Best Wedding Planning Apps

Zola’s app wins for its impressive array of planning tips and tricks

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Wedding planning apps offer time-saving services, such as budget calculators, venue/vendor databases, RSVP/gift trackers, honeymoon booking tools, and more. Whether you’re looking to find that dream venue, design custom invitations, search for an overseas vendor, or simply figure out where to even begin, wedding planning apps are an essential tool in every bride’s arsenal.

The best apps are free and conveniently accessible on your mobile device (plus complementary desktop version). They allow you to tailor the platform to your wedding date, save and categorize inspiration, as well as seamlessly connect with vendors.

Best Wedding Planning Apps of 2021

Best Overall : Zola


Zola

Zola

  • Cost: Free
  • Platforms: iOS, Android, desktop
  • Customizable: Yes
Why We Chose It

From wedding websites to invitations, registries to honeymoon planning, Zola’s got every step of your wedding journey covered.

Pros & Cons
Pros
  • Comprehensive tips on etiquette, planning, budgeting, and more

  • Easy-to-navigate interface

  • Useful wedding-planning checklists

  • Extensive registry platform

Cons
  • Checklists aren’t timed to your specific wedding date

Overview

What began as an online registry site has transformed into a universal wedding platform, which is why Zola wins for best overall app. With Zola, couples can create a wedding website, budget for the big day, search for venues, register for gifts (more on that below), design save the dates, track guest RSVPs, shop for bridal accessories, plan the honeymoon, and everything in between. Begin by simply downloading the app (free on iOS and Android devices), inputting your wedding date, then start planning.

The app’s interface (and complementary desktop version) is simple and easy to navigate: The “Your Wedding” tab lets you find and communicate with vendors, track RSVPs and gifts, design invitations—you name it. It also houses comprehensive wedding planning checklists that cover the obvious (celebrate your engagement) to the more nuanced (Catholic brides, don’t forget about Pre-Cana). While helpful from a top-line perspective, we wish these checklists were organized in order of succession with recommendations for when to complete each, much as a full-service wedding planner would do.

Elsewhere, you’ll find “Plan,” which houses everything from vendor listings to real wedding inspiration, plus helpful articles on things like bridesmaids’ dress etiquette. “Shop” has all the wedding categories covered (homewares, fashion accessories, gifts, decorations, etc.) as well as pre-designed, drop-in-your-names-and-order paper goods (save the dates, invitations, menus, ceremony programs, etc.).

Zola’s premier function, however, is its universal registry. Couples can choose from more than 1,000 brands in categories such as furniture, tabletop, kitchen, and decor. There’s also the ability to register for cash funds, gift cards, honeymoon experiences, as well as items not sold directly on Zola. Couples can expect free shipping, returns, and exchanges, making it a hassle-free source for all your wedding needs.

Best for Inspiration : Instagram


Instagram

Instagram

  • Cost: Free
  • Platforms: iOS, Android, desktop
  • Customizable: Yes
Why We Chose It

The world’s top online photo- and video-sharing platform helps brides to source inspiring images and connect with vendors around the globe.

Pros & Cons
Pros
  • Endless stream of inspiration

  • Ability to save images and organize them into useful sub-categories (like dresses, flowers, beauty, tents, etc.)

  • Easy communication with vendors via Messenger

Cons
  • Beware of Insta-jealousy

  • Can’t share Collections with other users

Overview

As the world’s most influential online photo- and video-sharing platform, Instagram sees an endless influx of content from around the globe, making it the best app for inspiration. Whether you’re looking for ideas to kickstart planning, searching for specific venues in your chosen wedding destination, or connecting with a potential vendor via Messenger, Instagram’s functionalities serve brides at every turn.

Since we assume you already have a (free) personal account, we’ll skip the obvious and go straight to the good stuff: how to maximize Instagram for inspiration-gathering. First, search popular hashtags, like #weddingplanning, #weddingstyle, #bridestyle, #weddinggoals, #weddingdecorations, or #weddingwednesday for photos that guide your wedding style.

Next, save favorite posts into Collections—a useful tool that allows you to organize and revisit ideas at any time—sub-categorizing inspiration into buckets like “Ceremony,” “Reception,” and “Beauty.” That dance floor ceiling installation you discover at 1 a.m.? Click the bookmark icon at the bottom right corner of the post and save it into a “Decor” Collection. The dreamy Oscar de la Renta gown you spy on a friend of a friend? Straight into “Fashion.”

While you can’t share an entire Collection with another user (unlike Pinterest Boards, your saved posts are only visible to you, the account holder), it’s easy to send individual images via Instagram Messenger. So, when you want your stationer to see an example of the perfect watercolor crest, simply access the post from your “Paper” Collection, click the send arrow on the bottom right, and add a personal note. While the extra step to send may be cumbersome at times, we appreciate the social platform’s effort to ensure privacy for its users.

Best for Venues and Vendors : Wedding Planner by WeddingWire


WeddingWire

WeddingWire

  • Cost: Free
  • Platforms: iOS, Android, desktop
  • Customizable: Yes
Why We Chose It

Home to hundreds of thousands of local vendor listings, this online and app-based marketplace helps couples find and connect with their dream team across the globe.

