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Planning books

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akw94

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Can anyone suggest good wedding planning books? Ones that have checklists, budgeting help, etc.. Also others that can give good suggestions for weddings on smaller budgets.

Any that you wouldn''t suggest?

Thanks!
 

akw94

Brilliant_Rock
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Feb 10, 2006
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Hmmm, if no planning books, how did you keep track of everything? Did you have a wedding planner or just keep track of things w/your own charts, websites, computer programs?
 

ljmorgan

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Mar 5, 2006
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I actually bought a planning book right when I got engaged... and then proceeded to never use it


All of my ideas and such, pictures that I saw online for inspiration, I just saved to my computer. As far as budgeting, I kept track in an excel spreadsheet. I did subscribe to Wedding Window for a wedding website, and that came with planning tools that I actually ended up using the most. I used their budgeting tool, the guest list tool (my favorite, this is so great), and the invitation/thank you note trackers.

You''ll figure out what way of organizing works best for you, very quickly. You''ll find yourself turning to one thing more than others.
 

jcrow

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Aug 8, 2005
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i used www.theknot.com to do the wedding budget as well as the guest list and gift/thank you list. i had a file box to house all receipts, vendor contracts and information. i kept a wedding folder online that had pics of inspiration separated into file folders. once i developed concrete ideas, i printed out those images and put them in a 3 ring binder. this is the binder i would take with me to vendors to explain my ideas. i also used http://www.backpackit.com to make lists online. that way i could see them no matter what computer i was on. i had a separate list for hubby. we checked things off as we accomplished them.
 

AmberWaves

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Oct 19, 2005
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Hey Dixie! Let''s see, I bought a book Bridal Bargains that is good for helping you save money on various things. That helped a lot. And for my planning, I have to filing do-hickeys. I have one that is an accordion (for traveling with pics, contracts and things to meetings) and at home I have this file thing, with various dividers for things. It''s great, and all my pics go in there. I have an xacto knife to cut pictures out of magazines and that helps too! My FI has "The Engaged Groom" which covers a ton of stuff that he''ll relate to (band, drinks, rings, honeymoons). I really think it''s a lot of fuss to buy a binder/planner type of thing. Most people I know don''t use it after the initial few weeks/months. My filers are great and I use them all the time. What I did was buy the filing things, and then just bought new mags as they came out, cutting out what I liked (including articles and pictures) and filed them in their respective slots. You can also get the books of checklists and things like that, but Martha Stewart weddings, as well as a bunch of others have the checklists in the magazines. HTH!!!





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akw94

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Feb 10, 2006
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Thanks everyone for the suggestions! I guess everytime I look at ideas for something, there are soooooooo many ideas that it seemed easier to have a book of sorts to compile things, to do some of the work for me. Then, I started looking at books and there were a ton of them too. Makes me want to stop and go watch tv! Which is precisely what I did last night.


I heard of Bridal Bargains when I was searching last night and it was the only book w/no bad reviews. I think I might get that from Amazon. I probably will just make my own binder, from what you guys are saying. I have started but it is messy right now and not organized well. I need more/better/bigger dividers and to cut the pics down to fit the binder. I probably will do a lot online too. I do like the idea of something online so that my FI can access it as well, that way he can add on his own time and check things off, etc.. Great idea!

Any other websites you''d recommend or books w/helpful tips? Oooh, I remember there was a thread of budget weddings, off I go to check that out!
 

Jaders731

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Oct 12, 2006
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Hi Dixie...

I bought a bunch of planning books.. and never used them... uggghhh.. I found the most helpful to be magazines that I could rip pages from.. and I bought a binder.. with seperators.. and just went to town.. its my wedding book.. Everyone thinks that I am nuts in doing it.. but I HAVE to be organized.. because I live out of the US and I''m planning a wedding to take place in the US...
Anywho... start a binder.. and Lindsey''s idea to use Excel for budgeting is also a great idea!!

