The Bride-to-be’s Toolbox: 100 Online Tools and Resources to Affordably Have the Wedding of Your Dreams

Wednesday, January 2, 2008 at 2:01am by Site Administrator

Recent reality shows like We TV’s Bridezillas are having fun and making millions at the expense of brides-to-be who are only trying to organize the wedding of their dreams. We’d like to see them try to pick out a dress, whittle down the guest list to a reasonable number, find a reliable photographer, choose the band, and still have time to shop for gifts for the bridesmaids! We know that you can do it all yourself, but how can a beautiful bride be expected to pay for it all? Forget the reality show disasters and check out this list of 100 online tools and resources that will allow you to have the (more affordable) wedding of your dreams.

Blogs Find helpful posts about managing your wedding’s ever growing budget by checking out these blogs.

1. Wedding Planner: This blog comes from the Wedding Planning on a Budget site, on which an Indiana couple shares their story of planning a wedding on only $2,000.

2. WeddingsAffordable.com: Here you’ll find great, affordable ideas for your invitations, honeymoon, reception, dress and more.

3. Budget Wedding: This blog is packed with articles and links devoted to helping you plan a fabulous wedding on a limited budget. Get tips on picking a venue, connecting with old friends you want to invite and planning a destination wedding.

4. Wedding Planning Advice from Industry Insiders: Wedding planning professionals reveal their secrets to organizing the big day. Find out what a budget expert, recent groom, and style and etiquette expert have to say that will change the way you view your dress shopping, photographer search, cake selection and more.

5. Bride on a Budget: Bride on a Budget is found online at the Asheville Citizen-Times website. Read reviews of hair and make up products, get tips on finding musicians, and commiserate with other frazzled brides-to-be.

6. Saving for a Wedding: Learn how to create a realistic wedding budget by taking small steps and finding deals on every part of the ceremony, from the cake to your shoes.

7. Dream Wedding on a Budget: This blog will help brides-to-be plan the perfect wedding on a sensible budget. Recent titles include "Vintage Wedding Gowns," "Affordable Bridal Tiaras" and "Wedding Invitation Project."

8. Wedding Savings Revealed: Wedding Savings Revealed helps couples "save thousands" on their wedding by sharing links, how-to guides and books and general advice for saving for the big day.

9. The Bride’s Guide: This blog is full of "ideas from the editors of Martha Stewart Weddings." Manage all aspects of your wedding planning process, including your budget, with the help of these great posts.

Dress and Accessories Check out these websites to find beautiful dresses, shoes and more for discount prices.

10. Perfect Bridal: Have fun picking out your wedding dress or dress designs for bridesmaids and flower girls.

11. Lily Wedding: Elegant wedding dresses are custom made at Lily Wedding. Browse existing dresses, design one of your own, and enjoy free shipping on orders of $500 or more.

12. Netbride: This company has been selling bridal gowns and accessories since 1948. Check out their website to find wedding dresses, veils, slips, gloves plus size wedding dresses and more at 30-50% off.

13. Wedding Dresses Directory: This online catalog of wedding dresses comes from the WeddingChannel.com. Search categories like price range, designer, flower girl, silhouette and neckline to find your perfect dress.

14. Cheap Wedding Dresses: Read this article from LovetoKnow.com to get tips on finding discount dresses that are still beautiful.

15. Money Saving Wedding Gown Tips: This article shares ideas on how to locate designer dresses for less. Try bridal outlet stores, wearing a bridesmaid’s dress, renting a dress and more.

16. Bride Couture: This online shop sells dresses by designers like Vera Wang for 50-75% off the original prices.

17. How to Find a Cheap Wedding Gown: Use this guide to help you find a more affordable wedding gown. Scroll to the bottom to find real-time postings of dresses being sold on eBay.

Photographer and Flowers In picture frames or in online albums, your wedding pictures will last forever. Read below to find tips on hiring a photographer that’s talented but still affordable, as well as ideas for saving money on gorgeous flower arrangements.

18. Six Steps to Find the Perfect Wedding Photographer: Smart tips include short listing, deciding your mood and style and "if in doubt, leave them out."

19. AllWeddingCompanies.com: Get in touch with local photographers and caterers by browsing through this online directory.

20. MyWedding.com: Search by city or state to find all kinds of wedding vendors in your area. Organized brides will find links to photographers, jewelers, dance instructors, tuxedos and more.

21. Finding a Great Videographer Cheap: Check out this step-by-step guide from WeddingStrategies.com to get great ideas on finding an affordable videographer.

