Tuesday, 10 September 2013

Paper Themes Wedding Planner Review

When it comes to planning your big day, it can be one of the most magical but stressful times in your life.  One way to eliminate stress is by using a wedding planner book like this one given to me from Paper Themes.
Paper Themes Wedding Planner
The Paper Themes Wedding Planner* has a gorgeous bird and heart print theme and the colour scheme is gold, natural and ivory- very soft and romantic.  The wedding planner is essentially a ring binder with a hard front and back cover and an elasticated piece that holds everything together.  This is great as if you want to add anything into the folder loosely then you can do and the elasticated strap will keep it all together.  The size of the wedding planner is a little bigger than A5 but smaller than A4 so it is perfect for popping in your bag when you're off to view a venue or attend a wedding fayre.
I took some snaps of the wedding planner before I started to use it as obviously my wedding is really private to me and I don't want to share the finer details online but I really wanted to show you what it looks like and record my thoughts on how useful it has been to me since I started using it.  Up until this last month, I had been using a different wedding planner that we received at our engagement party back in 2010 but whilst it did help us, it wasn't as useful as this one because not everything was relevant to us as it used more American traditions and words rather than English terminology and therefore talked about bachelorettes, rehearsal dinners and alike.  This wedding planner however is very much suited to English traditions and suited to how we plan and discuss weddings over here.  It is also much more comprehensive and organised than the one I had previously.  Both myself and Mr WLL are really impressed by it and we've been really getting ourselves organised and looking forward to our wedding by filling it out.
Inside there is a little heart that you can write your names on and then there are six tabbed sections; Getting Started, Guests & Stationary, Wardrobe, Wedding Day, Gifts and Contacts & Notes.
From the outset, the different tabbed sections seem really well thought out and comprehensive.  I'm going to take you through each section and let you know what it contains.
Each section has a cover page to let you know what that section is all about and on the back of that section there is a pocket to keep business cards, magazine clippings, flyers and anything else you might be given in the run up to the wedding that you need to keep a hold of.
1. Getting Started
The first section is called Getting Started and covers the very main, key points to the wedding.  It starts with the date, time, place and key people involved in the wedding.  This page is really handy as it shows all of the key information and people all in one place.  After this there is a getting started checklist that is very basic and not particularly useful in my opinion as it is very brief however it would probably good for those just starting out planning their wedding and then there is an undated calendar that gives you two years worth of monthly sections.  This part is great as it folds out and you can see such a broad overview of your wedding, what you need to do and when you need to do it.  You can tick things off here as you go too.
The most handy part of this section is the budget planner which sections off different aspects of the wedding like wardrobe, stationary, ceremony and reception and has lots of things listed underneath that you'll need to pay for.  There is also an 'other' section in case you need to add anything else in.  Alongside each aspect of your wedding you're able to estimate the price you think each area will be and then note the actual cost as well as the totals so you can really keep a close check on how much you're spending.  This is so important when planning your wedding as regardless of what your budget is, it is very easy for things to get out of control.  There are a few pages for notes at the back too which is always handy in a wedding planner as everyone's big day is different so having a planner that isn't too restrictive but still has some structure is great.
2. Guests & Stationary
The second section is called Guests & Stationary which is all about deciding upon who to invite to share your big day with you and how to actually invite them along.  This is a really comprehensive, highly organised section that allows you to record the guests name, invitation type (day, evening, or both), whether they've accepted or declined the invitation, their address, phone number and email address.  There is also space to note the gift they may have given you and a tick box to indicate whether you have sent a thank you to them which is so important as I really think that if someone has taken the time, money and effort to get you something then it is only common courtesy to say thank you.  There's space for 128 guests which is more than enough for what we need.
This section also allows you to record accommodation options that you have researched for your guests- the address, phone number, email address and website link.  This is particularly handy if there are a limited number of rooms available at the venue you're getting married at, or none at all, or if the venue is pretty pricey.  It is good to give your guests some different options so that they aren't worrying about how they're going to be able to pay for their night away.  This will be really good for us as our guests will be travelling quite a distance to attend our wedding although I'm assuming the majority would prefer to stay at the venue than elsewhere.
Then there are some blank pages for you to note down your ideas for stationary from the colours to design and wording within the invite.  These pages are important as they're going to give your guests their first impression of your wedding- formal or relaxed, themes, colour schemes, etc.  There is then a page to write down what stationary you'll actually need, such as day and evening invitations, rsvp cards, menus, etc.  We're really lucky in that we get a table plan, menus, table numbers and place settings in with our wedding package so we don't have those to worry about, just the invites and then the thank you cards but we'll be organising those once we return from our honeymoon.
This section also has a clear pocket at the back to pop receipts, invite samples and such like into.
3. Wardrobe
The third tabbed section is the Wardrobe section which gives you plenty of space to record all of the measurements of the bride, groom, maid of honour and bridesmaids and the best man and ushers.  On the reverse of the pages is a blank page where you can draw or note down inspirational ideas that you have for each persons outfit.
There is also a handy section where you can note down the shops that you have visited and the contact details of the shop.  This will be so handy when checking out different shops as I'm sure things can get pretty confusing!
At the back of this section is another clear pocket, again great for receipts as they're a little more secure than the pouches at the front of each tabbed section.  I've put my bridesmaid fabric samples in mine.
4. Wedding Day
The fourth section is called Wedding Day and this is the part where you record details of the venue, menus, flowers, etc.
It starts with the wedding ceremony and reception where you can note questions that you would need to be answered from the venues when you visit them.  This is really handy as it really enables you to get a clear picture of what each venue is offering and then you can compare them like for like.  There is a notes page and then a clear pocket comes directly after this.
Then the planner moves onto food and drink where you can note menu ideas and table settings, each with a check list.  Then there is the information regarding the wedding cake where you can write the details of each cake maker you visit and what they will provide for you, again, making it easy to compare offerings.  Music and Entertainment comes next where you can write the information about the different options you've looked at.  We've already chosen our entertainment so we will be writing down the definite details of what we have chosen and what each company will be providing for us.  There are some note pages here too that we will be writing the songs that we would like played/ sang on.
Another clear pocket follows this and then the planner moves onto looking at flowers and decorations.  This includes bouquets and corsages for the bridal party and flowers and decorations for the venue.  There are some blank pages too that I think we'll be using to make a collage on.  If you want me to I'll show you photos of what our collages look like AFTER the wedding.  Again, there is lots of space to write details of the florists that you're using too.

