It turns out finding the venue and booking a caterer for the wedding was the easy part. Now it's time to track down all of your family and friends to send out Save-the-Date cards. You could do things the old-fashioned way, calling friends and family one by one to painstakingly put together an address book. Or you could use the power of the web to send those requests, collect everyone's responses, and wrap everything together in a tidy little spreadsheet.
Ask anyone who's planned a wedding, a big birthday bash, or a baby shower. Collecting mailing addresses from a big group can be tough. But there are a few (free!) services out there to make it easier:
Sign up for a free account at Postable
and they'll provide a link to share with family and friends (something like postable.com/yourname
) over email, text, or Facebook. When guests click the link, they'll be invited to add their contact info into an online address book specific to the planned occasion. It's all private and secure, up-to-the-minute, and available for viewing any time. Guest contact information can easily be exported to an Apple Address Book, Outlook, and Gmail, with the option to export an Excel spreadsheet for a calligrapher to refer to or for making address labels yourself.
After the big day is done, Postable additionally offers a Thank You card service where users can type and save personal thank-you messages to each guest right on the site. It even prints, stamps, and mails these thank you cards out. Brilliant!
ConXt is also a free online address book management service packed with added features for the super-organized bride or groom. Sign up for an account and import existing email contacts from mail platforms like Gmail and Outlook to start building a guest list. Wedding planners can then send out a contact web form for friends and family to populate the online address book.
Once addresses are all collected, ConXt offers options to sort, share, and print whatever is needed. Tag guests into groups, link people to their spouses or children, easily print mailing labels onto standard Avery label sheets, or send emails and physical mail right from the site. ConXt also allows users to export collected contents right back into personal Gmail, Hotmail, Outlook, or Yahoo! address books.
If you're already a Gmail user and have most of your wedding guests in your email contacts, it could be a smooth move to use Google Docs to collect mailing information. Google has already created a handy Google Docs Wedding Address Book Template
making the process insanely easy. (Google also has this handy page
promoting how all of their online services can help plan a wedding).
The template is a customizable Google Form to email to family and friends (with any email address) to fill out. When DIY wedding planners log in, they'll have the option of viewing all of the submitted responses in a Google Docs spreadsheet. The whole thing lives in the cloud and can be easily shared with parents, bridesmaids, groomsmen or anybody else willing to help out with wedding planning.
(Images: Shutterstock, Shutterstock, As linked above)