Planning the perfect wedding takes time and effort, but technology is coming to the bridal business so that the modern bride (or groom) can do everything from budgeting to picking the perfect dress (or tuxedo) all on their phone. Between apps and websites, traveling around town with a three-inch wide notebook full of clippings and notes is a thing of the past.
There are a number of apps available to help the happy couple do everything from collect ideas, to break down the budget, to compile guest lists, to finding vendors, to creating timelines, to collecting all of the photos taken by guests into one album that can be shared with everyone in attendance. What is not available on an app can usually be found on a website.
According to an article in the July 2017 issue of Brides magazine, there was even a couple who got married virtually last year. Weddings have officially entered the 21st century.
There are a number of apps devoted to wedding planning. The Knot, every bride’s go to for all things wedding, has a planner app and a website, where, for free, couples can create their own information central and sync it to their phone. They can update items on their “to do” list as they work through finding the chicest bridesmaid dresses and the yummiest caterer.
Other planning apps include:
- Appy Couple
- Our Wedding Planner
- Wedding Planner LadyMarry
- iWedding Deluxe
- Wedding Wire
- With Joy
All of these planners help the bride and/or groom work through the steps necessary to make the big day a breeze. Although each app has their own planning process, all of them help with scheduling and step-by-step planning and budgeting. Some offer etiquette tips, others connect to local vendors so orders can be made online, while others offer idea books. Reviews by users have been very positive.
Most of these planning apps are free, while others require a small charge. Several are free but charge a fee for service upgrades.
No matter the app, all of them say that an average-sized wedding can take ten to 12 months to get everything nailed down.
Between ten and 12 months out, the couple needs to pick a date, set a budget, decide on a theme, create a guest list, and book a wedding day coordinator (and planner if DIY app planning is not for you). The app will create a checklist for you, and several of them will send a reminder if you don’t mark an item done.
One of the best places to go for ideas is to search online and see what the experts say. Here are a few of the top wedding planning blogs as curated by Wedding Blogs 100: Style Me Pretty, Ruffled, Green Wedding Shoes, Rock N Roll Bride, 100 Layer Cake, and Rustic Chic. One just for guys is The Man Registry. Then, of course, there is always Pinterest.
The bridal party and their attire should be chosen six to eight months in advance, as should the officiant, the bridal gown and accessories (alterations can take some time), a hotel room block for out of town guests, music, location (the best book quickly), photographer, videographer, and the engagement photos should be taken.
Using Skipper, will help you reserve hotel blocks for out of town guests. Other options include hotelplanner.com/wedding and hotelblocks.weddingwire.com.
Six months out is also the time to register for gifts. Amazon, Wayfair, and Target offer online registries. But if you do not want the standard fare, then Zola.com is the place to look for items not on a standard gift registry form. If you prefer to ask for money toward something big, Tendr allows guests to electronically transfer funds into an account set up for your big-ticket item. And if you want experiences instead of stuff, Newlish offers registry items like sending a gift certificate to Hello Fresh to get the new couple started cooking after they return from their honeymoon.
Picked your music, but not sure if you want a band or DJ? Or maybe you want complete control of the sound during your wedding and reception. Download WeddingDJ from The App Store. It can be run off an iPhone or iPad. It’s almost as simple as loading in your favorite songs and pushing play. You will still need someone to act as master or mistress of ceremonies and sound equipment. Put that on your rental list.
About four to six months out is the time to book the honeymoon. Other items to take care of during this time are picking invitations, the rehearsal dinner location, transportation (a special car or horse and carriage might be hard to acquire), and rental items like tables and tablecloths (and that sound equipment).
Minted is a website offering invitations that are unique. They work with artists and designers who have their fingers on the pulse of the latest trends. It is also a great place to get unique gifts for your bridal party that say Tennessee when you don’t want a Hatch Show Print.
Closer to the wedding work on the menu with the caterer, your rehearsal time, and about two months out send the invitations. All of the planning apps offer ways to compile the guest list, and create mailing labels.
Next comes getting the marriage license, preparing name change forms and change of address forms (if necessary), creating seating plans, final fittings, and breaking in the bridal shoes (there is no app for that)!
When you are ready to let off steam with the girls at your bachelorette party, TheBach.com helps choose the perfect location, hotels, activities, and even provides a printable itinerary.
Let the Planning Begin
Now the cold snowy winter days of February don’t have to go to waste as you start to make wedding plans after your Christmas engagement. Just because you ‘re stranded at home and can’t grab the newest bridal magazine at the mall or drop into The White Room or Bridal Country to see dress possibilities, doesn’t mean you can’t start planning your special day. Just grab your phone, click, and live H(app)ily Ever After.