Thursday, 8 January 2015

A5 Malden - Purple Wedding Planner

If you wonder where I have been all this time... I've been planning my wedding! We're just 71 days away from tying the knot and I have everything sorted. Not stressed at all. Thanks to this bundle of loveliness!

I set up my A5 Malden in purple some time ago to use as a wedding planner and it has been very useful for visuals, quotes, scribbling down ideas and also as a huge comfort when I was worried about our budget. The sections were made using a set of A5 A-Z dividers, I just covered the letters on the tabs and renamed them. My sections are:
1. Budget
2. Guests
3. Ceremony
4. Reception
5. Flowers
6. Photography
7. Stationery
8. Clothes/Make-up
9. Music
10. Venue Decor
11. Gifts
12. Mini-moon
13. Honeymoon
You could of course tailor the sections to your needs, for example you might not be having a mini-moon and a honeymoon (we're just greedy!) In hindsight I probably would have divided the ceremony and reception sections as most of the items in these sections belonged in other sections anyway, for example I maybe should have had a food section.
Getting your budget on point is so important. We only managed to spend just over £5,000 on our wedding by being tactful and shopping around. You don't have to spend a fortune just because that is what is expected of you. We purchased a lot of items on Amazon and eBay, even my dress was found on eBay. The bridesmaids dresses were ordered from China and we found the waistcoats for the boys online. It takes a lot of browsing but I secretly really enjoy doing that!
Anway back to the planner... In my budget section I have a fold out year planner which can easily be drawn out on A4 grid paper and folded in so it fits the A5 Filofax. This shows when I will have to make certain payments. It's a good idea to spread out your costs, e.g. book photographer in March, pay deposit for flowers in April, so that you don't completely go bust in a month.
My guests section has a list of all the guests and their RSVPs - this is just handwritten as I've been recording everything on a spreadsheet as to who is coming, what meal they have chosen and their addresses.
Ceremony section has details about our notice of marriage, the venue and booking confirmations for our rooms the night of the wedding. You'll find if you print off quotes, booking confirmations etc. as you go and update them in your Filofax if you get a new one it's so much easier to keep track of, and useful to refer to when you have a mild panic about when the florist needs her final payment. And did you order enough buttonholes? And are there enough chair covers?!
Also in this section I've created a hand-out to give to my wedding party on the day. It's titled... CALL ANYONE BUT THE BRIDE. Because this is your day, and why the hell should you be inundated with phone calls?! You can download a copy of the checklist and info sheet here: (there's also a checklist for your groom in the download!)
Table plan is also in the ceremony section, for the wedding breakfast. Now this was one hell of a challenge seeing as there are a lot of divorced couples in our families! (I know what you're thinking, that doesn't bode well for you love... however divorce is not hereditary!)
I also have our wedding menu (printed from the venue's PDF and I've highlighted the meals we have selected), wine list (same as the menu), accommodation (who is staying at the venue) and the venue's set of terms and conditions.
Reception section has all of our cake details - quote, photograph of the cake we sent to our cake lady to base our wedding cake on, evening buffet menu and some pages for notes.
Flowers is self-explanatory - photos, quotes, and notes.
Photography - quotes, photos, notes.
Stationery - samples of our wedding stationery - just a heads up, we ordered from Vistaprint and not only was it so much cheaper than using a wedding stationary company, we got to design our save the dates ourselves, and the wedding invitations match the colour of my dress. They were so easy to order and you would never guess we skimped on the invites! We also got some posters printed for the bar:

Clothes/make-up - more photos, ideas and notes
Music - we've set up a Spotify playlist of songs we want to be played at our wedding reception and asked our guests to request a song on their RSVP cards. This was a great idea as it means we get to know everyone's taste in music. We've got quite a variety, from rock and metal to Disney and Motown!
Venue décor - again more photos, printed off and collaged onto the page showing the overall look. It's such a great way of telling if things will sit right together if you print off photos and add them to one page. We've gone for a dark pink/purple chalkboard and hessian theme.
Gifts - I've made my bridesmaids some gift bags so I've planned what to put in them in this section.
Mini-moon and honeymoon - print any details about your honeymoon and put them in your planner so they are there when you need them. Packing lists, booking confirmations, flight times, etc.
Sorry there aren't more photographs but I seem to be having some trouble getting them from my phone to my computer... argh technology. Long live paper ;)
Some more ideas for wedding planning using an A5 Filofax:
Buy a Moleskine wedding journal and hack it into your A5 Filofax. The pages are slightly narrower than the standard A5 but the corners are rounded and all the pages are pre-printed, meaning you just have to fill in your information. You also get stickers!
Make a pocket or personal size planner to take with you on the day (to keep in your room, obviously) for any last minute panics. Then you will have all the information you need to hand.

My top ten words of advice for brides:
1. Do things your way. You only get married once. DO NOT listen to the internet or relatives telling you what you should and should not do. It's your choice.
2. Shop around. Don't be afraid to hunt bargains on Amazon, eBay, etc. We used Vistaprint for all of our stationery and labels for favours.
3. Keep nagging your bridesmaids, they'll give in eventually. And if they don't they're probably not worthy of being a bridesmaid.
4. Consider your bridesmaids carefully. I ended up asking one of my friends to be a bridesmaid several months after I asked the other two... which is kind of lame.
5. Stay organised. Print quotes, scribble notes, write everything down. Every thought, every eureka moment, track it. You might need it.
6. Re-look at your budget every week or so. This helps you stay on top of things.
7. Don't be afraid of asking suppliers/vendors for a new quote because you've decided you want hessian table runners instead of silver. They're being hired by you, so if they want your business they will do as many quotes as you like.
8. Always meet your photographer. You need to be able to get along with them as they will be in your face most of the day!
9. Remember you and your fiancé are in charge.
10. A final word of advice from my fiancé... as long as the registrar turns up and we have two witnesses, then we can get married, and that is the main thing. =)

Now go, brides, plan to your heart's content!