Which Wedding Planning App Is The Best?
Going into wedding planning, I already know what a lot of my proclivities are as a bride — partially because I’m a neurotic planner, and partially because, well, I’ve done this before. You live, you learn.
One of my proclivities: I hate The Knot. I hate it with a passion. They try to swindle you into buying into the wedding industrial complex. They want you to choose “colors” and “a theme” and hire the vendors who pay to be advertised on The Knot with money that they make by upcharging the shit out of their services. They propagate giant “fairy tale” weddings with all the bells and whistles. Why? All of their advertisers sell those bells and whistles, duh.
Here are some of the items on their default checklist to which I object:
Start an inspiration board: Inspiration? It’s a party, not a life goal.
Hire a wedding planner: I am a person who is capable of organizing a party for free.
Book a calligrapher: What.
Take dance lessons: Sure, if it’s because you have an ongoing love of dance; otherwise, no.
Plan a welcome party: This is only acceptable if this means “We’ll be meeting up at Delilah’s at 7.”
Have your dress preserved: My dress will be preserved on a hanger in my closet. It’s not a national artifact.
You can see what a grump I am about the whole wedding-aspiration thing (and I am, admittedly, a complete and utter grump about it). I told Michael yesterday that I decided our colors should be “colors” and our theme should be “fun.” We want the ceremony to last for a total of 10 minutes and then I’d like to transition immediately to party time. I don’t want a photographer or a videographer, because everyone has smartphones and Instagram. There will not be flowers, unless I decide to go on an origami-flower bonanza (which I do, sometimes). If I had my druthers on food — I won’t, but if I did — I’d order a whole crap ton of banh mi and egg rolls from the little shop that was around the corner from our last apartment. The Knot is for people who love the <3<3<3*~Idea of Weddings~*<3<3<3, not for people who want to get married and also, coincidentally, have a fun party.
That being said, they have a wealth of easy-to-use planning tools, and they allow you to keep all of your information in one place. So as a neurotic planner, I do kind of reluctantly love The Knot. This is the age of apps, though, and so I set out on a mission to find out if there are competitive applications that afford the ease of use The Knot’s planning tools offer. Here’s what I found:
WedHappy: I love WedHappy’s design — it looks like the app Strong, which I use for my workouts, or the game Threes: Simple, minimal, intuitive, not overtly frilly or feminine (which so often tends to be the aesthetic of wedding stuff). The to-do list is practical and easy to alter, and it’s possible for the app to be collaborative. But it lacks a good guest list function and synthesis with a web site (I use my computer more than I use my phone), and the vendor search function only shows 10 results. I wanted to love it because of the design and the to-do list, but it fell short on so many practical counts.
iDoo: iDoo is super-collaborative — most of the wedding apps only invite you to share tasks with your spouse-to-be, but iDoo lets you share it with your whole bridal party, which is useful. They have a guest list, budgeting, and seating function, but their vendor search function is limited to major metropolitan areas, and within those major metropolitan areas they only have a few results for each category of vendor. On top of that, you can’t delete items from the to-do list, which means that if your wedding doesn’t line up with the app’s idea of weddings, you’re going to be stuck with a bunch of unnecessary clutter in your to-do list (super annoying).
2life Weddings: 2life is sort of a shell of an app — instead of having an interactive to-do list, the app takes you to a bullet-pointed to-do list, and then you have to use their list function to make your own. There’s no function for a guest list, and they don’t have a vendor search except for a gown search (which isn’t exactly the same thing). It’s just not a useful app.
And then, of course, the dreaded:
The Knot: I’ve already listed a fraction of the things that I hate about The Knot. Here’s what I like about it: Easy-to-use, detailed guest list; decent budgeting tool; website integration; collaborative with spouse-to-be; extensive vendor search results; a ton of useful original content with decent wedding advice for various different kinds of couples; registry integration; and a checklist that probably overreaches and assumes that you’re going to be spending a ton of money on useless crap, but at least you can delete their items and add your own.
So, unfortunately, The Knot kind of has a monopoly on the wedding planning market. I will have to wade through nine months of cursive, flowers, white floor-length dresses, photographer suggestions, diamond rings, expensive invitations, and pastels, because I care more about making sure my wedding goes well than I do about my deep awe at the amount of money other people are willing to spend on stuff that looks kind of ridiculous to me (but hey, respect, whatever makes them happy!). Big sigh.
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