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DIY, Inspiration

Our Favorite Wedding Planning Apps for 2016

glosite best wedding planning apps 2016

Technology has made planning a complicated event like a wedding a million times easier. There are so many wedding planning tools out there that things can be rather overwhelming, so here are some of the best wedding planning apps we could find to get you started!

For your Lookbook: The Knot Lookbook (on iOS and Android)

This wedding planning app is brilliant for your planning phase. You’ll find inspiration for everything from dresses to venues to engagement rings that will help you build your ideal picture for your happy day. You can save your favorites, book appointments with local vendors, and even buy accessories. Best of all? It’s free on both iOS and Android.

the knot lookbook wedding planning app

For your wedding website, email invitations and guestlist management: Glo (glosite.com)

We’re partial, but we have to recommend Glo for your wedding website, email invitations and guest list management. It will help save time, stress and tears during the planning process – and everyone needs that! You can consider Glo as command central for your guest list and use the service to invite, inform, and organize your guests and allll those RSVPs.

glosite wedding websites email wedding invitations

For your task lists: Wedding Happy

Instead of wondering what it is you should be doing for your wedding planning at any given time (because you know deep down there’s always something), let this app sort it out for you. It breaks your to-do list into day-to-day tasks that you can add notes to and check off as you go. Best of all, it lets you know when to start thinking about tasks like researching caterers or booking photographers.

wedding happy wedding planning app

For your budget: Wedding Budget Calculator

Because keeping track of a handwritten budget is a nightmare. This Android app sets reminders for common budget suckers that you may have overlooked, keeping you informed and in control.

wedding planning apps budget calculator

For your registry: Zola

Building your wedding registry is arguably one of the most enjoyable parts of wedding planning. Zola makes it even better (gasp!) because you can add services, group gifts,and experiences—even a honeymoon fund—to your guest options as well. Would you rather put money toward a home remodel than a host of small appliances? Zola makes it possible.

wedding planning apps zola registry

For your photos: Wedpics

It’s safe to assume that hundreds of photos are going to be snapped during your wedding. It’s also safe to assume that they’ll be hard to round up from people after the fact. Invite your guests by email, text or Facebook invite to your Wedpics account, and all of your guest’s wedding photos will be posted in the same place. If they add your unique wedding hashtag, they can be made public, too!

wedding planning apps wed pics

Follow our blog for more wedding tech tips like sprucing up your website, choosing a #weddinghashtag and creating gorgeous save the dates!

DIY, Inspiration, Q & Advice, Vendors

Ten of the Best Wedding Hacks We’ve Ever Seen

glowedding_diy_makeup_ASummerlin

Do your own wedding makeup! Or go makeup-free. Photo by Amanda Summerlin.

We’re all about wedding hacks this month on Glö, and today we’ve rounded up a list of our favorite ones, from all across the internet and our own experience in wedding land. From food to tech to some really simple ones to keep you comfortable in your own skin (and shoes), we’ve got all the wedding hacks you could ever need for saving time, money, and stress at your wedding.

1. Wedding Cake Hack from A Practical WeddingThis one is pure genius. It’s pretty much common knowledge that you can use sheet cakes in place of a fancy tiered cake to save major money on your cake, but here’s a way to turn even the plainest grocery store cake into something chic, cute, and totally on point using a few flowers and some ribbon.

2. Self-catering, Potluck, and Other Wedding Food Hacks: Speaking of food hacks, Bon Appétit has this handy guide for partially self-catering your cocktail hour by prepping good cheeses, meats, and dips ahead of time. This is a great way to ensure your appetizers are high on quality but not high on cost, which is pretty much the dream, right? A Practical Wedding also has this great guide to having a potluck wedding that is stylish and delicious, and deciding if a potluck is right for you. Genius. And if you are really ready to take the plunge on hacking your wedding food, consider Offbeat Bride’s complete guide to self-catering. Not for the faint of heart.

RTR_dress

Rent this $1,200 dress by Marchesa from Rent the Runway for only $175.

3. Consider Renting a Dress: Grooms and their posses rent tuxes all the time, so why not rent a couture wedding dress? Rent the Runway has some truly amazing options at a fraction the cost of purchasing a major label wedding gown. There are also companies that offer rental services for bridesmaid dresses, like Union Station. Your ladies will thank you, because trust us, they won’t wear it again no matter what you do.

