So you’re planning a wedding, huh? And maybe you’ve already noticed that most wedding media is about pretty things: what kind of dress you’re going to wear, what your inspiration is going to be, what your decorations will look like. And then suddenly it hits you. You’re throwing a massive event. As far as planning goes, an inspiration board is not going to cut it. Because while we at APW know that weddings have a certain kind of magic in them, it’s not the kind of magic where the beer walks itself to the venue. And maybe creating your own planning documents seems crazy overwhelming.
Well, you’re in luck!
As promised in Meg’s book, A Practical Wedding: Creative Solutions for Planning a Beautiful, Affordable, and Meaningful Celebration, we’re giving you some some serious spreadsheet action. APW has worked with Elizabeth Clayton of Lowe House Events (a sane and no-nonsense Bay Area Wedding Planner and APW Sponsor) to create downloadable spreadsheets you can use and modify to fit your needs.
A Few Notes:
- No Planning Timeline! We haven’t provided you a timeline leading up to your wedding or a list of things you need to get done because, well, we think those are total nonsense. (Meg had this to say about lists right before her own wedding.) You can plan a wedding in three months or two years. It can have five guests or five hundred. You can have ten vendors or no vendors. We’re not going to tell you what you need to do and buy by what deadline. You’re going to do just fine on your own.
- All Weddings Are Different! We tried to make these sample spreadsheets applicable to as many of you as possible. But please don’t think that just because we mention something as an example that you need it. We mention photographers, but that doesn’t mean we think you need one, so stop worrying.
- Gender Neutral Language! Maybe there are two brides in your wedding. Maybe there is a bride and groom. Maybe there are two grooms. Awesome. These spreadsheets aim to make everyone feel included.
- The Day Before The Wedding, These Spreadsheets Get Handed Off! You’re going to put a lot of work into these spreadsheets. But by the time your wedding festivities roll around, these spreadsheets are not for you. You can’t play event coordinator while you hitch your life to another person’s. Consider asking a friend to be your wedding stage manager. (Meg did!) Or, if you want to hire someone, awesome. APW has sane planners that have signed our Sanity Pledge (and Bay Area couples, look no further than Lowe House Creative, co-creator of all this goodness). But whatever you do, relinquish these spreadsheets the day before your wedding. Because in the end, they are not for you.
Downloadable Wedding Planning Spreadsheets:
Please note: When you hit these links, the Excel spreadsheets will download right to your computer. That’s it, that’s all!
Guest List: Keep track of your guests—arguably one of the most important things you’ll do.
Vendor Contact List: When you hand off all these lists to someone else, that person needs to know how to contact everyone important.
Important People Contact: You’ll want your family’s and wedding party’s contact information all in one place. This also lets you file away their travel information, which will prove helpful.
Packing List: Half of managing a wedding is hauling all the stuff to the venue and getting it home again. Here we give you a sample pack list. Fill it out, print it out, and have someone check off each item loaded into a car on the way to the venue and on the way home.
Wedding Weekend Spreadsheet: Most modern weddings stretch out for a day or two, at least for the couple and their families or wedding party. You’ll need plans for that whole period, and this spreadsheet will help you do it.
Day Of Timeline (DIY, Morning): This is it. The mother of all wedding planning spreadsheets. The most important document you’ll have (and I’m not even joking). We’ve created two versions of the spreadsheet for you to modify to your heart’s content. This one is for a morning wedding with more DIY elements.
Day of Timeline (Formal, Evening): The mother of all wedding planning spreadsheets for an evening wedding with more wedding vendors.
All In One Downloadable Wedding Planning Spreadsheets:
Complete APW Wedding Workbook (DIY Wedding): This workbook has all of the documents listed above, tailored for a more DIY wedding. You’re welcome!
Complete APW Wedding Workbook (Formal Wedding): This workbook has all of the documents listed above, tailored for a more formal wedding. Yay!
Extra Credit Wedding Planning Spreadsheets:
Do you love planning? Are spreadsheets and organization your passion? If so, these spreadsheets are for you. If, however, too much detailed organization makes you want to cry, don’t you dare open these spreadsheets. You’ll be fine without them.
The Ultimate Spreadsheet (DIY, Morning): This spreadsheet incorporates your day of timeline with your packing list. That way you’ll be in the right place in the right time with the right stuff. Genius! This version is for the more DIY wedding.
The Ultimate Spreadsheet (Formal, Evening): Same spreadsheet as above—timeline plus packing list for ultimate organization. This one is for the more formal wedding.
And seriously? You’ll want the book A Practical Wedding: Creative Solutions for Planning a Beautiful, Affordable, and Meaningful Celebration to go with it. Spreadsheets are nice, but walking you through planning step by step and saving your sanity is way better.
Now, back to the blog. More posts on wedding planning are here, we’ve got tons of no-nonsense (and hilarious) wedding advice over here, and don’t forget the APW Vendor Directory, and the APW Venue Directory. Plan safe, kids. And remember, if someone tells you, “You have to buy this for your wedding to be good,” they are totally lying.
Intro photo: Leah and Mark.
Meg as Wedding Stage Manager, photo by Rory Gordon Photo