You know how much each element of your wedding costs, how much the photographer’s package adds up to, the deejay’s fee, your gown’s pricetag and more. But what can trip you up, and cause extreme wedding stress, is not being prepared for deposits and payments that are due….oh, in a week. If you don’t have the $1,000 for the second deposit of your photographer’s installment plan, you could accrue hefty late fees or lose your photographer altogether. If you don’t have the $3,000 for your reception hall’s initial deposit, say goodbye to that space. You have to know when each and every deposit, installment and final payment are due, to avoid wedding disasters. And so do your parents, if they’ve offered to pay for your photographer, floral designer or other wedding element. Late fees and losses could be their big wedding stress, if they’re not in-the-know about payments due. And what an awkward phone call that would be to them: “Um, I forgot to tell you that the $3,000 for the reception hall is due on Friday.” Or even worse, if you started off your wedding planning season with your parents upset over your announcement that you’re paying for the whole wedding (“so it’ll be our way” as all of those initial tensions announced), “Um, we’re short on money right now, so can we borrow $3,000?” That’s a nightmare. Not only do you have to know what’s due when, you also have to know when you have money coming in. Your tax refund, perhaps. Or birthday money. Or a big commission at your job. When will that money arrive, and will it arrive in time for the many wedding payments you’ll have to make? Your Aisle Files Tip for today is to make a detailed timeline using a spreadsheet, Google Calendars or, if you’d like to go old-school, buy a very discounted actual calendar for this year and one for next year, and fill in your payment details. Put payments due in one print color (and record what they’re for, such as Deposit #2 Photographer) and money you have coming in another print color. And be really careful about that “money coming in” part, because you never know if a client will be slow to pay you or your commission check will be held up a week because the accountant at work is on vacation. Your tax refund might not be as much as you expect. So place each amount on your chart, but be prepared for delays. Even if it’s not a perfect system with regard to when you have money coming in, you’re still going to be organized about what’s due when, and you can start preparing a few weeks ahead. Having an organized plan will prevent those horrible emails from your photographer, or bills in the mail with a big, red OVERDUE stamp on them, or the heart-thumping terror of seeing that a big payment is due in a few days. Encourage your parents to look at the contracts and payment due dates for the things they’ll pay for, so that they too can ready themselves for what’s to be paid when, and you’ll all save money and avoid extra wedding stress.