Just a few years ago, it still felt optional to have a smart device and know that "app" is short for "application"…and not the kind you fill out to get a job. Times have surely changed! PC Magazine recently reported that more than 40% of today's brides are using apps to plan their weddings. As well, 18% of brides-to-be find and buy their dress online, and 61% use online tools instead of a travel agent to coordinate honeymoon plans.

But you might wonder—what is your incentive to do so? The truth is, tech-savvy brides tend to get more wedding for their budget. If you have big wedding dreams, these apps can help you make those dreams a reality and save you cash—a true win-win!

Specific ways tech-savvy brides can (and do!) save:

  • Invitations: Opt for digital invitations instead of snail mail (+ save the trees!)
  • Music: Create an iTunes or Spotify (or similar) mix instead of hiring a DJ.
  • Planning: Use apps instead of hiring a professional wedding planner.
  • Photography: Ask guests to snap photos (and post 'em online) instead of hiring a photographer—then provide a wedding website with downloadable prints instead of printing photos for the wedding party.
  • Price comparison: Use the web to scout the lowest price on dresses and tuxedos, rings, flowers, catering, transportation, venues, and more.
  • Communication: Make use of free video calls to share ideas rather than gathering in person.

Each of these great wedding apps offers invaluable assistance, ideas, and support to help you plan like a pro—without spending cash to hire one!

1. Wedding Wire

Wedding Wire is an all-purpose app designed to help you plan every aspect of your big day. Whether you need to search the database of 200,000+ vendors for the perfect local caterer, add to your guest list, balance your wedding budget, find inspiration from fellow brides in the forums and galleries, or all of the above, this app can help you do it!

2. Wedding Party

Wedding Party is a great free app to help you sync wedding communications, photos, registry, and more with the wedding party and guests. Once you set up your wedding on Wedding Party, guests can register using the wedding party name you create. You can also find inspiration and ideas, download free resources (like place card settings), keep long-distance friends and relatives informed, and ensure everyone arrives at the venue on time.

3. My Registry

This free app is so handy it even has a built-in universal scanner—no need to ask a store associate for help. You can scan online and offline products, add a cash registry, find the best pricing on the items you want to add to your registry (guests will appreciate this!), and will effortlessly grow with you as you start a family (it works equally well for baby showers).

4. Appy Couple

Appy Couple gives you all the digital tools you need—a fabulous website creation tool, the chance to create Save the Dates, RSVPs, invitations and more (300+ designs to choose from), an integrated sharing platform for the wedding party and guests, social media tools, the ability to make and coordinate travel arrangements, and even eMeet and "virtual champagne" toasts for distant friends and family who can't be there in person.

5. Spotify

Spotify is "the" resource for helping you plan the perfect playlists for every wedding-related event, from the bridal shower to the bachelor/ette parties to the rehearsal dinner and the big day itself. You can use Spotify for free online or from your smart devices (phones, tablets, computers). Once you download Spotify (for free) onto your computer, you can sync it with your devices and take advantage of plenty of other free Spotify apps, such as Classify (for classical music mixes), Top 10 (just like it sounds), Filtr (auto-creates mixes based on artists you like), and many others.