Planning your wedding online

This year, 2.1 million brides will create their dream wedding by threading together a collection of wedding images and inspirations. With all these ideas floating around, brides need to be organized. Research shows that being disorganized leads to overspending and miscalculations, ending in wedding waste. With the average U.S. wedding costing $23,000, brides need every dollar to count.

The organized bride needs a single place to coordinate the wedding party, search for the perfect dress, track guest responses, monitor the budget and decide on a venue. In the 21st century, a binder full of papers won’t do! A digital solution is better suited to capture and coordinate details.

Microsoft OneNote 2010 offers a digital solution that brides can count on—complete with a downloadable wedding-planning template. Couples can copy and paste images that inspire them during wedding planning—right into their custom notebook—and the program will automatically include the image’s URL. Plus, if the bride and groom don’t have OneNote 2010 on their computer, they can download a free, fully functional trial copy for 60 days. Here are some tips and tricks for how to use online organizers to help ease the stress of planning:

• Allow the groom to help with planning. Don’t forget the groom! In most weddings, grooms are full planning partners. Keeping the wedding plans in one easy-to-access location makes sharing the task easier. Asking the groom to take an interest in wedding plans is a perfect start to working as a team in the marriage.

• Connect the wedding party early. Often, a favorite cousin or sister doesn’t live in the same state as the bride. Online wedding planning can span the miles between members of the wedding party. Brides can now spend less time answering repetitive e-mails and phone calls, because online wedding planning allows them to create a unified place for the wedding party to communicate details, such as tux sizes, dress orders and travel details.

• Track the budget’s every move. With 60 percent of brides and grooms paying for the wedding themselves, it is important to track the budget every step of the way. Brides and grooms can scan images of receipts into their digital organizer as deposits are paid and use the budget tool to do simple math equations, showing where the budget stands.

• Plan the honeymoon separately. Planning the honeymoon can be just as time consuming as planning the wedding. Ensure sanity by creating a separate notebook for the honeymoon. OneNote 2010 has you covered with a downloadable travel template, which is full of prompts for details that could easily be forgotten, such as digital copies of your passports. Start planning now. Download the free OneNote 2010 wedding template at http://www.office.com/onenotewedding.

By Sharon Naylor, bridal expert with more than 35 published wedding and bridal shower books to date. Article courtesy of NAPSI.