Hey there! So you’ve said “yes”, and more than likely your “engagement high” has already worn off and you are about to freak out because YOU HAVE A WEDDING TO PLAN! AHH! No worries, the fulltime bride is here to help. One of the very first post engagement purchases you will make as a bride, is to buy a wedding planner to help you stay on track of your wedding. I did a lot of research on the planners out there and ultimately had to weigh out the pros and cons of each one to finally make a decision. Also as I mentioned in this post, I personally feel this is an item a bride herself will want to purchase, just because if you think about it, only she will know some of the big factors, like is she thinking short or long engagement? Is she thinking about hiring an actual wedding planner OR is she planning on her own? So take a look at some of the best ones I found, the ones I really considered, and what I ultimately chose. I’d like to iterate that this is just my opinion on what works best for me so I will try to give the best perspective for each one!
Erin Condren-Wedding Planner:
Ahh, the Erin Condren Wedding Planner. WOW talk about the fun you will have customizing this baby! So this planner has so many opportunities for you to customize it and make it your own. Customizations range from choosing your own planner cover, to what month the planner will start. I personally really love that you can custom design it to make it feel your own. In my opinion the only “drawback” for me was that I really was not sure of our wedding date. I knew we were going to have about a 2 year engagement and looking at Fall 2018. I basically didn’t want to set myself up to isolating a month and then I ended up with a March 2019 date, because of unforeseen circumstances. So if you are a bride that is set on a date and there is no changing your mind then I would definitely recommend this planner! But if there are too many unknowns that you have not thought of yet then this may not be the best option.
Month length: 12 or 24 month option
Happy Planner-Wedding Edition Insert Pack:
So if you have never heard of a happy planner, it’s OK! I hadn’t either until I did my research. So this planner is basically the complete opposite of the Erin Condren, much more DIY/Crafting involved. So this planner is AMAZING because 1. It’s affordable 2. So many options to match your personality 3. Carried in several stores such as Michael’s, Hobby Lobby, Joann’s, Staples etc. I personally decided on using this planner because like I mentioned above, we had not set an official date. Interestingly enough, my fiance proposed on 10/27/2016 (on a thursday) then the next morning on our way to Las Vegas (during my cloud 9 engagement mood) I started looking at a calendar and realized that 10/27/2018 fell on a Saturday! I got so excited and asked my fiance how he felt about a 2 year engagement, he was totally supportive and we decided OK 10/27/2018 and if that doesn’t work then Fall 2018 would still be OK. So long story short, when we got into actual wedding planning mode in Feb. 2017, we found the most perfect venue for us and of course our date was taken! I was like hmm no way!? but that’s like almost 2 years out, anyways we loved the venue so much that we agreed on the weekend before (10/20/2018). More details on my actual engagement in a future post! So back to the planner, this worked so well for me because of the calendar extension packs! Since I knew the first year we were going to be planning, I knew I didn’t want to just buy 1 planner for a year and then another for the 2nd year. This worked perfect because just recently I swapped out my 2017 months for my 2018 months and my wedding planning pack stayed in place and perfect for continual use. The only drawback to this planner is that it can be very “DIY” meaning for the calendar extension, you will need to go in there and write each days of the new months but on the other hand it gives you a chance to be as creative as you can with all your stickers/washi tape/dividers etc. So if you are a fully involved bride this may be your best option!
Month length: Flexible
The Knot Ultimate Wedding Planner & Organizer:
The Knot is a well respected brand with so many wedding planning resources! I actually considered this one very heavily because of the level of detail in this planner. This planner in my opinion is great for the Bride that is planning on her own without the help of an actual planner. There are plenty of sections of different planning aspects that you normally wouldn’t think of until of course the week before. I originally thought I was going to go this route but then later decided that I wanted to hire additional help. So when I decided I wasn’t doing all the planning on my own I basically decided based on design. This binder is great and something you can easily keep track of documents such as vendor contracts. In the case of this planner I think that it does not leave much room for personalization. If you are a bride that doesn’t care about having this super customized planner then this option is great because in reality you will need the content inside of it more than caring about how it looks. Again, total preference!
Month Length: 12 Months
Etsy is hands down a bride’s best friend. Like literally anything you want customized, Etsy is the answer! It is hard to specifically call out 1 specific shop for planners so I am actually going to link a couple of options I found for planners. When I did my initial search I personally did not want a printable just because I was looking for a more of a notebook/planner feel to my wedding planner. So if you are the bride that is totally fine with ordering a custom set of wedding printables, going to Hobby Lobby and finding a cute binder for them then this will be right up your alley. On a side note, for any Maids Of Honor out there, my MOH actually ordered a “MOH Planner”, who knew this even existed?! My MOH has been amazing not only with being there as support for me when I am on the verge of having a bridezilla moment but also making me feel so at ease knowing she has everything under control. I could literally go on writing about my MOH so if you guys are interested on a “how to pick your MOH/Bridesmaids” post let me know! So anyways, back to the MOH planner, so when she told me she was looking for something to help her stay organized with her planning duties I was ecstatic. So here is the one she picked and she LOVES it! One of her favorite things about it, is that it has a MOH specific timeline, for instance 2 months before the bridal shower, the invites should be out and I feel like many of the other planners we discussed above don’t focus on these details from a MOH perspective. Another thing she loved was at the back of the planner, it has a space where she can begin writing her speech for the wedding. Something that is probably done in an iPhone note nowadays. Take a look at a mix here from printables to actual books from Etsy here:
Month Length: Varies on the book/printables
The Wedding Book by Lucy Sui:
This planner constantly came up in my searches and seems to have great reviews, but I could not find any details of the actual content inside until recently! And by recently I mean post 11 months of my planning. I did not think about looking at youtube for reviews at the time but I found a great one here! I would actually recommend looking up a couple of youtube reviews for any of the planners I mentioned, just so you can get a better feel for what you are ordering. This planner reminds me of the knot’s planner with all the great details and organization. Again, this one doesn’t have much of a “personalization” factor from the outside but it looks like the inside does provide the ability to customize with your inspiration and such! I would love hear if any brides did use this planner, what was your favorite thing about it?
Month Length: 12 Months
So in closing this post, make your decisions based on what you care for and what really works for you. Make a list of your must haves, and your “nice to have but not dying without it” to help you decide. Maybe you’re the bride that needs to see the item before you buy it online, or maybe personalization isn’t a key factor for you. Only you will truly know what you will use and will LOVE to carry around and reference when attending vendor meetings! Brides, I’d love to hear, what factor helped you pick your perfect planner?