Planning a wedding can be a daunting task for a bride-to-be but staying organized will undoubtedly ensure stress-free wedding planning. There are so many tools out there to help you plan your big day and today I’m going to introduce you to my ten favorites. Do yourself a favor and start using them NOW! You’ll thank me later, I promise!
Top 10 Tools to Keep You Organized during Wedding Planning
1. WeddingWire Apps
WeddingWire is one of my favorite wedding planning sites and they have a great set of apps that will help keep you organized, too! The vendor search is incredibly helpful and the forums are perfect for connecting with other brides about a myriad of topics. Click here to access the WeddingWire apps.
Wedding blogs are a terrific way to get inspiration and ideas for your wedding day but they can easily get overwhelming if you let them. Feedly is an RSS tool that will keep your blogs organized by category and let you know which sites have new content. All in one spot! As you can see in the image below, I’ve organized my blogs by categories. I also have a category for “Must Reads” which include my favorite blogs.
To get my daily dose of wedding inspiration I click on the “Wedding Blogs” category and the day’s posts are loaded immediately! Once I’ve read them, I’ve set my preferences to automatically remove them from my newsfeed so that I only have new content left. If I read a post that I want to be able to refer to later I simply click on the option for “Save For Later” and Feedly will store it for me. Click here to access Feedly.
**Update as of 12.15.14: I am now using Bloglovin’ for reading my blogs. Both Feedly and Bloglovin’ are great options, check them both out to figure out which one works best for you!
If you aren’t using Pinterest yet you are definitely missing out! It’s a great place to create inspiration boards separated by categories. You can also create secret boards, which are private boards that no one else sees unless you invite them. They are perfect for keeping some of your wedding decor ideas under wraps. Click here to access my favorite Pinterest boards.
This is an app that lets you save notes, capture images, and sync notes. It’s much better than taking notes in your notebook because it puts all your notes in one place and allows you to access them from your computer, phone, or mobile device. You can also save favorite webpages, snapshots, and images and share your notes with other people. It’s also great for organizing all of your honeymoon itineraries, confirmations, maps and more. Click here to learn more about Evernote.
A good old-fashioned three-ring binder is a perfect way to organize all of your wedding-related print materials, receipts, and contracts. You can buy a fancy one at your local bookstore or make your own. Don’t forget the subject dividers! A few must-have categories include: To-Do List, Attire, Budget, Ceremony, Decor, Florist, Music, Guests, Reception, Registry, Rehearsal Dinner, Timeline, Venue, and Honeymoon :-)
This tool will come in handy when finding a time that works for all of your bridesmaids to go dress shopping, or when you want to find the best time for your bachelorette party. Doodle makes it so easy to find a mutually convenient time without having to send a gazillion emails back and forth to each other. You simply list the dates and times that work for you and generate a link to invite others to check off the dates that work for them, too. Once everyone has marked their dates just choose the date with the most green! Click here to access Doodle.
7. Avery Design & Print
You’re going to love this one. The Avery Design & Print tool allows you to customize and print Avery products. Their free online software can be used for address labels, cards, tags, dividers, tabs, and more. Be sure to create an account and save all your projects so that you can easily print out a new set of labels when needed. If you think about it, you could easily be addressing six envelopes per person or family during your engagement and after the wedding: the invitation to your engagement party, a thank you card for an engagement gift, the Save The Date, a thank you card for a Bridal Shower gift, the Wedding Invitation, and a thank you card for a wedding gift. It’ll be a lot easier to print out a set of labels than to hand-write all those addresses on envelopes. Don’t forget to give a set of address labels to your maid of honor so that she can use them to send out invitations to your Bridal Shower.
8. Google Drive
Use Google Docs and Sheets to keep track of lists and expenses. You’ll be happy you did! You’ll be able to alphabetize your guest list easily, add up expenses without picking up a calculator, keep track of music favorites, and even keep track of meal requests. AND you’ll be able to share these documents with your fiancé, maid of honor, and anyone else who is helping you plan the big day. Click here to access the Google Docs Wedding Template Gallery.
One of the most important things you should do is open a separate email account for wedding-related emails. You’ll soon be asked for your email address everywhere you turn and you want to make sure your personal inbox doesn’t explode. By having a separate email for wedding stuff you’ll be able to keep everything organized. Be sure to make a “label” for each vendor so you can keep track of all communications. You can also color code and filter incoming mail into labels.
10. Google Calendar
I saved the best for last! This by far my favorite organizational tool. You can create different calendars under the same account and invite others to view or even allow them to make changes. If both you and your fiancé have a Google Calendar you can link up and view each other’s schedules. This comes in very handy when making appointments because with a click of the mouse, you can see if he is free or not. Jay and I use our Google Calendars all the time to check each other’s schedules and set up appointments and it has made our lives so much easier! The best part is that the calendars sync right to your phone and iPad or tablet so you can easily access them wherever you go. Below is my current list of calendars. Whenever I click on any of the listed calendars those events will appear in the calendar and I can view them separately or together. I have three active calendars: Personal, Photography, and I even have one with my blogging schedule for The Learned Bride. I can also have hidden calendars if I’m not actively using them (like my marathon training calendar!).
I hope you found this post helpful! I tried to be as brief as possible in this overview but I could easily have written a separate blog post for each of the tools I’ve mentioned! If you’d like to know more about any one of the tools I’ve recommended, please comment below. I’d be happy to help!
For more Tips for Brides click here. Happy Wedding Planning!!