If you’re reading this, there’s a good chance you’re stressing over the logistics of a wedding — either you’re in the midst of planning one right now or you foresee yourself being in a wedding sometime in the near future. And while wedding planning will never be easy, it certainly doesn’t have to be stressful.
The trick is to take advantage of resources provided by those who’ve already dealt with a wedding of their own. There are so many awesome websites and apps out there, most of them available for free, and you’d be surprised by how much easier wedding planning can be if someone just pointed you to the right tools.
Here are some of the better ones that I’ve encountered.
Pinterest has been the weapon of choice for many brides-to-be over the past few years — and if not then some sort of Pinterest alternative. There’s nothing wrong with using that site to plan out your wedding, especially because that’s where everyone else is also doing their planning. There are no shortage of ideas.
But if Pinterest isn’t your style, you may find OneWed more to your liking. With it, you can create and maintain “Ideabooks” that are used to collect various ideas and inspirations that you might come across, whether that be food, décor, venues, attire, etc.
Still not sure what kind of wedding you want? Hop on over to My Wedding for a smorgasbord of ideas in the form of photo galleries categorized by color, theme, season, fashion, and more. You can think of it as a curated collection of the best Pinterest ideas. A wedding is also about the details; work on them with the pre-made wedding planning checklists.
My Wedding also has a feature called “Ask MyExperts” where you can pose questions directly to wedding professionals. It’s a great way to get free advice when you don’t have anyone else to ask.
One of the most overwhelming aspects of wedding planning is that you need to send out cards and stationery to your guests both before and after your wedding. Save-the-dates, invitations, thank you cards, and so much more — and the worst part is, the more guests you have, the more stressful it becomes.
Enter Postable. With a free account, you can create a free address book that tracks all of your guest information in one place. What’s even better is that you don’t have to manage it if you don’t want to. Grant permission to your friends and family to fill it up on your behalf. Best of all, Postable prints and mails each card directly to your guests. The printing and mailing costs could be economical if you have a lot of cards to send out.
Gartner Studios is another stationery service, but its level of quality far exceeds the quality of its competitors while remaining affordable. The selection is vast, ranging from favors to programs to thank you cards to decorations, and they even have a DIY collection for those who want a more authentic look.
Unlike Postable, Gartner Studios won’t send the stationery out to your guests directly, so you’ll still have to handle that part on your own.
If you haven’t planned your wedding floor layout yet, drop everything and listen up. There’s no need to break out the graph paper, index cards, or Post-It Notes. There’s a simple web tool that makes it incredibly easy to plan out your events, whether it’s a wedding or otherwise.
With a free account at AllSeated, you can maintain guest lists and organize floor plans using their straightforward seating tool. You can even print out the results for easy sharing with friends, family, and coordinators.
Most venues these days will offer some kind of bar package along with the venue itself, but if that’s not an option for you, you may want to consider BevMo Weddings. BevMo is a company that sells alcoholic beverages, but they also provide them for special events.
They don’t limit their services to a simple open bar. Other ideas include tequila tastings, wine pairings, and specialty cocktails that are made unique for your occasion. Their team of experts will help make the alcohol side of your wedding as fun and memorable as can be.
Sometimes, the dash to find bridesmaid dresses can be as frustrating and stressful as finding the bride’s gown. Not only do they need to match the color theme of the wedding, they need to fit on all of the bridesmaids. Finding a look that flatters a variety of body types can be a nightmare.
Brideside offers two services that can help: first, a $10 Brideside Box of sample dresses that can be tried on at home for up to 4 days, and second, a personal stylist who will meet with your bridal party and guide you through the entire process of finding a great set of dresses.
Again, wedding dresses and accessories are expensive. The smart choice would be to stay frugal and within your budget, but wouldn’t it be great if you could outfit yourself in designer dresses, veils, and sashes without weighing down your expenses?
Happily Ever Borrowed is an online shop that allows you to rent designer wedding pieces for a fraction of the retail price. Rental periods can be either 4 days or 8 days. They ship everything to you in a box and all you have to do is ship it back when you’re done. Prices include insurance against minor damages.
If you’re still on the lookout for a venue, Wedding Spot is a wonderful tool that allows you to run a side-by-side comparison of various choices. Search queries include filters like price, amenities, environments, size, and more. The amount of information that you can glean per venue is surprisingly useful.
The only downside is that Wedding Spot isn’t available in all regions. It’s mostly localized to the northeastern USA plus California, Florida, and a few other states.
If you’re thinking of a destination wedding, Jet Fete is a must-visit website. It’s just a simple blog but it’s packed full of interesting ideas to help make your wedding as extravagant as you want it to be.
Each blog post is complete with photos that provide an inside look at various locations and venues around the world. You don’t have to settle for clichés like Hawaii and the Caribbean. Jet Fete can help you find a truly unique place to be wed.
For those who’d prefer an all-in-one website for all things related to wedding planning, you can’t go wrong with The Knot. It has everything: theme ideas, vendor search, dress shopping, honeymoon planning, gift registries, and overviews of how real weddings played out.
What’s great about The Knot is that you can find a lot of great tips and advice when it comes to the planning process. Want to throw a low-budget wedding? They can help. Want to be as glamorous as possible? They can help with that, too.
Like The Knot, Wedding Wire is an all-in-one resource for planning ideas, finding vendors, and soliciting advice from others who have a lot of experience with weddings. They even have a full-blown checklist to help you stay on track and make sure you get everything done without skipping over any essentials.
How Will You Plan Your Wedding?
One topic I didn’t mention was that of the wedding registry. That’s because we’ve tackled that before with our roundup of these excellent wedding registry websites. Furthermore, you may also find these wedding planning apps helpful as supplements to the websites listed above.
This isn’t a be-all-end-all list and I’m sure I’ve missed dozens of other amazing websites that are out there — particularly the ones that don’t focus on weddings in America. Nevertheless, I hope all of the above proves helpful to you.
What are some of your favorite wedding websites? Tell us about your tricks and tips for stress-free wedding planning in the comments below!
Image Credits: Wedding Couple Via Shutterstock