13 Ways to Plan a Wedding Online – Brides

Even before the pandemic forced us all indoors, engaged couples were increasingly relying on technology to put together their big days. After all, now that we attend exercise classes, conduct therapy sessions, and even shop for cars online, it was only a matter of time before wedding planning went digital, too. 
With the world still connecting virtually, more and more exciting services are popping up to help you plan without ever having to set foot in a salon or store. Whether you wish to shop for dresses or jewelry, or even do a pre-wedding makeup trial run, there’s a good chance you can do it right at your computer—and at a time that works with your busy schedule. 
Ready to start planning your wedding online? Read on for 13 exciting brands and product launches that can help you do it. 
Design by Tiana Crispino
For folks who don’t regularly wear jewelry, picking out a wedding band can feel pretty daunting. How are you supposed to know your ring size, understand the differences between precious metals, or ensure the style you select is something you’ll want to wear for the rest of your life? Thankfully, Hitched’s at-home ring shopping kits simplify the process. Each kit comes with a sizing tool, handy explainer cards about the materials the rings are made from, and five real ring styles for you to try on from the comfort of your home. Shoppers have the option of curating their own styles (virtual one-on-ones are available for help) or selecting from one of Hitched’s pre-chosen groupings. Once you’ve made your selection, simply ship the jewelry back in the prepaid mailer, and they’ll ship your ring right to you. To ensure your at-home appointment is a success, Hitched offers an app to help you estimate your ring size.
Real talk: For something that you only carry down the aisle and pose with for a few portraits, a bouquet can come with quite a hefty price tag. If you’d rather invest your budget elsewhere, or perhaps are planning an elopement or small wedding that won’t feature many blooms, consider the options from Wedding Flowers for Rent. Co-founded by Stephanie Hall of Estelle Colored Glass—add a few wine glasses to your registry, stat!—this company specializes in elegant silk bouquets in a variety of styles that look so good in pictures, no one will know they’re not real. (Also available: aisle markers, centerpieces, floral walls, and more.) Selection and shipping is a breeze—they offer coordinating sets, and each item comes with a return label—so you can cross another item off your wedding planning to-do list and save money in the process.
Is there anything more tedious than trying to coordinate with a group of busy friends for a destination bachelorette party? The Bach app was created specifically to minimize the headache. On it, you and your crew can build an itinerary, track and split expenses, group chat, and even book unique experiences. The app also comes with guides to popular destinations such as Las Vegas, Chicago, and Charleston, so you’ll never be lacking things to do.
Design by Tiana Crispino
A wedding is a huge financial undertaking, and not everyone has the cash reserves to pay for it all upfront. To cover costs, you could take out a wedding loan, or rack up debt on a high-interest credit card. Or, you could take advantage of a new wedding fintech service: Maroo. Launched in June 2021, the “buy now, pay later” financing option allows couples to bundle their invoices together and split them into equal payments over the course of three to 24 months from 0% APR. Event cancellation insurance is included with the process (though it does not cover COVID-related cancellations), as are 12 free sessions with a certified financial planner from Status Money  

When it comes to wedding planning, it can sometimes feel like there are only two options: Do it all yourself, or spend a significant chunk of your budget on a professional planner. If you’re looking for something in-between, try Power Couple, a monthly wedding planning subscription service. For a $179 monthly fee, which auto-cancels on your wedding month, you’ll have round-the-clock access to a suite of digital planning tools (think: budget tracker, guest list RSVPs, a wedding website, and more), plus monthly one-on-one video calls with a seasoned planner to talk through big decisions. Have a wedding-related emergency pop up? Power Couple offers 24/7 support for tricky situations.
The free-to-use iPad app Table Planner turns the poster board and sticky tab approach to seating charts into something entirely digital. Import your guest list, determine the number of tables, and then drag and drop each attendee into a spot. You can move folks from one table to another, switch their positions around a table, work in tandem with your spouse (or parents or in-laws) by inviting them to collaborate on a plan, and even tag guests with helpful notes such as their entree choice, relationship to the couple, and whether or not they’ve RSVPed. When your chart is complete, you can export your creation as both a floor plan and a table list.

