Colin Cowie's Wedding Planner Review

I  received Colin Cowie's Wedding Planner as a gift after I had become engaged. I had never heard of Colin Cowie before but after a Google search and a quick read up I can see that he is a well established authority on all things wedding in the US. I must admit that I am still in the early stages of planning my wedding and therefore I haven't made use of all of the sections available in the planner e.g. guest seating plans. I have had a good read through the planner and I will share my thoughts with you in this post.

The planner itself is a good size - it is slightly larger than A4. It is a binder which is great as you can insert your own pages if you wish for example inspiration collages or you can insert more plastic wallets to keep loose paperwork safe. I love the pretty pink patterned lining which looks great against the grey exterior. The fabric used to cover the planner seems to be pretty durable but it is quite light it colour so make sure you don't leave it in close reach of mucky fingers! There is a picture frame inset at the front of the book so you can customise you planner - you could insert a picture from your engagement shoot or  even some pretty patterned wrapping paper!

When you open the planner there is a welcome note from Colin which is a nice touch before moving on to the five sections of the planner -

  1. The Journey Begins
  2. Defining Your Personal Style
  3. The When, The Where and The Who
  4. Vendors and Celebrations
  5. Living As Mr and Mrs
I will now attempt to give you a walk through of each of the sections...

Section 1: The Journey Begins
- introduction
- A Wedding To-Do List: This is a very detailed list which is broken down into a timeline. I really like that a bold font is used for the lettering of a particular task you are looking for making it easier to navigate around the list e.g.
"Buy your DRESS. Schedule tie for at least two to three fittings before the big day"
 - Tips on how to save money on your wedding: This section is quite brief - if you are wanting help on ideas on how to save for you wedding check out my post:  How to save money on your wedding
- Advice on how to cope with well-meaning family members: I think it is a great idea to include a note on this in the planner. Family disagreements can really put a dampener on your wedding plans and getting ground rules in place of how to cope with these situations is a sensible approach.
- Summary
- Note pages for you and your groom to write down your ideas for a perfect wedding day

Section 2: Defining Your Personal Style
-Finding Inspiration
- Glossaries and Tips: These are printed in separate text boxes making them easy to find when referencing the chapter.
-Guidance on invitations, the ceremony, creating a menu and the little details that make your day special. Everything is covered in this section - although you may still require a little more help there are lots of important points covered and lots of questions for you to mull over.
- What to wear: This section includes a more detailed time line of things to do in relation to your wedding dress. It also contains advice on how to choose your bridesmaids dresses to compliment your own look.
- Summary

Section 3: The When, The Where and The Who
- Guest List Management: This is one of my favourite sections of the planner! It helps you to break your guest list into sub-lists of A, B and C. There are some great tables that you can photocopy to help you divide your guests into these categories and there are columns to help you document whether or not you have received an RSVP. The fact that you can document your guests addresses makes it like a little address book you can use in future!
- A Who's Who of The Bridal Party: This is a break down of each of the members of the bridal party and their roles. There is a great subsection which has ideas of thank you gifts for your bridal party too.
- Advice on seating arrangements: There is a small paragraph about seating arrangements which is pretty useful but the best thing about this section is the seating charts which are included! These diagrams are fantastic they help you document where your guests are sitting in a very simple way.
-Advice on setting the date
-Hiring a professional planner
- The Rehearsal Dinner: includes a great list of questions to cover with your wedding planner or officiant.
- There is also a great table that you can use to list the schedule of your events. This breaks down the day into before, the ceremony, cocktail hour and reception and also has a column for the responsible party to help you delegate.
- Summary

Section 4: Vendors and Celebrations
- Getting the most from your vendors and general guidelines on working with vendors: this includes lots of tips about reading contracts cancellation policies and lots more things that are likely to skip your mind in the excitement of planning a wedding.
-A Budget Planner: I found this section very helpful as it gives you a guideline for breaking down your costs based on a percentage of your budget for example Colin suggests that your entertainment should cost no more than 5% of your overall budget. This planner can be used on a wedding that costs less than 5K or a wedding that costs over 30K - it is universal!
- A list of questions for your each of your vendors: wedding planner, the caterer, photographer, videographer, florist, musicians, cake baker, calligrapher and printer, transportation and travel agent.
In this section there is a separate contact list for each section of vendors which is a great idea so that you can easily access these details if required. There is an extra sheet for "Miscellaneous" for vendors that are not listed.
- There is also a couple of pages dedicated to the engagement party, the hen party, the stag do and the bridal shower. Some information surrounding the rehearsal dinner, the wedding brunch and the honeymoon is also provided.
- Summary

Section 5: Living as Mr and Mrs
- Advice on Registries: There is a helpful check-list for the registry and advice on the etiquette of registering.  There is also a brief section on thank you notes too.
-Finally there is a section about married life at the end of this chapter which I think is a sweet way to close the planner.

At the back of the planner there is a calendar which is very useful in helping you keep organised with appointments with vendors and there is also a clear plastic wallet which can be used to store loose papers. There is another plastic wallet designed specifically for business cards.

This is a great wedding planner. I think there are lots of helpful tables and lists that will definitely make arranging my wedding easier. The art work in the planner is gorgeous and I also love the idea that you can customise it with a picture of yourselves. A couple of disadvantages would be the size of the planner (too big to fit in your handbag but big enough to put all of your documents in!) and that there could be a little more information included for example on how to save money on your wedding or a few examples of  DIY wedding creations.


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