Whenever I see searches or questions regarding "planning a wedding on a small budget" it seems I usually bring up a lot of information about tips on saving money like booking off-season, not booking on Saturday night, etc. What I don't see a lot of is the actual planning and organizational part of the wedding.

While I really like those list of money saving tips, to me the actual planning a wedding and staying organized from the very start goes a long way on also planning your wedding to stay on budget!

So this article is much more important than a list of money saving tips. You should think of this article as wedding planning help for you to really stay organized AND stay sane!

Okay, so let's start!To start off with, here are the materials you need:

* three ring binder (white or black)
* three ring hole punch (surprisingly not all materials have three holes punched in them)
* dividers for your binder, preferably color tabs, preferably already punched
* a labelmaker comes in handy Start labeling the dividers appropriately - this alone will help you really get organized for planning your wedding.
* wedding budget
* wedding checklist
* wedding timeline
* wedding venue
* reception venue
* wedding catering
* wedding favors
* bridal gown
* groom tuxedo

…and so forth.

Now here's one important key. There are TONS of wedding planning guides and binders available. If you already bought one or were given something "fancy" like this to use, feel free to use it. I prefer the normal office binders over wedding binders.

This is subtle but makes a difference in my experience and here's the important key:

When it comes to wedding planning, of course you have to be organized. You also have to, when trying to stick to planning your wedding on a budget, think of it more like a business and not something to get emotionally involved in.

Let me say that again: Think of it more like a business and not something to get emotionally involved in.

That is kind of tough, because you want to be emotionally involved. It's your wedding! But if it's important for you to stay on budget, if you need to keep your wedding say under $10,000 instead of the average $30,000, you have to realize that being emotionally involved is what allows not only wedding vendors to boost their prices up so high but also for you all to pay those inflated prices! Wedding markups can be as much as 200%!!

The average price of a wedding, $30,000, though average, is OVER-INFLATED because brides accept this and will continue to pay OVER-INFLATED prices.

You need to think of it as a business you need to keep on a budget. That is why I prefer the normal binder (emotionless) versus the fancy wedding binder (fancy and FILLED with emotion).

The bottom line is if you don't have an organizational system working for you already, and you're not one of those organized types (like me!), you NEED to be one or need to find a friend who is one (like me…) to help you plan your wedding on a budget.

That's it. The rest, after you have the binder set up, will actually all come into place naturally. I will definitely write more about that, but this to me is the important first step to starting on planning your own wedding.

About me: I'm quite the organized, bordering on compulsive, type "A" person. As such I have been asked quite a few times to help organize weddings for friends (and acquaintances!). I'm not a professional wedding planner. I actually work in a realtor's office and do a lot of arts and crafts on the side. I would say that I'm definitely am a planner, an organizer, a Google documents diva, and a bargain hunter. I also love to write!

My friends keep telling me to write a book (and call it, yup, "Best Wedding Planning Book"). Well, I figured I'd start at least with the blog and see how it went. Come and stop by my blog here: Best Wedding Planning Book for some good tips and a few free downloadable eBooks too!

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