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Helpful Websites and Online Resources for Brides Saturday, January 15, 2011 ~ 6:12 p.m.

Best wedding websites and wedding blogs As my year and a half of wedding planning comes to a close, I can honestly say that I wouldn't have survived the process if it hadn't have been for a few absolutely amazing online resources. I am one of the first in my family/circle to get married, so most of my friends don't even know what a Chiavari chair is, let alone how to decorate it, so I often found myself relying on wedding websites, vendor reviews and blogs for ideas and recommendations.

It should go without saying that A Paper Proposal is my favorite website...I've learned more from writing here every day than I have reading anything else! Not only that, but there seems to be a serious lack of wedding blogs with a real opinion out there, and I think A Paper Proposal has a strong point of view. You may or may not agree with what I have to say, but that's besides the point! Early on in the wedding planning process, I often found myself wondering if the tall vase of flowers in the entry way would be eye-catching, or tacky? Would Spanx actually be worth the discomfort on my wedding day, or should I just wing it? It helps to get another real, honest opinion from someone else who is knee-deep in the wedding planning process, and cares about centerpieces just as much as you do!

With that said, I thought I'd help my fellow brides out and put all of my favorite wedding websites and blogs in one place for easy bookmarking :) I hope these help you as much as they did me!

Favorite Wedding Websites and Resources

Best Destination Wedding's Forum
THE most helpful website for destination brides, hands down. When Dale and I first decided to go away and get married, I was absolutely clueless about weddings, let alone a wedding in another country. The forum at Best Destination Wedding is filled with destination brides getting married in Mexico, the Carribean and select coastal areas here in the U.S. including Hawaii and Florida. I was not only able to confidently make a decision on which resort would be best to host our wedding, but also exactly which side of the beach would be best for a reception and where the most private area on the resort is for a ceremony. All without ever having been there! There were several brides on the forum who, unlike myself, were able to do a site visit, or had stayed at the resort in the past, who graciously shared their pictures and tips with the rest of us. There are entire threads dedicated to welcome bags, DIY templates for passport invitations, destination wedding-specific etiquette, vendor reviews, tips for traveling with your wedding dress, and basically anything else you can possibly think of. And if any bride ever has a bad experience with a photographer, a wedding planner or florist, we all hear about it on the forums, which definitely takes away a lot of the apprehension of hiring someone you've never met in person before. Best site ever for destination brides.

Style Me Pretty, 100 Layer Cake & Martha Stewart Weddings
You've probably heard of at least one of these, as they're all pretty popular websites among brides and showcase a little bit of everything. But they aren't too complicated or difficult to navigate (like The Knot; although Martha Stewart is definitely getting there), which makes them worthy of including in my list!

Elizabeth Medina Photography
This particular website won't be too helpful to anyone who isn't planning a destination wedding in Mexico, but I did want to point out that wedding photography blogs are extremely helpful. Especially when you can find one or two photographers based in the same area as your wedding venue who post their work online regularly.

Vista Print & Zazzle
These two printing websites are great for any and all brides looking to save a little bit of money. Just upload your programs, escort cards or menus right onto the website, or actually design them there using one of the site's many templates. You can order prints on paper, mugs, tote bags, key chains, t-shirts, you name it...Vista Print, in particular, always has a ton of great deals, too - even FREE stuff. Yes, I said, "FREE".

Trip Advisor
This one shouldn't come as a surprise as a great resource when researching wedding and honeymoon destinations, as well as the local hotels for your out-of-town guests.

Wedding Gawker
Someone actually just told me about this website a week or two ago. It's a site with just pictures. There are a ton of photos, all submitted by various wedding vendors, blogs and fellow brides, laid out rather simply in order to provide wedding inspiration for everything from flowers, to wedding dresses, desserts, centerpieces and venues.The images almost always link back to the website it came from, too, which also makes it a great place to find talented vendors and new wedding websites.

Beaucoup.com, Wedding Paper Divas & For Your Party
Great for wedding paper, favors, gifts and other random items every good wedding requires!


Etsy
If you read my site regularly, you probably know that I'm a huge fan. Looking for something completely random that you know isn't available at your favorite mall in town? Need your "Something Old" or "Something Blue?" Want to find a "gently used" veil for cheap? You'll find all of that here. The site has a few different sections, including items that are "Handmade," "Vintage" and "Supplies," which is then divided into different subject categories including "Weddings," "Art," "Toys," "Woodworking," "Holidays," "Jewelry" and more. It's the best-of Ebay without the hassel of bidding, having to weed through the fakes or deal with shady vendors. Generally, all of the Etsy sellers are professional and will do a good job, because they're usually producing their own pieces, which they then put their own names on.


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