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A Wedding Planner’s Guide to Organization in 2024

April 3, 2024

Hello, I'm DANA
Event Planner turned OBM dedicated to wedding pros effortless growth with time-efficient strategy to showcase your creativity. Let's connect!

Feeling overwhelmed by juggling multiple weddings and endless to-do lists? You’re not alone! Many wedding planners face the challenge of staying organized behind the scenes. But let’s be honest, juggling multiple weddings, client expectations, and vendor communications can quickly turn into organizational mayhem.

If you find yourself drowning in to-do lists and scrambling to meet deadlines, fear not! Here’s the good news: staying organized as a wedding planner is absolutely achievable. In fact, with a few tweaks to your workflow and the right tools, you can transform from feeling frantic to fantastic.

Share project details with clients or vendors, allowing everyone to access crucial information in real-time.

In this blog, I’m sharing four actionable steps – suitable for both seasoned pros and new wedding planners – to transform your wedding planning workflow. These steps will help you ditch the disorganization and create a system that keeps you on top of everything, allowing you to provide a seamless and stress-free experience for your clients. Let’s dive in!

Step 1: Mapping Your Client Journey

Grab your stack of post-it notes, a pen, and map out your customer workflow! Imagine your ideal client experience – a seamless journey from their initial inquiry to the post-wedding celebration. Mapping this journey is the foundation for building an organized workflow. If you want to get organize and optimize your automation tool, you’ll need to confidently understand the milestones and touch points you have (and want to have) with your couples. By creating a visual map of your client journey, you gain a clear understanding of the moving parts within a wedding. Here’s how to do it:

  • Brainstorm Touchpoints: List every interaction a client has with you, from the first consultation call to contract signing, venue visits, vendor meetings, and post-wedding follow-ups.
  • Stage the Journey: Divide the client experience into distinct stages, such as “Inquiry,” “Planning,” “Execution,” and “Wrap-Up.”
  • Detail Each Stage: For each stage, list every activity involved for you and the client including what you do behind the scenes. This could include sending questionnaires, creating mood boards, scheduling vendor calls, or finalizing timelines.

This can feel like a massive task, so take a calming breath before diving in. If you’re having a hard time with this step and feel like you don’t have a single glue as to what to include, I recommend checking out the Elevate to Impact podcast episode “6 Touchpoints to a Better Client Experience“.  It will be one of the best investments you can make during this process!

Step 2: Embrace Project Management – Your Organizational BFF

Now that you have a roadmap of your client journey, it’s time to implement your client journey into a project management system (PMS). A project management platform will be your central hub for storing information, managing tasks, and keeping everything on track from start to finish. Some software platforms allow you to collaborate directly with your clients.

Here’s why a PMS is a game-changer for wedding planners:

  • Client Communication Central: Consolidate all email threads, notes, and documents within each client’s project. Say goodbye to scattered information!
  • Task Management Nirvana: Create to-do lists, set deadlines, and assign tasks to yourself or vendors. This ensures nothing falls through the cracks.
  • Visualize Your Workflow: Utilize Kanban boards or Gantt charts to visualize your project timeline. This helps you track progress and identify potential roadblocks.
  • Collaboration Made Easy: Share project details with clients or vendors, allowing everyone to access crucial information in real-time.

There are several options available by my current favorite is Asana. I used ClickUp for years but switched to Asana in 2023. There are several advantage of implementing a project management tool like Asana into your business, but here are a few things it can do for your wedding business:

  • Increase productivity by using workflow templates
  • Avoid missing deadlines on important tasks
  • Collaborate with team members on weddings or other projects
  • Elevate client experience with a dedicated planning platform
  • Control that planning cadence with your couples to align with your schedule

With the right set up, Asana can also replace other costly tools you may be using like Aisle Planner.

Step 3: Automate and Systemize Your Client Journey (What to Look For)

Now that you have a clear visual map of your client journey, it’s time to incorporate automation! This step involves taking a critical eye towards each stage and identifying repetitive tasks that can be streamlined, or automated, using your chosen project management system. (Hopefully you chose Asana!) Keep in mind that you cannot automate everything as a wedding planner! One of the biggest client flow mistakes I see wedding planners make is trying to automate everything. This takes the elevated, personal touch  out of the planning process that many couples expect.

With that in mind, I know you are busy! Look for features like:

  • Automated Emails: Schedule automated email sequences to send welcome messages, contract reminders, or questionnaire prompts at designated points in the client journey.
  • Task Templates: Create pre-defined task lists for specific stages (e.g., venue booking, vendor communication) to avoid manually adding tasks each time.
  • Kanban Boards: Utilize visual boards to track progress and automate task movement based on completion stages.

By automating repetitive tasks, you free up valuable time to focus on what truly matters – personalized client communication, creative problem-solving, and building relationships with your couples.

Explore popular options like Asana to find the perfect fit for your needs.

The final step in conquering wedding planning chaos is embracing the power of templates. Pre-designed documents streamline your workflow and ensure consistency for your clients. My team knows I am a huge fan of templates! If you are in the beginning stages of designing your templates, it can feel overwhelming so start with the client facing elements first.

Start with:

  • Onboarding Packet: Your welcome package sets the tone for the entire planning journey. Include a timeline, contact information, and a questionnaire for gathering client preferences.
  • Mood Board Template: Provide a framework for clients to visualize their wedding aesthetic.
  • Contract & Invoice Templates: Standardize your contracts and invoices with pre-filled sections for key details.
  • Budget Tracker Template: Equip your couples with a budget management tool to stay on track.
  • Wedding Day Timeline Template: Create a detailed timeline outlining every moment of the wedding day.

By using templates, you free yourself from reinventing the wheel for each client. Work chronologically through the client journey to uncover potential bling spots and create space for new ideas to personalize your planning process. This translates to increased efficiency, enhanced client communication, reduced errors. Templates are not meant to be rigid. Use them as a foundation and personalize them as needed for each couple’s unique needs.

If you don’t a ton of time to get organized as a wedding planner this season, you have three options:

  1. Create templates as you go. Remember to add them to your project management tool as you write those emails and send out proposals.
  2. Delegate this task to a virtual assistant or graphic designer. (hint, hint Dana’s Desk is happy to help with this! Lets chat about it over coffee.)
  3. Head straight to the Refine for Wedding Planner’s shop to quickly pick up everything you need.

Staying organized as a wedding planner isn’t about micromanaging every detail – it’s about creating a system that works for you and your clients. By mapping your client journey, implementing a project management system, and leveraging the power of templates, you can transform your workflow and navigate the world of wedding planning with confidence.

Remember, a well-organized planner is a happy planner, and a happy planner creates unforgettable weddings! So, take these steps, embrace efficiency, and watch your business flourish.

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