22. Wedding Photography Directory: Use this online directory to find quality wedding photographers in your city. After your big day, sort through your best photos and submit them to the photo contest for a chance to win prizes.

23. Save Money on Your Wedding Photography: Great ideas like talking to friends and family and negotiating a smart deal will help you save a bundle on the wedding photos.

24. Everyday Wedding Advice: Browse through the photography and videography archives on this wedding blog to assist you with selecting a photographer.

25. How to Buy Cheap Flowers for Wedding Centerpieces: This guide shows you how to "find cheaper flowers and [discover] other ways to cut down the flower budget."

Reception If you want your wedding celebration to be the party of the century, then you’d better be prepared to open up your checkbook. There are, however, some sneaky ways to cut costs on the music, cake, venue and other party details. Read on to find out more.

26. How to Make an Affordable Wedding Reception Meal: This DIY guide will help you plan out a delicious meal for large parties.

27. Planning Affordable Wedding Receptions: From the drinks to the decorations, this article reveals some fantastic ways to save money on the reception.

28. Gig Salad: Search for quality bands, DJs and musical artists at this site, the "live entertainment resource for your wedding ceremony or reception."

29. Tips on Choosing a Wedding Reception Hall: This detailed article advises couples to check city guides for creative locations like museums, aquariums or rooftop bars when selecting a reception venue.

30. Affordable Center Pieces for Your Wedding Reception: Find neat ideas for decorating with inexpensive flower arrangements, themed designs and more.

31. Saving on Wedding Cakes Without Sacrificing Style: Wedding cakes can be expensive, and may not always be quite what you had in mind. This article will surprise readers with its clever ideas on choosing tasty substitutes.

32. Ceremony Music and Reception Music: WeddingSolutions.com provides excellent suggestions on how to pick out the music for the wedding ceremony and the reception.

33. Expert Wedding Food Tips: Want your guests to have a good time? This guide maintains that keeping the band fed, setting up the bar the right way, offering appetizers to your guests and keeping track of the head count are just some of the things you’ll need to consider before the big day.

Guests If managing the guest list becomes a problem, use these resources to help you organize invitations, hotel accommodations and more.

34. Guest List: Print out this guest list form to fill in your invitees’ addresses, names and other information.

35. How to Trim Your Guest List: Suggestions from this Amazon.com article include cutting coworkers, allow the bride’s parents, groom’s parents and bride and groom to select the same number of guests, and make the event adults-only.

36. Your Wedding Guest List: The First Steps: This article from About.com will help you gain perspective on which guests you really want at your wedding and which ones you’re including "just because."

37. Guest List Manager: Use this online tool from the Wedding Channel to "total your invitations and RSVPs, print lists of names for envelope and place card calligraphy" and more.

38. How to Organize Your Wedding Guest List With Complete Ease: Print out this ultra valuable guest list manager to help you cover all your bases: family members, relatives of the bridal party, and last-minute ideas if other guests can’t come.

39. Invitations4Less: Save a bundle when you visit this online invitation shop that prints wedding programs, invitations for the wedding, bridal shower and save the date cards and more.

40. Formal-Invitations.com: These invitations "only look like a million bucks." Choose from all different designs, paper and fonts to get the ones you really love.

41. Marriott Hotel Blocks: This site from the Marriott Hotel chain is an example of how to find great deals for your guests at top hotels. Other Events As if a wedding was just about the walk down the aisle! From the bridal shower to the rehearsal dinner, busy brides have a lot to keep up with, even if these events aren’t technically their responsibility!

42. BridalShowerTips.com: Send a subtle e-mail to your bridesmaids with a link to this website, which has great ideas for munchies, games and gifts.

43. How to Throw a Bridal Shower: This article from Bridalwave has tips for throwing bridal showers that are easy and affordable.

44. A Bridal Shower: This website is devoted to planning perfect bridal showers. Pick a fun theme, browse through famous games and get ideas on what kind of snacks to provide.

45. How to Plan a Rehearsal Dinner: This guide provides information on basic rehearsal dinner etiquette and planning ideas to control your budget.

46. Cheap Ideas for a Rehearsal Dinner: Other readers suggest ideas for planning budget-friendly rehearsal dinners, like hosting a cookout or buying decorations from discount party stores.

47. Throwing an Engagement Party: Do you even need to spend money on an engagement party? Use this guide to help you plan (or not) a meet and greet with your fiance, friends and family.

48. Engagement Party Supplies: These party supplies from BizRate range from elegant napkin holders and invitations to cute bride and groom paper plates.

