Wedding Resources

Welcome to Love & Lavender’s wedding resource section! As a wedding blogger, wedding planner and previous bride myself, I have used a lot of planning related tools. There a loads of them out there, some of which are amazing and others not so much.

To try to help you separate the good from the not-so-good, we’ve curated a list of companies, tools, links and resources that we strongly recommend to couples planning their big day.

I’ve personally used each recommendation on this page. Many of the resources listed are companies that I have worked with personally, and that I highly recommend. In some cases, the products were crucial to planning my own wedding!

Before getting started with this list of helpful resources that I love and trust, an important disclosure:

Please note that some of the links below are affiliate links, and at no additional cost to you, I will earn a commission if you decide to make a purchase. I make the recommendations below because they are helpful in planning a wedding, not because of the small commissions I earn if you decide to buy something. Please do not use the links below unless you feel that they will help you with your dream wedding.

Most Recommended

THE TOOLS YOU NEED TO

PLAN YOUR WEDDING EVERY STEP OF THE WAY

A wedding requires a few essentials in order to make it happen: a dress, rings, and wedding invitations! The recommended resources below made my wedding planning process easier and I’m confident they will make your wedding planning process easier too!

Minted logoMINTED: #1 FOR STATIONERY

All of my wedding stationery came from Minted. Why? Because they’re a top choice for affordable and stylish wedding invitations, wedding stationery goods, and unique artsy gifts.

Minted’s popularity stems from the fact that they source designs from hundreds of independent artists all around the world. There is a stationery style for every theme out there – rustic, whimsical, or modern to name a few.

I highly recommend Minted for your wedding stationery. Their online visual tool is easy to use and their customer service is outstanding.

MINTED

#1 FOR STATIONERY

All of my wedding stationery came from Minted. Why? Because they’re a top choice for affordable and stylish wedding invitations, wedding stationery goods, and unique artsy gifts.

Minted’s popularity stems from the fact that they source designs from hundreds of independent artists all around the world. There is a stationery style for every theme out there – rustic, whimsical, or modern to name a few.

I highly recommend Minted for your wedding stationery. Their online visual tool is easy to use and their customer service is outstanding.

ETSY – #1 For Everything Uniquely Wedding

Etsy is one of my favourite marketplaces to peruse.  Not only is it a fantastic place to find unique handmade gifts for those you love, and maybe one for yourself as well, but the selection for wedding items is endless.

You can find everything from dresses, jewellery, robes, favors, to stationery, wood rounds, parasols, and photo-shoot backdrops. You name it, they probably have it.

I highly recommend using Etsy for a lot of your wedding shopping.

ETSY

#1 For Everything Uniquely Wedding

Etsy is one of my favourite marketplaces to peruse.  Not only is it a fantastic place to find unique handmade gifts for those you love, and maybe one for yourself as well, but the selection for wedding items is endless.

You can find everything from dresses, jewellery, robes, favors, to stationery, wood rounds, parasols, and photo-shoot backdrops. You name it, they probably have it.

I highly recommend using Etsy for a lot of your wedding shopping.

amazon_logo

AMAZON – #1 ONLINE WEDDING REGISTRY

​Amazon is by far the largest online wedding registry. The service is easy to use and free to register.

You can register with over 300 different brands, sign up for experiences, honeymoon travel and cash funds. It’s the perfect site for bigger gifts, and a place where guests can split the gift fund.

I highly recommend using Amazon’s service to your own Amazon wedding registry.

If you would like to see a list of other wedding registries that you can register for, please check out our Wedding Registry Review Page.

AMAZON

#1 FOR ONLINE WEDDING REGISTRIES

​Amazon is by far the largest online wedding registry. The service is easy to use and free to register.

You can register with over 300 different brands, sign up for experiences, honeymoon travel and cash funds. It’s the perfect site for bigger gifts, and a place where guests can split the gift fund.

I highly recommend using Amazon’s service to your own Amazon wedding registry.

If you would like to see a list of other wedding registries that you can register for, please check out our Wedding Registry Review Page.

