The Starter Membership is the ideal way to start your wedding planning. It’s completely free and loaded with amazing information and tools. Perfect for DIY brides, those on a budget and for anyone who wants an inside scoop on wedding planning!
A comprehensive set of downloadable wedding planning tools. We include virtually every type of tool you’ll need for budgeting, tracking guest responses, seating charts, to-do lists, timelines, bar calculators and more.
This is the place to find all our vendor checklists, cheat sheets, recommended resources, and videos.
Members get access to our private group where you can ask questions, vent, and share pictures. It’s completely private, so feel free to share images of your dress, issues you might be having with your future mother-in-law, or gift ideas for the bridal party.
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I want you to know how amazing it is. You incorporated everything a bride would need and you put it all into one place. Your bridal toolbox is a dream come true. I have not got married yet and I am newly engaged but I am so glad I found you when I did! Thank you so much!
FaithCoxs Creek, KY
I just want to say how grateful I am to have a group that I can get and share ideas and show off my pictures. I feel very blessed to know there is somewhere I can go to talk with brides who have the same excitement but also the same struggles while preparing for their big day. I think I speak for everyone when I say a great big THANK YOU to Dina Clapinski for giving us the opportunity to be part of this group and sharing your tools and experiences with us. You truly are amazing!!!
EyclesishaSan Diego, CA
I would have never guessed that I would have been involved with such an uplifting group. After waiting nearly 10 years to marry my prince this makes the journey so much more fun. Thank you Dina!
I love the budget spreadsheet and the guest list tracker. It is so much easier using the spreadsheets and tracker than writing down who is coming and who is not. It does it for you! It is also great to see how the numbers calculate for the budget and actually see where the money is going.
These spreadsheets are extremely helpful. Especially the budget sheet and the guest list. I like how I can save everything in one spot and it helps keep me organized.
These are all the tools you need! its like having a planner without the expense! i tried to "create" simliar documents with no success! Thanks Dina for making it so easy to be a DIY Bride!! xoxox
I think the website is wonderful. So many sites give me a sensory overload and so the fact that the site is somewhat relaxed and toned down was a treat!
As a first time bride at the entire website was helpful clearing up things you need to worry about and things that aren't so important was awesome.
Bridal Tool Box
Budget Spreadsheet – save money, save time and know where every precious penny is going
All brides worry about their budget want to know how best to spend the money. With this tool, we’ve outlined virtually every wedding related expense that you may have and put them in an easy to use format. All the calculations are built in, from budgeting how much you want to spend on your vendors to tracking vendor deposit and payments due.
There are many budgeting tools on the market. Virtually all of the free ones are PDFs that you can download, print out and hand-write your numbers. The problem with this system is that it doesn’t keep you updated with totals. The amounts from your vendors may change as you add and take things away from your proposals. With a physical sheet of paper or a big book, that means, erasing or white out anytime the numbers change. If you were to purchase a digital budgeting tool, expect to pay between $25-$40 for this tool alone. This is truly a dynamic tool that our brides absolutely love. It’s digital and you don’t need to know excel to use it.
Planning Checklist – stay organized and on track
One of the things that makes every bride nervous is they are not sure what to do when. It’s tempting to start trying on dresses, when what you really need to be doing is booking your florist. The second tool in the Bridal Tool Box is the Planning Checklist and we’ve put together all the to-do items you’ll need to take care of and when you should focus on each tab. All you need to do is enter your wedding date, and the tool will calculate how many days are left until your wedding. Every action item on the checklist will have a due date that is specific to your wedding. We give you helpful information about each project and what to look out for.
As with the budget tool, there are lots of free timelines, but to get something in a digital format, it will cost you about $25-$35. The cool thing here is there is no erasing, no crossing out as you most definitely be doing with a hard copy. It is also custom to your wedding as some brides have a 2 year engagement and others only have 3 months to plan. Did your wedding date suddenly change? With our tool, all you need to do is change the date at the top and it will update all your to-do’s with your new date in mind. Throughout the Planning Timeline you’ll find helpful notes, tips and advice for each item you’ll need to do. This document is fully customizable so you can add your own to-do items as well.
Vendor Contact Book – all your contacts at your fingertips
During your planning process, you’ll probably end up speaking to many prospective vendors. With our vendor contact book, all their info is in one place alongside your budget spreadsheet. It is very easy to fill in and so helpful to have everyone’s info at your fingertips. OTBS Founder, Dina Clapinski notes, “This was a lifesaver for me personally as I used it all the time throughout my 19 month engagement.”
Venue Comparison – NEW
Selecting the right venue for your event can seem daunting. With so many options, it’s hard to make an educated decision on what’s best for your unique party. With this tool, we break out the most important factors you should consider when selecting a location. We take into account cost, services, food & beverage estimate, rentals, location and more. Each factor has a corresponding weight and rating system so you’ll be able to figure out which venue is the unbiased clear winner.
Guest List Tracker – Every guest, every detail, tracked and counted
“The Guest List Tracker is something I wish I would have had when I got married 11 years ago. In the beginning, our guest list kept changing and we struggled to keep our count at a manageable level.” – OTBS Founder, Dina Clapinski
Number of Guests – You can use this tool right away when you get engaged so you should get an idea of what size wedding you’ll be having. As you enter in all the names of your friends and family, the tool begins counting your guests so you can see actual numbers. Having this information up front is critical so you can shop around for appropriate venues for your wedding size.
