Renting tables… china or plastic… why are centerpieces so expensive? In the past 9 months of wedding planning, I’ve considered all of these things. I’m currently planning my August wedding, and I wanted to share some of the most helpful websites, stores, and features that are making this wedding planning season easier! If you’re like me, planning a large wedding on a budget, these will be sure to help your wedding be both efficient and beautiful!

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  • Amazon Prime

I like to have things as soon as possible, but it isn’t always possible to find products in local stores. Whether it’s ordering 6 matching robes or a sparkly table overlay, Amazon prime will help you out. Most items bought through Amazon also have free returns, which is perfect for fickle minds like my own. The items you need can be delivered within 2 days and you can find excellent deals on anything wedding related!

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  • The Knot’s Checklist feature

This feature has been a LIFESAVER for me! The Knot automatically sets your goals and deadlines for what needs to be done before the big day. It thinks of everything for you, so if you are one to forget about little things like buying stamps, The Knot has your back! Check things off to see your completed percentage rise. Click on the task to find articles and more information about how to do the task well!

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  • Dollar Tree

Bulk, bulk, bulk. This might not be useful for every wedding, but for my huge wedding, buying in bulk is necessary! You’d be surprised how much you can find at Dollar Tree in fsmaller amounts, or on their website in bulk. If you need vases for 30+ tables, check out their website.

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  • Etsy

While I may be biased about the wonderful things you can find on Etsy, I can assure you that I have used this website as much for my wedding as for selling things! You can find gorgeous handmade wedding jewelry (by my friend Ann), special gifts for your family and wedding party, premade bridesmaid “proposal” boxes, or wedding bands! Etsy has everything, and supporting creators is just another benefit!

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  • WeddingWire forums

I can’t tell you how often I’ve looked up silly questions because I didn’t know about all of the etiquette out there. For instance, when are you supposed to hold your bachelorette party? What is the appropriate amount of time to take off from work for your wedding? Does your wedding band have to match your engagement ring? WeddingWire forums have answered every question I’ve had while wedding planning!

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This one is a no-brainer. Pinterest is full of wedding inspiration, DIY help, and helpful infographics to help with wedding planning. My wedding board has been used often to show ideas to vendors and friends as well as to match my colors while shopping!

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  • Excel

I have a thorough Excel spreadsheet that I started early on in our engagement. In fact, I have two. The first holds all sort of guest list information, with tabs for the Master List, early responses (I will update the Excel sheets after getting responses from the Knot), gifts, and shower lists. The second spreadsheet holds all things wedding planning. Some of the tabs are as follows: Rentals, Centerpieces, Flowers, Schedule, Vendors, Budget, and Actual Spend (where I list actual credits and debits). I have used Excel to plan our honeymoon as well. It is where I list random thoughts, prices, and any other information I might have.

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  • Reminders/ Evernote

While my more in-depth planning happens through Excel, I’m not always with my computer. From my phone, I often use Reminders (iPhone app) and Evernote to make small notes and lists of current to-dos. They sync between devices, so I can easily pull them up when I am on my computer to add things to my Excel spreadsheets.

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  • Travelocity

Travelocity was my one stop shop for honeymoon planning. I used their website to book all of our hotels and perused their articles for international travel tips (I’ve only ever traveled internationally with family or a large group in which most planning was done for me)! Honeymoon planning has been one of the most exciting parts of the last few months, and being able to log in and see all of our bookings in one place is so helpful.

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  • Fitbit

Part of my preparation for the wedding has been working on a healthier lifestyle. While my weight is not my only focus when it comes to health, tracking calories, weight loss, and activities has helped me stay on track! In addition, my Fitbit Blaze Tracker has become one of my favorite accessories when paired with a cheap leather band I found on Amazon. Fitbit also has groups where you can join in community with others striving to live a healthy life!

There you have it! I guess you can wait until August to see if things actually go smoothly at the Stanley Wedding, but for now, these things have helped make wedding planning so much less stressful. What are your favorite websites or tricks for event planning?

<3 Haley


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