Man, the weather has turned NASTY over the last few days! It's probably best for everyone if you just make yourself a mug of hot cocoa and spend time looking up wedding stuff online. From how to properly escort a bride to how to word your invitations, you can find nearly everything you need. Awesome, sure, but it can also be overwhelming! To help you out, here are some of RedBird's favorite wedding websites. You're welcome
BEST SANITY-PRESERVER - A Practical Wedding
There are a lot of reasons that newlyweds-to-be feel like the Wedding Industrial Complex is out to get them. Spend too much time poring over inspiration shoots and or binge-watching “Platinum Weddings” and you're bound to start freaking out. You'll start to believe that your wedding doesn't measure up, and that this failure says something about you as a person, and that what it says is BAD.
Hey, slow down, crazy! You're planning a wedding, not running for Pinterest Queen. Sometimes it's hard to remember. Luckily, A Practical Wedding is full of healthy reminders that your wedding is perfect just the way it is. Having a wedding is a celebration, and not one where you'll receive a grade. While I feel that A Practical Wedding is sometimes unduly harsh towards wedding vendors (we're not all vampires!) it's a wonderful place to go when you need to remember that a wedding is JUST. ONE. DAY. And it will be awesome!
BONUS: Somebody brilliant combined A Practical Wedding with Ryan Gosling, which is basically the best thing ever.
BEST SANITY-DESTROYER - Martha Stewart Weddings
I'm just going to say it. Martha is amazing. She went to federal prison, and all anyone cared about was where to get the pattern for her beautiful, crocheted “leaving the correctional facility” shawl. Also, she used to model for Chanel in the 1960s. Also, she used to date Anthony Hopkins but dumped him because she couldn't quit thinking of Hannibal Lecter. Also, she is 72 years old (yes, seriously!) and is still blonde and gorgeous.
It's hilarious how Martha acts like everything is so easy. She's like, “What, do you NOT know how to cook and garden and decorate and arrange flowers and sew and make your own everything?” Ooh and ahh over her gorgeous and impossible DIYs, then go have a good cry about how you'll never be as amazing as Martha. It's okay. We've all been there.
BEST REMINDER THAT IT'S OKAY TO BE WEIRD - Offbeat Bride
“I really like [insert wacky idea here], but I'm not sure it's right for a wedding...” Stop right there. You need Offbeat Bride, stat. This website is definitely the place to go for the bride or groom that's interested in something a little weird or crazy. (PS – RedBird Events is also the right wedding planner for these types.) Offbeat believes that calling a wedding “tacky” is never acceptable, to which we at RedBird shout “HUZZAH!”. Yeah, maybe not everyone would want to pull their stuffed animals down the aisle in a wagon. But you do. And it's your wedding, and you're not hurting anyone's feelings by doing it, so who cares? Weddings are about having fun and being happy, so whatever crazy thing makes you happy is really, truly, 100% okay.
BEST WAY TO ASK FOR CASH (POLITELY) – MyRegistry
If you're living together already or are marrying a little later in life, you probably don't need to register for much. You've got a pair of toasters between the two of you, and you're certainly not in the market for a third. If you're hoping to finance something a little bigger than any individual guest could afford, then you'll want to look into a cash registry. Setting up a cash registry lets guests donate to a honeymoon, a down payment on a house, a new set of furniture, or anything you please. They send the money via a PayPal-like system and you transfer it straight into your bank account. Now, strictly speaking, you don't HAVE to spend the money for the purpose you originally intended. However, your family might be a little irritated if you take funds intended for a honeymoon and buy a hot tub instead. Don't start the marriage off by insulting your in-laws. Spend responsibly, please.
BEST WAY TO COLLECT MAILING ADDRESSES – Postable
Odds are that your email contact list is more accurate and up-to-date than your Rolodex. If so, you'll want to use that to your advantage. Postable is a great way to get all your guests' addresses in one place, just by sending a simple mass email. No fuss, no muss, no misplaced sticky notes! As an added bonus, after the wedding, you can use Postable to send “thank you” cards without ever licking a stamp. Just choose your design and type a friendly message of gratifude. Postable does the rest.
BEST ENGAGED PEOPLE'S MESSAGE BOARD – Weddingbee
Thousands of users and countless topics make this very active board a fun place to hang out and talk weddings to your heart's content. It's a place to discuss everything from fashion and etiquette to pregnancy and diet tips. The discussion is mostly wedding-related, but boy are there a lot of wedding-related topics! Some brides are complaining about their bridesmaids stealing their thunder. Some grooms are planning a special surprise for their fiancees and need the advice of the women on the board. Some couples want to share wedding cake flavors or the best websites for buying DIY project supplies. And if you get tired of talking weddings, there's always plenty more to get into. The boards get pretty active when big celebrity news happens, actually.
BEST WAY TO MAKE YOUR SEATING ARRANGEMENTS - Top Table Planner
RedBird's recommendation for seating is nearly ALWAYS to opt for assigned tables. Assigning seats is too micro-managing, and leaving the seating completely open puts undue pressure on the guests to find a good seat. To keep the seating arrangements straight, you'll likely want to use software that lets you visualize who is sitting with whom and make changes quickly and easily. Top Table Planner is free for seven days. However, at the end of your free trial you'll likely be more than willing to pay the $30 fee for continued use. Easy drag-and-drop commands make setting up your reception arrangements an absolute breeze. Get your money's worth by creating set-ups for your rehearsal dinner and post-wedding brunch, too.
BEST, CUTEST FREE WEDDING INVITATIONS - Wedding Chicks
A lot of couples these days are printing their own wedding invitations, or doing some amount of DIY on their stationery. But where to find a cute design? Wedding Chicks. You MUST got to Wedding Chicks. If you are looking for seriously beautiful wedding invitations for exactly zero dollars, this is the place! They have gorgeous, up-to-the-moment designs for invitations, but you'll also find the coordinating RSVP, table numbers, and more. And are they easy to work with? Oh, yes. No downloading of templates, no arranging of text. Just pick your colors, choose your wording, and the website creates a beautiful file that's ready to download and print out on the paper of your choice. Seriously, if they charged for their designs, they'd be making a boatload. Giving away work this good is just crazy.