Pros & Cons
Pros
  • Endless source of wedding pros

  • Ability to narrow search by location

  • Filters for diversity and inclusion

  • Other tools, like planning checklists, budget templates, etiquette guides, and more

Cons
  • Top-tier vendors not listed

  • So many choices can feel overwhelming

Overview

WeddingWire (owned by parent company, The Knot Worldwide) is an online and app-based platform that houses hundreds of thousands of local listings across some 20 service categories, from venues and caterers to florists and photographers. The breadth and depth of its database—not to mention the millions of reviews by real couples—is why it wins as best app for vendors and venues.

So if you’re clueless about where to get married and whom to hire, download the free app, input your wedding date, and fire up the WeddingWire dashboard. Within the “Vendors” tab, couples can search for pros in their area (opt in to enable location services) or in another locale (ideal for destination weddings). You can also check availability and request information from a venue or vendor directly through the app.

The app allows users to filter results by type, price, and rating—a seamless way to narrow the field, such as NYC “Rooftop Wedding” venues that fit 200-plus guest counts. It also features a “Support Diversity” filter, which helps couples to search for vendors that align with them personally, such as LGBTQ+-, woman-, Black-, or Asian-owned businesses.

Other notable features include photos from real weddings, reviews by newlywed couples (who better to ask for feedback), planning checklists, budget templates, etiquette tips, and registry tools.

Best for Designing : Pantone Studio


Pantone

Pantone

  • Cost: Free to download with in-app purchases ($4.99/month with a 1-week free trial or $29.99/year with a 1-month free trial)
  • Platforms: iOS, Android, desktop
  • Customizable: Yes
Why We Chose It

If you’re a design-obsessed bride who thinks “white” and “ivory” couldn’t be more different, then the Pantone Studio app is a must-download.

Pros & Cons
Pros
  • Ability to build custom color palettes

  • Color identifier tool for inspiration images

  • Simple user interface

Cons
  • Charges a fee compared to competitors

Overview

Pantone Studio wins best app for designing by a landslide: Whether you’re kicking off the design process with the creation of a custom color palette, searching for complementary tones to guide tabletop decor, or desperately trying to identify the exact shade of blue in an inspo image, this iOS and Android app ($4.99/month with a 1-week free trial or $29.99/year with a 1-month free trial) has you covered.

Brides can use Pantone Studio in myriad ways. First and foremost, it allows you to build a formal color palette of up to five, universally identifiable tones. Doing so makes it easy to color-match bridesmaids’ dresses to invitation lettering or for your florist to dial in complementary tones between tabletop decor and reception arrangements.

The app also enables users to pull ideas from Color Guides, build custom palettes around a specific hue via the Color Picker tool, as well as extract colors from images you find on Pinterest, Instagram, or your own photo library. The result: a cohesive aesthetic that your guests will appreciate and remember.

Best for Wedding Invitations and Decor : Etsy


Etsy

Etsy

  • Cost: Free
  • Platforms: iOS, Android, desktop
  • Customizable: Yes
Why We Chose It

This digital marketplace makes it easier than ever to source custom designs from independent stationers, calligraphers, and artisans.

Pros & Cons
Pros
  • Customization galore

  • Thousands of boutique vendors to choose from

  • Independent designers to custom-create paper goods

  • Design accents and decor aplenty

Cons
  • Often requires weeding through a lot of styles to find a winner

Overview

Etsy has rapidly transcended from a tchotchke marketplace to a household name in weddings, making it a clear winner for best app for wedding Invitations and decor. The website and free iOS/Android app house more wedding decor, gift, invitation options than any local stationery store and also allows users to source paper goods and design accents from around the globe.

When it comes to invitations, Etsy makes it easy to order save-the-dates, wedding suites, table numbers, escort cards, and calligraphy services. Whereas other invitation design sites (e.g. Minted, Zola) only allow you to select from pre-designed templates with modest customizations, Etsy’s network of independent stationers offers limitless options when it comes to custom printing.

Elsewhere on the platform, you’ll encounter unique design accents across categories that include: cake toppers, aisle runners, neon signs, ring bearer pillows, and escort card displays. Order something you love or use the app’s Messaging tool to request customizations that further reflect your wedding style.

While Etsy’s breadth and depth of choices is a major perk, brides may find it tiresome to weed through tens of thousands of “napkin ring” listings to find The One. That said, narrowing the “Wedding & Party” vertical using filters helps brides dial in the one-of-a-kind products that give their wedding that extra-personalized touch.

Best for Budget Tracking : Mint


Mint

Mint

  • Cost: Free
  • Platforms: iOS, Android, desktop
  • Customizable: Yes
Why We Chose It

This popular money management service syncs your bank account and credit cards, making it easy to track spending—and keep the budget under control.

