Use These Apps to Become Your Own Wedding Planner

Wedding planning may be extremely stressful. Couples planning their nuptials have a lot on their plates, from screening thousands of providers to paying a mountain of fees and staying on top of their never-ending to-do list. In order to keep up with the mayhem, you may be given a wedding-planning book larger than your head. However, they only work if you open them.

When I got engaged, it became evident to me that I had not adequately prepared myself for what was to come. I’d flipped through my binder, pinned all of the ideas on Pinterest, and scoured The Knot for wedding inspirations (an online planning service that lets you do everything from ordering invitations to building a wedding website). However, because the tools were so disjointed, I required a centralized solution. Wirecutter staff writer and my editor Elissa Sanci (who also happens to be my fiancé’s best friend) both use Airtable to arrange their bachelor parties. So, I pondered whether or not these productivity-enhancing technologies for the job would be ideal for me.

It turns out that project management tools are being used by both pros and amateurs alike to plan weddings and other events. The best way to learn how to utilize project management software to plan a wedding (or any other large event) is to talk to real people who have used them. Each app was tested to see how easy it was to use and what kind of results you may expect while using it. See what we discovered.

You need to think about what you want to include in your plan.

There are a few things to keep in mind when arranging a wedding. While the specifics of each wedding may vary, the fundamentals of the celebration always remain the same. You’ll need to incorporate vendors (such as florists and caterers) as well as a location, a guest list, and your wedding party in your overall strategy. If you’re looking for a DJ in Detroit or want to have the best bachelorette party ever in Bali, this is where you should start.

When scheduling services, keep track of who you’ve contacted, what services you’ve scheduled, when you’ll need to pay, and any other special data about the booking. To name only a few of the possible suppliers:

  • Florists
  • Caterers
  • Bakeries
  • DJs
  • Lighting firms
  • Furnishings leases
  • Decorations distributors
  • Transportation choices

An app that does all of it: Airtable

Product - Airtable

Charge: free for primary entry, $120 per 12 months for Plus, $240 per 12 months for Professional

Key options: Consider Airtable as a spreadsheet, calendar, and to-do checklist multi-function place—which Airtable calls a “base.” Spreadsheets are personal by default, however, you may make them public. And your personal data is kept secure. Additionally, Airtable helps robust safety requirements, together with two-factor authentication.

What’s it? In case you’re searching for a catch-all place to maintain your wedding ceremony particulars, Airtable is extremely user-friendly and customizable. As a result of its a relational database administration device that lets you retail, monitor, and replace info shortly and successfully, any knowledge you enter in a single place will replace accordingly in one other. For instance, in my check base, I created a tab for all the distributors I’d want. I’ve set it up so I can see the place I’m at within the course of with every vendor based mostly on their standing—contacted, booked, deposit paid, and totally paid. Not solely will this standing present up in my “grid view,” however it’ll additionally replace within the “standing” view if I modify something. Equally, I can set the dates that funds are due within the grid view for my distributors, and people dates will add to my “calendar” view. Therefore, being relational—what occurs in a single place concurrently updates in one other.

Do you have any idea how it all works? Creating a “basis” for your Airtable account is the first step. This is where you’ll find all of the information you’ve provided. Your needs will dictate how many tabs you install from that point on. A variety of input methods are available through the various tabs, including a grid view (which is comparable to a spreadsheet), calendar view, Kanban system view, and flowchart view. Input “records” (data) can be tracked through “fields” (columns), such as status updates, dates, notes, checkboxes, and more. This system allows you to do just that.

The only reason I’d consider using this for wedding preparations is because… During Jeff Appareti and his fiancée’s wedding planning four years ago, he used Airtable to compile all of their essential information. As a result, they were able to keep an eye on vendor contact information as well as payment dates. They were also able to organize their table assignments. For those who don’t want to start from scratch, Appareti later provided the basis he built on Airtable’s blog. In what Appareti described as a “really stressful period,” he added, “I simply thought this could be incredibly useful for others and maybe spare some folks some time and frustration.” The organization, especially for my wife, was a great benefit.” After the wedding, Appareti was able to effortlessly track wedding gifts and send thank-you cards using his guest-list database in Airtable.

An app that permits you to tick duties off your checklist: Trello

Trello

Charge: free for primary entry, $120 per 12 months for Enterprise-Class

Key options: Trello lets you simply examine gadgets off your checklist and transfer duties by way of processes. Trello has strong security standards for data, supports two-factor authentication, and contains a robust set of options relating to who is ready to enter the boards.

What’s it? In case you prefer to see your info laid out properly at the entrance you, love checklists, and discover too many customizations to be overwhelming, this project-management board could also be one of the best devices for planning your wedding ceremony. Trello is a project-management device based on the Kanban system, which is meant to signify duties visually, shifting them by way of varied factors in your undertaking in hopes of stopping bottlenecking and missteps. Like the Kanban view in Airtable, Trello contains a sequence of columns that assist you to drag and drop “playing cards” in numerous columns. That is good for visually monitoring your progress with distributors or for laying out items of your occasion block by block. With the Enterprise Class subscription, you can even have a look at your knowledge in numerous views—timeline, desk, calendar, dashboard, and maps—however, that’s not important, in response to specialists. Trello might look like your typical project-management board for hyper-collaborative company efforts, however, once you consider how a lot goes into planning a marriage … effectively, the main points aren’t too far off from that realm.

