As a weddings and events planner, having bomb software is the secret sauce to being able to run your business efficiently. When I first started TGA, I was manually doing, pretty much, everything and it took up so much of my time. In an effort to streamline my process, I went through deep dives to source out the best software and apps that worked for me and made my life a little bit easier. Here are my favorite software applications as a wedding planner.
I have talked about her before and I will talk about her again, but Honeybook is really great. I used to send all of my contracts and proposals manually. Like, I manually went in to update all the data. It used to take me about 30 minutes just to draft up a proposal and then another 30 minutes to send the contract out. That was an hour of my life for every new project. It was also impossible to keep track of where I was at in projects and see what phase clients were on. When I made the switch to Honeybook, I was able to send proposals and contracts out in under 10 minutes and keep track of the booking process.
Honeybook also has a bunch of features built into it like - sending out emails directly to clients from the portal, accepting and receiving payments within the app (which is beyond helpful for accounting), and a calendar that makes sure you never double book! I love how professional my proposals look to prospecting clients and since making the switch we have increased our booking rate by 30%. I love it and I think you might as well. We are so grateful to Honeybook for offering our readers a huge discount. You can start using honeybook for $1/month for 6 months when you use our referral link. There are tons of classes that explain how to use Honeybook and an amazing team that assists you with transferring all your current clients into the portal, so that you don’t have to. Trust me! Check it out and claim your discount!
Timeline Genius is newer to the software family, but has seriously CHANGED MY LIFE. I used to dread making timelines and I know I am not the only planner who feels this way. Constant changes, so many moving pieces, and one last minute edit and you have to resend to all the vendors again. Ask any of my staff, they will tell you how frustrated I would get drafting out timelines and it is a big part of my job, so I was very happy to find Timeline Genius. Heather, from the Union Podcast - who we’ve done a few episodes with - was actually the one who put me on game. Anything that gives me back my time (and sanity) is worth investing in. This software helps build out your timelines by using the genius feature that takes your past timelines, previous and built in templates, and industry standard schedules to create the timeline you need in a fast and efficient manner. Gone are the days of building timelines from scratch, because the more timelines you make, the smarter the software gets at predicting future builds. I know that this software works, because it keeps a log of how long you have worked on each timeline and my spent time has gone down a ton since using the app.
Timeline Genius also has a collaboration feature where you can add in your clients to be a part of the timeline building process if you choose. I know we sometimes have hands on couples who want to be a part of every aspect, so this feature allows them to make their own edits. Speaking of edits, if you have to shift the time back by 30 minutes, no problem. You can make mass edits to the timeline by clicking one button
My favorite feature is the assign option, where you can assign each timeline item to the specific vendors who it is in reference to. How many of us vendors have received a timeline that has so much information on it, but only about 10% actually pertains to you? With this feature, you can select who can see what and create tailored timelines that are specific to them. Best part – when it is time to send out the timeline, the software has the ability to mass send directly to the vendors the timeline, details, and floor plans. I love Timeline Genius and I think you will too. They have a free week trial, so you can try before you buy!
Did you know that when I started out I used to make floor plans by DRAWING THEM OUT - like with a fricken piece of paper and pen. No wonder I used to charge peanuts! Now, I use All Seated. All Seated is an event floor plan designer that builds floor plans to scale, so that you can actually see how everything will fit in the space. You can view things in 2D or 3D if that particular venue is set up in the app that way. I will say the one downfall is that not all venues have their floor plans uploaded to All Seated, which means you can’t always get an exact scale of the space. However, you are able to make your own diagram using their custom feature. Within the software, they have hundreds of different rental items with exact measurements to choose from. You are essentially just dragging and dropping in the items you want into the floor plan. Technically, you can pay for this application, but there is a free feature where you can build up to 5 floor plans at a time. Usually that is more than enough for me, so I don’t actually pay for this one. If you are doing a higher volume, then I would still suggest investing in this app. There are other features built into, like their own timeline builder, but for me, I found the floor plan the most helpful! Check out this floor plan that we built out using the software!
I am sure everyone has heard of Quickbooks, but it really is an awesome software for all your accounting and payment needs. I used to take all my payments through Venmo, which made it really difficult to organize during tax season, since I also took personal payments there. It just wasn’t as professional and actually made things harder as our volume increased. I like that Quickbooks sends out invoicing that looks legit and deposits the funds right into our bank account. There are also other features like mileage tracking that is super helpful for accounting purposes. Since switching over, it has painted a clearer picture of where we are at financially and I like knowing where we are at.
I know I will get some mixed reviews on this, but I really do like Squarespace. As someone who is a little technology illiterate and has hired a team of people to help bridge that gap, Squarespace makes sense to me. I built my first website on Squarespace and it was fairly easy for what I needed it to do. I wasn’t an online store, I didn’t have a mass influx of people flooding the site; I just wanted a place to house my work, my prices, and who the heck I was. As I started to grow, I got into the bells and whistles of the app and sure, there are other website builders out there that give you more abilities for plug ins and customizations, but for the less than tech savvy people like me, Squarespace creates professional websites that are easy to navigate and (in my opinion) has less bugs. You can try out Squarespace for free using their 2 week trial. Play around and check out their easy to use templates. Everyone needs a website, whether you are a micro business just starting out or a full blown company.
I know this blog might have seemed like an infomercial, but I am so passionate about finding things that help your business grow. Yes, some of these are investments and cost money, but in the long run, you will thank yourself. One thing I found helpful is using the trial periods that are offer. If you are a skeptic (like myself) and want to see if you like something before adding it to your monthly expenses, take advantage of the free trial. I hope you found this blog helpful. Let us know in the comments if there is an app that you love that we have to check out!