49. Rehearsal Dinner Invitations: If you decide to send out invitations for the rehearsal dinner, consider using one of these low cost ideas to get the word out.

Bridal Party Having seven bridesmaids will look great in the photos, but after the dresses, favors and other expenses, it can get pretty costly. Check out these posts and resources to figure out ways to control the list and thank your wedding party without going overboard.

50. Favor Ideas: Spoil your bridal party without spending a fortune by checking out these great favor ideas from the Glam Network.

51. FavorWarehouse.com: Shop online for low-priced personalized wedding gifts, themed favors and other presents on this site.

52. Cheap Bridesmaid Dress: If you ask your bridesmaids to pay a fortune for their dresses, they’ll hate you forever. Take the advice of LoveToKnow Weddings by getting creative in your search for inexpensive gowns.

53. Wedding Gift Ideas for Bridal Party Attendants: Browse through this online catalog of gifts for the bridesmaids and groomsmen to show your appreciation.

54. Bridal Shower Ideas: Evite has great ideas for parties, etiquette rules and more for bridal showers and events.

Bachelorette Party Follow the advice from these bloggers and websites to plan a bachelorette party that’s wild and fun but still affordable.

55. Ideas for Throwing a Bachelor or Bachelorette Party: This article is full of resources for planning a fun party complete with off-the-wall toasts and roasts.

56. Destination 360: Las Vegas: This site has links and resources for planning a bachelorette party in Las Vegas. If you live near the area, consider booking a party bus that can take all of your friends together.

57. Bachelorette Party Planning Tips: Learn how to gauge the total expense of your bachelorette party with the tips given in this article. Honeymoon In addition to planning and budgeting for a killer wedding, couples also have to save up for a spectacular honeymoon getaway. Check out this list for ways to indulge with your new honey without going broke.

58. Creative Honeymoon Ideas: This website has lots of honeymoon ideas for couples looking for a great deal.

59. Cheap Honeymoon Vacation Ideas: This post provides "inexpensive and romantic travel destinations and cruises for newlyweds."

60. Honeymooner’s Review Guide: Visit this website to find out what other couples are saying about top honeymoon destinations like Fiji, Hawaii and more. This site also has articles with ideas for budgeting your trip and discovering low cost alternatives.

61. Your Vacation Travel Budget: This excellent guide walks readers through the process of setting up a travel budget. Consider all-inclusive vacation packages, know what to splurge on and what to skimp on, and use the budget worksheet to stay organized.

62. Eight Cheap Honeymoon Ideas: These tips suggest traveling during the off season, taking part in a home swap and other great ideas.

63. Budget Travel’s Honeymoon Helper: The Budget Travel website publishes a honeymoon helper for newlyweds. Find out what packages are available from this company, and see what kind of financial assistance your relatives can provide.

64. Tips for Making a Honeymoon Budget: This online worksheet will help you manage your honeymoon budget by organizing all of the important costs like transportation, hotels, meals, equipment rentals and more.

65. How to Plan a Budget Honeymoon in Europe: If you and your new spouse want to honeymoon around Europe, check out this guide for finding ways to be romantic on the cheap.

Resources and Guides Do your wedding research by checking out these resources and guides for information on locating vendors, catching up on wedding trends and more.

66. Busy Bride Shopping Guide: This blog "was developed so today’s busy brides would have a starting point when it came to shopping for everything you need when planning a wedding." Find everything from stationery to "groom stuff" to dieting products to help you squeeze into that dress.

67. DIY Wedding Planner: Check out this blog for tips on choosing a theme, finding the right music, and more.

68. The Wedding Vendor Guide: Use this resource to get help locating and booking photographers, florists, live music, caterers and more.

69. From I Will to I Do: This blog comes from the iVillage wedding expert Anne Chertoff. Get gift ideas, budget advice and more from this terrific wedding resource.

70. Best Wedding Sites News Blog: This site gathers all "the latest wedding news and trends from national and local wedding companies," giving you a more comprehensive perspective on wedding planning.

71. Bridal Topics: Browse through Bridal Topics’ many categories and sub categories like reception facilities, health and beauty, transportation, formal wear and catering, or register to win free stuff to start your new life off right.

72. Cheap Chic Weddings: Use this website to "get tips for cheap weddings" with great ideas for wedding favors, toasts, rings, the honeymoon and more.

73. OurMarriage.com: From the community forum to the honeymoon checklist, OurMarriage.com has all the advice and tools a bride-to-be needs to plan her wedding.