Do you have any idea how it all works? Using Trello, you may set up multiple boards to keep track of your information. While evaluating the app’s capabilities for wedding planning, I set up boards for vendors and the week-of logistics. Customize your boards by adding columns for different topics or stages of the planning process.. Columns helped me keep track of my vendors and the various stages that each one was in (called, booked, deposit paid, and fully paid). However, for my week-by-week strategy, I organized my knowledge by topic (rehearsal dinner, photo plan, ceremony, and so forth). Depending on your needs, you can add due dates, checklists, comments, documents, and labels to each card. Participants can add comments on cards, which wedding planner Desirée Adams pointed out as a useful tool for gathering all the relevant information.

The only reason I’d consider using this for wedding preparations is because… Trello is a favorite of Adams’s when it comes to event management. Because Trello is so easy to understand and use, “couples don’t have a problem,” she said. “It’s also fantastic for teamwork.” According to her, she uses a Trello board linked to her Google Drive, where she stores essential papers like contracts, and she labels each column and card with due dates and next steps. As a result, Adams says she collaborates with her couples on planning, establishing activities that they can simply mark off her well-organized list. Adams also makes use of Trello’s comments function to create a centralized communication place for her couples. She suggests using a Trello board in the same way you would a folder in your email, but with the added benefit of not having to dig through your inbox as often. As a result, Adams has designed a “Ultimate Wedding Checklist”—a template for Trello that you can purchase from her online store for roughly $100, which eliminates any app finagling you may have to perform when putting up your Trello board. She gave us a sneak peek, and it’s minute-by-minute, which is ideal for couples who don’t want to stress out over pre-wedding and wedding-day details. In the past, Trello would give three free months of Gold Membership to any couple who utilized Adams’ board, but they have since discontinued it.)

An app for chatting and collaborating: Discord

Discord: A Marketer's Guide

Charge: free for primary entry, $100 per 12 months for Nitro

Key options: Discord lets you create a neighborhood place you’ll be able to manage everybody by way of textual content, video, and voice message. Discord has many safety features that assist you to customise your visibility and privateness on the platform, together with establishing two-factor authentication and controls for who can access a chat channel.

What’s this thing? It is possible to converse with others via text, audio, and video messaging with Discord. Discord can be used by anyone, not just gamers, to organize gaming sessions. You can join public communities, or you can set up your own private servers that are only accessible to those who have been invited.
Do you have any idea how it all works? Like Slack, Discord is mostly used by gamers who want to build a community of like-minded players. Unlike Trello and Airtable, Discord was not designed for project management. In the end, I discovered that Discord isn’t just for gamers and group chats—it can be a useful tool for aggregating information and quickly accessible comments. After creating your server, you should call it “Wedding Planning” to keep it particular. You can then establish a variety of channels based on the subject matter. Vendors, guest list, bachelor and bachelorette parties, décor, venue, pictures, photo inspiration, and the rehearsal dinner were all part of my channels. When it comes to your wedding’s necessities, you can choose from a variety of categories. Once the server is up and running, you can begin talking with whomever you choose.

The only reason I’d consider using this for wedding preparations is because… As a Project Manager, Nicole Greenwood uses Discord to plan her wedding. She’s structured her server in “every distinct category you can think of,” including theme, bridal party clothes, and color palettes. Her bridesmaids are the only ones who have access to her server’s private channels, so her fiance won’t be able to see what she’s doing. Using the “Authorized Personnel Only” category, she posts images of the dress and other things she doesn’t want her fiancé (who adds helpful links and photos to her server) to see, as well as helpful links and photos. Using the server as a whole, Greenwood is able to stay in touch with everyone she needs while also storing all of her important data in a single location.

But there’s more. Wedding Planning is a Discord server moderated by Greenwood. It began as a tiny group, but today there are roughly 40 present and ex-brides who help each other arrange every aspect of their weddings. Decorations and wedding planners have been passed down down the generations in this online community, and new connections have been created.

What about different apps?

We regarded Airtable, Trello, and Discord as a result of they’re quite common and accessible, and so they had been already on our radar-based mostly on work expertise (Wirecutter makes use of Trello and Airtable to handle initiatives). Nevertheless, these aren’t the project-management and community-based apps on the market that may very well be helpful to {couples} within the throes of wedding ceremony planning. Throughout my conversations with them, each Appareti and Greenwood put a few websites and apps on my radar. ClickUp, Notion, and Tables had been three options that Appareti mentioned he’s come through professionally. Greenwood cited Joy as a fantastic wedding-specific website for people to make use of, too. Finally, after testing and speaking with folks about this, we’ve come to the conclusion that no matter what works finest for you is in the end what it is best to use. Marriage ceremony planning will be irritating, and if that massive ebook is your saving grace, go for it. Do you like making Excel spreadsheets? Wonderful. The Knot has everything you want? Excellent. Your massive day deserves to be one of the best, and no matter what helps get you there may be the correct alternative for you.


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