The weekend I got engaged, I was so full of excitement that I was flying high in the clouds. (To be honest, I’m still floating and it’s fantastic.) We met up with our friends the Saturday after for plans we made weeks prior and I could not wait to ask questions about their wedding. That’s all us girls talked about. Where did you find your vendors? Where did you get your rings? What cost the most? Was there anything you wish you did differently? etc. and so forth. The one piece of advice she gave, which I took immediately, was to get a wedding planner binder or notebook.
If I’m 100% honest, I already had a wedding planned (without the vendors) but I needed something to keep it organized and make sure I didn’t miss anything. That coming Monday, I ordered The Knot’s Ultimate Wedding Planner and received same day delivery (yay Amazon Prime!). Monday night, I was in business.
I glanced through the whole book and immediately noticed helpful pages, important pages, and pages that weren’t needed for our wedding. I took out the pages that I didn’t need and started reading thoroughly section by section every chance I could. (I took it on vacation with me and I even took it on a few business trips.) It was extremely overwhelming at first but all I had to do was tell myself to relax and take a deep breath. Planning a wedding shouldn’t be stressful (even though it is), it should be as easy as possible and I believe this book really helps.
It also helps to read bridal magazines. There are tons of helpful articles that can help you make your final decisions or just give you some good advice. Yes, they can be expensive if you keep buying them, but I do suggest picking a few magazines up whenever you can.
MY FAVORITE THINGS/”THE PROS” TO THE KNOT’S WEDDING PLANNER
1. THE WEDDING TIMELINE.
There are two options; “normal” 12 month engagement and an expedited 6 month engagement. This handy timeline tells you when to look, when to book, when to send, and basically everything you should do at different times during your engagement.
2. THE AMAZING GLOSSARY PAGES.
Almost each topic has one and it is a great help when you want to know the difference between two things or just to know the proper lingo when talking to vendors. Each glossary page has pictures correlating to the term which eliminates the need to Google.
3. THE LOVELY CHARTS & DIAGRAMS.
This wedding planner is loaded with charts and diagrams. There’s one for who to invite, how your wedding budget should be allocated, and more. These pages really help to put everything into perspective. Especially when you’re debating if you should invite your old coworkers that you haven’t seen or talked to in over a year.
4. SUGGESTED QUESTIONS.
When your looking at a venue or talking to a florist there are certain things you should know. However, when you’re there speaking with them that’s when those questions are forgotten. Of course you can ask more than what’s provided in this wedding planner but for the most part all the important questions are listed.
5. THE LIFESAVING CHECKLISTS.
This wedding planner has a checklist for each section and helps make sure everything gets done. Extremely helpful when there is just so much to do when planning a wedding!
6. QUICK AND EASY CONTACT PAGES.
Besides the contact pages that are inside the sections, the wedding planner starts out with a master contact sheet. Why is this so helpful? Let’s say you don’t have a wedding planner (like me, because I’m basically doing it) and on the big day your phone gets misplaced in the mayhem but you need to contact the bakery and remind them about the fresh flowers you want on top. Well, these pages will make it easy for anyone in your bridal party (put them to work!) to contact any vendor you hired. Plus its always a good idea to have important information in print, no matter how tech savvy you may be.
NOW, FOR THE CONS…
My biggest pet peeve for this book is the pre-made inspiration pages. Maybe its because I have a design background but the layout for these pages are such an eyesore! Not to mention the fact that they limit the amount of inspiration you can put on the page. I don’t know about you but I’ve been “pinning” like a madwoman for this wedding and I have WAY more than 3-4 inspiration photos for every category. These pages also have valuable information on the backside making it hard to simply remove them from the book.
OPTION 1: Create your own inspiration page(s) with cardstock/regular paper, use a 3 hole-punch, and add it to the binder! I used cardstock for my inspo-pages, printed the photos, cut/pasted them onto the paper, and added some call-outs.
COLOR CHIP CARD
I love that this book gives you color options along with listing on the backside which colors compliment them best. However, the color chips are part of the tab divider for the whole section. Meaning, if you remove any of the colors for your theme/color inspo, you basically ruined the divider. Why would they do that? My guess is to save money. Another con to this is that the colors given are very limited and they don’t include any metallics. Again, they probably did this to save some money in printing but to be honest it would be so much better it if was a separate page or two with more color options.
If you want to use the chip cars but you don’t want to lose the divider, use a binder tab insert that’s also a sheet protector. That way it doesn’t get hidden and you can store the remaining chips inside the sheet protector.
If you’re like me and your colors are not on the chip page, there’s a few options.
OPTION 3: Make swatches from photos you find online or in magazines. Pinterest is great for this. There are tons of wedding and color themes floating around. I’ve pinned quite a few on my ‘Pretty Little Wedding Themes‘ board. Feel free to check it out, along with my other helpful boards here! Happy pinning!
OPTION 4: Visit a local craft/fabric store and shop around for ribbon, fabric, paint, or any other materials in the correct colors you want to use. Get creative! Michaels and Jo-Ann Fabrics are filled with products that are perfect for this. OR go to your closest pharmacy and find nail polish in the correct colors. 😉
LIMITED GUEST LIST
When I first sat down to put together a tentative guest list, I thought there was absolutely no way I would have more that 125 people to invite. Well, I was totally wrong. We had close to 200 people and it was shocking. However, the guest list included only allows 150. If you’re having a small wedding it’s perfect, but if not it’s pretty useless. Another thing about the guest list is that it is only for the names. There’s no space to put RSVPs or even addresses.
Create a guest list by using Microsoft Excel or google docs. This way you can keep your guest list organized and add all the information you need, including RSVPs for all the pre/post wedding parties (engagement, bridal, rehearsal dinners), meal choices, gifts received, etc. You can even keep each event on separate tabs to keep better records.
The Knot’s Ultimate Wedding Planner & Organizer is extremely helpful and I would recommend it to anyone planning a wedding. As I go through planning my own wedding (YAY!) I will reference some of the helpful information and pages from this book to give more feedback.
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Happy wedding planning!