It’s only been a week since somebody put a ring on my finger, but the ‘wedmin’ – wedding administration (if you’re a Miranda fan, you’ll be familiar with this term!) – has already begun! From the get go, I had people asking me if we had chosen a date, whether we’re hoping to plan a summer or winter wedding, a big fancy do, a small intimate affair…the list of questions goes on!
It has been quite overwhelming and I’ve become a bit ‘loskop’ thinking about everything that we’re going to have to do over the next few months. That being said, I’m attempting to get all of my ducks in a row, and I’ve found a variety of helpful online applications, websites and tools to help me get the ball rolling. You may already be familiar with some of these, and some of them technically aren’t wedding planning tools, but I’m going to share with you how each tool can be used to plan a wedding.
This free online tool is popular and used by both professional and non-professional content creators, and it is one of my favourite design tools. Canva lets you create your own designs from scratch, or you can choose from one of their templates. They have a variety of templates for invitations, posters, social graphics, menus and announcements. If you create your own design, you can choose from a variety of different fonts, photographs and graphics, and you can create a design with custom dimensions. The online tool is versatile and easy to use, and all you need to do is sign up for an account and you can start creating wedding invites, save the dates and any other designs you’ll need for your special day. You can also download the Canva app from the Google Play Store, and create and save designs on your phone, which is convenient if you are using social media to share details with your guests about your engagement party and wedding day.
My fiancé and I chose a free engagement party invite from Freepik and we got a lot of compliments on the pretty design. Freepik is another resource used by both amateurs and pros. The site houses lots of free vectors, photos, Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator files that you can use to create your wedding stationery. There are so many beautiful designs to choose from. Freepik is my go-to for both work-related and personal designs. While the site is a great resource, there is unfortunately one downside. You’ll need Adobe Photoshop or Illustrator to edit your designs, unlike some of the free resources which allow you to edit text and graphics online. If you find a design you’d like to edit, find a freelance graphic designer you can hire to edit the work for you.
If you’re living in the Eastern Cape and you’re planning a wedding, I’d suggest you visit the Majestic Weddings website. Many of the online wedding websites cater for brides living overseas, but Majestic Weddings is a great resource for real brides living in Port Elizabeth and surrounds. The website has a list of local wedding suppliers, interesting articles and blogs, and a gallery that serves as some amazing bridal inspiration. Other great features on the site include a to do list, guest manager, personal website and inspiration boards. The website also features real weddings with real South African brides. Majestic Weddings is a great place to start if you’re looking for wedding photographers, venues, caterers, florists and dressmakers. There website is also so pretty, and it’s user-friendly, plus they also have a handy mobile app, which you can download from Google Play or the App Store. If you’re an Eastern Cape bride-to-be, support local and check out Majestic Weddings!
The Knot is an online personal wedding planner where you’ll find a host of tools tailored to help you plan the perfect wedding. You can make use of the website’s checklist, budgeter, guest list tool and inspiration pages. My favourite feature on The Knot is the wedding planning timeline. To create a personal wedding timeline, all you need to do is a sign up for an account with your e-mail address and a password. The timeline allows you to include certain events (i.e. rehearsal dinner, ceremony, reception), helps you keep track of which services you’ll need for the big day, as well as create a list of who will be involved in helping you plan your wedding day.
Hitched is another local wedding tool tailored to suit the needs of South African brides. You can find wedding inspiration on the site, a list of suppliers, tips on questions to ask when searching for a venue, and a list of bridal wear shops in the country. Hitched even has sample wedding speeches, toasts, poems and romantic quotes that you and your partner can draw inspiration from! The website also has a ‘real weddings’ section, where you can view photos and read about real South African weddings – a great source of inspiration for your own big day!
This isn’t an online wedding tool, but Pinterest is home to beautiful wedding inspiration boards, and I have used Pinterest to help me decided on my colour scheme, bridesmaid dresses and my own wedding gown. With Pinterest, you can create separate boards for different parts of your wedding, and there are thousands of pins that you can save to your boards. I have a board for my wedding decor, one for wedding dress inspiration, another for make-up ideas…there really is no limitation on what you can do on Pinterest! You can also download the app from Google Play on your phone, and the app has a feature where you can keep your board private, helping you to keep certain elements of your wedding day a surprise!