Planning your wedding is probably taking way more effort than you initially thought. Stop what you're doing right now and read this post. This is a short list of 8 wedding planners and apps you can use to help organize your wedding. Most of these tools can be used outside of wedding planning which is why I like them. It allows you to completely customize your planning experience while not lugging around a 5 inch thick, three-ring binder. (Someone writing this post may have done that...).
1.) A Practical Wedding by Meg Keene - This is a book, not a planner or an app,but it has valuable planning qualities. You can read it like a novel from cover to cover or just pick out the chapters that apply to you. Chapter 4 is all about budgets and Keene highlights four real weddings with four very different budgets. Real examples help paint an accurate and practical picture when it comes to your wedding budget so I encourage you to read that chapter if nothing else.
2.) The Day Designer - This is a traditional day planner that has features perfect for planning a wedding. Total disclosure: this beauty ranges from $49-$59 so it’s not the kind of planner you throw away. Plan on using it for both wedding-related business and your own work/personal schedule. The first practical feature of the Day Designer is the inside pocket on the front cover. This is a great spot to store catering menus, business cards and any inspiration photos/clippings you may be carrying around with you. Each page is also equipped with a ‘Today’s Top 3’ (as in, the top 3 things you need to get done) a ‘Due’ section, a ‘Don’t Forget’ section, an hourly calendar and a long general ‘To Do’ list.
Here’s how you can utilize each section for planning your wedding:
- Today’s Top Three - Use this section for deadlines or scheduled appointments you have with vendors.
- Due - If you have any deposits due mark the dollar amount here with a notation of who the deposit goes to.
- Don’t Forget - This is a great section to put an important item that you don’t want to get lost in longer ‘To Do’ list. Do you need to order your bridesmaids dresses in time for arrival? Put it here so its seperated from the pack and is easier for you to see.
- Hourly Calendar - Any appointments happening in their appropriate time slots. You can also just save this part of your planner for your normal/everyday life happenings which is what I’d recommend.
- To Do List - You could potentially fill this section up with 30 action items. Don’t do that. Write down 5-7 tasks that you need to do that day and check them off as you go. Planning a wedding is a busy time so feel free to write down even the simplest tasks to ensure their completion. “Get stamps,” “Go to the grocery store,” “Drop off Redbox DVD.” You get the idea.
3.) Evernote - This is a mobile app that also has a desktop function. Create a ‘Notebook’ for wedding-related business only to get started. From there, you can add individual notes with titles like ‘Flowers,’ ‘Music,’ ‘Caterers,’ etc. Within these notes you can add pictures, text or set a reminder for yourself to be notified of an important deadline (like the venue deposit.)
4.) Todoist - Has many features that will come in handy as you communicate with vendors, bridesmaids and your fiancee. You can create reminders, add subtasks, attach ideas and assign tasks to people. You can even chat in real-time with collaborators. Both the chat function and task assigning is great to use with your Maid of Honor or your Wedding Planner (like the human kind) to keep the lines of communication open.
5.) Wunderlist - Also a mobile app, Wunderlist allows you to create 'Lists' for any area of your life. For wedding planning, those 'Lists' could be: Caterers, Flowers, Venue, etc. In each list you can add a checklist of the tasks you need to complete for each. You can assign due dates, reminders and share the 'List' or individual task with other people. You can also add attachments to your 'List.' There's a chat function in Wunderlist as well as an option to email or print your lists. Essentially, Wunderlist has many of the same functions that Todoist has so deciding between the two will just be a personal choice.
6.) Google Calendar/Google Docs - Both of these tools come with your free Gmail account. You can also download the mobile apps to your device and all of your information is synced and ready whenever you need it. You can also easily share a calendar or a document with other people which is handy when you need to share an appointment with your fiancee or get your maid of honor’s opinion on your wedding vows that you typed up in Google Docs.
7.) TurboScan - This is a mobile scanner you can use on any smartphone or tablet. There's a one-time charge of $2.99 then you can scan and send unlimited documents. Getting married involves a lot of contracts and documents with vendors that need to be read, signed and sent back and forth. TurboScan will help you scan and send on the go.
8.) Trello - This is for my Type A brides who want superior organization and also want to stay as digital as possible. Trello is a project management software that you can use on your desktop or mobile device. Trello's intended use is for organizing business and projects (which is how I use it) but I think it has awesome functionality for wedding planning. In Trello you create 'Cards' for each section of your wedding. Examples of 'Cards' you could create are: a master checklist, flowers, venue, caterer, etc. You can also share your 'Cards' individually with people who need access to the same information. An example would be sharing your ‘Flowers’ card with your mom if she’s paying for the flowers and will be attending all of the appointments with you. You can add a To Do List to each card, set reminders and add due dates as well. Trello is free and you'll probably love it so much you'll continue using it after your big day!
Use these tools individually or combine them for the most efficient and practical use of your time. Let’s chat in the comments, what are you using to plan your wedding?