Tools for Wedding Planning

Print a FREE Wedding Checklist for your binder

SIMPLIFY: 75+ PRINTABLES TO HELP YOU ORGANIZE YOUR WEDDING

We are in the midst of putting together a collection of 75+ printable pages of wedding planning aids to help keep you stay on track and organized. Examples include: budget, guests list, or your wedding day-of timeline. Stay tuned!

THE WEDDING BOOK

This book is one of my best thrift store finds ever! It helped me plan my own wedding, and I still turn to it for inspiration.

If you prefer reading an actual book to clicking through web pages, I highly recommend this wedding planning book.

WEDDING FAIRS, SHOWS & EXHIBITIONS

It’s always fun to round up the ladies and spend the afternoon at a wedding fair. What better way to meet with local vendors and speak face-to-face, take a tour of a venue, watch practical demos, attend a catwalk show with the latest wedding trends, and (of course) sip on a glass of bubbly.

PINTEREST

For my own wedding, I created moodboards on Pinterest for every aspect of my big day. They really helped give guidance to suppliers and others involved.

I thoroughly recommend doing this, but be careful because Pinterest should come with a warning label — it’s addictive!

Whether you’re looking for dress ideas,  cake ideas, or you want theme ideas, there are endless stunning images to inspire.

WEDDING BLOGS

Did you know there’s a list of top 100 wedding blogs?  Yikes! As a bride that’s a lot of wedding inspiration.

Wedding blogs come in all shapes, sizes and themes. Find the best one that suits your needs and bookmark it!

P.S. Of course we’re part of that top 100 list!

WEDDING WIRE

If you’ve never planned a wedding before, are getting married in a location you don’t live in, or simply feeling overwhelmed thinking about researching all the different vendors options, then I recommended using a wedding vendor listing like Wedding Wire.

They are a great online starting point and have the largest directory of local wedding vendors in the U.S. and Canada, accompanied by over 3 million wedding reviews. You can quickly search and narrow your results down by location, type, price, or rating.

WEDDINGBEE

Any wedding bees out there already? Think of Weddingbee as your go to wedding forum.

With 4.5 million brides and wedding enthusiasts visiting their site every month, if you need to pose a question, looking for support, or need a good vent sesh, Weddingbee is your go to resource to meet other brides in the same boat.

SPOTIFY

Out of all the wedding planning, the one things that I truly found challenging was the music for the reception.  In fact, our wedding even had a music request form on our wedding website, in hopes that guests would suggest songs/bands they like.  Of course, it didn’t help that I waited until the very last minute and spent a whole evening quickly coming up with a playlist for the DJ that was due the next morning.

There’s always the classic wedding songs, but if you are looking for a good ol’ dance party, it’s hard to come up with a list of songs covering 3 hours that all age ranges can appreciate and are still meaningful to the both of you.

I have only stumbled across Spotify recently, but if I had known about it back in 2014, it would have made my life a whole lot easier.  It’s great for both song inspiration and creating the perfect playlists for all the moments during the big day, including your getting ready tunes through to your very last dance and everything in-between. Not to mention you can share your playlists with friends or the DJ, unlike my painful process of pulling song titles and artist together on a word document.

Spotify will help make the process of  searching for songs and creating playlists SO much easier.

SHAZAM

Have you ever been sitting on the couch watching TV and there is a catchy tune playing in the background that you just need to know what it is?

Well, that is exactly what happened to me while trying to come up with my grand entrance song to walk down the aisle.

I won’t tell you the TV show I was watching, but it was played during a wedding scene and the song was perfect. I spent the better part of an hour trying to find the song after I heard it … if only I had known about Shazam.

Shazam will identify any music within seconds, even ones from your favorite TV shows.

(P.S. My ceremony entrance song was Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros’ “Home” by Vitamin String Quartet – a beautiful upbeat song if you are looking for one.)

SKIPPER

Pre-arranging hotel options for out-of-town guests is a little courtesy that will go a long way, especially if they are unfamiliar with the area.

Trying to arrange hotel-room blocks yourself can be a huge hassle.  That is why Skipper is so handy. All you have to do is put your wedding date, location and number of rooms needed, and Skipper’s booking agent will negotiate deals on your behalf and email contracts to secure the group rates.

