Wedding planning apps help plan your big day

Weddings are big business.

According to a survey by The Knot, the average wedding costs more than $35,000.

For the 13,000 U.S.-based brides and grooms who completed the survey, that cost didn’t include the honeymoon.

When my wife and I were married in 2000, we looked for inexpensive options such as the church, flowers and reception location.

Married friends suggested we look at wedding websites to find deals and make plans for the big day. We turned to, a wedding planning site launched in 1997 with a mission of reducing the anxiety most couples feel about planning weddings.

Back then, there really weren’t many online planning options for couples.

Twenty years later and The Knot still rules the web-based, wedding-planning world. Its success is due in large part to an easy-to-navigate website and simplifying the process.

Some of The Knot’s best features are found in app form.

So, for my family (we have three weddings this year), friends and loyal readers, here are two of my favorite wedding apps: The Knot and Joy.

The Knot. With information, ideas and advice on everything from wedding cakes and icing flavors to dresses and tuxedos, The Knot has become a clearinghouse for every tiny detail. Because weddings can be very detail-heavy, The Knot offers checklists for every step, including a robust guest-list manager for planning meals and seating arrangements.

Budgeting is one feature that has received a considerable update on The Knot since the late-1990’s when my wife and I were planning. At over $35,000 a pop, it’s no wonder why budgeting a wedding is such an important step. In fact, it’s one of the first places The Knot suggests couples focus their attention.

Download the app on your Apple- or Android-enabled device and get personalized budget breakdowns based on average wedding costs for things like rings, entertainment and limousine services. If your budget is way below the national average, then The Knot’s free budget tool is a must-have.

Joy. How I wish this app (and smartphones) were around on our wedding day.

My wife and I thought it would be fun to put disposable cameras at each table. What we developed were mostly blurry pictures of smiling friends clearly having a good time.

Thanks to smartphones, we no longer need disposable cameras. But we still need a way for wedding guests to share with us those amazing pictures.

To solve this problem, Joy, a free wedding-planning app available for Apple and Android devices, allows you to collect images from guests and share them with the rest of your guests. It serves as kind of a private social network for connecting friends and family long after the happy day is over.

Have a favorite wedding app? Share it with me at and let me know how you used it to plan the big day.

Dr. Adam Earnheardt chairs the department of communication at Youngstown State University. Read his blog at and follow him on Twitter at @adamearn.

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