Top 8 Wedding Planning Tools
By Sara Margulis
When I was a bride-to-be, I started out very eager to find all the World Wide Web had to offer a do-it-yourself wedding planner. But when I first searched "wedding planning," I was disappointed to find a huge number of junk websites. It was difficult to find real help, and hard to know which sources to trust.
In the 18 months that followed I worked hard to find some reliable resources that would help me plan my dream wedding on a strict budget. After the wedding, I heard my cousin had guessed our wedding cost £25,000. The actual cost was less than £12,000! I was so glad I'd put in the time to find the right help.
Since then, I've come across a few more jewels. Here are my 8 best (in no particular order):
- The DIY Wedding Manual: How to Create Your Perfect Day without a Celebrity Budget by Lisa Sodeau — This book is packed with top tips and money saving ideas for stationery, venues, flowers, transport, hair and make-up, photographs, food and drink, the reception and much more — including tips from live brides and over 100 budget-busting ideas.
- Hitched.co.uk — Aside from a great local supplier directory, Hitched.co.uk's budget planner is very useful. It lists all wedding-related expenses, who traditionally pays, and your budgeted and actual expenditures. Along with plenty of advice and other planning tools, Hitched also provides a wedding discussion forum allowing you to seek advice from other brides.
- Local Event Location Guides — If someone in your area publishes a book of wedding and reception locations, get it! These invaluable books list a plethora of possible wedding and reception sites, along with key information like cost, maximum capacity, catering restrictions, corkage fees, etc. This lets you easily narrow down your "to see" list without having to make a single phone call. If you're getting married outside your home area, try searching for the area + "event resource guide" on Amazon.co.uk or in Google. Local wedding magazines will often have a list of venues in the back; however it may not be as comprehensive because vendors usually pay to be listed.
- Wedding Planner by KTWO — I love this comprehensive ring-bound organiser. Six tabbed sections ensure no detail will go untended, from the venue and guest lists, to flowers and gift lists. Pockets provide a place to keep clippings, photos, and important items. I recommend a physical planner versus planning software, because you can take it with you anywhere and you'll have a place to keep your important documents.
- Online and Local Travel Companies — Whether you're planning a straightforward one-stop getaway or an elaborate multi-destination odyssey, a travel company like can be a big aid. Their wealth of knowledge is an indispensable resource; helping you choose which cities to visit and arranging top-notch accommodations, excursions and local transportation. Remember, you shouldn't have to worry about a thing during your honeymoon! Visit a shop for ideas or visit them online at Thomson.co.uk - they have great package deals and knowledgeable holiday advisors in their hundreds of high street shops.
- and Craigslist — You can get some incredible deals on common wedding items second-hand. eBay and Craigslist are two fantastic resources for second-hand stuff. The best part is you can turn around and sell it all after your wedding!
- Weddingpath.co.uk — Free wedding website, with very nice designs, as well as robust wedding planning tools from budgeting to drag-and-drop seating arrangements.
- Confetti — Online Shop—Wedding favours, personalised gifts, candles, fireworks, and of course, confetti! And much more...