4. Break In Your Wedding Shoes: This might seem obvious but of course the best way to keep your feet comfortable is to wear shoes you’ve broken in. This goes for heels, of course, but also flats and men’s shoes. Weddings are long. Would you spend eight hours hiking in brand new boots? Exactly. You can also consider scuffing the soles of your shoes with sandpaper or even adding dance soles to prevent slipping. Solemates can prevent heels from sinking into grass, too.

5. DJ with an iPad or iPod: For some reason, rumor has gotten around that this hack will ruin your wedding. Glö staffer Dana did it for her wedding and had a positively raging dance party. It just takes some skill and a little planning (like, um, most things?). Here are her tips:

  • Assign one person to the playlist, and ask them to act as MC for the reception.
  • Make sure they are the only one that touches the iDevice, because you do not want anyone taking that over.
  • Rent amplification, because no one will dance if they can’t hear the music.
  • Be sure to set the music to crossfade for several seconds so there are no weird gaps or silence.
  • Dim the lights. Duh.

And that’s really just about it. More questions? Offbeat Bride has an even more extensive guide, including tips on using Spotify.

6. Get Married in Your Own Backyard: Think you have to have a huge estate in the family to pull this wedding hack off? Think again. Houzz recently did a great slideshow (and call for submissions) of backyard weddings from their readers, and the results show that you can have a wedding in any backyard, anywhere. You’ll save so much money on a venue, you can even consider upgrading your yard a little for the wedding, and that’s actually an investment you can enjoy long after the guests have left. Don’t have a yard at all? Consider public parks or generous friends’ spaces.

7. Bring Dryer Sheets: Seriously, these can take care of so many wedding emergencies. They eliminate static, get rid of armpit stains, or even use them as a quick replacement for a lint roller. All You has even more unexpected uses for them, including polishing chrome. Okay, maybe that one’s not for your wedding, but still: who knew?

8. Beautiful, Makeup-Free Skin from A Practical WeddingBrides, do not let anyone convince you that you must wear makeup at your wedding. And of course you can just do your own! The point is to look like yourself, and if that means a fresh face, than why do anything else? If you want to go makeup free for your wedding, or go the DIY route, consider following these tips from A Practical Wedding to keep you skin as fresh and beautiful as possible.

hoot_owl_etsy_Custom_stamp

Try a hip custom stamp to put on All The Wedding Things from Hoot Owl Press on Etsy.

9. Have a Custom Logo Made Into a Stamp: This is another one that Real Glöbies and Glö staff have rocked at their weddings. Have an Etsy vendor design and make one for you, or a local graphic designer can design you a simple wedding “logo” and then have it made into a rubber stamp (this can be done online or at office supply stores for under twenty bucks). Then use that stamp on all your wedding paper goods, including programs, menus, welcome bags, you name it. High impact visual cohesion for almost nothing? Yes please.

10. Our Favorite? Use Glö: Okay, this is maybe a bit of a cheat but seriously, using Glosite.com for your wedding website, invitations, and guest management is the best wedding hack out there. You will save hundreds on paper invitations and postage, plus you can custom design you wedding invitations (or glövites, as we call them). Hosting multiple events but not everyone is invited to every single one? You can invite certain guests to only certain events, and manage all your RSVPs in one place. Want to see exactly how useful that can be? Check out this Real Glöbie destination wedding with events in Nigeria and Maryland, with multiple events and great organization. Plus, with our latest API feature, Glö’s features are available on other websites. So sign up for a free 21-day trial now, and get Glöwing!

Have a favorite wedding hack? Or maybe you tried one of these? Let us know in the comments or on Twitter, Instagram, or Facebook!

DIY, Inspiration, Q & Advice, Twists on Tradition

Wedding Hack: How to Make Big Batch Wedding Cocktails

Wedding_cocktail_hack_MirrorMirror

Photograph by Natali Truax of Mirror Mirror Studio.

We’ve been talking a lot about wedding hacks around here. You know, clever ways to make your wedding more awesome, that don’t cost an arm and a leg. The goal with wedding hacks, in general, is to keep the impact high but the effort low. To that end, we’ll be running a series on some of our favorite hacks, starting with this easy one for offering signature cocktails without all the hassle using a big batch cocktail mixing method.

