Planning a wedding can be an overwhelming experience. Luckily for today’s bride-to-be, there are lots of resources available, in print and on the Internet, to help plan for that special day.
This guide will provide you with resources that give guidance, advice, and inspiration for planning your wedding. They are organized into two main categories: Internet resources and print resources. This is not an exhaustive list, but is designed to provide a good starting point.
Comprehensive planning resources
WeddingChannel.com http://www.weddingchannel.com/ is a site that provides the bride-to-be with a large variety of planning resources. The site is comprised of 8 areas: Your Organizer, Fashion, Wedding Shop, Jewelry, Registry, Planning, Community and Local Vendors. Each of these features provides the bride-to-be with tools to use for planning her event, including a web-based guest list manager, budget planner, address book, and an interactive planning calendar. The Wedding Website feature allows the bride and groom to create a web site through which they can share all of the details of their event with guests near and far. In addition, there is a checklist feature that can be used to manage such things as the vendor schedule, photograph list, budget, bride’s list, bridesmaid’s list, etc. Registration is required, but free.
TheKnot.com http://www.theknot.com/ is a site launched in 1996 which offers the bride and groom numerous tools: City-to-City guides, a Wedding Gown Search with thousands of gowns to choose from and bookmark, Message Boards to ask advice and share ideas, and a free Wedding Web page for couples where they can share wedding details with their guests. The City guides provide ideas for different kinds of reception sites, vendors, and local resources based on the city you select. They also provide overviews of member’s weddings in the area which help with generating ideas for your own wedding! Registration is required, but free.
Bliss! http://www.blissweddings.com/ is a site that is simple and easy to navigate. Some of the more unique sections include invitation wording, information for second-time brides, Bridal Shower ideas and themes, Grooms, and the Floral section (with a seasonal gallery of bouquets and blooms). This site also has some of the best interactive planners in PDF formats including questions to ask various vendors, a reception/ceremony scheduler, budgeter, entire wedding planner, and photograph list.
WeddingDetails.com http://www.weddingdetails.com/ is another site with a large number of resources for the bride and groom. Of particular interest: a compilation of marriage license information for all fifty states, wedding traditions from around the world with details regarding ceremony structure, a geographical listing of bridal shows and vendors, and an “Ask the Experts” feature where one can post questions to Etiquette, Tradition, Music, Wedding Consultant, and Photography experts.
Ultimate Internet Wedding Guide http://ultimatewedding.com/ is a site which has hundreds of resources available for the bride-to-be. Some of the resources included are: a photo gallery of almost 1000 images ranging from Cakes to Portraits to Get-Away Vehicles, live chat with other couples, information about destination weddings, and sample wedding vows and ceremony ideas. This site also has a comprehensive list of traditional and modern music categorized for the ceremony and selected dances and can be listened to from the site.
Bridal Guide http://www.bridalguide.com/
Published by RFP, LLC. “We’re here to provide you with just the right amount of information, tools, and moral support throughout the exhilarating and stressful period of planning your wedding.”
Martha Stewart Weddings http://www.marthastewartweddings.com/
Published by Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia, Inc. “Offers a complete guide to all of the elements involved in planning a wedding – from bouquets to gowns, cakes to guest lists, champagne to honeymoons – reflecting the greater choices available to today’s bride and groom.”
Modern Bride http://www.modernbride.com/
Published by PRIMEDIA, Inc. “ModernBride.com..offers relevant reference materials to make that special day turn out perfect. From gift-giving ideas, wedding etiquette, financial advice and shopping information, this site has it all.”
Asian Bride Online http://www.asianbrideonline.co.uk/index.asp
“Asian Bride Online aims to be the best web resource for Asian brides and grooms, and for brides and grooms of any culture who wish to incorporate Asian elements in their wedding, from all over the world. Our wedding, reception, honeymoon and married life planning tools and articles are targeted specifically towards brides of Asian culture.”
Bibi Webzine http://www.bibimagazine.com/
“The focus of Bibi, the first bridal and fashion magazine geared towards the people of the South Asia is to provide inspiration and guidance for people of this culture who are settled in countries other than their own.”
Single Topic Resources
Choosing the Date & Getting Started
Atlanta Bridal: Getting Started
Advice on many aspects of wedding planning for the beginning stages, including how to choose a date, from an Atlanta-based wedding planning site. This getting started “tutorial” is organized well with topics for all aspects of planning. Don’t worry about this being specific to Atlanta – it’s helpful for anyone and everyone!
Finding a Wedding Consultant
Association of Bridal Consultants
National Bridal Service
Association for Wedding Professionals International
Finding a Photographer/Videographer
Selecting a Wedding Photographer
This article from the Maryland Weddings site is a comprehensive “list of in-depth questions that you may want to explore to help select the photographer who’s right for you.”