For seating charts... I found a website called Simple Seating... they have a great tool online (so you can also use it on any computer) that allows you to enter guests, their RSVP status, what their entree choice is, etc. It also color codes them by RSVP status. But the main feature of the site.. is that it allows you to create your seating diagram, by placing all different sized tables.. and the number of guests at each table. You can then place guests at each table!! very cool

Hope that helps!! There are so many tools online that are so helpful... honestly.. between pricescope, theknot.com and Simple Seating... thats pretty much my planning..

Dont forget the binder though.. it will be your bible for the next several months!!!
 

nytemist

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Mar 11, 2005
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I used the other version of anarcgarcia''s- it''s called the brides to-do list. It''s smaller so I could carry it everywhere with me when I had an idea for the wedding. It detailed everything you could possibly think of. Although I didn''t use every idea in it, it was so so great.
 

monarch64

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Date: 12/27/2006 7:05:34 PM
Author: Jaders731
Hi Dixie...

I bought a bunch of planning books.. and never used them... uggghhh.. I found the most helpful to be magazines that I could rip pages from.. and I bought a binder.. with seperators.. and just went to town.. its my wedding book.. Everyone thinks that I am nuts in doing it.. but I HAVE to be organized.. because I live out of the US and I''m planning a wedding to take place in the US...
Anywho... start a binder.. and Lindsey''s idea to use Excel for budgeting is also a great idea!!

For seating charts... I found a website called Simple Seating... they have a great tool online (so you can also use it on any computer) that allows you to enter guests, their RSVP status, what their entree choice is, etc. It also color codes them by RSVP status. But the main feature of the site.. is that it allows you to create your seating diagram, by placing all different sized tables.. and the number of guests at each table. You can then place guests at each table!! very cool

Hope that helps!! There are so many tools online that are so helpful... honestly.. between pricescope, theknot.com and Simple Seating... thats pretty much my planning..

Dont forget the binder though.. it will be your bible for the next several months!!!
Jaders, I did the same thing. Spent $50 at borders or Barnes and Nobles, then came home and discovered that the pre-printed planners I''d purchased were full of things that didn''t even apply to our wedding. I went straight to OfficeMax or (insert office supply store name here), and got a binder with plastic sleeves on the front and back, decorated it, divided it into pertinent sections, and went from there, creating a very personalized wedding planner.

No one thought I was crazy, though...most women/brides who saw it were all "oh, that is so cool" and I still have it to this day. I had a section for hairstyles, possible venues, music, catering, BM dresses and groomsmen tuxes, etc...it was so fun to put together!
 

monarch64

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Dixie, my #1 (although controversial) tip is to forget about favors. IMO, (please no one flame me, just personal opinion here) is that most favors end up being cheap junk that will get thrown in the trash anyway. I hope this doesn''t offend anyone here...I just think it''s one of those things that can be done without. When you go to the trouble of giving your guests a great meal, a beautiful location, a fabulous dessert, and ahem, booze, WHY do you have to "THANK" them with a little cheap ass trinket? I shaved at least $300-500 off our wedding by forgoing that detail. We still have the same friends as we did before the wedding... no one has ever said "OMG Heather, I can''t believe you didn''t give us a favor, WTF?" Ya know?


Ohhh, and I did tons and tons of research on photographers. I didn''t have to have the BEST photographer/videographer--in fact, we didn''t even have a professional video made of our wedding. One of my tech-savvy, 40 yr. old cousins who has two small children brought along his camcorder (the girls were flower girls, so of course he wanted to capture them as well), and gave us a fantastic DVD of our wedding instead, without us even asking, for FREE. Guess what? WE''ve watched it exactly two times. Hmmm...


I know many brides would disagree with me over my cost-cutting decisions. I don''t blame them. You have to list your priorities together as a couple and figure out what means the most to you as far as the whole day and what you can afford. But there are definitely ways around overspending. I''ve never regretted any of the cuts I and DH made whatsoever.

