Top Helpful Wedding Sites

These sites give you the best websites, apps, locations, vendors and ideas for your wedding.

1. Of course, Pinterest.

You can pin practically your entire wedding on Pinterest. If you’re not familiar with it, Pinterest is a site (free to sign up) where you can scroll through and see things that people have “repinned” pertaining to just about anything in life. There is a specific section under “Everything” called “Wedding & Events” that will provide you with ideas and links to just about anything you can imagine for your wedding, from dresses to websites to music to how to get your last name changed over after the wedding.

2. The Knot

A website with the scoop on any location or vendor for your wedding. It’s the perfect go to website to go past “pinning” ideas and actually solidify what you’re searching for. It’s very simplistic––you sign up for free and after that you can search by your location for wedding venues, vendors for cakes, flowers, music, E.V.E.R.Y.T.H.I.N.G. What’s even better is that all of these places have been rated and aren’t just any venue or vendor you can Google search and not know what you’re getting. If it isn’t legit, chances are you’re not going to find it on the website, and you’re not just searching for the expensive stuff either. The website allows you to narrow your search by budget or a range of $-$$$$. This site also provides you with how to’s, other couple’s weddings, what to ask when finding venues (because hidden costs are almost inescapable), and seriously anything you can think of. I could go on and on about this website, but it’d be much easier and beneficial for you to just check it out. If I was only allowed to suggest one website that would be most helpful to someone planning their wedding, this would be it.

3. Wedding Gawker

This website is pretty much the same thing as Pinterest, except it’s solely dedicated to weddings. I think it provides you with more helpful information and websites than Pinterest while also including helpful ideas. Once again, it is free to sign up, and after that, you have free range of the site, favoriting the things you like instead of pinning.

4. My Wedding

My favorite part of this website is that it allows you to make your own website for your wedding . . . yes, fo’ free! You can customize what your website will look like, add your engagement stories, include your wedding party and registries, and this site also has tips and locations for you to look at as well. This is a great website for the wedding party and guests especially. You can simply put your website on your invitations instead of adding a ton of registries and addresses, etc. It’s a great way to gather all the scattered pieces of your wedding and put it into one place for you or whoever you want to view it.

5. Appy Couple

This website allows you to make an app for your wedding. Some people might think an app and a website are too much, however, if you think about it, most well-known websites actually have an app for your phone as well. I thought it was best to do both for my wedding simply because in my personal experience once I graduated from college, I didn’t use my mactop as much and instead, used my phone and apps for everything. The good thing about this app is that it’s virtually the exact same thing as the “My Wedding” website, except in app form. This way your wedding information is accessible to everyone, regardless of their technology preference, and it’s not confusing because whichever one your guests view is going to be pretty much the same. Very helpful to have both a website and an app––doesn’t give anyone any excuses to not know what’s going on. It’s very simple; you go to the website, apply for a code (which could take a few days), and you can customize your design, pictures, dates, etc.

6. Cocodot

This website allows you to send out your personally designed invitations and thank you cards via email, Facebook, text, etc. Although you should always send out a paper save-the-date/invitation and thank yous, sending something via internet is a great accompaniment and reminder. I know when I get something in the mail I read it, set it somewhere, and forget about it. This way people receive something in their email (or media site of your choice) a few days later and it jogs their memory, gives them another way to respond faster (which helps with your planning), and chances are they won’t delete it right away making it a constant reminder for them. Another nice thing about this site is it saves a list of people you’ve sent each invite or card to, so you can see who you forgot or who you need to add, etc.

7. Bride To Do

If you’re good with organization or have your own ways (programs, notebooks, etc.) of creating lists, you may not need this site as much, but although I’m pretty handy with organization, lists, addresses, etc., this site just made it so much easier. You can create templates, guest lists, registry lists, itinerary, seating chart, contact sheet, etc. with the website, and it’s so much easier and organized to have the templates already created in the same formats and you can print it out and/or save it on your computer. It’s just a fast, pre-organized way to organize all your lists, charts, and info into pre-made templates, which saves you a lot of time and frustration.

8. Blogs

Here are a couple helpful and random blogs that will help you get through your wedding day. They cover the little things for your wedding day and after that you wouldn’t normally think about until the big day: 10 Biggest Things Brides ForgetChange Your Name After Marriage Checklist and especially How to Change Your Name after Marriage, Easily.

These are the best and most helpful websites I found while plan a wedding, and they saved so much stress, money and forgetfulness. Although there’s almost always some sort of chaos the day before or of the wedding setting things up, I had everything I needed, I was prepared and didn’t find myself looking back thinking if only I’d done this or that. It’s well worth it to use any tools you can find to help plan your wedding because (most of the time) it’s one of the few things you have to get right the first time since it won’t be happening again.

The Things No One Tells You About Pregnancy

Pregnancy
1. When scheduling your doctor appointments, make sure you’re meeting with a Doctor and not a Nurse Practitioner the majority of the time:

This one could very easily tick some people off, so I’ll say this beforehand: Nurse Practitioners are very well-trained, intelligent individuals and by no means is this meant to insult anyone. That being said, you or your insurance is paying for you to meet with a Doctor. Often, and even quite a bit in my own experience, your appointment ends up being with a Nurse Practitioner. The problem with that is . . . “That means that the person giving the medical advice has not been to medical school. Instead, he or she has been trained as a nurse and is merely fulfilling the role of a doctor in this general medical practice . . . [you] still get charged a doctor’s rates, but . . . do not get to meet with the real doctor” (Tapscott 1). Overall, the point is, when you schedule your appointments, you need to specifically ask to meet with your Doctor and not a Nurse Practitioner. There’s nothing wrong with meeting with a Nurse Practitioner for some of your appointments, however, just make sure you’re meeting with your Doctor for a good amount of your appointments as well––like I said before, that is who you’re actually paying to meet with, and technically a Doctor has gone to medical school much longer. Many people don’t realize this, so don’t let yourself get shorted.