Pros & Cons
Pros
  • Securely monitor wedding bank accounts

  • Ability to track spending in real time and over time

  • Sub-categorized budgets for wedding line items

  • Notifications when vendor payments are due

  • Sleek, user-friendly platform

Cons
  • Not wedding-specific

Overview

Though Mint wasn’t created specifically for weddings, the gold star of money management apps (available for free—with ads—on iOS and Android devices) is an ideal tool to create a wedding budget and monitor your spending, which is why it wins for Best Budget Tracking app.

Upon signing up for an account, Mint prompts you to securely sync your bank account and credit card information. By enabling such access, users can monitor transactions and move funds around as needed.

Mint has a few key features that help brides stay on track: First, you can set individual budgets for various line items, like decor, flowers, lighting, music/entertainment, and clothes/accessories. Second, you can receive text or email reminders when vendor payments are due, ensuring you never miss one of those contractually obligated deadlines. The app also sends weekly email summaries of spending and alerts if you’re going over-budget or have a (gulp) low account balance.

Final Verdict

Wedding planning can, at times, feel like an endless deluge of to-do’s, deadlines, and—let’s face it—drama. And because every bride needs assistance at organization and planning, wedding planning apps are an essential tool in your bridal arsenal.

Some apps, such as Zola and Wedding Planner by WeddingWire aim to do it all, from venue and vendor searches to registry services and honeymoon planners. Brides will find Instagram and Mint indispensable tools when it comes to inspiration-gathering and budget-tracking, respectively. Other apps are more relevant to specific moments in your wedding planning journey: Pantone Studio, for example, helps brides create custom color palettes, while Etsy is a global source for ordering invitations, wedding decor, and gifts/favors.

Whether you have a full-service wedding planner or are personally shouldering all things “Big Day," Zola stands out above every app as the must-download. Brides can utilize the free app to create a wedding website, register for gifts, search for venues/vendors, source inspiration, track RSVPs, order invitations, and so much more—making it the ultimate time- and headache-saving tool.

Compare the Best Wedding Planning Apps

Company Cost  Platforms  Customizable  Subscription Tiers 
Zola Best Overall Free iOS, Android, desktop Yes  N/A
Instagram Best for Inspo Free  iOS, Android, desktop  No N/A 
Wedding Planner by WeddingWire Best for Venues and Vendors  Free  iOS, Android, desktop  Yes  N/A 
Pantone Studio Best for Designing  Free to download with in-app purchases iOS, Android, desktop  Yes  $4.99/month with a 1-week free trial or $29.99/year with a 1-month free trial
Etsy Best for Wedding Invitations and Decor  Free  iOS, Android, desktop  Yes N/A 
Mint Best for Budget Tracking  Free  iOS, Android, desktop  Yes  N/A 

Guide for Choosing the Best Wedding Planning Apps

Are Wedding Planning Apps Worth It?

Whether you’re going it alone or working with a dream team of vendors, wedding planning apps help brides to stay inspired, source decor, keep the budget on track, and so much more. They are worth the storage space on your handheld device not only because they’re useful and accessible, but also because (in most cases) they’re free to download and use.

Comparing Wedding Planning Apps

To compare wedding planning apps, you need to evaluate:

  • Price
  • Function(s)
  • Customization
  • User interface
  • Tech support

Downloading and Using a Wedding Planning App

Getting started with a wedding planning app is extremely easy: Simply visit the Apple App Store on iOS devices or the Google Play Store on Android devices, download the app, create an account, fill out any questionnaire prompts, and get planning.

Frequently Asked Questions

How Much Do Wedding Planning Apps Cost?

In most cases, wedding planning apps are free to download on your iOS or Android device. Some offer paid premium content and services, as well as shopping functionality, but the majority of tools a bride needs are offered gratis.

How Do Wedding Planning Apps Work?

Wedding planning apps either serve a specific function or aim to be your full-service helper in the planning process. Etsy, for example, operates as a digital marketplace for custom decor—you won’t use it to discover the etiquette of invitation wording. Zola, however, offers comprehensive wedding planning tips, tricks, and timelines in addition to registry and wedding website hosting, making it a universally helpful service.

Do Wedding Planning Apps Help You to Organize? 

In general, every wedding planning app aids a bride’s overall organization and planning efforts. Whether you’re categorizing inspiration images on Instagram, managing the budget on Mint, checking custom invitations off the list on Etsy, or communicating with vendors on Wedding Planner by WeddingWire, wedding planning apps keep the proverbial ball moving as you approach the Big Day.

Who Should Use Wedding Planning Apps? 

Brides everywhere will find wedding planning apps a useful tool on their road to “wed.” Those with full-service planners to bear the logistical load might not need a budget tracker like Mint, but will find apps like Instagram and Wedding Planner by WeddingWire helpful in sourcing inspiration and researching potential venues and vendors. On the flip side, those brides who double as their own planner and designer will find comprehensive apps like Zola an indispensable tool. 

Methodology

We extensively researched and tested each wedding planning app to ensure that it delivers on the wedding planning service and user experience that it promises. We strove to include services that specialize in a variety of wedding planning categories at a range of price points for an inclusive overall list. We evaluated each app for ease of navigation within the user interface, number of services the app offers, density of the database (especially those that offer venue/vendor listings), and more.