74. Wedaholic: Brides-to-be need to check out Elle’s Wedaholic blog for all kinds of tips and ideas for planning a wedding, from picking locations for engagement photos to picking out the desserts.

75. Bridalwave: Check out blog postings for advice and updates on the newest wedding trends in jewelry, reception planning, destination weddings and more.

76. Unique Wedding Ideas From Other Brides: Find out what other brides did to save money and create a unique wedding experience, from the rehearsal dinner to the reception. You might be surprised at the ways in which their creativity paid off.

77. Perfect Wedding Guide: The online version of this publication connects brides-to-be to vendors, planning tools and all kinds of resources available to help you plan a wedding in your city.

78. Offbeat Bride: The Offbeat Bride publishes "taffeta-free alternatives for independent brides." Check out this site for ideas and tips on how to plan a wedding that’s uniquely yours.

79. Wedding Bee: The Wedding Bee is a popular "wedding blog updated daily by 20 or so real brides across the world" who love sharing their experiences with new brides-to-be as they plan their own weddings.

Calculators and Tools Stop trying to do the math in your head. These online tools and worksheets will help you organize your wedding budget the easy way.

80. One Stop Wedding Planner: We just love the organizational tool featured on One Stop Wedding Planner that helps you create a budget, manage a calendar, visualize the floor plan, pick out music, save gift ideas and much more, all online.

81. WeddingSolutions.com: In addition to supplying readers with articles and how-to guides about wedding planning, this site also includes lets you organize all of your personal planning information, set up an online scrapbook, and host a wedding website with all of your photos, event details and more.

82. Bliss! Weddings: This popular website allows readers to download free planners to help you manage every detail in the wedding planning process.

83. Web-Wedding: Become a member at Web-Wedding.com to access great planning tools and to set up your own wedding website.

84. Wedding Budget Calculator: Type in all of your expenses for the dress, music, invitations, photographer and everything else on this electronic worksheet.

85. Out of the Ordinary: This wedding budget calculator helps you work out your budget by figuring out the percentages spent on transportation, guests and more.

86. eHitched.com: This great website supports an easy-to-use wedding budget calculator to ease your financial headache.

87. Onewed: Onewed’s calculator features a lateral graph to show you how your current spending relates to the overall budget.

Miscellaneous Help From destination weddings to going green, these guides have everything you need to know to plan the wedding of your dreams.

88. Great Green Wedding: Throwing an entirely green wedding isn’t just good for the environment, it’s also more economical. Get tips on finding eco-friendly products that are also elegant by reading these posts.

89. Brides Club: From engagement parties to wedding rings, the Brides Club is an excellent resource for getting premium advice on wedding planning.

90. Outdoor Wedding Blog: Outdoor weddings can be tricky to plan. Use the resources found on this blog to help you manage your big day, even if you can’t control the weather.

91. Wedding Help: If you’re feeling overwhelmed, don’t shell out extra cash to hire a wedding planner. Turn to this blog, which dispenses free, quality wedding planning advice.

92. Wedding Planning on a Budget: This Squidoo-sponsored blog has lots of resources, links and posts about planning on a budget.

93. Wedding Planners Resource: Recent articles include "The Seven Sins of Wedding Planning" and "Online Wedding Planner and Budget Concerns for your Wedding." Enlist the help of this blogger in order to plan an affordable, beautiful celebration.

94. How to Plan an Affordable Beach Wedding: This simple guide from wikiHow provides valuable tips and ideas for planning a destination wedding.

95. Splurge! Top 5 Places to Spend Money on Your Wedding: A healthy wedding budget allows room for a little indulgence. Use this guide to help you decide where to put more of your wedding savings.

96. Top Wedding Sites: This useful directory connects brides-to-be to the best websites about wedding and honeymoon planning.

97. Destination Bride: If you’re planning a destination wedding, this site can connect you to vendors and planners in Asia, Europe, Africa, the Caribbean, Latin American and other fabulous places.

98. WeddingDetails.com: This site has everything you need to plan your wedding ceremony and reception. Read articles to get tips and ideas for planning your celebration, research honeymoon destinations and print out worksheets to manage all of your questions about getting a marriage license, planning your budget and more.

99. Plan an Affordable, Memorable Wedding: This article holds that "you can do it without going into debt or breaking the bank."

100. The Knot: Watch runway clips of the newest bridal styles, get tips and ideas for planning the reception and get styling tips to help you outfit the entire bridal party. The Knot also has great tools for managing your guest list, budget, calendar and more.

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