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160 of 163 found the following review helpful:
Martha's the best....but Nov 06, 2003
The wedding planner is a good tool with wonderful "Martha" advice, but I was disappointed with certain aspects of the planner. First of all, from Martha, I expected the "planner of all planners", especially since this was a revised, new and improved edition. It has most of the basics, but is lacking in depth. There is little discussion of unique ideas or suggestions, so if you're looking for inspiration, look elsewhere. There are some helpful diagrams that explain receiving line order, processional, etc, however, I found this information laid out in even more detail in Wedding Ettiquite by Peggy Post, a must have for any bride concerned with matters of tradition and ettiquite.
The main complaint I have with Martha's planner is that it skimps on supplies. For example, many worksheets, such as the guest list section, provides you with one page (we're talking 8 guests!) and then notes that you may photocopy the page as needed. The same is true for many of the forms provided in the planner. I found this cheap and disappointing. I feel that it should at least provide enough space for the average wedding (whatever that is today...something like 150 guests). The ceremony and reception sections, the most important ones frankly, are surprisingly very skimpy. If you are a hands-off bride or have a wedding planner, this book would be sufficient for you. However, if you are in charge of the whole shabang, you'll need reinforcements (as noted, the Peggy Post book has been the best resource I've found).
Having said all that, I'm still using it as my planner and it's going ok with adding things into it and relying on other sources for what the planner lacks. It's 3 ring size is essential...the smaller planners would be limiting because most everything the vendors give you is 8 1/2 x 11 size. Other benefits of this planner are it's elegant/classy/tasteful design...some are so tacky. If you like Martha elegance, this is for you.
The flower section is especially nice, providing color photos of flowers, grouped by color (i.e. a page of all pink flowers with the names and varieties listed) so that you can search based on your color scheme and go to your florist with a picture and name of a particular flower that catches your eye. For each flower shown (there are a lot!), a blurb about the flower is provided, such as when it is in season, its hardiness and other unique things about it.
Bottom line...if you're a Martha devotee and wouldn't consider planning a wedding sans Martha, you'll buy this and make it work. If you're not Martha loyal (i.e. an addict!), you may want to look around to see if there's something more comprehensive that meets your needs. Otherwise, I still gave it a 4/5. Congrats and best wishes in your wedding planning, from one bride to another!
51 of 51 found the following review helpful:
Could have included more, but still the best planner available Mar 29, 2005
"Here To Help"
The 3-ring binder format of this planner (found in very few planners) make this planner extremely useful. We are able to keep all our contracts together in it. Plus, any other papers (e.g., I printed out some ceremony readings, punched holes in them, and put them in the binder) There is also handy storage for business cards. There are gorgeous, glossy full color photos. I can't stress enough how practical and functional the 3-ring binder format is. However, I would suggest a companion planner to go along with this that includes things this one left out, such as The Anti-Bride Wedding Planner by Gerin/Hughes/Hornick. (I bought and looked at a ton of planners, and not one of them "had it all") Still the best, but it could have included more. More worksheets could have been included (for example, lists of questions to ask each vendor, for one thing), and instead of one worksheet for each category that is included, with a notation to "make photocopies as needed", it seems the book would have been more "helpful" (it's goal) and a better value to have just included multiple copies of each. If you love Martha Stewart you will enjoy this planner, but probably with a companion planner to one that includes some of the things this one leaves out. It's a very elegant and beautiful keepsake.
I edited the review 4 months into my wedding planning, because this planner turned out to be a lot more helpful than I initially realized it would be. My previous review was lukewarm, but after 4 months of serious planning and 7 vendors hired, I am appreciating this planner's usefulness. I looked at 15+ planners. I bought 4 planners. 2 of the 4 I bought I threw away - I thought they'd be useful but they weren't. Now I use both Martha Stewart and Anti-Bride. Neither would be enough alone, but they are great companions. No one planner out there "gets it" yet.
25 of 25 found the following review helpful:
An elegant and thorough planner Jul 03, 2005
By Hilary Thomson
I will admit going in that I am a little biased. I like Martha Stewart. That said, I did shop around when I looked for planners. I chose this one for a couple of reasons - the main one being it's classy design. It's much less tacky than the others I saw and the photography was gorgeous. I found it had all the information I needed.
