I really wanted to give an update about two new apps I’ve downloaded. You may remember from one of my first posts that my search for a decent wedding planning app was rather unsuccessful, but I’m happy to say I’ve found a new app that is not only free, but also absolutely awesome. If I had found this app when I first started planning, I probably would not have bothered buying a real wedding planner.
The app I’m talking about is Easy Weddings which is available for both iOS and Android.
It includes a countdown checklist with all the tasks that need to be done and when they should be completed, with the option to add your own custom tasks and delete the default ones that don’t apply.
It includes a guest list planner, which has options to import contacts from Facebook, from your device contacts, or create a new contact completely. You can have multiple guest lists, such as ceremony, reception, shower, bachelorette, etc. Some useful features include; the ability to add people to groups (for example if you want to keep all members of a family together), you can tag guests as children, guests with infants, guests with special dietary needs, and of course a toggle for guests whose invitations have been sent, guests who have RSVP’d as attending, and those who have declined. Even better, you can easily filter all of your guests by these tags, so you can quickly and easily get an updated count of who is coming, who hasn’t responded, which guests are kids, or which have special dietary needs. One feature I wish this section had was the option to add a meal choice so that I could check off who would like the beef and who would like the duck, however there is a notes section for each guest which should work for keeping track of that. The guests lists are also automatically loaded into the seating planner section of the app, which makes planning out the seating at the reception very easy.
The app has a budget tracker, which is pretty standard as far as wedding budget planners go. You can set an overall wedding budget, a budget per item, what each item costs, how much was paid, and the amount owed is automatically calculated. I like that it gives suggestions for each item if you really have no idea how much each thing should cost. Although one thing I do not like about this part of the app is that while you can add your own custom items, you can’t remove the default items, however you can easily just set all dollar amounts to zero for the items that do not apply.
There is also a section for suppliers, where you can keep track of your vendors and potential vendors, complete with their contact info and any notes you want to include. It seems like the app has the capacity for finding nearby vendors based on your location, however it does not bring up anything for Vancouver. Based on the URL of the easy weddings website, I would assume that this is an Australian app, and you’d probably have better results if you’re Australian as well.
Lastly, there is a general notes section which I have not really used yet, but I can see that it would also be pretty useful for any ideas you might have that you want to keep track of, including scheduling, speeches, vows and readings, etc.
All in all, I think it’s an awesome app and a definite must-have for any bride-to-be. I especially like how it keeps track of how “complete” your wedding is based on the sections you have filled out and your budget and task list progress. Our wedding is 61% complete!
The other app I have recently downloaded (and set up) is Wedpics. We had heard about similar apps early on in the planning process and had planned to research a little later on, and it was actually Jason who found this one in particular and suggested it to me. It’s basically an app that anyone at your wedding can download for free, input your wedding code, and then upload any photos and videos they take during the big day to a communal “site” complete with the ability to sort by album (i.e. ceremony album, reception album, shower album, etc.), and a live feed of what photos and videos have been uploaded, and by whom. The website has table cards that you can either order or download and print yourself with instructions for downloading the app, and an option to download a fun scavenger hunt to encourage people to take photos of specific things. Afterwards, you can either order prints of the photos (I believe this feature is only available in the US), or you can download the original high-res image if you bring up the album on your PC. There are many apps out there that are similar to wedpics, however many are not free, most do not support video, and in general this one seems to have the highest ratings and best reviews.
Bridesmaids Dresses… [Rant Warning]
Forewarning, this is going to probably be a rant or at least close to a rant.
So… I got together with my parents, my maid of honour, best man, and one of my bridesmaids (the other bridesmaid lives in Wales) to go dress shopping for the bridesmaids and flower girl dresses this past weekend. We started out at David’s Bridal in Langley, made our way over to the wedding district on Columbia Street in New Westminster, and ended up at the wedding district on East Hastings. It was easily the most stressful and least fun part of the entire wedding planning process to date.
To start, Moore’s clothing once again, has pissed me off. We went all the way out to Langley to David’s Bridal because Moore’s told me that they share the same colour palettes and that they would have dress colours that would match the pink of the groomsmen’s vests exactly. Well, they don’t. In fact, they had never even heard of “bubblegum pink”. For those that aren’t from Vancouver, Langley is not near by. This was not a good start to the day.
Second, it seems I am about a month or two late on tackling this task. Four out of five places we went into gave me a look like I’m crazy and said they couldn’t turn it around that quickly, others looked at me like I’m crazy and said they might be able to pull it off but it would probably cost extra for a rush fee.
Third, I didn’t realize you would have to take off your shoes in every single shop. Even the ones that didn’t have carpet. It didn’t really bother me so much, though if I had known I probably would have worn shoes that are easier to slip in and out of instead of knee-high zip-up boots, but I was more concerned with my Mom. She does not have the best mobility, so walking from store to store was difficult enough, let alone walking around without shoes and taking them off and putting them on over and over. Unfortunately because of this, combined with the surprising lack of seating in most of the shops, she was not able to go to all of the stores with us and had to sit in the car after awhile 😦 I really would have liked her to be there and weigh in on the dresses, so I was pretty disappointed with the stores and their lack of accommodation. We could not have possibly been the only group to ever come in that had a person who could not stand and walk around for long periods of time. On the positive, there were one or two stores I went into that I was able to gauge that I would be miserable in based on the 70+ pairs of shoes at the entry way (surprisingly, I am not exaggerating with that number) and didn’t bother to waste my time looking around the store.
