Thursday, February 17, 2011

Wedding Notebook Makeover!

Okay, so every bride has the essentials to get her through her wedding planning - bridal magazines, bridesmaids, parents, bridal shows, days at the spa, and of course her groom right?  Well, I am very fortunate to have all of those things help me through this process, but there is one thing I can think of that has been the MOST IMPORTANT thing to keep me sane so far, and that is my...


Or, my WEDDING BIBLE as I like to call her.  I debuted it before during the November Wedding Update Video, but when we started meeting with our invitations lady, caterers, and DJs I realized she just wasn't up to par!  Originally, I had simply put all of my vendor information into one place, organized it with dividers, and that helped...but I didn't realize how much I didn't have in there that I absolutely needed!  I really wanted to start carrying around a notebook that reflected our wedding filled with pictures, print outs and ideas to help show our potential and current vendors what the heck we're talking about!  First, I wanted to just go out a find something that looks a little more like me and that would keep me more organized...but I quickly realized that a new wedding notebook would be an unnecessary expense, and I could easily make a great and personalized notebook myself! So, I took it upon myself to jazz it up a little and use my wedding notebook to her full potential...

Here is the cover I actually designed myself with the photo we used for our Save the Date magnets!!  Now that I've done this, I kind of wish we used THIS for our Save the Dates - but oh well.  I still loved those too! :)

Creating your own Wedding Planner & Organizer may seem a little tricky, but it's a lot easier than I thought it would be and it turned out better than I'd imagined! All you need to do to create your own wedding organizer is have the following materials:

  • 3 Ring 1 1/2' Notebook - I got it in white, but you can get it in a different color if you wish!
  • Divider Tabs - I got a 10 tab organizer complete with a table of contents in the front
  • Ribbon to accent and decorate with - I used 3 different kinds
  • Scotch tape - I used regular and double sided
  • Scissors
  • Pen and Sharpie ...THAT'S IT! 
To start with, I knew the cover of my new and improved Wedding Notebook HAD to reflect the entire theme of our wedding!  I wanted it to show our contemporary style, so I chose to start out a cover design with our Save the Date photo.  It was also important for me to have our monogrammed HBSH logo easily accessible, so I decided to add that on the cover picture so that I always had it in front of me.  Next, I wanted to spice it up a little so I added a pink border to the picture, printed it out and put it in the front cover slot.  Not completely pleased with this, I noticed there was enough room to add some of the clear and black ribbon on each side as well as on top of and below the photo.  Good thing - because this was a great opportunity to show off our wedding colors, and I guess the cat's out of the bag now on that one huh?!  All I'm going to say is that our cover completely says it all! ;)

When I sat back and looked at it...I thought it was cute, but that it was STILL missing something.  So, I got the lime green ribbon out and decided to add a big green bow to the left side! PERFECT!!!!

So the cover was complete!!! And, I LOVED it!  Next, I wanted to make the side of the notebook reflect what the front looks like by adding a strip of the black and white ribbon down where you would put a vertical label.  I used the white and black ribbon, as opposed to the clear and black ribbon for this because it was a little sturdier and easier to slide down. 

OMG...this is so FUN and easy!  Now, it was time to start the harder part: organizing this baby.  I already knew tabs were the way to go with this, but it hit me to use the perfect amount of 10 tabs after I sat down and wrote out exactly what I wanted to go in each section.  I had looked at Wedding Planners online and had finally picked out what categories would work best for me.  So, I created a Table of Contents, and labeled the sections as follows:

  1. COORDINATION: checklist, budget, calendars
  8. TRASNPORTAION and RENTALS: accomodations
  9. BRIDAL PARTY and PARTIES: registries
I think that pretty much covers all of the bases, don't you?!

To explain further, let's start with COORDINATION.  I'm obviously not going to go into every tab with you, but I wanted to mention a few things about this one.  First, this tab is the key to keeping my entire notebook and planning process on track.  I printed out a calendar for each month remaining so I can write in appointments and deadlines, a budget spreadsheet, and a TO-DO checklist for each block of time left.  you can find printable versions of all of these things just by googling it, but here are a few options to help get you started:

OR, you can make your own spreadsheet in excel to make it as accurate to your personal needs as possible!  Follow this video, this lady from makes it so easy

You can go on any wedding planning website like or and sign up for an account if you want to handle all of your budget analysis and to-do lists on the computer. Example:  Otherwise, there are plenty of printable timelines for you to go off of to get ready for your big day.
Example: and there SO many more out there! Simply google "wedding checklist timeline" and you're bound to find something that suits you.

Also under the COORDINATION tab, is where I keep all of my wedding coordinator's information.  Not only her contact info, but also her preferred vendor list, wedding checklist, and anything she has sent me so far.  I feel like this tab keeps the entire Notebook organized!

OK - moving on to what I really created this new notebook for: PICTURES!!!!! Now, I can't share TOO much with you because obviously that would give too much away.  What I can show you though, are some pages I printed out and put together to keep in my notebook.  First, I wanted to have a screen shot of our website printed out so I can show our vendors what that looks like, as well as in this page in particular, the feel of our reception site:

This way, even from this page they can tell a little bit about what we're going for.  Next, of course I have TONS of pictures printed off and stuffed throughout this thing of ideas for floral, decor, invitations, and everything else.  I can't really show you all of that, but I can show you one of the floral pages.  Originally, Mr. Hess and I were planning on using more white mixed in our floral, so I pulled and printed all of these pictures up.  We have changed our minds since then, and you'll see what we're talking about when the day finally gets here! For now, this will do:

Also, you can use the pockets in the front and the back of the notebook to display magazine pictures, or other ideas you want to keep with you in your notebook.  And of course, I have to include a page from the BAKERY section...this is an easy way to keep the business cards you would actually use straight.  Here, I made a "dessert" or "bakery" page filled with all of the companies we are contacting:

One thing I found A HUGE help to myself that I can't believe I didn't to all along is printing out e-mails.  I am always putting e-mails together and sending them to myself, my groom, my mom and sometimes members of my bridal party for ideas, meeting times, notes, and questions.  When I put something together that has a lot of useful information - like catering company information - I print it off and stick it in that section of the notebook!


I'm sure you get the idea.  I mentioned before in the February Focus Video - I am a bit of an Organization Freak!  Can I spell it out any more than this? lol...sheesh!  I have always had a thing for using different fonts, colors, highlighters, tabs, and pictures to organize EVERYTHING.  Anyone who has ever sat next to me in any class from middle school on, knows this about me and are probably laughing to themselves about this one.  But you know what?! I AM IN LOVE with my new Wedding Notebook, and I'm very proud of her! :)

So, as you can probably tell from the catch up on blogging I've been doing...I've actually had some time the last couple of days to put some hours into planning.  Good thing because the rest of the week and weekend is NUTSO!  I hope you enjoyed the posts this week, I'm not sure when more will come out, but I have much more to share along the way so stay tuned.

155 days and counting...

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