Wedding Planning Made Easy
Top Apps to Take the Stress out of ‘I Do’
Wedding planning can be difficult, but you'll make it through by following this guide! When planning our wedding, I began noticing my then-fiancé seeming stressed all the time. I offered to help offload the work, and soon learned she'd been doing most everything by hand. I knew there had to be a better way, so I started playing around with apps to see which ones I liked the best (spoiler, it's Trello!). Most other apps perform about the same; it's just a matter of investing in one, whether that be the Knot, the Wedding Wire, or Pinterest.
How I Used Trello and Google Sheets to Plan My Wedding
I wound up using two apps: Google Sheets (free) to create a budget and Trello (free) for the planning and checklists. Some apps combine both, but my beautiful bride already used Sheets for our regular budgeting, and I was able to import data from that budget into a wedding spreadsheet and keep everything up to date across all our devices. This is what worked for us.
We were originally going to use Sheets for everything, but I developed really neat board ideas using Trello's layout, so we ended up using it as well. Trello made it easy to keep track of things like vendors, venue details, organization of the wedding party, and thank you cards to send out. The inherent utility of Trello coupled with my prior experience with the app enabled me to create a setup that worked best for me. Your mileage may vary.
I created five different boards. All of these boards have templates available on Trello for you to copy, and I recommend you do that. The first was dedicated to the overall timeline countdown, broken down month by month with what we needed to do in that timeframe (for instance, the first month of the engagement we needed to pick a date, and the countdown continued all the way to the week and even the day before the ceremony).
The second board was dedicated to my wedding day timeline, broken down by morning, ceremony, afternoon, reception, and a vendor-specific section for who to contact. The third board was dedicated just to the bridal party and had various contact information and events, so the party was fully aware of what was going on and at what time when it came to showers and parties.
The fourth board was for wedding seat arrangements, and I set those up by tables with a head count and other handy information. Ultimately, we decided to throw this out and let people sit wherever they wanted, because no matter what, we weren't going to make everyone happy so we decided it wasn't worth it to bother trying. I recommend this coping strategy to anyone.
The fifth board was dedicated to the all-important thank you cards. As gifts came in, we marked what was from whom, and then we marked which ones we needed to write and which ones we had already written. That way, we didn't get overwhelmed at the end with a bunch of thank you cards to write. This is another coping strategy I strongly recommend. It made our life so much better.
Best Wedding Apps and Websites
If you want to stick with a single wedding planning app instead of two like we did, here's a rundown of the other two I wound up trying out before finally settling on the Sheets/Trello combination.
First off is major wedding planning website The Knot
and its app Wedding Planner by The Knot (free). If I were to choose a single all-in-one app for any bride or groom planning a wedding mainly by themselves, I would choose this one. It includes a lot of image-based inspiration and a cute little quiz to help you “figure out your wedding style.” (Hint: your wedding style should be whatever is within your budget.)
It also integrates perfectly with the Knot, enabling you to set up your Knot website, connect your registries, and engage in a host of other activities. If you live in a major city, the Knot also helps you find specific vendors, including food, music, and the perfect photographer nearby. It will also help you to create checklists, track conversations with your vendors, and keep your budget under control. Overall, it's a genuinely solid app.
The next app is known as Wedding Planner by Wedding Wire (free). This app is almost exactly the same as the Knot, just without the tighter integration into its respective website. It has most of the same features, such as budget tracking and some vendor integration, but it also has 3D venue tours and a miniature Pinterest clone section for when you want inspiration. Those latter two things are the best part of the app, in my opinion. The venue tours are a killer feature, and the Pinterest-like section is essentially a curated version of a top-grade wedding board on Pinterest. It's
another solid choice to make if you only want one wedding planning app.
Realistically speaking, you've most likely already travelled the wedding route on Pinterest (free). I recommend using Pinterest for inspiration, but don't go overboard with it. It's very easy to get sucked in and to pick out a lot of different stuff and then wind up doing very little of it because you were busy with so much pinning and not enough doing. Be careful kids! Learn from my mistakes. Plus, whoever is in charge of the colors has probably got the rest of the wedding style planned (repeat after me: “Country chic is not my enemy”).
If, however, you haven't gone down that particular rabbit hole, I recommend starting out with some very specific search terms. First, assuming you've picked a date already (and if you haven't, you really should get on that!), try the search term “wedding ideas” and then tack on the season of your wedding. The inspo extravaganza might get overwhelming. That's OK. Just remember to take a break and begin refining your ideas.
You can also try additional search terms like “[your state] wedding venue” or even get specific and include your city's name in there. These will normally bring up some great results to help you get even more ideas and a better gist of what's out there and what you can expect.
Wedding venues can be hard to find, and sometimes they're not available on those all-in-one wedding planning apps. This is where Wedding Spot (free) comes in and is amazing. It's one of those niche apps that's very, very, very specific, but is full-featured and well-built for its niche. It features over 10,000 venues, with all the major legwork figured out for you so you don't even have to pick up the phone for venue information. It has pictures, pricing, and a whole host of other features. You can search based on your budget, theme, head count, and location, and it gives you access to exclusive deals. I know this sounds like a shill advertisement, but it's not. It's a genuinely great app that I highly recommend for figuring out your potential venues.
Speaking of venues, people need to know where and when to be for your marriage, so don't forget you need to send out wedding invitations! The physical ones can be really expensive though and essentially wind up in the trash after the wedding (or even before). People have started moving on to other ways of inviting people, whether it's through Facebook, which helps you keep track of the guest list and communicate quick updates with other people, or through other services.
My personal favorite way to send invites is through Hobnob (free). In the app, you can design wedding, birthday, and various other digital invitations, and then send them out to your contacts. I've recently started using this one, and I really wish I had known about it before we sent out the invites through Facebook. You can send out really creative invitations through email and text, and track your RSVPs. You can even have people upload pictures you didn't take so everyone has a record of the pics of the event, and you can select the ones you want to keep forever and upload those to Instagram and Facebook. It's a brilliant little app with many uses outside of just wedding invites. Weddings can be very difficult, but you've also got the tools in your hand to make planning one so much easier. Thanks to apps, you can plan a wedding from the palm of your hand, and you can do it easily. Follow this guide and take to heart the strategies I've shared, and you'll be wondering what people are talking about when they discuss wedding planning stress. Or, if you really want to, just hire a wedding planner and let them handle everything. That can be a bit expensive though. Good luck, and remember that you shouldn't sweat the small stuff on the day of your wedding. Enjoy the memories you make with your spouse that day. Kenneth Boshell is a freelance writer who lives in Florida. His finely honed skills include finding great taco eateries, petting random cats, and hunting for the most delicious chocolate bar in the world. He has a ridiculously large pile of books to read, which he'd get to if he could just put down The Black Company and Harry Potter for a moment.