It’s a common dilemma: you want to have a signature cocktail at your wedding during your super-fabulous cocktail hour, but your bartenders are your brother’s friends from college. You love them dearly but also know that there is no way they can froth, swizzle, and shake drinks to order, and keep the drink line moving. There is a simple solution here, and it is big batch cocktails  that are pre-made so that your bartenders only have a couple of steps to mix each drink. It allows them to move quickly, and lets you make sure each drink is balanced without working to hard. Here’s how it’s done, along with a whiskey sour recipe.

glass and napkin

Photograph by Grace Photography.

Select a wedding cocktail that is reasonable for an amateur bartender. That means: no muddling, no flames, no egg white frothing, no “rinses”, no blended drinks. Select drinks that can be made ahead of time, like the one that we are showing you today. Punch recipes are also excellent examples for batching. The basic key is to create a cocktail base that you can make in a large batch, and then on the day of your wedding, your bartender just needs to shake your mix with ice and pour. One additional step is also okay, like topping the drink off with sparkling wine or water, and maybe adding an easy garnish.

Make a big batch of your wedding cocktail ahead of time. This is easy. It’s a simple matter of multiplication and a couple of special supplies.

First, look at your wedding cocktail recipe, figure out the ratio, and just multiply the recipe by the number of cocktails you want to provide. Let’s look at this recipe for a single whiskey sour.

  • 2 oz. whiskey
  • 1 oz. sour mix (see below)
  • .5 oz. simple syrup

For 100 cocktails, you need:

  • 2 oz. x 100=200 oz. whiskey
  • 1 oz. x 100=100 oz. sour mix, and
  • .5 oz. x 100=50 oz. simple syrup.

This is where the special equipment comes in. You’ll need the following:

  • Large (4 quart or more) liquid measure pitcher, available at Smart&Final, Cash&Carry, any restaurant supply shop. Or here. About $10.
  • Stirring spoon
  • Funnel
  • Storage vessel (clean bottles, juice pitcher, carafe, anything you can store your drinks in at your bar. These are an excellent choice, and you can get a lid. You can also just re-use the bottles your ingredients came in.)

Your four-quart pitcher will hold 128 ounces at a time, so we’ll do four batches at a time. First, fill your large pitcher with 50 ounces of whiskey. Then add 25 ounces of sour mix, then 12.5 ounces of simple syrup. Stir your concoction, and taste it to make sure it tastes right. If it’s too sour, add more simple syrup. If it’s too boozy, add more sour mix—you get the idea. Give the whole thing one last good stir, and then use your funnel to fill each carafe (leave a little space at the top). Repeat three more times. Be sure to taste each batch as you go. Keep your vessels in a refrigerator or on ice at your bar, until cocktail hour, when your bartenders can just add your mix to a cocktail shaker with ice, pour it, and serve!

A note about settling: Be sure to provide either a stirring spoon for your bartenders, or make sure that your storage vessels can be shaken without leaking. Your mix can settle and will definitely need a shake-up before it is poured out.

A note about measurements: You may need to do some math at the store, when you are buying your booze. Unfortunately, some spirits are sold in ounces, others in liters, others in quarts, pints, or gallons. I highly encourage using this smartphone app or this one, or this website for your conversions.

A note about open containers: If you batch your cocktails at your house and are planning to transport them to your venue, be sure to check your state’s laws regarding open containers in vehicles. In many places, keeping them in the trunk is fine, but make sure you are transporting your booze legally!

Sour Mix Recipe: Yeah, real sour mix is actually just citrus juice. The secret is out! So, just mix the juice of any citrus you want together. I like a ratio of 1 part orange juice, 2 parts lemon juice, 1part lime juice. So, your recipe for 100 drinks is as follows:

  • 50 oz. lemon juice
  •  25 oz. orange juice
  •  25 oz. lime juice

Grapefruit is also good in there, as is blood orange juice. I’d also recommend making a little extra, so you have enough to adjust for taste. If you’re really into juicing, you can juice these yourself; I like to use Trader Joe’s or Odwalla juice because I’m lazy. Just remember, if your juice has added sugar, taste your batch before adding simple syrup.

DIY, Inspiration

Crowdsourcing wedding photos vs. an unplugged wedding

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We’re loving the post A Practical Wedding featured this week on using Instagram to crowdsource your wedding photos.

