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Giveaway: Real Simple Weddings

Real Simple has once again published their Weddings issue, and dare I say its better than ever! The guide offers advice for "planning a beautiful and stress-free celebration", and is divided into ten chapters. Each chapter includes tips for getting started and ten common questions specific to that chapter, as well as an account of a “real wedding” to inspire couples during the planning process. And coming from someone who thrives on lists, the checklists they provide are truly great!

And here is the exciting part - Real Simple is offering up a free issue of their 2010 Weddings guide to five readers! To enter, simply leave a comment on this post between now and next Friday, March 12th at midnight (CST), and let me know - how are you staying organized during your planning process? Be sure to leave a way for me to contact you or a link so I can track you down if you are one of the winners.
But wait...there is a twist to this contest! Remember about a million years ago when I had a facebook account for With This Ring? And then I accidentally deleted it? Well, I am happy to say its once again up and running! So if you become a fan of the With This Ring facebook page, you'll get three extra entries in the contest. Just be sure to let me know in your comment that you've become a fan, so I can tally correctly. You can also follow me on twitter if you're so inclined, but no extra entries for that (just the pleasure of my company and not-so-witty banter). Good luck!


slimjim said...

Since most of my inspiration is coming from the internet (namely blogs), I have found Microsoft onenote to be an extremely useful tool. It is essentially a digital corkboard and has this function that allows you to selectively take pictures of the screen. Not to mention the ability to open as many "folders" as you need.

Meghan said...

Fantastic giveaway! I am staying organized by not only keeping folders for each of the details- ceremony, reception, vendors, etc. but also creating collages of my inspiration. I have found so many wonderful images of details that I love from magazines and websites that I've created collages out of them to show my vendors. I've found it much easier to show them what I am interested in rather than just trying to explain it to them.

I also joined your FB fanpage!

kalliejenn2 said...

yay! i really wanted a copy of this magazine, but it's so pricey, i really couldn't justify picking it up!

Bicoastal Bride said...

Great giveaway! I’m a compulsive organizer, so I’m staying organized every possible way – spreadsheet, a filing bin, checklists, a calendar… You name it, and you can bet I’m doing it! I’m happy to say it’s all working out great so far. :)

Bicoastal Bride said...

I'm a Facebook fan!

Karen said...

Google Docs spreadsheets are incredibly helpful. I share them with my mom, my fiance and our planner.

I'm a fan.

Christy said...

I'm big on spreadsheets, lists, and a timeline for the big day!

I'm a fan.

Christina said...

I love this magazine. I use my google calendar for everything!

Christina said...

I just became a facebook fan. Christina Coursey

Carly said...

Google with the help of Style Me Pretty is AMAZING! Their document templates have helped us gather addresses while automatically creating an excel spreadsheet, they have helped us compare cake vendors, florists, photographers- pretty much everything! I'm also using which has a very helpful and user-friendly checklist, budget tracker and an easy way to build a fancy wedding web site.

I hear Real Simple Weddings is the best wedding magazine out there!

Jessica said...

A wedding file is a must - on the computer and in your filing cabinet. I'm also trying to share the to-do list with my fiance and close family as best I can. That way the chances of me being so overloaded that I forget something vital, are far less! Love the wedding photos on the new FB page!

Anonymous said...

I combined two wedding planners in one to get my perfect wedding planner. I divided it up into sections; ceremony, reception, favors, music, bridesmaid gifts, I even have a little section in there for the crazy ideas I get along the way. Im not getting married until next May. I put all of my wedding planning stuff plus what my future sister in law gave me in a little room in our house that I have converted to wedding headquarters.

I even google calendar and send it to my bridesmaid so they know about when we are going to look at dresses.

You can contact me at

blondeeebuckeye said...

I've been using google docs mostly! I love it because I can share documents with my family/bridesmaids/fiance so easily. I have about 10 spreadsheets that I keep sending around. It's way too many, but I don't like things to get mixed up.

We've also become a huge fan of google calendars and gchat. This has worked very well--I have 6 bridesmaids and only 2 of them live in the same state! We have mini "conferences" on gchat and it's awesome!

And I'm a facebook fan!


Kari said...

I would LOVE LOVE this. Real Simple is a genius magazine. I love getting their daily thought e-mails and every now and then the wedding tips. This magazine would be great. And if it is anything like last years, it will have tons of eye candy!

Dom said...

Ah, this would be a wonderful thing to win. Especially while still a college student. Every penny helps!

So, how are we staying organized? We use three things to keep super organized: Evernote (, Omniplan (, and DropBox (

We use Evernote to keep lists for florists, ideas, contacts, written documents, etc.

I share a folder on Dropbox with my friends so that they can add images/post ideas for different items of the event, inspiration pics, or color swatches.

We're also using Omniplan to create a snazzy gantt chart, (yes, hyper organized) to know when our deadlines/milestones are, and to guestimate how much time each task will take.

That being said, I flipped through this book last night at the bookstore, and put it back because of the cost. I would *love* to win it. It would be perfect for the hyper organized person to have yet another tool to help with organization and planning.


