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      February 28, 2020

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Zola vs Here Comes the Guide

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

To see ALL of our reviews for the Best Wedding Planning Guides, please Click Here

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.

Continue reading below reviews

Best Reviews

2020

Wedding Planning Guide Reviews

5 stars
Zola

ZOLA

Visit Site

Cost:

Free

TopConsumerReviews.com Best-In-Class Blue Ribbon Award Is the idea of having "registry and wedding planning made easy" a welcome thought? If you just thought "yes, PLEASE!" you'll want to check out everything available on Zola. You may have already seen their ads on TV and doubted that it could really be that easy to register for gifts, put together a beautiful wedding website, and manage your growing to-do list. We have good news for you: it really is that easy...and even better, it's free!

Although Zola is the newest of the three all-in-one online wedding planning guides we evaluated, it has quickly risen to the top. Why? Users can't say enough about the beautiful design options, the easy-to-use tools on the site and app, and the fantastically helpful folks at Zola's customer service department. Many of the features offered by this service are similar to their competitors, but the general consensus is that Zola does it all...well, better.

Let's start with your registry. Zola lets you put all of your wishes, from gifts and gift cards to honeymoon funds, all in one place. Their process is a little different from some sites: instead of linking up registries across a variety of websites, Zola curates an online store across more than 560 brands like Le Creuset and Crate & Barrel (along with cool options like Delta Airlines and Airbnb) that you can easily shop and add items. No hand scanner or store visits required. Zola also lets you manually add desired gifts from any site to your registry, in case you can't find them among the 50,000+ items in their store.

And where better to put your newly-created gift registry than on your free wedding website? Zola has hundreds of designs to choose from, no matter what your wedding theme and style may be. You can use your website to set up online RSVP's, add events like rehearsal dinners or showers, and keep everyone you've invited up-to-date on the what, where, and when. Compared with the templates and designs offered by other online wedding planning guides, Zola users say that they fell in love with all of the options. Even people with a background in graphic design said that this site is a step above the rest when it comes to gorgeous combinations of fonts, layouts, and colors.

Once you've designed your wedding website, you can order save the date cards and invitations that perfectly match it (or choose an entirely different design for mixing and matching, if you like). You'll find details about this under the Invites + Paper section of the Zola page. Want even less hassle? Opt for the guest addressing feature.

But wait: when do you send the invites? Where will the wedding be? Who's going to cater the food? Don't worry, because Zola has a great checklist to not only walk you through everything you need to do and when, but also to let you customize what's on your list according to your cultural/religious traditions and anything else you dream up. Best of all, with Zola's 5-star-rated app, you can access your checklist anytime and you'll get push notifications when something on your to-do list needs your attention.

Guest list management is a breeze with Zola too. Import information from your phone's address book, upload a spreadsheet, or send Zola's form via text/email and let invitees fill out their information themselves. The service automatically records everything from meal choices to number of guests, and you can manually change any information in the RSVP list (like if your great-aunt calls you from her rotary phone to tell you that she'll be there with bells onů).

Like most wedding planning guides, Zola has sections for getting expert advice, inspiration for your theme, attire, and more from real people. Whether you're planning a traditional church service, a casual beach ceremony, a wedding for two brides or two grooms, or anything you can dream up, chances are good that you'll find something to spark your imagination on this site. Just look under the headings for Expert Advice and Real Wedding Inspiration.

And, if you're looking for a reputable florist, a top-notch stylist, photographers and more, be sure to see the Vendor listings for your area. Unfortunately, this is the one area where Zola isn't quite as robust as many of their competitors - because Zola is still relatively new on the market - but you may still find providers in your area if you live near a major city like New Orleans, Seattle, or Atlanta.

There's some pretty steep competition in the world of online wedding planning guides, but Zola is at the top of our list. This service gives you almost every imaginable feature, tool, and tip so that every step of your wedding planning goes smoothly. Zola earns our highest recommendation as the most intuitive, easy-to-use planning guide available today.

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3.5 stars
Here Comes the Guide

HERE COMES THE GUIDE

Visit Site

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.

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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