The first thing you should always do is settle on your budget. You need to know how much you can realistically spend. NEVER overestimate on a budget!
This right here was my lifesaver. My wedding binder. There are tons of links throughout Pinterest on how to set up a wedding binder, I'm going to show you what I did.
I kept everything in this binder. From the venue brochures, information I picked up at bridal fairs, receipts, inspiration...Everything. It was so convenient having everything in one place...especially because I am prone to losing things.
I also had envelopes for every vendor and expense for the wedding. Flowers, DJ, and décor were just a few.
This was my envelope for my DJ. I wrote down the agreed contract price on the outside, and kept a running total of payments as well. A lot of pins I have seen suggest organizing things with dividers. I personally chose envelopes because while I was still paying off the vendor, I would put a little bit of money from each paycheck in the envelop until I had the full amount saved. This made the budgeting and saving for the wedding much easier and didn't seem like a huge hit whenever we went to pay the vendor.
The next section of my binder had important information, such as guest lists, day of schedules. I kept this at the front since I accessed it more than anything else.
If you want to see more of this wedding, which I got a lot of inspiration from, look for my centerpiece post of this series.
After I started putting together my binder, I spent a lot of time researching wedding planning check lists. The best one, and one I used the entire time I was planning was from TheKnot.com.