Top Wedding Planning Resources
When I was a bride-to-be, I hopped online, eager to find everything available to a do-it-yourself wedding planner. But when I first searched the phrase "wedding planning," I was disappointed to see all the results were essentially the same—big companies monopolizing the results and pressuring me into a cookie-cutter type wedding concept that costs, on average, $35,000. The problem was, that wasn't us. We had budgeted far less than that. I needed options that fit our unique situation.
In the 18 months that followed, I worked hard to find reliable resources that would help us plan the wedding we envisioned on our realistic budget. After the wedding, I heard that one of my cousins had guessed our wedding cost $40,000. The actual cost was $15,000. I was so glad I'd put in the time to find the right help.
In our 15 years since then, as innovators in the wedding industry, we've learned even more about making extraordinary things happen on a realistic budget. And we know something doesn't have to be big to be great. And neither does your wedding. When you focus more on making the wedding authentic to you two—and not the cookie-cutter event with the outrageous price tag—it becomes better than you could have imagined.
These resources, an accompaniment to our groundbreaking 1-Page-Wedding-Plan, will guide you to your best day.
The Budget-Savvy Wedding Planner & Organizer
The Budget-Savvy Wedding Planner & Organizer can help you bring your big day to life without breaking the bank, thanks to tons of tools and worksheets for putting together a wedding day that you and your guests will never forget.
Inside you'll find helpful checklists, sample budgets, calendars, things to consider when building a guest list, and how to set wedding goals that ensure the whole affair is a smashing success.
Other Helpful Books
- Wedding Hacks: 500+ Ways to Stick to Your Budget, Stay Stress-Free, and Plan the Best Wedding Ever!
- How To Plan Your Own MicroWedding: Small Weddings & Elopements Made Easy
- Equally Wed: The Ultimate Guide to Planning Your LGBTQ+ Wedding
Thrift, Second-hand, and Vintage
You can get some incredible deals on common wedding items by buying second-hand. Etsy, eBay, Facebook Marketplace and Craigslist are probably the best resources for second-hand and vintage stuff. The best part is you can turn around and sell it all after your wedding!
If some luxe items are essential to your vision, you can save by renting them. In the US, everything from attire (Generation Tux, Rent the Runway) to lighting and linens (Rent My Wedding) can be shipped nationwide. For incredible deals or items challenging to send, check out local rental companies in your area. You might be surprised at what's available and in your budget.
Local Event Space & Location Guides
If someone in your area publishes a book of wedding and reception locations, get it! These invaluable books list a plethora of possible wedding and reception sites, along with key info like cost, maximum capacity, catering restrictions, corkage fees, etc. This lets you quickly narrow down your "to see" list without having to make a single phone call. Here Comes the Guide publishes guides for Northern California and Southern California. Search for one covering your area or ask a trusted wedding vendor if they are aware of any similar local resources.