Honestly, the most important part of the whole day to me was, looking beautiful for my soon-to-be DH and wearing a beautiful gown first, then the venue, then the food, and then the drinks. Everything else fell into place around that. You will both figure out what''s most important to you and go from there!
 

diamondfan

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Jun 17, 2005
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11,016
A good calendar with large spaces and a file box, plus a computer program for brides should be fine...though it is nicer not to have to continually wrtite the same thing over and over...
 

akw94

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Joined
Feb 10, 2006
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Ladies, thanks for the tips. I started organizing a binder I had last night. Boy do I need a ton of dividers! There are so many potential categories and I already noticed that I want EVERYTHING separated. So that is my new project.
I also need some lined paper in each section for notes b/c I keep thinking of things but I''m never sure where to write it down or put that scrap of paper that I wrote it down on. This might be a bit much, but I''d also like space to keep track of what I did on what day, for e.g., left message at such and such location today, called this florist and got this price today, etc...

Monarch, your tips make a lot of sense! I really am trying hard to keep costs at a minimum and need to remember that. What you said about favors makes sense. I was thinking of having them but I will keep that in mind as a place to cut when necessary. Having had a few talks w/parents about cost, I KNOW that I will have to cut things if I don''t want to go into debt. It''s really important for me not to start charging things. One of my mom''s friends is a photographer so I''m really hoping she''ll take my pictures for low cost or even free and then we buy our own prints. I''m hoping!!
Yeah, I wasn''t sure about getting a video. I keep wondering if I really will watch it. It would be nice if I could get someone to do it for free, just hold up the camera and let it record!!

Everyone has been so helpful. I really appreciate it b/c I had no idea how many details there were and I''ve only been at this a few weeks. WOW!
 

blushingbride

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Nov 10, 2006
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My friends got me the Club Wedd organizer from Target as part as an engagement gift. I've used it to keep track of my deposits from vendors and as a place to store some of my paper work. I've also used the resources which the theknot.com has to offer such as the checklists and guest list organizer. Although, I may have to check out Jaders731's suggestion on Simply Seating - looks like another great resource!

B000EHPHLQ.16._SCLZZZZZZZ_SS260_.jpg
 

RoseAngel04

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Joined
Jun 8, 2006
Messages
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Date: 12/27/2006 7:05:34 PM
Author: Jaders731
Hi Dixie...

I bought a bunch of planning books.. and never used them... uggghhh.. I found the most helpful to be magazines that I could rip pages from.. and I bought a binder.. with seperators.. and just went to town.. its my wedding book.. Everyone thinks that I am nuts in doing it.. but I HAVE to be organized.. because I live out of the US and I''m planning a wedding to take place in the US...
Anywho... start a binder.. and Lindsey''s idea to use Excel for budgeting is also a great idea!!
I recently just did this and am loving it! I made a pretty cover for the binder and have all the vendor info. and ideas I like inside. I need to make appropriate dividers for sections etc still, but I''m doing pretty good for just making it recently. I think it will be very helpful with our upcoming wedding and keeping all my info and ideas organized. Plus it will be nice to look back at it in a few years and remember all the planning that we did!
 

akw94

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Feb 10, 2006
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Blushing Bride, I''ve been using some of the Knot resources as well. Their checklist is very long and a little scary though! I put in some names for the guestlist and a tiny bit of budgeting info.

RoseAngel, I just made a binder this weekend. It was fun! I love feeling organized. I have 20 dividers in it and still need 1-2 more. Who knew there were so many categories!! I made a divider for almost everything I could think of and most already have at least one page in there, some way more. I did a bit of pre-planning.


I''m looking forward to using it now!
 

FireGoddess

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Joined
Jan 25, 2005
Messages
12,145
I also second the suggestion for the Bridal Bargains book. It was my bible when planning wedding stuff. I passed it on to a friend of mine that was getting married a year later when I was done. A great resource.
 

akw94

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Feb 10, 2006
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1,937
Thanks FG! I had forgotten that I was planning to buy that. Off to Amazon I go...
 

RoseAngel04

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Date: 1/2/2007 2:25:03 PM
Author: dixie94

RoseAngel, I just made a binder this weekend. It was fun! I love feeling organized. I have 20 dividers in it and still need 1-2 more. Who knew there were so many categories!! I made a divider for almost everything I could think of and most already have at least one page in there, some way more. I did a bit of pre-planning.
QUOTE]

How awesome dixie! Mine keeps getting thicker and thicker as I add ideas etc, it''s VERY fun.
 
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