Smaller groups can get a discounted rate and parties that need more than 9 rooms can arrange up to 4 different hotel options. This is definitely a handy site to know about.

Tools for Staying Organized

MINTED WEDDING WEBSITE

Yup, Minted again!

Back in 2014, I used MyWedding.com to create a wedding website. At the time, they had a partnership with Minted, whereby you could integrate a stationery theme into a website.

Nowadays, Minted offers their own wedding website builder — a feature rich tool that literally takes 10 minutes to setup.

I highly recommend using Minted for your wedding website, especially for matching stationery.

TRELLO

You can’t really plan a wedding without some sort of scheduler or spreadsheet.

If you’re old school, a simple wedding planning notebook will do. Or if you’d prefer to go digital then Trello is worth a look.

I like to think of Trello as a flexible project management and organising app, as well as a fantastic wedding planning tool. It takes some time to get used to the infinite flexibility, but Andrew and I use it fairly frequently in our business to organise projects.

I also use it for my destination wedding clients. You can upload files, pictures, store ideas, schedules, tasks and create checklists, all inside Trello.  Best of all, it’s free!

GOOGLE DRIVE

If you have a Gmail account and you haven’t used Google Drive, you are missing out.

Everything from photos, PDFs, Word Documents and Excel spreadsheets can be stored, uploaded and best of all SHARED.  You can also share a document with a view only status or allow others (who have a gmail account) the ability to edit your actual documents themselves.

Google Calendar all interlinks, keeping everything and everyone on task and organized.

GOOGLE CALENDAR

A calendar app should be simple to use. That’s exactly how I would describe Google calendar. Andrew and I share calendars so we are both on the same page at all times.

It a fantastic tool to use as a couple when planning your wedding.  You will know exactly when to schedule the tasty cake sampling appointment with your baker, and see exactly when there might be possible time conflicts with each other.

THE KNOT

TheKnot.com has a wedding budget calculator that is by far my favorite tool for quickly creating a wedding budget for your big day.

It provides a personalized budget breakdown based on average wedding costs.  And, it’s great because both you and your spouse can login to see your wedding budget allocation across every category.

I highly recommend using The Knot as a tool to keep track of your wedding budget.

Resources for Keeping Healthy

PREMARITAL PROGRAMS

I know, I know, you are fine as a couple and don’t need any premarital help!

The more skills you learn, the better chance you will have at lasting marital bliss. Learning about the marriage relationship can be daunting in real time. Equip yourself upfront to learn about things like:

  • How to fight fair
  • How to openly and clearly ask for what you need
  • Llisten and truly understanding what the other person is saying
  • Making up after arguments
  • Reaching compromises

Those skills and more are all important skills that are learned, and are not innate.

Many churches and temples require couples to attend a premarital program of some kind, but for those of you who are not getting married within a faith, courses are still available to you.

PAIRS and PREP are two great programs that are offered nation wide and are worth a look.

  1. PAIRS (PRACTICAL APPLICATION OF RELATIONSHIP SKILLS)
  2. PREP (THE PREVENTION AND RELATIONSHIP ENHANCEMENT

Bonus: Depending on your state, these courses may even offer a discount on your marriage licence if you attend.

WEIGHT WATCHERS

For all you brides who are looking to shed some pounds before the big day,  I have been there and it can definitely be a struggle, especially for us emotional eaters.  The wedding planning period is an emotional time, and all those quick fix foods turn into easy comforts.

I have done Weight Watchers on two separate occasions both with great success.  The program makes it super easy to look up food and track points using their app.

I think WW keeps you accountable. When you go to reach for that second cookie, it makes you think twice, and the cookie looks a little less appetising. It definitely encourages you to eat more fruits and vegetable, mainly because with the system they are pointless!

I love their program and highly suggest it.

Tools for Transferring Money to Wedding Vendors

TRANSFERWISE & CURRENCYFAIR

For anyone having a destination wedding in another country, transferring money to make a payment overseas can be costly, especially when you have to make multiple payments to vendors.