Collecting photos is one of the hottest topics these days in the wacky world of wedding planning. The obvious discussion is around the “how to” – since many couples are leveraging photo sharing technologies to collect memories from their celebration. Some of these couples are using crowdsourcing as the primary method for collecting photos, while others are using it as a fun addition to their professional photographer’s services.

On the other end of the spectrum,  there is a separate trend to ask guests put those phones away, away, away for a completely unplugged-wedding.

What’s your preference for your own celebration? Have you given it any thought?

DIY, Inspiration

Create a wedding photo booth with your iphone or ipad

On Mashable, I saw an article about a new ipad/iphone app that let’s you create a mobile phone booth. (You can read the full Mashable article here.)

Popbooth

The gist of the app is that it allows you to use your ipad, iphone to take a photo that’s transformed into a photo booth looking layout. You can then apply different filters, share the results electronically or order prints.

Popbooth Process


Prints are done on glossy stock, cost US$2.99 and take 3-5 days to arrive. (I’m assuming this is US focused for the time being.)

PopBooth Prints

The company’s blog post introducting PopBooth explains that the service was born with weddings in mind!

Why PopBooth

PopBooth was conceived when our co-founder Bryan was preparing for his wedding.  Photo booths are really fun, but they are mad expensive.  With the iPad2‘s new front facing camera we realized we could turn an iPad into a photo booth.  Something fun at events and at home with friends and family.

Party Mode

Speaking of events – PopBooth for the iPad2 is made for parties.  Check out the settings tab.  Turn on party mode and pass the iPad around at your next event.  After your party-goers create their photo strips they simply enter their email address.  We’ll take care of getting their mailing address later. As soon as we get their address, we’ll mail them a PopBooth.  A great memory from weddings, conferences, family reunions and birthdays.

I’m thinking this is pretty cool! A box of props, some sort of animal print duct tape harness tethering my phone or pad to the table….I can already see it. (Though I’m an ever-enthusiastic technology geek.)

What do you think? Would you use it?

DIY, Inspiration, Twists on Tradition

Something Blue

 

Something old, something new, something borrowed, and something blue.  Even if you aren’t exactly a “traditional bride” following some wedding traditions can still be fun. Personally, I do not consider myself a blue garter sort of person and we were not into the whole garter-grab-flower-toss-spectacle.  If you aren’t that sort of person either, here are a few ideas for you.

First, let’s start with Glo’s very own, Taryn.  Miss Taryn, opted for an intimate blue garment.  She has a whimsical personality and to her there was only one perfect blue option, BLUE UNDERPANTS!  Apparently, these bloomers were so blue they actually showed up through her gown!  Ah-Maze-Ing…

If you just couldn’t pull off the blue panties (some of us need shape enhancement via the wonderful Spanx option) maybe you would enjoy some equally charming alternatives that suit your unique personality.  I chose to paint my fingernails and toe nails blue.  Selecting the perfect shade was half the fun.

For weeks I searched high and low for the best shade.  Leading up to the big day I conducted a serious of tests before making the final decision.  Finally, I went with the OPI Russian Navy Matte shade.  It looked so beautiful.

What if panties or nails aren’t the options for you?  Here are a few other ideas to spark your creative thinking:

Bangles

Shoes

Hair Pieces

A fabulous clutch

Peacock Feathers integrated into your bouquet

Your Dress

A Sash

Flowers (Hydrangea is a great option)

Everyone knows that turquoise earrings or accessories are always fabulous too.  Some people may feel that blue hair is going to be their signature.

I mean if you use Angelica Huston in The Life Aquatic as your muse it would be hard to think blue hair was anything but luxurious and chic.

Like every part of your wedding, integrating options that best suit you and your partners’ personalities is key.  My dress would have looked silly with a blue sash and something as benign as having blue shoes would not have worked for me.  Once you know what you love, own it.  You can be as traditional or avant-garde as you choose as long as you stay true to what you love!

 

DIY, Real Glö-bies, Real Glö-Weddings, Twists on Tradition

New Twists on Catering for your Wedding

It goes without saying, food is one of the most memorable parts about any event. So, how can you make your food really stand out without having to focus too much on it ahead of time, AND without breaking the bank? Here are four tips to help you:

1. Go local - it’s all the rage in the food industry right now: giving a nod to your local companies. And what better way to do that than when all of your friends and family are in from out of town? Just because your favorite restaurant around the corner doesn’t have the word “caterer” in it doesn’t mean they don’t do catering. Ask them! You’ll find that a good amount of restaurants are happy to fully cater, or supplement, events as well. Of course, you might lose some of the perks a true catering company can provide: dinnerware, serving spoons and maybe even waitstaff, but it is definitely a fun way to give your guests a true local experience with food that you know is good at a price can stand up to any catering cost.

