No matter how far out your wedding date might be, you’re likely already feeling the pressure from a never-ending list of to-dos, way before you get to the official “I do’s.”
In addition to the countless event-related details, there’s also the issue of making sure your mailing lists are updated for the invitations and save-the-dates, pre-wedding festivities with friends and families, and of course thank-you notes after the big occasion is complete.
And let’s face it, the days of keeping all of our contacts’ addresses and emails organized in a hard copy address book are long gone. If you’re like me, half of your loved ones’ contact details are stored in your phone or online somewhere, some are scribbled on papers and stuffed in a desk, and most of them haven’t been reviewed or updated in months, if not years. And that’s not even taking into account your soon-to-be better half’s friends and family!
Fortunately, there are some great tools and resources to help get your mailing lists in top shape as things progress towards the big day. Below are some helpful tips to make it easier as you and your beloved head towards the big day.
Make a master event list
Make a master event list to shape your mailing lists. Consider all of the events – both formal and informal – that will take place around your wedding. This can include engagement parties, bridal showers, bachelor and bachelorette parties, welcome parties, rehearsal dinners, and of course the big event itself. This will help guide you in determining who to invite to which events, and whose contact details might be missing or outdated from your files. Online event planning tools like Airtable can be useful in mapping out all of the moving pieces and provides several free templates to download.
Update your contacts
Determine what information needs updating. If you (or your fiancé) have a large family, it can be difficult to remember which family members are associated with whom. That’s okay! If you can’t remember your cousin’s new spouse’s name, there are easy ways online to track down that information. Online tools like Whitepages can help you search for family members’ contact info such as current addresses, phone numbers and more.
Use this information to create a “family and friends” phone tree and enlist a member of each nuclear family or friends group to help with outreach to their respective members to track down their contact details. This will help ease the burden on you and your planning team to get things in order.
Share events & details multiple ways
Share information in a variety of ways. Especially when dealing with extended families and large groups, it’s important that information about the event(s) get shared across multiple channels. Email and text messaging can be efficient and quick for sharing details and updates, but don’t forget to give your attendees a heads up about this method, since your messages can get lost in spam or junk folders. Wedding-related websites are also popular because they can present detailed information in one easy location. Just remember to tell your attendees to check it periodically for updates!
Find a system that works for you
Find the mailing list system that works for you. Just like every bride’s style is unique to her, so too are the organizing systems that keep that bride on track. The important thing is to find a system that will work for you, not just for your wedding but also year-round for future holiday mailings, birthdays, anniversaries and the like. For some people, this means an “old school” paper address book, for others, it’s all about leveraging the latest devices and technologies. Sometimes a simple Excel doc will do the trick. Don’t force a new system that’s going to cause more stress than you need at this time – find the one that works for you so that it’s fast and painless to update.
Some of my favorite online tools include Google Drive and Smartsheet; both allow users to invite other people to view and edit documents in real-time.
While organizing your personal address book can seem, let’s face it, not particularly exciting of a task –– it’s important to remember that this database will become your go-to resource for your new family. Making sure you have the latest addresses, emails and phone numbers for your loved ones will help make the whole planning process less stressful, and ensures that you’ll be able to keep in touch in the years ahead.
About the Author: Kathryn Frazer is the Events Marketing Manager at Whitepages, an identity verification provider and people search engine. This post is not paid, it is just an informative post brought to you by the Whitepages!