Planning a wedding can be a complex and time-consuming process, but the right tech tools can make staying organized and on-track much easier throughout the planning process, during your wedding day and beyond.
If you are a meticulous & detail oriented person you will be able to handle it all, but if your wedding is complex and you stress with details, we recommend you find a local wedding planner to lighten the load. With that said, here is our list of the top tools to help you plan and carry out the perfect wedding day.
Checklist and Budgeting Tool
Wedding Website, Guest List/RSVP Tool and Registry
Guest Communication & Engagement
1. Checklist and Budgeting Tool
This is where it all starts. A wedding planning checklist and budgeting tool can help you stay organized, avoid overspending, and reduce stress during the wedding planning process. By keeping track of tasks and key decisions, knowing where you are relative to your budget, and having all the details in one place, you can reduce anxiety and focus on enjoying the planning process.
Many free solutions exist on the web, and if you are a spreadsheet nerd, we suggest you build your own spreadsheet starting with one of the freely available templates. The Here Comes the Guide Checklist provides detailed info to get you started. For tech light folks, our pick is The Knot’s Wedding Checklist and Wedding Budgeter - they cover all the major items and provide a handy way to track your progress.
2, 3 & 4. Wedding Website, Guest List/RSVP Tool and Registry
Today, almost 90% of couples use wedding websites to communicate their wedding to their prospective guests. There are many options from website builders like Wix and SquareSpace that provide fine looking templates, function well, and, if you have some tech savvy, connect with tools like google sheets (for your guest list), mailchimp (for sending invites), and gift registries.
However, we think you probably have enough on your plate without worrying about tech stuff, so we suggest you use one of the wedding specific integrated versions like Zola, The Knot, Joy, or Blueprint. All these websites are good options that provide integrated guest list/RSVP tracking, but as expected, each will lead you down the path of using their gift registry with varying degrees of gift registry freedom.
Some of these solutions allow you to connect your wedding website to other online registries ranging from Amazon to Williams Sonoma and many in between. Our suggestions are as follows:
- You like a Step-by-Step process and are willing to limit your registry options - Zola
- You like the most tech forward solution and broad registry flexibility - Joy
- You are in between - you want something easy, registry flexibility and you don’t care about so much about the latest wiz bang tech - The Knot
5. Vendor Manager Tool
We’ve struggled with this one ourselves as we feel it is probably not worth your time to get up to speed on a project management tool that you may never use again. So for vendor management we suggest a combination of an address book solution and a spreadsheet.
It is important to track your progress (pricing, contract, key terms, payments, deadlines, etc.) and ensure you save your email threads and contracts in an easily accessible location. Request that your vendors use an e-sign tool like Docusign or Adobe Sign and if a vendor does not have an e-sign account, you can use the Free Box Individual Plan that lets you send out 5 documents for e-signature per month.
Early in your vendor search you can also check out the WeddingWire Vendor Manager - it provides a nice vendor search tool and allows you to download basic vendor info for your selected vendors into a spreadsheet where you can add new columns to track key information.
6. Guest Communication & Engagement
With all the planning and details leading up to the big day, the couples and planners often overlook guest communication and engagement. Yes, you sent out an invitation and emailed out a link to your wedding website, but what comes next.
As your big day approaches, you’ll be busy and your guests and wedding party will have many logistics questions. CalUp Planner is a new tool that lets you easily create and publish personalized itineraries for each wedding party member, family member or guest with all the details needed for the events they are attending.
Guests view their itinerary on the CalUp Wedding Guest App. Guests refer to the CalUp app 4 times, on average, during the wedding day to get answers to logistics questions. If unforeseen schedule changes (weather, transportation delays, etc) occur, you can easily update specific itinerary items, and send the participating guests text notifications to keep things on track.
Beyond pure logistics, you can even enable CalUp’s fun features like group chat, direct messaging, and private photo sharing. You can even appoint your wedding planner or “day-of” helper as an event co-host to assist with communication, prompts and updates.
The right tech tools can help you keep organized, on budget, and on track. With a guest engagement tool like CalUp you can better communicate, reduce anxiety for you and your guests, and amp up the fun.
However, if all these details are too much to bear, you should consider hiring an experienced, professional wedding planner. Most planners offer a variety of packages that range from full service design and planning to month-of and day-of coordination.
A pro will help make sure that your vendors are on track and that you have all the important details covered so that you can relax a little more and enjoy the day. We wish you a fun and exciting planning experience and a joyful wedding day!
Ultimately, CalUp is a tool to which you can apply your own creativity to help get your guests engaged and connected throughout your wedding. If you're interested in using CalUp for your wedding, you can access a free 30 day trial. On your trial, you'll be able to build your wedding itinerary with our easy to use Auto Create tool, and preview what your wedding will look like on the CalUp mobile app!