Tying the Knot in a Meaningful and Memorable Way (Without Losing Our Savings or Sanity)

Friday, April 23, 2010

Whiteboard Planning

Planning the average wedding is no small feat. First, it takes serious planning skills. There's the vision piece, and then there's actually following-through with the vision and implementing all the necessary details (in a systematic and time-savvy way).

Then there's all the societal pressure and cultural noise around what makes a "real wedding." And then our families and friends chime in with their versions of what makes a real wedding. Plus, there are tons of other issues related to major life transitions (for you, as well as the aforementioned friends and family who are undergoing their own transitions related to your transition).

There's also the fact that the stress of it all may illuminate new areas for growth within your relationship (which can cause more stress). And you've probably got a gazillion other things going on in your own life (yes, we do other things with our selves besides plan weddings, such as work to improve the world, support ourselves financially, be the best friend/sister/brother/daughter/son/partner/pet owners we can be, cope with tragedy and illness, and try to sleep). And the sleep part can start to get stretched thin which means our patience and general positivity can wane, which means dealing with EVERYTHING ELSE is so much more difficult.

But this is not a post about all of that. This post is about one small strategy that might make one small part of wedding planning easier: divvying up tasks and holding each other accountable.

Collaborating with anyone on any project can be difficult, and a centralized whiteboard can really help. When you're sitting down and chatting about who needs to do what and by when, it can be super-useful to record that information in a centralized location (enter the whiteboard, which is more eco-friendly than paper).

I've been coveting a centrally-located whiteboard ever since I saw this post from Joe. It would have made collaborating with Matt about our wedding easier. When Matt and I divvied up tasks and agreed on dates, we wrote them in our separate places (or not at all), and then we would later have misunderstandings about who was supposed to do what and when. It would have been so nice to record the next steps, the person responsible for them, and the due date beside every action item. Then whenever we would have passed by it, we would have had a reminder of what we were supposed to do and by when.

Of course Matt and I had a terrible time trying to find a mutually-agreed upon place in our house for a whiteboard (we often have disagreements about home decor issues). Finally, we found a place we were both amenable to: the outside of the bathroom door. Woo-hoo!

If you want specific directions about how we installed it and how much it cost, you can check out Feeding the Soil.

Although our wedding responsibilities have passed, we'll definitely use it to record to-do things that affect both of us, as well as the next steps related to our life goals (and hopefully love notes). I'm excited!

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megan said...

I agree delegating is an awesome idea, but as the days wind down to my wedding, I find everyone else is busy with their owns lives, so I'm stuck doing all of the last minute organizing and printing and gluing, cleaning, and stressing. Noone ever mentioned the week before the wedding being the most stressful- (and when i say stressful, i mean more than one mini-meltdowns, because you're oh-so-right...we have work and i have school, too). Any bride that can get their loved ones to cooperate, I commend you, and you should most definitely delegate where you can! :)

Angie said...

This is a great idea! Thanks, Sara! We have a chalkboard wall, but that's not very good for listing things. It is great for silly notes and awesome doodles! We're also having trouble keeping each other informed of decisions (everything's in a google doc and it gets a little old having to pull it up all the time.)

Emily SW said...

Another eco-friendly information-sharing option is Google Docs. When my husband and I were planning our wedding, we recorded almost all of our ideas, spreadsheets, etc, in Google docs and shared them with each other, so that whenever one of us was working on a document, the other had immediate access to what they were doing. It streamlined communication and wasn't clunky (like saving a spreadsheet on one of our laptops.). We also saved a draft of everything on one of our computers, but Google docs worked out so well, we almost included it in the Thank You section of our wedding programs!

Nerdlove said...

We are doing this, and we started a week ago! How wonderful and timely this post i. So far, it's helped a LOT! We have actually divided our whiteboard into 9 sections - on the left it's divided into three sections - Things for me to do, things for him to o, and things that we both need to work on together. Then on the top it's divided into priorities 1, 2, and 3 so that we know how important to the other person it is that we accomplish this task in a timely manner, and which ones are important, but the sort of important that you do when you've crossed everything else off your list.

Melodious said...

My teenage daughter and I use a whiteboard to communicate important dates, deadlines, and events. I work nights and go to school during the day, so we can sometimes go a couple days without actually seeing each other. The whiteboard is a great way to keep up with things.

I will have to transition it to wedding planning duties when the time comes.

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