Wedding & Event Videographers Association International’s Brides Guide
Advice from the pros on how to find your videographer.
Choosing Your Wedding Videographer
Advice from the Frugal Bride site on how to select your videographer and questions you should ask before hiring.
Wedding Readings and Poetry Resources
Shakespeare Wedding Readings
“Shakespeare’s impassioned and enchanting love poetry is a favorite source for wedding vows. [This site] is a collection of the most popular passages from Shakespeare to be read by either the bride or the groom.”
Today’s Weddings’ list of selected Bible passages, poetry and prose to use in your ceremony.
Bridal shows are a great place to find vendors available in your area. Shows generally start up around September, after the wedding season, and run through early April. Two sites which list bridal shows happening around the country are:
- Bridal Shows in the USA http://www.afwpi.com/shows/index.html
- Bridal Shows International http://www.bridalshowsint.com/
Wedding Attire & Accessories
Finding a dress and accessories can be frustrating and difficult. Before making an appointment at a bridal salon or shopping at a local boutique or department store, try to get some ideas together as to the styles you prefer. Here are some sites with great gown pictures across many different styles and price ranges. Some allow you to store the pictures you like so that you have a portfolio of your preferences.
- Wedding Gown Search http://www.weddinggownsearch.com/
- The Knot Gowns http://www.theknot.com/bs_main.shtml
- The Knot Accessories http://wedding.theknot.com/wedding-accessories.aspx
- Bridal People http://www.bridalpeople.com/
Here are some other helpful resources to use when Planning a Wedding:
- Finding a DJ, Band, or other Musicians http://www.wedj.com/
Search strategy: These titles were found using the subject heading “Wedding — Planning” and “Bridal books”
The best of Martha Stewart weddings (New York: Random House International, 1999) ISBN:0609604260
This book is a compilation of all of Martha Stewart and her editors’ ideas from the magazine of the same name. Includes ideas for cakes, decorations, bouquets, favors, music, and much more.
Bridal bargains: Secrets to throwing a fantastic wedding on a realistic budget by Denise and Alan Fields (Colorado Spring, CO: Windsor Peak Press, 1999) ISBN:0962655600
This book has all you need to plan a wonderful wedding on a realistic budget. It includes information about prices for services, current trends, a list of web sites with discount gowns, wholesale flowers, and much more.
The Knot’s complete guide to weddings in the real world: the ultimate source of ideas, advice, and relief for the bride and groom and those who love them by Carley Roney (New York: Broadway Books, 1998) ISBN:0767902467
This book is published by the same company that has the comprehensive planning site listed above. The book takes you from the engagement to the honeymoon, with information on budgeting, choosing locations, planning your ceremony and reception, and hiring vendors. It also has great information on how to deal with the sometimes more tricky issues of getting married.
The Nubian wedding book: words and rituals to celebrate and plan an African-American wedding by Ingrid Sturgis (New York: Crown Publishers, 1997) ISBN:051770501X
“This comprehensive guide to planning an Afrocentric wedding features ceremonies, vows, toasts, wedding prayers, libations, recipes, suggestions for Afrocentric gift giving, and anecdotes from couples about their experiences with weddings reflecting their own rich heritage.”
Sacred threshold: rituals and readings for a wedding with spirit by Gertrude Mueller Nelson and Christopher Witt (New York: Doubleday, 1998) ISBN:0385485395
“Sacred Threshold’s five chapters discuss the general principles for creating a wedding with spirit, with guidance on choosing the right place, people, symbols, prayers, format, readings, and music.”
The Working Woman’s Wedding Planner by Susan Tatsui-D’Arcy (Englewood Cliffs, N.J: Prentice Hall, 2000) ISBN:0735201072
“The ultimate all-in-one resource for today’s busy bride-to-be—completely updated to reflect the hottest trends in tying the knot…Packed with innovative ideas for theme weddings, pointers on etiquette, and including advice on issues concerning blended families.”
* indicates some content of title available online.
*Bridal Guide New York: Rosenbloom Family Publishing, LLC. ISSN: 0882-7451.
Bride’s New York: Conde Nast Publications, Inc. ISSN: 1084-1628.
*Elegant Bride Greensboro, NC: Pace Communications, Inc. ISSN: 0896-5838
*Martha Stewart Weddings New York: Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia, Inc. ISSN: 1096-7958M
*Modern Bride New York: PRIMEDIA Consumer Magazine Group, Inc. ISSN: 0026-7546
*Southern Bride Memphis, TN.
*New England Bride Peabody, MA: New England Bride, Inc. ISSN 0744-6861
*Bibi Magazine Houston, TX: Bibi Magazine, Inc.
*Bride Again Magazine Anaheim, CA.
This pathfinder created by Ali Hakala. Updated by Sena Roth.
You may also wish to see IPL Reading Room Serials: Bridal