CityGirlJojo said...

I love lists and checking things off these lists. So to keep organized I have a little pad of paper and a small accordion file folder that I keep in my purse and jot down ideas when they come to me.

I also just became a Facebook fan of yours :).

Would love love love to win this prize! I adore Real Simple!

dance247 said...

I have lists all over the place, but it started at The Knot's web site. As I continued through planning, I made my own list and timeline. I check it so many times a day!

katarzyna said...

I have folders galore saved on my laptop where I tuck away all the inspiration I continuously come across on the web. I also have a binder for magazine clippings, inspiration boards and contracts, and a notebook to keep track of ideas.

Elaine said...

Google docs are keeping me organized!

katarzyna said...

I just became a Facebook fan : )

Eliza said...

it's all about the spreaedsheets!

Candace & Eddy said...

I would love an issue of the magazine. My wedding isn't until 2012 because my fiance' is deployed to Afghanistan. But..I'm loving wedding magazines and to keep up with what I'm interested in I pull out the page and put it in a scrap book.

Sarah said...

googledocs has made our wedding plans accessible to everyone who needs deets about the wedding... but they don't all get edit access ;)

nix said...

organized? i've got organized ;-)

excel sheets for everything - and i mean everything:
-guest lists a, b, and c
-venues: contact info, when the last communication was, what the venue can accommodate, etc. both a master sheet that compares all of them and individual, in depth sheets
-to do list
-ceremony excerpts

my tumblr account ( my 'shoebox' for ideas that my friends and fam can access. everything is tagged so if i want to see dresses, i click the tag and BAM!

i've also received a great big green bridal binder with tabs and folders for my birthday - that has all of my magazine cutouts are organized. that lives in the wedding designated area of the living room, with the other wedding mags and books i've been given/picked up at expos.

gmail - anything and everything wedding related has its very own label.

google calendar - that's where the appointments and time line live.

google reader - i have 2 sectioned folders, one for standard bridal, one for offbeat bridal with over 50 blogs that i follow. i check them once a day and tumbl the neato/helpful things i find.

i didn't even mention the 6page questionnaires for the venues and another 6 pager for the caterers. same questions for all makes it easier to compare ;-)

see what i mean? hahah

oh, and i just became an fb fan and twitter follower.

la petite coquine said...

Russell & Hazel's wedding organizer is possibly the most wonderful wedding binder out there, and their templates are a dream. Plus, my "wedding" folder on my computer, which is divided into 25 more sub-folders, all of which guessed it! More folders! It's the easiest way for me to find that photograph of the lily of the valley bouquet I loved, or the real wedding I can't wait to feature on my blog.

It's great to see you on Facebook-became a fan!

Anonymous said...

I love that magazine!

I have piles of old issues at home on by bookcase. It's my reference section for just about anything ie. home improvements, dinner parties, organizing my closet.

I wouldn't say I'm organized...I have stuff over at the knot that helps me with my complusive list making. When I have a stressful day I can "do over" my checklist. It's very satisfying to go back through my list and recheck items off.

Stress is reduced by seeing how much I have accomplished.
I have a small stenonotebook that I carry in my purse and use to jot ideas down then I transfer it all to my notebook computer at home. Perfect for pictures/inspriration for menus, favors, writing up drafts for invites.

FB is blocked at work but I will add you this evening. I check your blog every day. :)


Anonymous said...

Have I mentioned that he asked December 14th 2009 and our wedding is July 11, 2010.

Our budget is $4,000 and 100 guests?


Courtney said...

Gmail + iPhone helps keep me organized. It's SO nice to be able to search your email on the fly and find what you need on the go.

"What were we supposed to taste today?"

"Now WHERE was that place?"

"What does your dress like."

iPhone + Gmail. LOVE it.

Lydia said...

Fab giveaway! I'm staying organized with an accordion folder, to-do lists in MS word, and many, MANY excel spreadsheets. So far that's helped me stay on my game!

(I've become a FB fan!)

idiophonebox said...

I have a long to do list with plenty of smaller tasks under each large item. It's nice being able to check things off often so I can see the progress I'm making instead of feeling like nothing has been done.

Peonies and Sunshine said...

Keeping my fingers crossed! And I second a few others on Microsoft OneNote! But I finally caved and just created a blog. :)

Love your blog and now am a FB fan.

Anonymous said...

Its a bit of a cheat because i could've just used a spreadsheet instead, but i used a planning sites diary planner. The main benefit is that is kept pointing out stuff that i had not thought about and steps in the preparation stage. In Australia we used a company called Anyway happily married now for 6 months and loving the memories of my day, just remember to breath ladies!

cynvicioustm said...

Well I have been using a couple different tools. I mainly use my obsessive compulsive 5 tabbed Excel worksheet. In it I have payment tracker, website ideas, DIY links and what I am doing, dates these need to be done... etc. I have, however, started cheating on Excel by using I found the app on my iphone (free) and have been using it religiously ever since. I have found quite a bit of inspiration from it. woot!

And hey- we are SO now friends on facebook... well I guess I am just a fan, but friends seems more awesome.