The two leaders in peer-to-peer currency exchange markets online are Transferwise and Currencyfair. Both services offer unbeatable exchange rates, low fees, quick transaction times and no paperwork.

The service is quick, online, secure and will save you unnecessary bank fees.  I suggest these services to all my destination wedding clients. As we currently live in Europe, we also use it for our personal bank transfers.

We used transfer wise – great recommendation! They had very good reviews and it was so easy to use.

– Amanda C

Love & Lavender Destination Wedding Client 

Resources to Find Wedding Stationery

MINTED

It’s worth mentioning again: all of my wedding stationery came from Minted.

Why? Because they’re a top choice for affordable and stylish wedding invitations, wedding stationery goods, beautiful fabric, and fine art.

FREE PRINTABLES

If wedding stationery is not high on your priority list, or there isn’t a lot of room left in the budget, check out free printable options like the one we host here! We have invitation templates, RSVP templates, Save-the-date templates and more.

Download our free printables for your wedding, birthday, or other event.

VISTA PRINT

We’ve used Vistaprint from time to time for both business purposes as well as personal stationery.

If you need a quality online printing company for your DIY stationery, budget friendly invites, business cards or calendars, I highly recommend checking out Vistaprint.

PAPERLESS POST

An alternative to the traditional printed stationery is the e-invite.  If this has peaked your interest, I have just the site for you: Paperless Post.

Now I am not talking beta version, chintzy, poorly designed email card that I am sure you have received in the past — perhaps to attend a baby shower?

Paperless Post offers you the ability to send your invitations online, with a large beautiful selection of designed invites that even come out of an envelope when the receiver opens it.

I am still traditional when it comes to stationery. If you are an eco-concious and green bride (or just want to save a bit of cash), Paperless Post is a great resource.

Resources for Wedding Day Attire

ETSY

Etsy is definitely worth mentioning again, especially when it comes to wedding day fashion.  There are loads of new, handmade, and vintage items available.  If you were thinking of a custom made gown, you can even find that too.  It’s a really fantastic marketplace for all things wedding.

ZAPPOS

Zappos is my favorite online shoe haven!

I send all my brides there for wedding shoes. Here’s why: Zappos offers free shipping AND free return shipping with a 365-day return policy. The wedding shoe section currently has 895 pairs from top brands.

Unrivaled customer service and selection means Zappos makes the list to find the perfect pair of heels for your big day!

See top designers that our brides choose for their big day:  Ultimate List of Popular Designer Bridal Shoes 

CLASSIC VEILS

Okay, I may be a little biased on this one because it is my own online wedding store!

Classic Veils is a fashion led, curated collection of beautiful ready-to-wear and made-to-measure bridal veils created with the highest quality materials at affordable prices.

I would love the opportunity to work with you to create your very own custom bridal veil.

GROOM TIES

My husband launched a necktie company in 2014 to help grooms look great.

If you need one, five, or even ten neckties for the groom and groomsmen, check out his online neckwear store.

GroomTies.com for all the men in your wedding party.

DAVIDS BRIDAL

We are big fans of David’s Bridal. They are super affordable, and for us affordable luxury brides, that’s a big deal!

I used them for my graduation gown and also wore a DB bridesmaids gown at a friend’s wedding.  Shops are located across North America, and you can shop online.

NORDSTROMS

Nordstrom has a large selection of designers, styles, and cuts for your bridesmaids dresses. They carry amazing designers like After Six, Monique Lhuillier and our favorite, Adrianna Papell — we see bridesmaids wear Papell dresses over and over again in real weddings.

They offer gowns in all shapes and sizes. Beautiful gowns that can be worn again, gowns that will be perfect for the mismatched look or classic bridesmaids styles, you name it they have it.

Their return policy is fantastic and you can shop from the comfort of your home or in-store. I highly recommend looking at Nordstom for your bridal party attire.

BLUE NILE

A trusted, easy to use, and service oriented diamond jewelry website that has been online since 1999.

