Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Staying On Track

Photo credit: Saquan Stimpson

Some people like to stay hyper-organized, some don't, and some fall somewhere in between. But no matter which type of person you are, there are certain things that can make your life easier.

While planning for a wedding, it's hard to think about anything that will happen after the wedding (well except the honeymoon, if you are taking one!). Like thank you cards. Who wants to think about that now? Not me.

But I did find this one piece of advice helpful = it's a good idea to devise a system to keep track of your gifts. Because after the big shebang, the last thing you will want to do is spend hours figuring out which "congratulations!" card fell off of which gift.

Jake and I are not asking for traditional gifts like toasters and china. Like many practical (and money-challenged) couples before us, if guests insist on getting us something, we ask that they help fund our honeymoon. And while we have told several underfunded out-of-town friends & family to scrap our gift if they are already splurging on hotel and airfare, I'm sure there will be plenty of people who wish to express their love via purchasing a gift.

So we set up an honeymoon registry at honeyfund where people can pick and choose which amazing part of our honeymoon they wish to support. We are asking for "intangible" gifts like "dinner at a seaside restaurant in [name a City]," or "bus ride from [City X] to [City Y]," so it's not like at the end of the day we will have a physical stack of gifts piled up in the corner of our apartment to remind us of who bought what. While we may have a few uncashed checks (yeah, right), the giver of the spent checks is going to be quite difficult to recall unless we have a system in place to track it. This is especially important because one of our ideas (which may or may not come to fruition) is to mail postcards from our honeymoon destination as thank you cards, trying our best to match the postcards with the gift. For example, if someone contributes to the cost of a hotel in a specific city, we could send them a postcard thank you from that city. Our other idea is to print postcard photos of our honeymoon when we return (IF. IF we return.) and send those as thank you notes, matching the location with the gift. Either way, some method of noting the gift and gift giver would be crucial to the execution of either plan.

One of the more helpful books I checked out from the library gave me ideas for logical and simple methods to organize my wild mind and random thoughts, and also provided a nice tool for tracking gifts. Actually, it not only tracks gifts, but helps me keep track of which guests received save-the-dates, invites, as well as who responded and any necessary special needs.

And just to show you how simple said "system" can be, here it is for your downloading, editing, using, and sharing pleasure. You can add the categories that make sense for you, and start entering your information in the chart.

Happy tracking!

Photo Credit: Ayumi Photography

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