My future mother-in-law was amazed at how patient I was to wait for a return email in response to a question or to schedule an appointment with a vendor. It didn’t even strike me as odd that I didn’t want to just call to get the appointment booked. You’d think with my OCD tendencies about planning, this would be my outreach of choice. Not the case. If you are like me, the first thing you look for on a website when trying to contact someone from a vendor/venue is an email. I’d much rather email someone than to call and talk in person – of course, until it comes to planning the details. Then I want to make sure they know exactly what I am thinking. But that is because I am a little overbearing when it comes to things like that 🙂 Another perfect example my dependence on The Knot as a wedding planning bible. I have heard from other brides that they don’t like The Knot and I should try this other website or this website. It occurred to me that current brides are so completely dependent on the internet to help with researching and securing vendors and venues that I decided to do some research… online, of course.
I found it amazing how many online wedding planning tools are out there. There are quite a few big name sites that everyone, even people who detest marriage, know about. Not to mention the hundreds of individual sites that offer tools. If you are willing to pay, there are even more available. If not, no worries! You can still sit in the comfort of your own home and plan your entire wedding without ever moving or talking to an actual person. Favors can be delivered to your home, emails can have any questions answered, and blogs can provide advice on creative ideas for your place cards. Remember the days of sitting with a large piece of poster board (reception hall) with circles drawn on it (tables) and sticky notes (your guests) when creating a seating chart? GONE! I found at least 3 sites where you can do that all online with ease in about 3 seconds.
So what exactly did I find, you ask? Here are a few sites I found that seem to be pretty simple to use and are free. After all, no one wants to pay for the cow when they can get the milk for free. I’ll also include a few good sites for wedding favors accessories that I have found along the way. Included with my finds will be notes from yours truly because, well, it’s my blog. 🙂
*This is one of the biggies that everyone and their mothers know about. It is very helpful for brides who are starting from scratch and need a little boost to their creative abilities. Once you create an account, you can import a guest list, complete a seating chart, build a budget, create a website, follow a checklist, and much, much more. One thing I have found that is troublesome is the inability to move quickly through the guest list options. They have recently made some updates which seem to have slowed down the process quite a bit. While I think the updates have provided a few really wonderful options (i.e. online seating charts), the ease of use is more difficult than the previous version. I highly suggest peeking at this website every few weeks to stay on top of the latest wedding fashions and trends.
Martha Stewart Weddings
* Ok, I know. She is a criminal. But she is a REALLY creative criminal and I ain’t ashamed to enjoy her ideas! This website is definitely for the do-it-yourself bride. Whether it be budgetary or just your own need to birth your own favors, this site can provide lots of inspiration. Also provided are lots of wedding tools similar to those found on The Knot, such as checklists, budgets, guest lists, seating charts, etc. You have to create an account to use any of these tools, but that is a small price to pay. Just be sure to un-check any special offers and your email should be fairly spam free. I just created an account, so I will update on any positives, negatives, spam emails, etc.
The Wedding Channel
*This is another site that I found that has lots of tools. They all seem to be the same as what The Knot offers, probably because it is run by The Knot. Again, I looked at the tools and literally the guest list looks just like the one on The Knot. The site seems to take a little longer to open up, but that could just be my computer not being fast today.
* So I am really enjoying this site. The budget tool seems to be easier than what I am using currently. The bonus is that when you actually enter items and they are less that the suggested budget amount, it allows you to allocate it to specific areas or just split it up evenly throughout the rest of your budget. So if you know something in particular will cost more than the suggested budget amount, you can allocate it directly to that and keep within your budget. I also really enjoy the checklist on this site because it is very easy to manuever and when you check something off, it automatically goes to the “Done” folder. I am a list maker and like to see things checked off, so this is quite enjoyable to me 🙂 I’m going to give the guest list a go later and will update on that once I have time to enter all the info.
* All I have to say is… eh… If you are someone who doesn’t need advice on how much money you should spend in each area and just want to import what you spent, the budget tool is perfect. But this gives no guidance on how much money should be allocated to specific areas or anything. Also, the checklist just lists the items you need to buy. This is the first site I have seen offer a “shopping list” of sorts. It is helpful, but you might as well just use a different site where you can keep all your planning tools in one place. One thing this site does have that is not on many others is a “Name Change” area. It gives you a checklist of places you should contact after your wedding. Another bonus is that the site lists all the marriage license requirements for each of the 50 states.
Please feel free to add more if you know of some. Like I said, this is just a list of some I came across in my search. This post would be like 50 pages long if I reviewed all of the possibilities out there.