Wedding Planning: How About I Just Get Married?

Dresses, shoes, location, wedding party, save-the-dates, invitations, food, guests, music, favors, party events, cake.Holding hands at Crowder's mountain as we got engaged.

For all that I love project management, I’ll admit I’ve been avoidant about planning my wedding. Not out of any lack of love of the Weir(d) One, but out of… sigh. Exactly that: sigh. I now have amazing help in the form of Ma Dre, which is helping me get off my ass.

Which is good because, you know, I’d like to get married. In about seven months.

I haven’t found a good tool for organizing all of this, which makes me a little sad. The Knot has a sweet guest list setup, but the budget is one of the silliest things I’ve seen. If I tell it a total budget, it splits up the money into buckets for catering, dress, etc. based on typical values… and I can’t change them. I can put in the “actual costs”, but that’s not terribly helpful for planning. You can bet your house I’m not spending hundreds of dollars on a dress or 50% of the budget on food, but it’s trying to tell me I will. Useless.

I’ve got a lot of information thrown into Backpack, but it doesn’t have good data structures for things. Guest lists are really well-suited to a spreadsheet: names, contact info, invitation status, etc. Backpack has… checklists. I could probably finagle a Markdown table to put it in a note in the system, but that’s just obnoxious to maintain.

What Backpack does have, however, is the ability to share info with a tight group. Greg’s parents, my mother, and Ma Dre are all in there, which means I can share ideas very easily and keep a centralized repo of information.

What’s a better way to do this? A bunch of Google Docs? Backpack + Google Docs? I’ve already had to move catering options out into a Google spreadsheet and link it in. I don’t mind paying a small amount (<$25/mo) for a service if it replaces Backpack completely, but I'm also happy to run something that's PHP/Python/Ruby-based on my server. I do, after all, own avery-weir.net.

  • Dess

    First, congrats! I hadn’t heard you two were getting married.
    Personally, I suggest a pen and paper, but that’s just cause I’m old-school.

    Good luck!

  • Michelle

    Chris and I got married at the courthouse. We had the wedding almost a year later. We just didn’t have the money. It was also nice not having to stress over wedding details.

    The budget planners didn’t work for me. Some for the same reasons you mentioned. I think Chris ended up making an excel spreadsheet for us instead. We used others’ budget planners to help make up our own. Then you can change it according to your priorities and stuff. Maybe you should try that. Then you don’t get frustrated with having “The Knot” budget sheet not work for you.

    • @Michelle: I so think about the courthouse approach. The kicker is that I do consider the ceremony and reception to be important in that it’s my community, my fam, coming together to recognize and witness our commitment. Luckily, I’m managing to keep this whole thing very simple. Maybe that’s just comparatively, though. 😛

  • The Knot does have some good information, but I agree you’ve got to go to other sites to really make that wedding budget work. Craigslist is also a good resource for purchases. One book that has really helped my fiancé and I is by Giulia Macchia called, “The “W” Day.” The author does a great job of illustrating amazing weddings, and helping you recreate what you desire on a budget. It’s worth taking a look at and consider having a wedding, which creates wonderful memories that you can cherish forever :}. All the best to you both.

    • Audrey, thanks for the book recommendation!

      • You’re welcome, Melissa!

  • Bob Schulein

    Nothing beats a good shared spreadsheet (except a magical tool that meets all your needs, but when has that ever happened? :p ). Writing from the experience of having a big wedding that was a bit too big, simple is a great way to go. It is expensive, but everyone likes free drinks!

    Oh, and congrats for the upcoming legal procedure!

    -Bob Schulein, who regrets being in abstentia for so long

    • I have dearly missed you, Bob. I’m not sure we’ll be serving alcohol. Is it worth the cost? Folks can have fun without it, right? 😀