Hey there peanut butter-lovers! I wanted to cobble together a short list of the wedding planning resources that have been a lifeline for me over the past year. Planning is hectic and at times, downright anxiety-inducing, and I wish I had known about some of these resources when I got engaged last year.
For those of you who are planning a wedding or have friends who are doing so, feel free to share this post and comment with your favourite resources below. For those of you completely uninterested in wedding planning, bear with me. We’ll resume our regular blogging content before you know it!
Take my list of sanity-savers with a grain of salt…your list may look completely different! That said, I hope these resources help you or your loved ones plan a beautiful, faith-filled wedding while minimizing the chaos:
1: Faith-Infused Inspiration
Spoken Bride – I’m starting with this website because today was their official launch! This Catholic lifestyle blog for brides and newlyweds promises to provide you with so much inspiration and whimsy. They are also in the process of compiling a vendor guide to connect Catholic couples with wedding vendors who share their faith, as well as a love of the sacraments and beauty (not to mention great parties!)
Invited: The Ultimate Catholic Wedding Planner – Written by Stephanie Calis, the content manager for Spoken Bride who also writes at Captive the Heart, this book is a gem! I like it because it covers both the practical and spiritual aspects of planning, as well as great advice as readers look towards their marriage. Stephanie’s book and blog have been one of the best resources I’ve found so far in terms of preparing for the sacrament of marriage. She covers prayer, planning out the liturgy, budgeting, and aesthetics.
These have been crucial for keeping me organized as I juggle full-time studies, work, wedding planning, and a social life. I use three different types of checklists for wedding-related tasks and ideas. Firstly, The Knot has by far been the most comprehensive. Create an account and free wedding website if you wish (we did!) but definitely opt out of all the notifications and reminders if, like me, you hate having a cluttered inbox. I have found The Knot helpful because their checklist reminds you of virtually every preparatory task you could imagine and well in advance of when it actually needs to be completed. At times I’ve found overwhelming, but its also served to ensure I don’t forget elements that I would otherwise want to include in the big day.
To balance out The Knot’s overzealous list, the WeddingHappy app (free from the App Store) is useful. This app has a more realistic timeline for planning and includes only the more essential tasks. You can also upgrade the app to share your list with friends and schedule payments to vendors.
My fiance is a ‘lists guy’ and we both use Google Keep. This tool allows us to easily write and share notes and checklists with one another. This is by far Z’s preferred method of wedding planning. Another bonus: you can add Keep to all your devices and work offline if you don’t want to eat up all your data. Then, once you have a wireless connection, Google will sync all your updates across applications.
3: Paperless Post
Paperless Post is a great resource for designing your print or digital invites for wedding-related events. You can choose from so many beautiful invitations and then decide whether to print them or send them as e-cards. The site is easy to use, the service is SUPER affordable, and the quality is top notch. If you decide to go the digital route, you will be able to sync your e-invites with your wedding website so that your guests can click through and RSVP with the utmost ease.
NOW, I recommend this resource with a big caveat; I’ve already written about how I got caught in the Pinterest rabbit hole. Spare yourself the wasted time and use Pinterest discerningly. I have found it most helpful for sharing inspiration with loved ones who live far away and creating curated inspiration boards to shared with our vendors. A lot of vendors are on Pinterest and it makes it so easy for them to get a sense of your style and preferences if you have a board that you can invite them to pin to. I did this with our florist and wedding photographer and it worked great.
Praying throughout your engagement is so important, and it can also be frustratingly difficult. With so many little tasks to stay on top of, it can be hard to quiet the mind enough to really enter into prayer. I’ve found scheduling time for Eucharistic adoration with my fiance, journaling, and making lists to clear my wandering mind helpful in that regard. Aspirations have helped me immensely too!
An aspiration is a short prayer (typically one line) that expresses your heart or a need to God. Bonnie Engstrom wrote a nice little reflection on aspirations over at Blessed Is She (scroll down to the bottom of that page). When I feel overwhelmed, am running around doing errands, or am scrubbing dishes in the kitchen, whispering ‘Jesus, I trust in You’ can do wonders to help me feel His presence and relieve my worries.
Z and I have also enjoyed praying novenas to favourite saints and plan to do that closer to our wedding as well. You can find one of our go-tos here. Because we’re getting married on the feast of St. Therese, a novena will be the perfect preparation!
So, there you have it. What are some of your favourite planning resources? I want to know!