2. Warning for this one–––this is kind of disgusting, which is probably why no one mentions it, but it’s true and wouldn’t hurt to know beforehand:

Whatever pooping was like for you before you got pregnant, expect it to get two to five times worse (and by worse I mean messier or not as easy). My suggestion is to get wet wipes to go along with your toilet paper. They’re cheap, they last a while, and they make the whole process faster, easier, cleaner. Otherwise, if you just use toilet paper, a lot of times it starts to feel like you can’t ever use enough.

3. Download a baby app on your phone.

Myself and a lot of other people I know have the app called “My Pregnancy.” I think it’s the most helpful, it’s free, it gives you a week by week update and advice, and there’s a website too. So, any questions you have you can search for answers from doctor’s opinions to numerous other mother’s thoughts/experiences.

4. A lot of people, even better, most of them people who have never even been pregnant or seen an OBGYN, think they know what you should and shouldn’t do when you’re pregnant, and they’re not afraid to tell you what they think.

My suggestion––don’t be afraid to tell them what you know right back. I had someone say something to me for drinking coffee. They said, “Is there caffeine in that?” I said, “Yep.” Their response, “You can’t drink that.” My response, “Yes, actually, I can.” My OBGYN’s suggestion for my migraines, since I can’t take any medication, was to drink something caffeinated. On top of that, both my OBGYN and my Nurse Practitioner have said (without me even asking) that it’s okay to drink a small amount of caffeine and up to one soda a day is also okay. Regardless, I try to avoid soda in general because it’s not as good for you (which is why my caffeine choice was coffee)––it has nothing to do with being pregnant. However, if you feel like drinking a soda or a coffee or whatever other stress reliever you made need on occasion, don’t let somebody who has no idea what they’re talking about make you feel bad.

5. Start exercising early!

The more you exercise in the first trimester, the easier and safer it is to exercise in the second and third trimester. The longer you go without exercising, the more out of shape you get and fast. Trust me, you’re going to want to be able to exercise in the second and third trimester because that’s when you start gaining weight and with weight gain comes stretch marks. The sooner you start exercising, the less of a beating your body will take, which in turn makes it that much easier to get back to normal after the baby. Don’t put it off! I put it off my first trimester, I’m starting to see the effects, and it’s extremely hard to do the littlest bit of exercise at this point because of it.

6. Your body will change––chances are you’re going to gain weight, get stretch marks, and your nipples will get bigger (along with your breasts), but there is also good news:

No matter what people say works, I don’t think that any amount of oil or lotion you put on is going to completely prevent stretch marks or change the elasticity of your skin, considering your skin’s elasticity is genetic. Some people say cocoa butter or this and that oil worked for them, but the truth is it was probably primarily their genetics that worked for them. (Or refer back to 5., exercising will help keep your body in much better shape than if you don’t do anything. Whether you’re pregnant or not, if you gain weight you can gain stretch marks. It’s the same idea). However, use or try whatever you want because it can’t hurt. I’m just saying prepare for your body changing because not everything will go/look great. The good news is chances are your body will change back, for the most part, if you eat somewhat healthy and do some sort of exercise during and after pregnancy.

Also, chances are you will have to buy bigger bras. I went to buy new bras somewhere around 2-3 months and they still fit fine. How much your bra size will change is going to vary from person to person, but my suggestion is, no matter what you think will fit, try bras on. I made the mistake of guestimating, and I was WAY off. Don’t be afraid to spend some money on a few bras that fit you, because that’s what you’ll be wearing the rest of your pregnancy. I bought a couple at first, and whenever I realized I was staying the same, I went and bought more.

This is the same with finding maternity clothes in general. You’re going to have to do it eventually (around 2-3 mo). Find 2-3 pairs of jeans and/or 2-3 pairs of shorts that fit loose (I suggest a size up from what you normally wear . . . tight gets uncomfortable fast) and have the maternity waste band, and that should work for your entire pregnancy. As far as shirts go, there are lots of maternity shirts and chances are you probably have a lot of shirts that will already work too. Just avoid shirts that are tight fitting and ride up––they only get worse.

7. Prenatal vitamins are not a joke.

People can spend all day arguing about what prenatal vitamin is the best and what you should be taking, etc. The truth is, in my opinion, all that really matters is that you’re taking some sort of prenatal vitamin. To state it as vaguely as possible; they help lower so many chances of so many things you want to avoid for your baby’s health and well-being––why not take them. I’m not saying don’t research and find what you think is the best of the best. I’m simply saying if you don’t want to do the research or can’t afford the most expensive, just make sure you are taking a prenatal vitamin.

8. Pregnancy isn’t the same for everyone, but there are some generalities:

In general, the first trimester is the roughest. Chances are you’ll have morning sickness at any time of the day, some foods might start to sound disgusting to you, and you’ll be way more tired than you’re used to. My advice is to embrace it. If you feel like you’re going to get sick, go get sick. You’ll feel better. If something sounds gross to you, avoid it. If you’re tired, find time to take a nap. In a few weeks when you hit the second trimester, most likely you’ll feel pretty much back to normal again.

9. From now on, always brace yourself when you sneeze or cough.

Otherwise, you’ll probably pee yourself a little or feel like something just exploded in your stomach. Either way, if you forget, don’t be alarmed.

I dedicate this post to my close friend, Kayla Cantrell. Love you and congratulations on becoming a mom.