and by friend I really mean acquaintance because even though she lives across from me and works the same park, I’ve talked to her about half a dozen times since we first met). She got a legit job with a local charity and is looking to get an apartment nearby. I’m thinking about maybe living with her, especially because it would be about the same price as living in CP housing, but I don’t really know her. Whenever we do see each other we talk about hanging out or doing something but we never do anything about it. I forgot I even had her number. It might just be easier/less hassle if I stay. I don’t know, we’ll see.

On the topic of roommates:
About two or so weeks ago Courtney rediscovered a leak in her’s and Cassie’s bathroom. Turns out a pipe was leaking upstairs. The 2nd floor apartment all had to move out (bye loud noisy guys!!!) to fix everything. They had to do some construction in the bathroom down here too, and because most of us are nocturnal, housing gave us all access to the emergency/flood/fire apartment. Cassie moved over there but Courtney flat out moved into Patterson with her friend Becca, who was having “roommate problems” (don’t believe her, never heard them complain before but hey, whatever). When it was safe for Cassie to move back in, Victoria switched bedrooms so she no longer had to live with Jade (they have some issues between them over cleanliness and hygiene). So now it’s down to the five of us (well, basically four because Julie is never home and always at her boyfriend’s place). Victoria also finally managed to get recast into merchandise at Studios after she was almost terminated from housekeeping. YEAY!!! SHE DOESN’T HAVE TO LEAVE!

Off topic but I got addicted to this Korean dramedy called “Heirs” on Hulu. So good. Kind of immature (it’s aimed at high school students/young adults) but I love it. So glad the episodes are an hour long each! It’s only a few weeks in so catch up while you can!

Halloween parties have ended. Christmas parties start Friday. I can’t even.

So I guess that’s basically it right now. Peace out girl scouts.