Fourth, teenagers. It seems February is the prime time of the year for all 17 year old girls to trample the fancy dress stores looking for their prom dresses. Go figure. I guess this was also my fault for leaving this so late, but suffice it to say, every single store we went into was crammed to the ceiling with loud, obnoxious, teenage girls who all want to be prom queen and have the irritating diva attitude to prove it.
Fifth, customer service (or lack thereof). Maybe it was because they, too, had to deal with hoards of teenage girls, but none of the stores we went into seemed to give a crap about us. They were rude, unaccommodating, and in every store we went into instead of being helpful when we inquired about bridesmaids dresses, we were told to simply put our name down because there was at least a 30 minute wait for the fitting rooms.
Sixth, just general frustration. I’d start looking at dresses, 2 seconds later someone would call my name to look at a dress, I’d go back to looking, 2 seconds later someone else would call, rinse and repeat over and over. It was really aggravating! Fortunately I think my maid of honour and my mom picked up on how stressed I was getting pretty quickly and not only backed off a bit, but also tried their best to calm me down. It was also very frustrating that several of the dresses that I picked out that I liked were styles that “could not be ordered” for whatever reason.
Seventh, difference in taste. I guess this comes with bridesmaid dress shopping regardless of circumstance, but I learned very quickly that my maid of honour, my bridesmaid, and I have very different tastes in style. Namely the bridesmaid who was able to attend. I really appreciated my maid of honour’s attitude of “I may not like it, but it’s your wedding so I’ll wear it”, but although she’s an awesome friend and I love her to bits, my bridesmaid did not share that attitude. I don’t want my wedding party to be miserable by any means, so I’d like to at least find something they don’t hate, but nearly every dress that I picked out, my bridesmaid was not happy with. She asked for a pencil skirt style dress over and over despite my explaining that the majority of the wedding party would not be comfortable in a pencil skirt and A-line style dresses are much more flattering for most body types. She even suggested that her dress be altered to be pencil skirt style and the others be left A-line, which I am definitely NOT okay with. It was an uphill battle.
And lastly, limited time… eventually I realized that despite getting started at around 10am, it was now 4:30pm, the stores close at 5:00pm, and I still hadn’t found what I was looking for. I cut my browsing time down significantly, and sometimes eliminated entire stores pretty quickly based on one or two factors. This was the case when I walked into a shop on East Hastings. I took my boots off, walked around, found a dress I liked, $799. Walked a bit more, another dress I liked, $399. So I put my boots back on and got the hell out of there. As I started to leave, I anxiously looked around for my crew and couldn’t find my bridesmaid, so I hovered impatiently at the door for her and she finally came from the back of the store and waved me to come see something. I shook my head and told her we were leaving, I was not going to waste precious time taking off my boots and putting them back on at 4:45pm to look at more dresses in a store where the average dress (which was not all that spectacular) cost between $400 and $800, and the people working there couldn’t even be bothered to give us the time of day. She said that they were 15% off, but in my mind 15% off of $800 is still too expensive. She would not let it go. Like I said, I love her to bits, and she’s one of the kindest and most caring people I know, and I definitely want her up there standing beside me on the big day, but obviously she could not tell just how stressed I was, as it took all of my patience and willpower to bite my tongue as she still brought it up hours later how I would not go look at the dresses in the back of that store. I try not to be a “bridezilla” or “pull rank”, I really do. And I think until this point I haven’t done so during the entire wedding planning process, I genuinely try to make everyone happy (usually at the expense of my sanity) despite everyone constantly telling me “it’s your wedding, do what you want!”. But I don’t care if we pass a shop where every dress is $10 and comes with a free kitten, if I don’t want to look at the dresses, I’m the bride and I don’t have to. Although to be fair, if I found a store like that, there is no way I would not go into it…
Anyways… after that day of stress, I finally found a dress that I really liked (I was a bit rushed so I didn’t get a picture yet), and it was at a store that actually seemed to care! The woman could tell I was a frazzled I guess because she kept telling me it would be okay, we’d find the dress and we’d get them ordered in time. That won huge brownie points for me, because while she is on commission, so are all of the other stores, but they still couldn’t give us the time of day. Furthermore, the woman who was so nice to me actually worked at the bridal shop, not the bridesmaid dress shop (the store had two shops side-by-side), and she told me to make an appointment and we’d get it all figured out… so she likely wouldn’t get a commission out of me anyways. Unfortunately, the dress I liked was $270… I spoke to Jason and we decided to offer to the wedding party that if they paid for around $150-170 of their dress, we would pay the difference, and then my parents chimed in and offered to pay for $100 of the difference as well which took a lot of pressure off.
So, I’ve booked an appointment at Tiffany Bridal to get ‘er done! I’ll update on the results after the appointment 🙂
Achievement Unlocked: Invitations Sent!
So after we finished dress shopping we came back to our place and set up an assembly line of assembling invitations. Everyone was taping and cutting and had their own little jobs and it came along quite quickly. We got everything probably about two-thirds complete by the time my parents went home and we decided to call it quits for the night in favour of drinking away the stresses from earlier (the best man and maid of honour kept pouring me drinks the whole time we were doing invitations… they’re so awesome!). The next day, Jason and I had a How I Met Your Mother marathon and finished the rest of the invitation assembly and mailed them out the following day. I’m really happy with how they turned out, I just wish I could see everyone’s faces when they receive them!
Jess (maid of honour) putting the magnets and stickers on the butterflies
My Dad assembling the inside pieces
Craig (best man) is cutting paper
Jason is working on printing envelope labels
I’m realizing my printer sucks at printing envelopes while Val (bridesmaid) works on assembling
The finished product!
Anyways, that’s all for today!
Days Until the Wedding: 2 months, 19 days
Total Cost So Far: $11,556.57