2. Take a trip to the grocery store - Don’t be afraid to do some of the catering yourself. A quick trip to the grocery store can save you a lot of dough and your sanity. For example, if you have nagging in-laws just dying to help somehow, put them to work slicing cheese and fruit for a platter. I guarantee it won’t taste any different than a cheese platter you’ll get from an expensive caterer. Plus, you can get all the cheeses you like, instead of being at the mercy of whatever platter your caterers recommend.

3. Think outside of the warming dish – Who says catering needs to be traditional?? Street food is creating buzz around the country and is a great way to get unique and memorable with your wedding catering. Hiring a food truck to literally park in front of your venue and serve food out their window would certainly be the highlight of any event. Glöbies Shanelle and Mike were a great example of how much fun you can have with this – they had a street vendor make burgers and fries for everyone. Fun!!

4. Get funky with your desserts – I heard somewhere that 2010 was the year of the cupcake. Heaven knows we all saw cupcakes EVERYWHERE. And that worked great to help people get away from traditional wedding cakes. But, cupcakes are still cakes…get funkier if you want! Everybody loves dessert, so you really can’t go wrong with anything you do. My favorite example of this is done with straight up candy.

Cool finds, DIY, Inspiration

Invitation and Accent Designs from OneHeart Weddings

So I’m always hunting around the web for different DIY design options. The other day, I happened across a fabulous resource from One Heart Weddings, which offers downloadable DIY designs. Their designs are super compatible to upload as Glövites, and you can print the designs at home if you need some extra paper invites for the older relatives. Plus, there are matching templates for Wedding Programs, Menus and Thank You cards. (as an added bonus, the first 2 downloads are free. yippee!)

I also love that there is a “backgrounds and accents” category with icons and images that are perfect for making Glösite designs.

One Heart Spiraling Flourish

One Heart Spiraling Flourish Invitation and Accent

 

To use a OneHeart Wedding invitation design as a Glövite, take the following steps:

1) Choose any OneHeart invitation design  (I recommend using a portrait sized design) and clicked “personalize online”

2) Edit the text and click “download PDF”

3) To upload into Glö, you’ll need to crop the design and save it as a ,jpg, .gif or png format.

You can either crop the PDF version and then save it as a JPG using a program like paint (PC), paintbrush (mac) or Adobe Photoshop.
OR
You can take a screenshot of the finished design and save it as the correct file type
(Note: Glövite designs work best with the dimensions w: 431 x h: 531 pixels, but the horizontal designs from OneHeart are pretty spot on.)

4) Then, log onto your glosite.com account and go to “Manage Glövite” > edit/create a Glövite and upload the design

To make a matching Glösite design, you can download one of our DIY templates and use a coordinated OneHeart Wedding Accent to make something fabulous.

One Heart 'True Love' Design

One Heart ‘True Love’ Invitation and Accent designs

DIY, Spice up your Site

How to add funky slideshows to your wedding website

UPDATE: Unfortunately, slide.com is no longer available for use. However Kizoa appears to be a good alternative.

Everyone loves photos. But if you’re going to add photos to you wedding website, why not have a bit of fun with it? If your wedding website allows you to add widgets or custom HTML it’s easy to embed fun and funky slideshows (like the one below) directly into your site.

To make your slideshow - Slide.com is a great place to start – it’s easy to use and it’s free! Using Slide – you can add photos and then customize the show’s style, skin, music, & effects to make it snazzy. Once you’re finished designing your show, click save and you’ll move on to the ‘Share slide show’ page. On the left side of the page, select Hi5 or Blogger to access the HTML code for your slide show. Copy the code, flip over to your wedding website editor, and paste the code into the widget or custom HTML box of the page where you want it to appear (on Glosite.com, you’ll find a widget box at the bottom of each “edit page.’) That’s it!

Have fun with your show — mix it up a bit (maybe think twice before adding 50 shots of you and the fiance looking perfectly perfect!) Remember, the more personal it is the more fun it will be for your friends and family to view.