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      January 22, 2020

Home  >  Wedding Planning Guides  >  Here Comes the Guide vs A Practical Wedding

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Here Comes the Guide vs A Practical Wedding

To help you find the Best Wedding Planning Guides, TopConsumerReviews.com provides you with an in-depth comparison of Here Comes the Guide and A Practical Wedding.

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Get Your Wedding Planning Guide Today! Where can you find the best wedding planning guides? When the big question has been popped and the answer is an enthusiastic "YES", you need to start planning. Whether you're imagining a small, romantic destination wedding at an exotic locale or a huge church ceremony with a few hundred - or thousand - friends and family members, there's a lot that goes into the decisions between now and "I do".

There are a wide range of websites offering to take the stress out of that process by helping you with everything from theme possibilities to recommended vendors like photographers and caterers in your area. The best wedding planning guides include a jaw-dropping array of tools that let you manage your guest list and RSVP's, track your budget, and keep track of your extensive to-do list - usually through a convenient app that you can access anytime, anywhere.

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Best Reviews

2020

Wedding Planning Guide Reviews

3.5 stars
Here Comes the Guide

HERE COMES THE GUIDE

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Cost:

Free

Here Comes the Guide got its start in 1989 when founder Lynn Broadwell was desperate for a detailed list of possible venues for her wedding - and came up with nothing. (Remember, that was before WWW-anything.) This woman owned-and-operated site is one of the few that doesn't operate on commissions, so you can trust that the carefully curated resources they offer in their Wedding Planning Guide are genuinely the best, and not just ones that pay well in referral fees.

If you're completely new to planning your wedding (congrats!), we recommend you click on the Start Here link at the top of the site. You're going to feel like you're hanging out in your living room with your best girlfriends, who are going to pour you a glass of wine (or Coke Zero) and walk you through everything you need to know to plan your wedding from A to Z...starting with choosing your wedding location, which is Here Comes The Guide's specialty.

Accordingly, this site has a much better vendor database than the lower-ranked services we evaluated. From major cities to smaller metro areas, we were able to find a good range of providers and locations. We had to start with a search at the state level, but once we went to the results page (and scrolled past the featured vendors), we could narrow down to a specific area and get more filter options. For example, under the Venues category, we could indicate the Site Type and Views, desired Catering and Alcohol options, our desired budget range and our maximum expected guest count. Each vendor result had a photo, price range, available catering and location type; clicking to see more showed extra details like contact info, rental fee ranges, address, capacity, and a helpful form to request a quote directly from the venue.

Once you've jumped into the water by narrowing down your venue and other vendor options - or whenever you feel like it - you can sign up for a free MyGuide email membership, which gives you tips and discounts right into your inbox. You can also check out Here Comes the Guide's Wedding Ideas section, which will help you consider important aspects of your wedding like budgeting, specific planning timeframes, and even ways to give back.

You'll also get some recommended wedding shows/bridal fairs, if you're the kind of person that wants some hands-on ideas all in one place. And, Here Comes the Guide has links to hotels that will give you a deal on room blocks for your guests, along with rehearsal dinner venues.

Are you a checklist kind of person? We found links to all the lists this site has to offer at the bottom of the Start Here page. There's a more traditional version that assumes you've got 10-12 months (or longer) until the big day, but if you're working on a shorter time frame, you'll also find the 90-day Wedding Planning checklist. The online version of the checklist has plenty of links to the things it mentions, from wedding insurance to top 10 lists for wedding favor ideas and more.

And, of course, you can spend hours browsing all of the gorgeous images of wedding ideas. From Barns and Beaches to Gardens and Estates, you'll have no shortage of inspiring photos to help you figure out what you want to incorporate into your own special day.

Here Comes the Guide doesn't have some of the helpful tech tools offered by other online Wedding Planning Guides. You won't find an app, or tools for managing your guest list, or links for creating your gift registry. You'll have to do those things on your own or use one of the sites in our review that offers them (if it's important to you).