Weddings require multiple contracts with multiple vendors, and each of those vendors comes with their own payment schedule. If you’re in search of a way to stay on top of it all without completely overtaking your Google calendar, try Rock Paper Coin. The service gives you one central place to store contracts and manage invoices for all of your vendors. Invite your vendors to the service with an email auto form, connect your payment methods, input payment due dates, and then schedule autopay so you don’t have to worry about missing something and incurring a late fee. Just note: if you opt to pay via credit card instead of with bank accounts, you will incur a two percent fee on charges.

In wedding design, personal details win over Pinterest trends every time. While there’s no shortage of opportunities to personalize (think: invitations, signage, signature drinks), favors are one place where a couple’s quirkier side can really shine. And if you want something unique and sweet, Sugar Lab can 3-D print almost any shape or design you can dream up as an edible sugar confection. Also fun: their playful sugar cake toppers, which can be created in your likeness with a simple iPhone scan.

Design by Tiana Crispino
A lot goes into picking out your wedding dress. If you’re feeling overwhelmed by the process—or maybe don’t have the time to schedule an in-person salon visit—give Grace & Ivory a try. The company offers an at-home dress try-on experience that’s much more low-stress. Pick your samples (the styles veer classic and romantic, with a few fashion-forward surprises), invite friends over to help you measure and make your pick (your kit comes with a measuring tape and detailed how-to guides), then ship the samples back with the prepaid mailer. Three to four months later, your custom-made gown will arrive at your doorstep. Like a dress, but want to change the train or swap the neckline? Grace & Ivory stylists are available to talk through customizations.

When your bridesmaids live all over the country, it can be next to impossible to get everyone together to pick out their outfits. Dress company Azazie makes it easier for the decision to happen collectively, and on everyone’s own time, with their virtual showroom. With the free-to-use service, your crew can browse dresses together, share comments on different styles, and the bride can even assign specific dresses to specific ’maids. (Helpful if you’re going for that coordinated-but-not-perfectly-matching look.) The automatic order reminders and ability to dictate fabric selection ensures that everyone will receive the right dress, in the right color, well ahead of the wedding.

Originally launched as The Groomsman Suit in 2016, this affordable suit startup prioritizes flexible shopping for digital shoppers. SuitShop customers looking to do an at-home try-on fill out an easy-to-follow fit finder, then are shipped a sample suit—and any desired matching accessories—for a seven-day trial period. (Suit options are available for women, men, and kids; Prices typically fall under $200.) Also available: virtual appointments and group coordination services with order reminders that ensure everyone gets to the wedding with the correct outfit.
A virtual makeup trial? Yes, it can be done! Blushington’s one-on-one Zoom bridal makeup trial service is the perfect opportunity to try your hand at doing your own glam. A senior-level artist will begin the process by customizing their tutorial to your desired look and will recommend products and skincare options to round out your arsenal ahead of the trial. The actual trial lasts up to 90 minutes, during which you’ll mirror your artist as they walk you through, step by step, how to do everything from perfecting contour to applying false lashes. Guidance is also available for getting your hair just right.

Buying makeup online can feel super intimidating, especially when it comes to picking out important base products like foundation and concealer. For these items, Rihanna’s Fenty Beauty already has one of the most all-encompassing shade ranges in the biz, but they’ve recently amplified the experience with the introduction of a new “Try Shade On” capability on their website. Pick any of their products—including lip gloss and blushes—and the site’s YouCam Makeup technology will virtually coat your visage—in the appropriate spots, of course—with the hue. And if you need help narrowing down ahead of your virtual try-on, give the shade finder quiz a go, or book a virtual consultation.

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