There is a very similar section for you to write the details of your wedding photographer and videographer too and then a notes section.  To me, this is really important as I'd recommend writing down the shots that you want to get on the day here.  For example, bridesmaids, cousins, best friends, etc as you don't want the day to pass by and to find that you haven't got the group shots you've wanted.  We're doing a pre wedding photoshoot too so we'll be recording the details of that there too.

Next up is transport which is a really comprehensive page with a notes section, although something that we wont be needing for our wedding.

Then the Wedding Day tab moves onto looking at your Honeymoon.  Mr WLL and I are REALLY looking forward to our honeymoon as we're having a 3 week trip of a lifetime.  Here we can record the travel agent details, destination and accommodation information, itinerary, transport details where we will be writing about our parking at the airport that we have arranged, etc and there is also a checklist that ensures you've make sure that your passports are valid, vaccinations up to date, visas organised and travel insurance sorted.  There are some pages here to record any thoughts or ideas of inspirations that you may have too.

The only thing that I think this tab is lacking is a table plan section.  I will be using some of the blank pages to draw out our room and table plan so that we can plan exactly where everyone will be sitting and what a birds eye view perspective of the room will look like.  This will help to work out how many of each item you will need too like table decorations, etc.

5. Gifts

The fifth tab is the Gifts section which encourages you to choose a few department stores, book an appointment and go along to see what they have to offer you.  Then it gives you plenty of space to write down the things that you are looking to include within your gift list.  This is something that we wont be using for our wedding as we will have lived in sin for many years by the time we get married and quite frankly, we already have pots, pans and glasses coming out of our eyeballs so we don't have a need for a gift list.

Within the gifts section, there is also a couple of sides to write your ideas for the thank you gifts that you need to organise.  On the wedding day, many couples give thank you gifts to those involved in the wedding preparations or those who play a big part in the wedding, for example the best man and bridesmaids.

6. Contacts & Notes

The final tab is the Contacts & Notes section where you can reference any important contacts for the wedding and the service that they are providing.  There is a generous notes section here too and another polythene pocket.

On the very back page there is a slot to add the sticky notes add on that you can buy separately from Paper Themes.  I might actually buy them as I'm quite partial to a post it!  They're great for quick ideas and reminders that aren't final.

I'd really recommend buying a wedding planner as not only will it help you to stay organised and on track in the run up to the big day but it will also serve as a memory book for years to come after the wedding.  I think it will be such a special keepsake to share with my children when they are getting married.
This wedding planner is £19.99 from the Paper Themes website which I think is a small price to pay to keep you organised in the run up to the big day!  There's some coordinating items available too like a guest book and keepsake box.  Paper Themes are an online bespoke stationer who specialise in wedding invites- you might remember my review of a selection of their invitations and place cards here.

I'm so excited to plan more things for our wedding day and can't wait to go ring and dress shopping.  If you are looking for the perfect wedding ring why not check out Joseph George - they have a wonderful selection of rings!
What are your tips for staying organised in the run up to a big event?
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  1. wow, I've never seen wedding planner here in poland ;) that's a great idea.

  2. I have this planner. Love it :)


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