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Online Wedding Resources

Who needs a wedding planner when you've got the web? These sites have checklists, budget tools, dress and bouquet photo galleries, website builders, inexpensive favor ideas, places to vent, and even aids for Mom.

Wedding Channel
weddingchannel.com
There are the standard tips, gown galleries and etiquette guidelines, but the lively and supportive message boards are by far the most valuable resource on this site. The local New York board has a group of regulars trading reviews of vendors, how-to information and horror stories. Post a question about a photographer or florist that you're considering and you'll get honest feedback. If you're a little weirded-out by online communities, then channel your wedding obsession into an online journal instead. It's a great way to keep track of all the progress you've made, highlight pictures of your favorite bouquets or shoes, and think, talk, and breathe wedding without annoying your friends. Or, you can share the URL so they can keep up with your planning.

The Knot
theknot.com
The tools are smart and easy to use. You can plan your expenses simply by entering your total budget; they'll calculate how much you should plan to spend on the reception, your bouquet, etc. They even offer advice on what you can afford. The only problem: The advice doesn't take into account New York City prices; it's based on average costs nationally. You can also build a wedding website so friends and guests can get details on hotel costs, learn about your bridal party, read your engagement story and sign your guest book. And if you're a list-maker, you will love their wedding checklist. Not only does it tell you when to book your officiant, but it allocates time for researching and interviewing. Plus, it's a good defense: whenever my fiancÚ thought I was being neurotic, I'd whip out the checklist as proof that we really did need to book the DJ nine months in advance.

Ultimate Wedding
ultimatewedding.com
This is the place to go when you're ready to put the words and music into the planning for your big day. The community-based site has extensive archives on just about every topic and—though it borders on cheesy—the sentimental approach might be refreshing. Be sure to check out the "Prose & Poetry" section for examples of creative invitation wording, and other special touches for the ceremony or toasts. And they have exhaustive song lists for everything from the processional to father-daughter dances.

Modern Bride
modernbride.com
This sleek, recently redesigned site (still a little buggy) offers a mother-of-the-bride dress-finder, in addition to bridal and bridesmaid dress-finders, and lots of photo galleries.

Martha Stewart Weddings
marthastewart.com
Discerning do-it-yourselfers will love the detailed how-to information. If you're a keep-it-simple type of bride, there are instructions for classy and inexpensive projects such as making pin corsages and simple party favors. You just have to cull through the high maintenance ideas like homemade chutney favors or birds' nest place tags.


Specific Resources
Fresh Roses.com
freshroses.com
If you're planning to make your own bouquet or floral arrangements, this site comes in handy. It's no 1-800 flowers, but you can't beat the prices—$30 for 2 dozen roses! As you probably know by now, using seasonal flowers can cut your floral budget in half. But if you're like me, you don't even know the names of most flowers, let alone their peak season. This site has a list of seasonal flowers-by-month, with pictures.

Gaddis Design
gaddisdesign.com
Forget paying $2000 for designer invites. Here's where to find cool designs for about ╝ the price. They'll work with you to get the invitation exactly to your specifications. The best part: you see works in progress on their site.

From the 2003 New York Wedding Guide

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