It's important to be as organized as possible.

Wedding Planning Checklist, Calendar, and Notebook
Credit: Milkos / Getty Images

Sending payments might not be anyone's favorite part of wedding planning—for most couples, deciding how to spend the money (and then seeing the vision come to life!) offers a lot more excitement than actually writing the checks—but it's an essential to-do you'll need to cross off your list. After all, if you want your vendors to show up bearing cakes, flowers, paper goods, and everything else you've ordered, then making sure they get their deposits and subsequent payments is a fundamental prerequisite.

Most vendors will require a deposit to hold your date, a second deposit during the planning period, and the balance on (or shortly before) your wedding day. If you're working with a planning team, they can remind you what's due to which vendor and when, and they should take care of handing out all the day-of payments and tips. But if you're finding it stressful to make just a few large payments over the course of the planning, talk to your individual vendors: Some may let you make smaller payments more frequently, which may be easier on your bank account and—if you sync them with other monthly bills, like your rent or utilities—your to-do list.

The simplest way to keep track of when your wedding payments are due is the most old-fashioned—but it's also extremely reliable. "The moment you get a contract, write the payment due dates on your calendar," says Christy Thiessen of Hello Gem. Any calendar will work: If you use a paper wall version in the kitchen, you can keep the schedule front and center; if you have a dedicated wedding-planning notebook or a bullet journal, log the dates there—either in one master list on a front page or on individual calendar pages (or both). The Google calendar you share with your fiancé is a perfect place to keep track of bill due dates, too, since you can both see what's coming up and set reminders ahead of time so you don't miss a payment.

Online budgeting software can also help you keep track of your payments, whether you choose a wedding-specific program or work with a program that keeps the rest of your budget in order, too: A software with predictive budgeting, like Quicken, allows you to schedule future payments and immediately see how they affect your bottom line.

If you're interested in keeping track of not just when payments are due but what you've already spent, consider a checking account or credit card you use only for the wedding. Keeping all your expenses—from the bridesmaids' gifts to the deposit you sent for your honeymoon—in a single account will make it easier to see how your totals stack up against your budget. Budgeting tools often offer a similar option by letting you tag and categorize wedding-related expenses across all your accounts—which means you can put less time into organizing your receipts and get back to perfecting your dream day.


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