Because I work in the event industry, I have had several friends and family members ask me the best places to hold baby showers, rehearsal dinners, birthday parties, and weddings. Though I have seen many beautiful venues, I handle flowers and finances; so basically, I have no idea. Heck, I got married at my own house (pictured above) because the stress of finding a venue was too much! These days, everyone is always on their phones so I wanted to see if there was simple way to research not-just-wedding venues all in one place, all in one app. Here’s what I found…
- TheHitch $Free
This is a great concept that searches for venues in your area and automatically updates the list based on guest count and catering. Plus, it has a nice user interface and good pictures. The pros include finding unexpected venues that you may have never considered and some of the venues automatically show the cost for a buffet, seated dinner, or cocktail reception based on the guest count you provide.
The cons include the app only being available on iPad and the list of venues are very small and won’t get any better until the venues add themselves to the directory. So, the bottom line is this app has a lot of room to grow and might be worth checking into in the later versions.
- My Wedding Venue Finder $Free
This app is much simpler than the previous one. You create a profile and can search based on location. They do have filter options, but it seems a bit overwhelming considering the lack of venues. I invariably received a “No Results Found” message when I tried to customize the venue. The pros include lots of filter options (based on other more established apps) including the view, dining options, guests, hotels, etc. and it’s also available for iOS devices (iPhone, iPad) and Android. The cons include it not being very aesthetically pleasing and has even fewer locations that the previous app (unless you live in Colorado, then you get a whopping 10!) Also, it can be a little difficult to navigate. So, the bottom line is, again, there is room to grow, but they need a lot more interest from venues.
- iDoo $Free
Okay, so this just isn’t for venues. It’s an all-in-one planning app for couples on the road to getting hitched. You can invite lots of people to view and complete your to-do list, search all sorts of vendors, and my two favorite things: create a seating chart and track your spending (WHY DIDN’T I KNOW ABOUT THIS WHEN I GOT MARRIED????). But what in the world does that have to do with finding a venue? Nothing. They do have a list of venues that is great for big cities, but once again, it’s pretty limited. The pros are all of the aforementioned non-venue/vendor related awesomeness, including linking to your Pinterest page, it’s easy user-friendliness and navigation, and of course, the cute logo! The cons are the limited list of venues (and all vendors for that matter)which leaves room for improvement, though it does have more options than the apps previously listed and the ads that periodically interrupt your search. Also, the boring gray color isn’t very inspiring (though that might be a pro for you!) and it is only available for IPhone and IPad. So, the bottom line is it’s a great option if you need a planning aid and you already have your vendors and venue picked out, BUT not so great for finding a venue (or florist, or photographer, etc.).
- WedTeam by Wedding Wire $Free
This is also an all-in-one planning app that lets your search a variety of vendors based on loads of options and contact them straight from the app. It’s not surprising that it is streamlined and easy to use with a huge directory of venues, as it is provided by the fine folks at Wedding Wire who have this whole wedding-internet thing figured out. Plus, you have the added bonus of almost every vendor being reviewed by previous clients. The pros are its easy to use, the great pictures and you can sort the venues based on your preferences. Also, there is advice and reviews from former/current clients that are readily available. This is available for download on iOS and Android devices. The cons are it is wedding themed. So, the bottom line is this the app I would use when looking for vendors for any event.
What I have learned from this lovely experiment is that no matter what you are planning, most apps will be geared toward the engaged couple looking to plan a wedding, which is great if you need a venue for a wedding. Otherwise, just ignore the ringing bell clipart and wedding dress ads and find what works for you.
Also, you are more likely to find what you are looking for in an all-in-one app instead of trying to break down the different elements of your event. In fact, your best bet it to use an app provided by a well-known company (like Wedding Wire or The Knot). They have years of vendors and venues stored away, available at your fingertips!