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#APWPlanner Checklists and Spreadsheets

ME2_7132If you’re here, chances are you picked up a copy of the #APWPlanner and discovered that instead of ripping out spreadsheets and checklists from your fancy new book, you can just download them from the internet, like magic. If this is your first time visiting our website, welcome! We’re so glad to have you. There’s a lot that happens on A Practical Wedding that you won’t get in the book (like emotional support from us and other sane people such as yourself.) So be sure to check out our front page, which we update daily with new stories, resources, tips and tools for planning a sane wedding and a feminist marriage. If you’re recently engaged and haven’t had a chance to browse the site, this page is a great place to get started (we pulled all our best early planning advice into one place.) We’ve got incredible vendors over here, real weddings (with real budgets) over here, and all the logistical information you could ever hope for right here. In the meantime, we’ll get you started with all the spreadsheets and checklists you found in the #APWPlanner, handily available for you to download and print:

Getting Started Packet:

Your first order of business is figuring out your priorities. So before you download a single checklist or spreadsheet, start here. Included in the getting started packet is:

Venn Diagram of Emotional Goals and Your Wedding Mission Statement: Most of the wedding industry wants you to start planning your wedding around details. The colors, the outfits, the decor. But you don’t process weddings visually; you process them emotionally. So first, figure out what your emotional priorities are and what you want your wedding to be about.

All the Wedding Things (Many of Which You Don’t Need): Starting a wedding at square one is overwhelming. What do you want? What don’t you want? So we’ve made a freeform list to give you ideas of some of the common elements in weddings. Circle what you really care about, cross out what you don’t, and add anything that’s missing.

Wedding Planning Priorities: After looking over the previous (overly long) list, try to pick out which three things matter most to you personally, and then discuss your joint priorities for the wedding.

Extra Credit (Bringing In the Family): Once you have figured out what your joint planning priorities are, it can save a lot of heartache to ask involved family members the same questions. If the one thing your dad really wants is chicken at dinner, and your mom desperately wants the family pastor to perform the service, it’s helpful to know that from the start. Your dad might not get poultry and your mom might not get religion, but if you don’t know what people care about, you’ll end up in a tangled confusion of assumptions and obligations, without the tools you need to have clear conversations and make good compromises.

Putting It In Order: Once you’ve cobbled together a rough idea of your goals, you need a basic plan of attack. I struggled to come up with a wedding planning checklist for this book because, well, most wedding planning checklists are insane. I have one that runs a cool six pages, with everything from booking your pre-wedding spray tan (what?) to buying stamps for your wedding invitations (something that, trust me, you’ll remember to do sooner or later). So instead, this is a one-page general order of wedding planning operations (in an ideal world). We don’t live in an ideal world, so you won’t necessarily approach things exactly this way, and you might not be doing everything listed here. But this is a good guideline to stick on your fridge to turn to when you wonder, “Well… what next?”

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Download the Getting Started Packet:

Clicking on the icons below will open Google Drive in a new tab. From there, click on File and then Make a Copy to save the checklists to your own account. (You need to be signed into your Google account to do this.)

GETTING STARTED PACKET

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Checklists:

How to throw a wedding in a non-traditional space: If you’re throwing a wedding in a non-traditional space, we’ve got a list of tasks that you should consider.

Potential Rental Items Checklist: If you have a full-service caterer or an all-inclusive venue, you may never have to worry about renting tables, chairs, or glassware. But for those of you who have rentals on your to-do list, here is a starter list of items to consider. Your rental company will provide you with a much more detailed breakdown, but consider this a place to start.

DIY Catering Checklist: A handy checklist designed for parties where the food is professionally prepared, but not served by a full-service caterer.

DIY BAR ALCOHOL-BUYING CALCULATIONS: If you’re providing your own bar, we’ve got the quick and easy calculations to figure out just how much you’re going to need to sell out for.