RSVPs – It is exciting once the RSVPs start arriving in the mail. Many brides end up putting the yes cards in one box and the nos in another. This requires hand counting and it’s easy to miss a guest or child. Plus, as things get close, you want to know exactly what your guest count looks like at any given point, and who is left to respond. With the Guest List Tracker, when you get the RSVP, use the drop down to select the appropriate action – yes attending or not attending. You can also indicate whether the guest is an adult or child. It’s so easy to see where you are at. One look and you’ll know who you need to call for a response.
Meal Selections – Are you doing meal selections? We’ve included a drop down option so that you can select the right meal for each guest such as beef, chicken, or vegetarian. You can also mark kids meals and anyone with special diets such as gluten free or vegan. The tool keeps track of your totals for each type of meal too for your caterer.
Day of Planner – Planners always request a full guest list from our brides with meal selections. With the Guest List Tracker, you’ll have all this info ready to go and you can just send along to your day-of coordinator or catering manager. In addition, you can use this same list for your stationary or calligraphy person who might be doing your escort or place cards. It even has the meal selection in the event that you are indicating the meal choice on the place card for the catering staff.
Rehearsal Dinner – We just added the ability for you to indicate who is coming to your rehearsal dinner and track RSVPs for that event too!
This easy to use, formatted spreadsheet has all the information you’ll need to send to your invitation person or for yourself if you’re going DIY on the invitations. If you are doing Save the Date cards, it helps since you’ll have all this information well in advance of having to send the invitations. Keep track of who you’ve sent Save the Dates and invitations. There is even an area to fill in the gift you received and a box to check once you send your thank you card. The Invite Master is the perfect solution to keeping all names and addresses for your save the dates, invites and thank you cards.
If you’ve selected an outdoor venue which will require renting tables and chairs, you’ll find this next tool very helpful. You enter in your estimated guest count and roughly how many guests will be sitting at each table. The Rental Estimator uses this information and estimates how much of each item you’ll need. We’ve included pricing for Southern California area, but you can update the price field based on the rental company you’ll be using.
One of the main reasons we wanted to include this is because rentals are expensive! This tool is very helpful for brides who are trying to decide between an outdoor wedding and one inside a hotel or event center. Getting a clear idea of what you’ll be spending on rentals is the best way to make an educated decision and avoid the shock that generally comes with receiving your first rental quote! We can tell you that very few brides calculate all those little things needed and forget how much it costs to build an outdoor kitchen area for your caterer. Also make sure to include taxes, delivery fees, set up fees, and standby staff charges on your estimate as these are often missed by brides and really add up.
Value: $5 – $10
Many couples provide their own alcohol for the wedding. We designed the Bar Calculator for a number of reasons. First, we wanted to be able to tell you exactly how much alcohol you’ll be needing based on your headcount. This tool makes it easy as all you need to do is plug in your estimated guest count. Just like the rest of the tools, the Bar Calculator fills in the rest. It tells you how many bottles of beer, wine and champagne you’ll need. This tool also lays out all the liquor you’ll need for a full bar all the way down to how many pounds of ice, how many limes and bar napkins. Pretty cool, right?
The second reason is so that you could stock the bar affordably. Start pricing wine and beer and stock up the minute BevMo or your local liquor store has a sale. Check out warehouse stores too like Costco as they are great options for alcohol and generally allow for easy returns. As you price out alcohol, enter in the brand name you want to buy, the price and where you are buying from. Once this is filled out, you’ll get a very clear picture of how much your bar will cost you and if you can really afford to have a full bar. There are free bar guides online, but most only include a small portion of what we have on our Bar Calculator Tool.
Vendor Call Logs – NEW
Value: $5 – thousands!
As you book your vendors, you’ll likely have tons of calls, emails and possibly phone texts with them. The nice thing about emails and text messages is you have a record of what was discussed. With phone calls, though, it’s hard to remember all the details if you don’t take good notes. With our Vendor Call Logs, you can quickly make note who you spoke to, the date/time, main discussion points, and follow up items. Throughout your months of wedding planning, it is immensely helpful to have all this information at your fingertips. It is also extremely useful in the event a vendor is not following through, or worse, claims you never discussed something. With this detailed call log, you’ll know the exact date, time, person and have your notes on what was discussed/promised. We hope you’ll never need it, but this type of tool can be invaluable should you ever need to take a vendor to court to get back your money.
Seating Chart Guru
This one is really cool. If you are assigning seating at your wedding you know what a pain this can be. We’ve seen brides had over sheets of hand-written scribble to try to outline where each guest is sitting. Regardless of whether you are only designating tables and letting guests choose their own seat at the table or whether you are assigning the specific seat the guest will sit at, this tool will be so helpful! First, we have a drop down list of every guest at your wedding which is supplied from the Guest List Tracker. From that list you can play around and assign guests to tables. This is often quite a puzzle as brides try to seat their friends together while seating certain family members apart. You will have so much fun with the Seating Chart Guru placing your guests at tables and getting an idea of who sits with whom.
Are you getting excited yet? I know you are going to love the Bridal Tool Box.