Preparing for a wedding can be a very stressful time, with a mountainous list of preparations to deal with and numerous decisions to make. There are many ways in which Microsoft Office can make things run easily and smoothly as the big day approaches. These range from helping you manage your to-do list and planning a realistic budget to producing your own wedding stationery and even creating an online photo album.

Manage Your To-do List
Microsoft Outlook is a very handy personal organizer. You can use it create to-do lists that you can either view on your computer or print off to take with you. You can add tasks and check off items as they are completed. You can also use Outlook to assign tasks to your family and friends who are helping you. If you save your Outlook calendar as a web page your helpers can access it and so know what's coming up and when, and what is expected of them.

Store Your Guest List
Microsoft Outlook can also be used to keep track of your guests. A list of all guests and their contact details (addresses, phone numbers, e-mail address and so on) can all be stored as contacts in Outlook. You can use this contacts list in combination with Microsoft Word to add addresses to envelopes and invitations.

Keep Track of Your Wedding Budget
You can use Microsoft Excel to create your own wedding budget template by creating a spreadsheet with editable lists of all the items that you expect to spend money on. By including columns for estimated costs and actual costs you can easily compare values and see how close your estimates were. You can also easily add rows for unexpected costs that will undoubtedly occur along the way.

Create your own Wedding Stationery
Microsoft Word can be used to create your own wedding stationery, saving you money and giving your wedding that personal touch. You can create a whole suite of matching stationery from invitations and orders of service, to menus and place cards and thank you notes. Word has the facilities so that you can scan in photos or perhaps pictures that younger members of the family have drawn, which you can then use as the focal point of your stationery. These can easily be cropped and manipulated to fill any part of the paper you want.

There is a vast selection of font styles and formatting options to hand to allow you to alter the size and colour of any text and borders that you may have added. This allows you to easily and cheaply experiment with your stationery before deciding on exactly the right look for you, without having to run any changes past the printer first.

Gift List
You can also use Microsoft Excel to create a spreadsheet to record all the gifts you receive. This will greatly speed up and simplify the process of sending out thank you cards, as well as avoiding any embarrassing mix ups!

Photo Gallery
Often, not everyone you invite to your wedding can attend your big day. You can use Microsoft Frontpage to help you create an internet based photo gallery, so that friends and family who missed out are able to feel part of the celebrations. It's also fun for wedding guests to see photos from the day.

You can scan in real photos or upload them directly from your digital camera. You may want to create more than one gallery each with a different theme, perhaps for different parts of the day, and add captions to the photos. Once complete you can publish the gallery on your website so your images of the day can be shared with everyone.

The above are just a few examples of the way in which Microsoft Office can take the stress out of preparing your wedding. By making sure everything is planned and organized properly you should be able to have a stress free day that you will have fond memories of for years to come.