DIY BAR ALCOHOL-Buying And Setup SHOPPING LISTs: If you’re DIYing your bar setup, chances are good that you’re going to remember to buy booze (and our first list will help you remember which kind you need.) You’ll probably even remember to buy mixers. But it’s easy to show up at your venue and realize that not only did you forget ice, you forgot towels, and your bar helpers, are looking murderous. When you head to the store for alcohol, take this list with you.

Potential Floral Item List: When you’re trying to figure out what flowers you want, it can be helpful to look at a list of common options. Do you need all of these? Absolutely not. In fact, if you’re DIYing your flowers, I suggest picking a small selection of flowers as possible. This list exists because it can be helpful to remember that, yes, you do want flowers for your cake, or the bathroom, or your puppy, and make note of that.

DIY FLOWERS SHOPPING LIST: There’s more to DIY flowers than just flowers. Use this handy shopping list to figure out what else you’ll need!

PHOTOGRAPHY SHOT LIST: We don’t believe in Pinterest-intensive shot lists. Instead, our shot list is meant to guide you and your partner in figuring out which photos matters most, so you can let your photographer know.

FINAL SITE VISIT/VENUE-WALK-THROUGH CHECKLIST: Before the day itself, you’ll want to make sure to do a final venue walk-through to figure out the flow of the event. Here are a few things to keep in mind when you do.

Last-Minute Things You Might Have Forgotten (Two Weeks Out): It’s almost go time. What’s left to do? Here are the most important things you’ll want to remember two weeks out from your wedding.

LAST-MINUTE THINGS YOU MIGHT HAVE FORGOTTEN (NIGHT BEFORE): Print this out, and stick it to your front door, or the door to your hotel room. You will thank us.

LIST OF DOCUMENTS TO HAVE IN YOUR DAY-OF BINDER: Print ’em out and then hand ’em off.

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THE COMPLETE APW Checklist WORKBOOK

Clicking on the icons below will open Google Drive in a new tab. From there, click on File and then Make a Copy to save the checklists to your own account. (You need to be signed into your Google account to do this.)

WEDDING CHECKLISTS

INDIVIDUAL checklists

Don’t need the whole workbook? Download each spreadsheet individually. 

NON-TRADITIONAL VENUE RENTAL ITEMS DIY CATERING DIY ALCOHOL CALCULATION

DIY ALCOHOL SHOPPINGDIY BAR SETUP POTENTIAL FLORAL ITEMS DIY FLOWERS SHOPPINGPHOTO SHOT LIST

FINAL SITE VISIT LAST MINUTE CHECKLIST 2 WEEKS LAST MINUTE CHECKLIST NIGHT BEFORE DAY-OF BINDER DOCS

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Spreadsheets:

Budget Spreadsheet: The best way to stay on budget for your wedding is just…keeping a budget. Ours is meant to be flexible, because, well, shit happens.

GUEST LIST: Keep track of your guests—arguably one of the most important things you’ll do. Bonus: you can use our guest list spreadsheet with many popular online invitation programs, and save yourself a little legwork in the process.

Venue Search List: Keep a running list of each venue you visit, with notes about layouts, rates, restrictions, and anything else you might forget if you don’t write it down.

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.

Decor Setup Instructions: Spoiler alert: you will probably not be setting up all your own decorations. And you probably won’t have time to tell everyone else how to do it either. So use this cheat sheet to help you spread the work around.

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.

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THE COMPLETE APW SPREADSHEETS WORKBOOK

Clicking on the icons below will open Google Drive spreadsheets in a new tab. From there, click on File and then Make a Copy to save the spreadsheet to your own account. (You need to be signed into your Google account to do this.)

COMPLETE SPREADSHEETS

INDIVIDUAL CHECKLISTS

Don’t need the whole workbook? Download each spreadsheet individually. 

Budget Guest ListVENUE SEARCHVENDOR CONTACTDECOR SETUP

 IMPORTANT PEOPLE PACKING LIST WEDDING WEEKENDTIMELINE DIY TIMELINE FORMAL

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Before you go...

Grab our free pandemic wedding planning e-book

Sign up for your free E-Book download

Sorry, there was an error. Please refresh and try again.

Thanks for submitting. Here's access to every wedding planning checklist you need! Download PDF