The overall feel of this wedding planning guide is chill, encouraging, and beautiful - which might be exactly what you need as the engagement excitement wears off and you dive into the nitty-gritty of the details of your wedding. Here Comes the Guide is a solid resource.

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3.5 stars
A Practical Wedding

A PRACTICAL WEDDING

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Cost:

Free

If you're looking for a wedding planning guide from a company that actively works "to make the wedding industry a more feminist and diverse place", you'll want to check out A Practical Wedding.

As you'll see from your first visit to the site, this service endeavors to promote businesses that are women-, LGBTQ+- and POC-owned - and to welcome and embrace couples in those groups as well. You'll also find a healthy blend of photos and stories that feature plus-size individuals, non-Christian weddings (such as Muslim, Jewish, Hindu), and other non-traditional ceremonies.

Most people will want to begin with the Get Started page. You'll find some helpful starter info and links to everything from writing your vows to tips for booking a florist (and, interestingly, links to our highest-ranked Wedding Planning Guide's free checklist/app!). A Practical Wedding doesn't offer a gift registry, an app (or even a printable checklist), or many of the other all-in-one features found on our highest-ranked services, making this site feeling more like a DIY (which is fine if that's all you need - there's even a tab for that!).

You can also find a wide variety of user stories, advice and etiquette tips, and stories of real weddings featured by A Practical Wedding. Having a large wedding? Planning for a budget under $10K? Managing friend and/or family drama? You'll find all of that and more under the rest of the tabs at the top of the page. This site keeps it real.

A Practical Wedding has a Vendor directory, but unless you live in a major metro area, you might have to spend a lot of time sorting through all of the featured businesses for your entire state. (There's no ability to search by zip code.) In several metro areas, we found very few options for venues. For example, in Central Florida - think Disney, Cocoa Beach, springs and other places with natural beauty, etc. - the results list only included a Jamaica destination wedding and one ranch resort. Most of the other categories were similarly limited in options.

This wedding planning guide doesn't have all of the features found on our higher-rated services (like gift registries and apps that tie everything together right on your phone), and its limited scope of vendors is part of the reason for this site's lower overall ranking compared with other online resources. For those reasons, we think A Practical Wedding is probably best suited to couples who don't fit the traditional mold and want to see what other people have done to create the wedding of their dreams - and who don't need all of the bells-and-whistles of some of the more popular services.

Visit Site

Continued from above

You can also get inspiration and advice from real couples. Thinking of having a wedding in the woods during winter? Check out what other brides and/or grooms did - and maybe even get practical tips for staying warm and keeping everyone from getting wet! Not sure how to navigate tricky family dynamics, which friends to invite to be in the wedding party, or how to word an invitation that includes everyone? Most of these wedding planning guides have in-depth advice and answers to guide you.

You've got a lot on your mind already, so how can you tell which online wedding planning guide is the right fit for you and your significant other? Here are several factors to keep in mind as you consider what's available:

  • Cost. Most online wedding planning guides don't charge to use the service. If you're interested in a paid planning tool, will you get enough value out of what you pay to make it a better choice than a free option?
  • Services Offered. What kind of help or advice are you looking for? Do you need an all-in-one site that gives you access to an app, checklists, plus ideas and inspiration for everything from flowers to food? Or maybe you're just at the beginning stages of planning and want to know if there are any available venues in your area? Choose a wedding planning guide that fits your needs.
  • Inclusivity. If you're planning a non-traditional wedding, can you find resources on the site? Are there couples and stories that you can identify with that are featured in the photos and articles?
  • Use of Technology. With so much of today's world online, it makes sense that more couples are taking advantage of fully-featured tech tools to streamline their wedding planning. Are you interested in having an app that you (as well as friends and family) can use to update RSVP's, list and/or buy items on a gift registry, and more? Not every wedding planning guide offers that capability.

TopConsumerReviews.com has reviewed and ranked the best Wedding Planning Guides available today. We hope this information helps you create and plan the best wedding you've ever dreamed of!

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