Anonymous said...

I have found to be extremely helpful. I have used it to create my wedding guest list. It is so helpful because you can view the list in many different ways and even set up the addresses to print on invitation envelopes! Additionally, my mom has been really helful to because she keeps me organized when I start getting overwhelmed! Im a facebook fan too!

Meghan said...

I could absolutely use the help with organizing! I never imagined that I'd get married, so I have so many ideas that I'm out of control. I even considered putting planning aside til the last minute just because I'm so overwhelmed!

PS I'm totes a fan of you on FB!

Whitney said...

I'm just starting to try to get organized! Just became a fan on FB

Jennifer said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Jennifer said...

Once I exited the "engagement fog" phase (which I still, admittedly, temporarily re-enter each time someone new sees my ring!), I could not wait to purchase a pretty, colorful 3-ring binder and start tabs for each of the major wedding planning categories. It's super easy to add in magazine articles and ads, print pages from websites, etc. I'm a teacher and have found that this technique works for school planning, so I'm crossing my fingers that it works for wedding plans, and so far so good! Thanks for all of your fabulous tips- and just became a fan on FBook. :)

Contact email:

Sara said...

I have an enormous workbook on excel that has tons of various sheets for every conceivable aspect of our planning. Then I put it on google docs so my fiance and I can both work on it - thank goodness for technology!

I also just became a facebook fan :)
you can reach me at goldstsb at gmail dot com

Amberdawn said...

I have a folder of favorite vendors I've encountered at different bridal shows. The rest just sits in the bags they came in and I'm hoping I don't have to resort to them!

Likewise I have a wedding-specific Email account with a "favorite vendors" folder.

I also have a "wedding" folder on my computer, with sub folders that contain pictures for inspiration. I have separate documents with links for caterers, reception sites, florists, musicians, and so on.

So I try to keep it simple with only one or two "favorites" for each vendor, and the "maybes" just lumped together. My wedding is over a year away, but so far this is working for me.

Lisa- And-Danny said...

"How are you staying organized during your planning process?"

We've set up a:

- 'Wedding Site', it helps out!
- Seperate 'Wedding' email account.

We also have seperate 'Wedding' info. folders in our laptop!

:: We just became a Facebook fan! :D ::

Lisa- And-Danny

Nicole-Lynn said...

Awesome giveaway! I am using a wedding binder to keep all of my paper, to-do lists, inspiration, business cards, etc. and ordered an adorable monogram tote in our wedding colors to tote it around to our vendor meetings. I love the planning process! :)

Shannon Fitzgibbons said...

I love list making myself. Everytime I hear a good idea i jot it down on a scrap of paper. Hopefully one day i can get them into a folder and actually start committing to ideas! This magazine's lists would be a huge help! BTW i'm a new facebook friend!

Shannon Fitzgibbons

Angelica said...

I've got a wedding binder with separate dividers for every category. I also use Marthe Stewart's planning tools to track my budget and downloaded the googledoc templates for my guestlist!
It's a challenge to stay on top of things, but it feels much more manageable to be somewhat organized.

Stephanie said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Stephanie said...

My russel + hazel wedding organizer is what keeps me sane! That and my best friend/MOH who is one of the most organized persons I know. I don't know what I'd do without my friends because I'm definitely an organized person by nature!

Oh, and I'm a Facebook fan!

Anonymous said...

Can not enter since I am not having a weding soon but love the front of magazine. Ann

StylinGirl said...

Love the MS One Note idea- wish I started that earlier. I've got a TON of bookmarks now and a bunch of tear sheets- I have a "bridal binder" but i don't
use it that much as it seems to wast a lot of space with "comparison" columns for different vendors, which I really did not need. The best tool though is its been REALLY helpful. LOVE the guest list tool, the seating chart and my wedding website- - so helpful!

Nina said...

Great giveaway! I stay organized by using Google Docs (extensively) and Google Calendar (to coordinate schedules/appointments). I used One Note in the beginning to gather inspiration pictures. I have a wedding binder where I keep contact information, receipts, and contracts.

I'm a Facebook fan :-), my blog is and email

eringobragh said...

I've always been a list addict, so that style just continues. I'm recently engaged and just started planning so I have a guest list spreadsheet (thankfully I have a good start from my sister's wedding), and another spreadsheet of vendors, venues, etc to consider. I keep a "wedding ideas" list on my BlackBerry MemoPad for anytime inspiration strikes, and a binder of mag pictures for more ideas. And most of all, my google reader to keep up with blogs and stars to keep my favorite posts.
I'm a new fb fan.

Libby said...

I'm excited about this giveaway! As soon as I got engaged, I made about 10 Google Docs covering everything from the guest list to potential caterers to my fiance's to do list. My mom, my fiance, and I can all access it and make changes at our convenience, which is helpful. I also created a separate email just for wedding stuff. It's easy to organize what's important (emails from vendors), what's fun (tips from blogs and friends), and what's annoying (spam from a bridal show I attended) without it all getting lost with my regular or work email.

I also just became a facebook fan and my email is!