You may have noticed that, on occasion, I like to write about more than just food and what Mr. Foodie and I are doing in these posts. One thing I discovered when I was planning our wedding was that I really like that sort of thing! It was overwhelming at times, but I had a blast. Just like anything I do, I went a little overboard with the researching, pinning, and planning at first. One of the hardest parts is knowing when to pull up so you don’t end up taking a nosedive. For me that consisted of two things initially: a) limiting the diy, crafty things to a few special touches I wanted to add to the big day and b) not downloading every wedding app recommended in the numerous wedding magazines and articles that I read. It can be immensely tempting. So many cool features! So many helpful guides! But what I realized was that I needed to be spending my precious little wedding planning time (hello, dissertation and full-time job!) actually planning it and not learning how to navigate new tools when the old ones would work just fine. I’m not saying you shouldn’t experiment if you want to; just don’t feel like you have to pile on an already monumental undertaking when you have other options.
You’re probably like, what?! How does Shazam help me plan my wedding? Look, some people are immensely gifted at putting a DJ list together in their heads, remembering song names and album titles, and owning a bunch of music already that will work well for getting down on the dance floor. I was not one of those people. It started innocently enough one morning while driving to work – I heard a song on the radio that was so good that I ended up jamming to it mid-traffic like no one was watching my silly butt dancing in the front seat. I was like “this would make a great song for our list.” But I didn’t know the song name or artist, so I Shazamed it. Then forgot about it. Then remembered it when I went to begin my DJ list – and was oh-so-happy to find that Shazam keeps track of all the songs I look up in a helpful list. From then on, I Shazamed every song whether I knew who sang it or not so I could keep a record of everything we liked that we wanted to add to our list. Later, I would update the list using the app. While I’m sure there are much nicer, fancier apps out there that will help you build your playlist, this one worked fine for us!
I plan on writing a future post about how Mr. Foodie and I use this helpful file-sharing app to keep our lives (and finances) in order, but for now, I’ll stick to how Dropbox kept me sane during the wedding planning process. Since we already had a shared folder at that point, we started a “wedding” folder and went from there. What I loved about this was being able to access my wedding stuff on the go at any time. If I needed to check a contract detail, there it was, in its little folder, ready to view on my phone. What’s more, Mr. Foodie and I could keep each other informed as new stages of the planning unfolded. We could update the budget spreadsheet if we placed a deposit or the invite list as we received rsvps. There are, of course, many file sharing applications and programs. I would urge you to use the one you are most comfortable with as long as it allows you to organize things into folders and sub-folders. And make sure that your partner, wedding planner, and whoever else is helping you, has access to it. Some of the decisions you make, deposits you put down, and information you gather happens a full year away from the actual date – try to have redundant systems to keep track of these items.
As noted in #1, I used Pinterest a lot to begin the wedding planning process. I was already comfortable with this app because I use it to plan all my foodie parties. As anyone who has been to one of my parties can attest, rarely does everything I’ve pinned for that event end up in any way part of the reality. I look at Pinterest boards more like vision boards. I might grab a color from that, a shape from that, a mood from that, but I learned early on to avoid trying to turn my parties into Pinterest-perfect things, and unless you employ a food stylist, lighting designer, and professional grade crafting equipment, you should as well. Let it be a space to explore your wedding dreams and desires, but don’t let it overrun your planning. I’ve already written a cautionary tale about Pinterest pitfalls. That being said, I found it incredibly useful to start the wedding planning process. My advice? Create multiple boards to start – at least one for your dress, one for your flowers, and one for everything else. Consider keeping some boards private – unless you want everyone chiming in on every single conceptual pin you post. Finally, go back later and delete pins that you’ve moved on from. After I made some decisions about wedding decor, I deleted some pins so I wouldn’t be overwhelmed, tempted, or confused about what decisions I had already made.
4) Google Keep
This is the note-taking app I use, but this advice can be applied to whatever note-taking app you like. I just recommend that you do, in fact, use a note-taking app for wedding planning. As organized as you can be, there will be information that is chucked at you out of context throughout the process. Your mom will leave a voicemail telling you that you *have* to invite so-and-so and your sleep-deprived brain will promptly forget about it until she’s staring you down at your next Sunday dinner wondering what happened to that invite. I found Keep super helpful with all kinds of note-taking related to wedding planning. Sometimes I’d be in the middle of something at work and I’d be like “oh! I need to make sure I get that information for that vendor.” Knowing myself well, I would type a quick note in Keep, and every week I’d keep an appointment with myself to look at the notes I took in that app to make sure I had addressed them.
I did not write this post to discourage you from making your wedding planning journey easier on yourself by downloading a cool new app. But I did write it to a) get you to consider the kinds of tools that you will definitely need at some point in this long haul and b) to reconsider some of the apps you use on the regular as possible options for wedding planning.
One day I’ll tell you how being a little analog saved our wedding from a major disaster, but that is a story for a future post 😉
Did you use a new/old app for your wedding planning? I’d love to hear how it went!
For more Fairfax Foodie adventures, follow us on instagram @fairfaxfoodie