Apps & Resources That Simplify Wedding Planning
Article By | Lizzie West
Planning a wedding can be overwhelming – to say the least. And if you aren’t choosing to use a professional wedding planner, it is hard to keep everything from going off the rails. Here are several Apps and Resources to help you from the first glimpse of your dream dress, to sending out thank-you cards for all the sweet loot you received. Here’s to making the beginning of your life together a little smoother!
Many of the Apps we touch on are one-stop-shops in terms of planning and preparation, so it’s a good idea to pick one and stick with it for as many steps as possible. Each resource we researched provides something a little different in terms of offerings and user experience, so it’s completely acceptable to try a few out and see what works best for you and your partner! And can you ever really have *too* many registries? *wink*
Keeping On Schedule – scheduling, checklists, and keeping everyone in the loop
There are several options that provide a full checklist and timeline to keep you on track. Some even have reminders built in to prompt you and dissuade procrastination! WeddingWire, WeddingHappy, TheKnot, and Zola all have checklists available. You can even invite your partner to view and help with the checklist on some platforms.
Perhaps you aren’t as structured OR you already have the perfect checklist ready to go. You can create documents in GoogleDrive to track and share these lists, delegate them to others and get real-time updates on their progress. This is a bit more free form than the typical list. Trello is also a fantastic option for those that really gel with a to-do list and live to check off each item.
The best thing to do is check out all the options *early in the process* and see which one meets your needs most closely.
Planning The Aesthetic – colors, website, theme, details, décor, flowers, etc
The most exciting and fun way to start planning the aesthetic of your big day is to see things live. Going to bridal shows are the best way to familiarize you and your squad with local vendors. The biggest bonus to this is the free food, beverages, and yummy desserts that come along with attending the show. It’s the most hands-on way to get the most information possible. The Wedding Association of the Brazos Valley hosts two Wedding Expos every year – one in the spring and one in the fall. Hundreds of local vendors participate, and it is THE place to be if you’re planning a wedding in the Brazos Valley. You can visit wabv.org for more details about this season’s upcoming Expo.
If you still feel apprehensive about attending a big event at that time or want a great resource to keep track of what you love, our own Brazos Valley Bride Magazine, with online and physical copies available, provides an index of vendors in the back of this and every issue.
While those are great local resources, other options for inspiration include: TheKnot, Zola, Instagram, and Pinterest (you have probably already created boards galore). Lastly, the Pantone app is ideal for creating the perfect palette to express you and your partner’s personalities on the big day!
The All-Important Registry – keeping the options open
Even if you have already merged belongings, it might be nice to start out this life together with new household things that truly embody who you are as a couple. And who doesn’t love a cohesive kitchen. You can choose to start your registry on one of the “all-in-one” apps like Zola, WeddingWire, or TheKnot. You may want to diversify your portfolio and add a few other options for a more traditional guest that likes to go shop for gifts, like Target or Bed, Bath & Beyond. If you’re all about that online life, you can even utilize Amazon for a gift registry. Lastly, if you’d rather folks fund your honeymoon, you can use Honeyfund to help crowdsource (or “guestsource”) the best trip ever! Zola also has this option. You can even let people volunteer to fund things like a vineyard tour or a couples’ massage.
Tracking Guestlists and RSVPs – building, tracking, and answering FAQs.
Often, tracking and processing the guest list is a tedious and on-going task. Even though you really want to celebrate with those you have chosen to invite, it can feel like a real chore. If you simply take the time to enter the data of your guest list, there are sites and apps that can handle all the tracking for you. All you have to do it set up an RSVP page and it’s like your guests are doing the work for you. I know Zola, TheKnot, and WeddingWire all have options to track RSVPs for you. You can also use the Burner app to setup a temporary number to accept text RSVPs, as well as receive audio messages and wedding related questions.
If you prefer a bit more control over the process, a shared spreadsheet can live on GoogleDrive so you, your partner, and wedding party can access and update RSVPs. This will help divide the work!
Staying On Budget – easing the stress of it all
I would say the most stressful part of most wedding planning is budgeting. Maybe you want something more minimal or perhaps a grander event. Either way, the money has to come from somewhere. Keep things on track with budgeting resources. Mint.com is a solid way to budget just about anything. And once you get to know this platform, you can use it, with your partner, to budget your life together – not just for the wedding. But if you want to specifically work on keeping within the parameters of a wedding budget, you can also turn to TheKnot and WeddingWire for that. TheKnot boasts a fully integrated budgeting tool, “so you’ll always see the big picture.”
All Your Paper Goods – invites, thank you cards, Etc.
Whether you are looking for Save the Dates (or maybe Change the Dates), invitations, RSVPs cards, mailing, or thank you cards, you have almost *too* many options. A great local find is our very own Copy Corner – they can even help you design your own custom invitations with some input from you. If you are on a big budget but still want choices, Vistaprint is something you might want to check out. WeddingWire can help you find any local vendors that offer these and most other services.
Zola is great because you can choose all your paper goods, and they can utilize your guest list to get everything mailed out for you on your desired design. They have products available for everything, save the dates, invitations, programs, and even menus. The entire process can be cohesive and simplified.
Postables is a fantastic option for sending thank you’s after your wedding. You can enter the information for each thank you and a general thank you note and it will print and mail all the notes for you.
Minted and Etsy both offer a ridiculous amount of customizations in terms of your invites and the like. While Etsy has just about any ready-made theme for you to customize at your fingertips as well as completely custom styles, Minted markets a completely unique and custom experience with designers standing by to make your dreams a reality.
Every wedding is a unicorn. It is different and each couple has a different focus. Utilize your local resources to find the things you need – like the best way for people to get home from a fun evening with an open bar, or the right lights to go with the best music. Many of the all-in-one apps have the ability to search local vendors in your area. You can also join regional bride groups on Facebook for advice from other brides in your area. There are apps to stream your wedding for guests that can’t attend, apps to help you with seating arrangements, apps to setup Uber blocks for people, and even apps to crowdsource your wedding dress!
If you have thought of it, chances are someone else has, too. Jump online and search for what you need and you’ll likely find a resource to help you reach your goal. Remember, your Big Day is just one day that will lead to a lifetime of many special days with the ones you love. Use as many tools as you can to ease the burden of planning so that you can enjoy the process!
Best of luck,
-Your BFFs at Brazos Valley Bride
PS: @brazosvalleybride is a premiere local resource for all things bridal. Follow us and stay in the know!