The binder is divided into several sections by tabs, each of which is several pages and has room to keep include your own things. The first section is "Getting Started" which contains a timeline of when to do things and a calendar. Then there's a section on "Guests" with suggestions for out-of-towners and a worksheet for keeping track of invites. There's a complete section on "Stationery", which is a little more than I needed detailing the various components of a traditional invitation, with descriptions of font-sizes and pictures. The other sections are: "Fashion and Beauty," with tips on the outfits for all members of the bridal party (even ringbearers); "Ceremony," with details on processionals, recessionals etc.; "Reception" which has fantastic tips on working with caterers, renting tents and questions to ask about the site; "Photography and Music," which also contains lists of questions to ask vendors, suggestions for music and tips on digital or traditional film; "Flowers," which has wonderful colour illustrations of various flowers organised by colour and when they're in bloom, and finally "Cakes and Favours," and "Registry and Honeymoon," with a good checklist of suggestions for registering and booking travel.
Things I like about this planner are that it is lightweight and easy to carry around. Also there are plastic containers for business cards as well as folders to stick contracts and other documentation in. Some people have complained it fell apart easily, but mine has a canvas section around the back that is quite solid. The three metal rings are also sturdy. The best thing about is there is plenty of room to add your own clippings or papers in, a major flaw with some of the others. It's true, you do have to photocopy some of the worksheets like the one for guests, but since I will likely keep my guestlist electronically, I don't need all those extra copies. The sample she provides is thorough and useful though and I will be typing it up.
We are planning our wedding ourselves and it's been the book I've consulted most often. If you like classy, beautiful photography and want necessary information on planning, this is good for you. If you want a thick compendium that covers every possible thing from changing your name to how to tell your ex-husband you're getting married, then maybe you need something additional. For me, I didn't feel the need for advice on those topics, and this was great for just reminding me of what needed to be done and staying organised.
21 of 23 found the following review helpful:
I found a better one Jul 27, 2006
By N. Shah
Ok so I've been looking for the right binder for a while. I'm doing an Indian wedding so I wanted something that can cover ALL the questions. "The Bride's Essential Wedding Planner - Deluxe edition" by Amy Nebens is a better one.
I was almost sold on getting this book the till I went to the bookstore to see it 1st.
- No index
- too many useless pictures. You can find that on the internet or in magazines with more variety.
- not enough substance
The color scheme. It's pretty.
I eventually bought "The Bride's Essential Wedding Planner - Deluxe edition" by Amy Nebens for almost the same price. Pros on that one are: how to write thank you notes, invitations, etc. checklists, photo poses list, money saving tips,etc. It just seemed more practical for me than alot of same filler pictures that I can get from the internet. Con: No magazine pictures, but I can add those :)
Hope this helps.
10 of 10 found the following review helpful:
The Only Wedding Planner Aug 15, 2007
By Michelle Mucker
This was the third (and most complete) wedding planner I bought...
I bought Emily Post's Wedding Planner, which has a bit of helpful etiquette and tradition and some useful forms.
I also bought, and returned, The Knot's Ultimate Wedding Planner, which was a grave disappointment.
I ALSO bought a small 3-ring binder for sketches and clippings.
Martha Stewart's planner has it all.
It is the most concise, complete, helpful and beautiful.
What sets this planner apart is the format: it's a 1-1/2 inch 3-ring binder, which fits letter-sized paper!
It provides convention, tradition, etiquette, forms, and I can add all of my sketches and vendor documents.
The design concept is quintessential understated elegance - a celadon green satiny exterior with a matching cloth "binding."
It's large enough - plenty of room for copies of pages (get used to making copies for the contacts and guest list).
It comes with 2 zip-lock letter sized pockets, a sheet of business card pockets, and six one-sided paper pockets.
It has quite a bit of helpful information regarding invitation, seating, and procession conventions, with illustrations and diagrams.
The photographs are plenty and supplementary - never overdone or simply to look nice.
Speaking of pretty pictures, Martha Stewart's wedding planner is a great "companion," as the editors put it, to her Best of Weddings book.
Between the two I honestly do not feel the need for any bridal magazines.
I do wish I would have purchased this planner first, as I am not using the Emily Post planner anymore!
You will be impressed and relieved with both the quality and the quantity this essential resource embodies and encompasses.
Martha Stewart's Keepsake Wedding Planner - Great for solidifying ideas.
The Best of Martha Stewart Living Weddings - Great for ideas!
Emily Post's Wedding Etiquette - A MUST for anyone getting married, part of a wedding, or invited to a wedding.
The Knot Guide to Wedding Vows and Traditions - Surprisingly insightful.
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