Andrew used Blue Nile’s education center to research my engagement ring. He would have purchased from Blue Nile had it not been for my 30 year family jeweler. However, Andrew’s brother did use Blue Nile with great success to purchase a diamond engagement ring.

Blue Nile: A Pacific Northwest based diamond jewelry company that I definitely recommend.

Resources for Planning Your Honeymoon

TYPES OF HONEYMOONS

When it comes to honeymoon options, the choices are nearly endless. So, to help you out we have narrowed them down and created a mini guide to The Top 10 Types of Honeymoons.

Whether you want to share an unforgettable adventure together as newlyweds or just hide away at a luxurious resort, this guide will point you in the right direction towards a romantic honeymoon you will most certainly remember.

THE ULTIMATE GUIDE TO PLANNING A HONEYMOON

Honeymoon planning can feel overwhelming, so in our Ultimate Guide to Planning a Honeymoon, we answer all the questions you might have around the most anticipated vacation you will probably ever take.

We have also included a fun bonus Splurge Vs. Steal Honeymoon Destination Idea section. We take a look at unique and luxurious honeymoon locales and compare similar places that offer a much bigger bang for your buck.

Our objective is to help you plan the honeymoon of your dreams without going over budget!

HONEYMOON DESTINATIONS TRAVEL GUIDE

Honeymoons come in all shapes, sizes and budgets, but so do travel destinations. To help you decide which location best suites your honeymoon destination wish list, we break down all the go to honeymoon hot spots.

We dish on all the pros and cons of each destination to help you make the right decision on where you want to spend your romantic getaway as newlyweds!

HONEYMOON HOTEL & RESORT REVIEWS

We are always on the hunt to review unrivaled luxury honeymoon experiences from around the world.

We selectively choose hotels and resorts, visit, experience and review them in person — with our white gloves on and clip boards in hand!

We look for properties that are boutique gems, steeped in history, exude romance and luxury, and provide excellent service.  Our aim is to help you and your new spouse find the perfect romantic luxury hotel.

HOTELS.COM

Hotels.com is a great resource to find a honeymoon hotel.

Both my husband and I have used Hotels.com on many occasions. We love the fact that, much like a coffee card, when you collect 10 nights the 11th night is free!

We highly recommend using Hotels.com for hotel travel needs. ​

CRUISE DIRECT

Cruise Direct specializes in cruise vacations.

The website is a valuable travel service for finding and booking amazing cruise deals. Their customer service is always warm and helpful, whether by email or phone.

It is no secret that we love cruises – a great way to travel and a perfect honeymoon option.  CD is at the top of my list for cruise bookings, followed by Vacationstogo.com

After the Wedding Resources

WEDDING GOWN PRESERVATION CO.

Whether you want to pass your dress down to future generations or just want to keep it for a meaningful memento, once you have said your I-Do’s, it’s important to start your wedding dress preservation ASAP!

I highly suggest trying a wedding dress preservation kit. This particular company (Wedding Gown Preservation Co.) offers a prepaid dress cleaning and preserving kit.

You simply mail out your dress to be preserved. Don’t worry, the box has serious padding and shipping insurance.

NAME CHANGE SERVICES

At this point, you might be feeling a bit overwhelmed by the name change process.

Here’s a list of companies we recommend for those who wish to change their name after marriage.

Just be sure to check with you state government to see if they are partnered with the name change company in order to fast track the entire process.​

PHOTOBOOK

On average, a bride-to-be will take 342 photos during her wedding planning process.  ​You may choose a couple of those photos to display on your wall, and consider creating a keepsake photobook.​

I used Photobook to create a photo album of my trip to Italy when I got engaged. Spend as little or as much time as you want using their interactive tools or Readybook templates. I highly recommend Photobook for making a beautiful wedding album.

BLURB

Andrew used Blurb in the past to create vacation albums and it’s his #1 pick. He loved using the offline book editing tool to professionally edit and layout the album. Even if you are not a designer, Blurb’s software makes it pretty easy!

He highly recommends Blurb to create and publish a book, magazine, ebook, or wedding album for that matter.

What Wedding Resources Would You Add?
Let Me Know In The Comments Below!

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