As some of you know, I'm a newlywed and last year at this time I was planning my own wedding. I definitely have a type A personality, so I knew that I wanted to stay organized and be on top of everything related to wedding planning.
As stressful as wedding planning was at times, I enjoyed the process overall. It was so gratifying to see everything come together on the day of the wedding. Although some details changed along the way, I think my vision came to life for the most part. Even before getting engaged, I had a rough idea of what I wanted my wedding to be like. I used several tools to help me plan and using them definitely paid off.
Here is a list of seven tools to help you plan your wedding:
This is hands down one of the most helpful tools for wedding planning. Pinterest is like an online wedding catalog at your fingertips. The best part is that you can save your pins and refer back to them at a later time. My Pinterest page has all of the wedding boards I used when I was planning my big day. I took the time to separate my boards by category so that I could quickly find what I needed. I think this was a major benefit for me. There were so many times when I wanted to show someone a specific pin and since I had my boards organized by categories, I could find what I needed super fast. To get you started, I suggest creating boards for the following categories:
- Engagement/Wedding Photos (for inspiration on poses)
- Wedding Shower Ideas
- Wedding Hair and Makeup
- Wedding Dresses
- Groom/Groomsmen Attire
- Bridesmaid Dresses
- Wedding Bouquets/Boutonnieres
- Wedding Decor
- Wedding Reception (for decor, music ideas, etc.)
- Wedding Centerpieces
- Wedding Cakes/Toppers
- Rehearsal Dinner
- After the Wedding (for name change information, ways to preverse your wedding memories, etc.)
2. Wedding Websites
I don't know how anyone could plan a wedding without browsing around wedding websites like The Knot and Wedding Wire. These sites have articles on literally anything you could think of related to weddings and what they entail. Looking for resources to help you decide what to register for? These sites can help you out. Need help looking for wedding vendors in your area? People rate vendors and write up reviews on who they hired for their wedding. There are also tons of wedding forums and community boards on sites like Wedding Bee. And, who could forget about wedding blogs? Some of my favorites are The Budget Savvy Bride, Ruffled and 100 Layer Cake.
3. A Wedding Planning Binder
DIY wedding planning binders are all over Pinterest. Lots of bloggers provide printable pages and instructions to assemble your own wedding planning binder, but if you want something a little more turn key, I suggest getting a wedding planning binder from Amazon or a bookstore like Barnes and Noble. As I was planning my wedding, I purchased The Knot Ultimate Wedding Planner and Organizer*. It was a lifesaver! There are tabs and worksheets for everything - color palette planning, budget, guest list, wedding traditions and etiquette, etc. This planner and organizer had lots of great information in it and I took it with me to every wedding-related appointment I had. There is even a section in the back of the binder where you can put vendor contact information and business cards. Wedding planning can be STRESSFUL. If you want to make your life WAY easier, you NEED this binder and organizer. It is WELL worth the $16.44.
Leading up to our wedding, my husband and I were looking for a way to create a "wedding to do list" that we could both access from anywhere. My husband suggested that we use Trello and it was the best decision! Trello can be accessed by desktop or through their mobile app. We used the list feature and listed out our entire to do list. We organized by category and once something was completed, we'd check the box and the item would be moved to a list with all of the other things that had been completed. This tool really helped us to stay on track. Here is a screenshot from our Trello board to give you an idea of our set up:
5. Your Local Library
Okay, this may seem super old school, but there are tons of wedding planning books out there and your local library is a great resource to check out these books for free! Some books give great wedding planning advice and highlight things that you may not have thought of before. Aside from books with chapters and chapters of information, there are books that can help to decide on wedding color palettes and themes. If you need more time with a book, you can always purchase one and when you're done using it, you can gift it to a friend when they get engaged.
Some of my favorite wedding planning books are:
6. Microsoft Excel or Google Sheets
You will definitely want to make a ton of spreadsheets when you're wedding planning. You can make spreadsheets for all kinds of things - your budget (if you're an Excel whiz, you can set up formulas to help you calculate your budget and keep you on track), your guest list and more! I used Excel to keep track of my wedding guest list and it was great! I organized cells by first name, last name and address and then I had separate columns for RSVP and for a description of the wedding gift that we received from the guest. As I was sending out wedding invitations, I used a color coding system. For example, if someone RSVP'ed "yes" I highlighted their cell in green. If someone RSVP'ed "no" I highlighted their cell in red. This was an easy way for me to quickly see who would and wouldn't be coming to the wedding.
If you want to add Microsoft Office* programs to your computer, you can purchase and download them (Word, PowerPoint and Excel will be included). These will come in handy for much more than wedding planning, as you'll use these programs for things like work or school. If you're looking for a web-based spreadsheet tool, I recommend Google Sheets.
7. Wedding Hashtag Generator
It's 2017, so if you have a wedding without a wedding hashtag, did it even happen? Wedding hashtags are all the rage, so put your thinking cap on and come up with a good one! If you're completely stumped, there are lots of great wedding hashtag generators out there. Some of my favorites are Wedding Hashtag Wall, eWedding and the Wedding Hire Hashtag Generator.
Now that you have this list of tools, you're ready to plan a wedding! Bookmark or pin this page on Pinterest and refer back to it as often as you need to while you're planning your big day. As long as you're organized and you have a general idea of what you want your wedding day to look like, you should be a-okay!
If you're married, what tools did you use while planning your wedding? Or, if you're not married, what's something about the wedding planning process that you're nervous for? I'd love to hear, so leave me a comment below.