by Alexandra McCray
Oh, technology—it truly does make life more convenient, and this can be especially true when planning a wedding.
The list of details to wrangle to get down the aisle can feel like it never ends, but this doesn’t have to be the case. Wedding planning apps are making it easier than ever to stay organized (and sane!) as the Big Day approaches. Here are 14 you’ll want to instantly download to make the process streamlined and enjoyable.
How It Helps: Wow your guests by selecting a stunning design for your own app, website and coordinating digital save the dates and invitations (print is also available for some designs). From there, you can customize your all-encompassing app, which also enables you to communicate with guests, get RSVP notifications, receive well wishes in the form of “toasts” or messages in a digital guestbook, and see attendee photos instantly. Hosts can even make certain events visible only to select guests.
How It Helps: Joy is essentially the classic wedding website—which it also comes with—taken to the next level. Users can create a personalized version of the app to serve as the go-to resource for their guests regarding all things wedding-related. In addition to standard information and event privacy settings, there are sections for Q&As and fun facts about you and your partner, like your favorite activity to do together. Another major bonus is that you and your guests can upload photos.
How It Helps: If you are unsure where to begin, this wedding app and website is the perfect place to start. Along with a to-the-second countdown to your wedding day, LadyMarry also includes a comprehensive checklist broken down into categories, covering everything from contemplating your theme to remembering to get your marriage license. You can invite people to collaborate with you and add your own to-dos as well. The abilities to research vendors, set up a registry, log expenses and manage RSVPs are also included.
How It Helps: It’s easy for a wedding budget to quickly spin out of control—an upgrade here, a few more dollars there. Stay on top of your spending with this smart money management system that enables you to create an easy-to-understand budget while it automatically organizes your transactions. It can even tell you when bills are due. After saying, “I do,” you and your honey can utilize it to keep tabs on your finances moving forward too. Plus, handy tools like free credit score monitoring come with it as well.
Invitations, Inspiration and Photography
How It Helps: Explore beautiful, on-trend invitation and card designs for your save the dates, wedding, rehearsal dinner and any other events or announcements you have in mind without ever needing to visit a traditional card store. Once you select one in the app, you can replace the temporary text with your details, change the font, and edit the text size and color to your liking. You can then choose to print, share as a PDF/image or save your masterpiece to your phone.
How It Helps: Saw a gorgeous flower or suit on social media in a hue you love? With PANTONE Studio, envisioning your ideal color scheme is no longer daunting. One of its most useful features for wedding planning is the ability to extract colors from photos and use them to create a custom color palette. And if you’re at a loss for what color best complements your main one, the app can show you that as well. There is also the option to see what PANTONE colors would look like on fabric.
How It Helps: While you wait for your photographer to send professional photos, enjoy seeing images captured by your guests all in one place. Within this app, you can add your wedding information to create an event for your guests to join. Those invited can choose to have the app automatically upload every photo and video they take with their phone during the designated event time to the event gallery or manually add them during the event or afterward. And voilà! You’ll have a wedding album you can instantly download and the chance to see your Big Day through the eyes of your guests.
Food and Venue
How It Helps: Created by husband-and-wife pair Anthony and Janique Edwards, this app connects you to Black-owned restaurants, food trucks and other culinary businesses and professionals in your area. Browse vegan/vegetarian, soul food, African, Caribbean, breakfast and baked good options. You can swipe through photos of dishes, read reviews and bookmark those you’d like to connect with to provide eats for your Big Day or any events leading up to it. There’s even a marketplace you can purchase food-and-beverage-related items from. Delicious favors anyone?
iOS/Android: iOS, or use its website
How It Helps: Save time when comparing venues by turning to this app and website that feature more than 10,000 options across the United States. Peruse based on location, budget, style and services offered. Use photos and venue information, which includes the scoop on amenities, restrictions and guest rooms (if applicable), to determine your favorites. Then, plug your wedding specifics into the Spot Estimate tool to get an in-depth estimate and decide from there whether you’d like to contact the venue. But that’s not all. Wedding Spot also features a hotel room block section that allows you to research accommodations near your venue.
iOS/Android: iOS, or book via its website
How It Helps: Nailing your hair is a major piece of any bridal or bridesmaid look and finding someone who can work with your texture and execute the style you want can be a tall order. That’s where Swivel comes in. The Black women-founded company shows you stylists suggestions based on your hair type (think relaxed, locs, natural kinky/curly), location, time preference, price range and desired service, including styling for weddings and special events. You can see photos of their work, read reviews and book directly on the app or website. Swivel is currently available in New York City, Washington, D.C., Chicago and Los Angeles.
iOS/Android: iOS, or book via its website
How It Helps: Whether you’re getting ready for your engagement photos, a night out during your bachelorette party or your actual wedding day, Glamsquad brings hair, makeup, and nail stylists and artists to you so you can get primped in the comfort of your own home or hotel room. Its certified bridal professionals are ready to tackle any skin or hair concerns and can even give the flower girl a little extra sparkle via an adorable hairstyle. Glamsquad is currently available in New York City; Hoboken and Jersey City, New Jersey; Washington, D.C.; Boston; South Florida; Los Angeles; Orange County, California; and San Francisco and the Bay Area.
Honeymoon and Gifts
How It Helps: In addition to stunning silverware and entertaining pieces, why not register for your dream honeymoon, too? With Honeyfund, you can do both. On your custom page, guests can contribute to honeymoon costs like airfare and accommodations and use registry links to purchase gifts. You can even ask for no-fee gift cards and set up a fund for wedding expenses, charity contributions and more.
Mental and Relationship Health
How It Helps: Preparing for one of life’s most important events can take a toll on anyone. Remember to carve time out of your day to mentally rest and recharge. With Calm, you can learn to meditate, hear stories that will help lull you to sleep when it feels like all you can do is toss and turn, and even put soothing music on in the background while you follow up on RSVPs … again.
How It Helps: The potential stress that comes with wedding planning can not only affect you but also your interactions with your partner. Keep your connection strong with this couples counseling app rooted in science that helps you enhance the health of your relationship with guided counseling sessions, workshops, assessments and more. Everything from money and communication to conflict and appreciation is up for discussion!