As I’m sure most of you know by now, this year has been a crazy one from a personal perspective
Not only are Stephen and I currently engaged and in the final stages of planning our own wedding, but I’m also a bridesmaid for the first time ever – with the incredible honour of helping my brother and his wife-to-be plan their big day a month and a half before ours, no less!
Being in the wedding industry while planning definitely has its perks! Tackling planning tasks like the timeline or selecting our vendors has been an absolute breeze, but there are still some parts of this whole process that we had to jump into full force without any real background knowledge whatsoever. Thankfully, with a little bit of internet scouring, I was able to find three resources that made a few of these tasks significantly easier. I am so thrilled to share them with you today!
1. Paperless Post
One thing that I noticed right away after our planning started is how little knowledge I had about the pricing of hard goods like wedding invitations. I won’t lie, this was definitely the one thing that we were getting quotes back on that gave me severe sticker shock from the start! I also didn’t realize that our wedding invitations weren’t the only thing I’d be sending out to friends and family!
Between the wedding itself, bachelorette parties, bridal showers, and post-wedding brunches, it was really hard to keep this part of our budget in check while also sending out invites that fit the occasion and looked professional. This is where Paperless Post came in!
Paperless Post was a perfect cost-effective option for all of the smaller wedding events that needed invitations, but didn’t necessarily feel like a splurge item for us! They made it so easy to find designs that reflected our taste, and have a built-in RSVP system that made responses so easy to track!
My mom and I actually sent out invitations for my bridal shower using them only a few days ago and already have responses from half of the invited guests! I love that I was able to make her a co-host of the event. This means that I could pick out the design of the invite and send them out myself, but she can handle all the logistics of responding to guests questions using her account and save me some time!
2. WeddingWire Seating Chart Builder
Gone are the days of a poster-board with coloured tabs of guests names! I had absolutely no idea that there was a better option to fulfill my dreams of Monica Geller level organization, but this seating chart builder definitely stepped up to the plate.
This is an incredibly basic tool, but has been an essential part of planning out our reception space. WeddingWire’s seating chart builder allows for you to build a mock reception space with a customized amount of tables and seats for guests to arrange names digitally instead of trying to sort this out with a pen and paper.
I particularly love that this can be altered and exported as a PDF so that it is easy to share with my wedding coordinator and decor team down the road when it comes time to talk about day-of setup.
By far my favourite aspect of using Zola has been the RSVP function that is built in! We were able to print the URL on our wedding invitations and allow guests to respond online. This has meant zero worrying about response cards getting lost in the mail and no responses from people who forgot to fill out their name.
How anyone plans a wedding without using any type of wedding website, I will never know. Stephen and I used Zola earlier this year to create a wedding website that stored all of the information that we didn’t really have the space for on our formal printed invitations. From restaurant recommendations for out-of-town guests, to detailed FAQ for our more Type-A family members, this really is the perfect resource for all of our loved ones.
The RSVP tool even allows for custom questions to be added, which we used for people to let us know about any food allergies or dietary restrictions. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve seen this missing from printed invitations. It is my biggest pet peeve, especially with Stephen’s nut allergy!
Oh, and did I mention that Zola is completely free? Since it’s actually intended to be a registry service, they only make income from company kick-backs on registry items sold. Even if you aren’t using the registry function, all of their other services including the website builder are free of charge!