- Introduction: Using Free Apps for Planning Your Wedding
- The Power of Google’s Apps
- Setup Step A: Create a New Google Account
- Setup step B: Install the Google Apps on Your Phones
- Make Wedding Planning Documents in Google Docs
- Use Google Sheets to Create a Wedding Budget
- Organize and Access Files with Google Drive
- Use Google Photos to Organize and Share Pictures
- Share Quick Notes and Checklists with Google Keep
- Communicate with Vendors and Your Wedding Party Using Gmail
- Save Time with Video Calls on Google Meet
- Set Your Schedule and Dates with Google Calendar
- In Closing: Google’s Apps Help with Wedding Planning
- Looking for wedding planning help from a photographer’s perspective?
Introduction: Using Free Apps for Planning Your Wedding
Looking for ways to get a little more organized while planning your big day? Here’s how you can use eight free Google apps for wedding planning.
Here in Connecticut, we’re slowly working towards getting back to normal amidst the COVID-19 pandemic. The wedding industry has been turned upside down, worst of all causing many nearlyweds to drastically change or even abandon their wedding plans. Chances are that if you’re reading this, you’re affected (hang in there!) or wondering if you might be. With this post, I’m hoping to offer you some help by describing how you can make use of eight free Google apps for wedding planning.
Where am I coming from with this advice? I’m basing it on three factors:
- My wife and I just got married last winter and we used Google tools the whole through. I’ll be completely honest with you: MaryKate did 99% of the planning, I just watched (and provided moral support). But we used Google apps the whole way along and I’ll take credit for that idea.
- In the day-to-day of running my own Connecticut wedding photography studio, I use Google’s apps all the time. In the day to day, I spend time talking with colleagues in the business, reading Facebook wedding group discussions, and dealing with inquiries. Because of social distancing, weddings as we know them are going to be temporarily different.
- I’ve been using Google’s apps for years. I don’t work for Google and I never aspired to. I also have zero affiliation with them, other than being a user of their stuff. But, I recognize great tools and products when I see them.
Video Summary: How to Use the Apps
One last thing before we get to the tips
Remember: you don’t have to have Android devices to use Google’s apps any more; they’re available on Apple iOS, too. For reference, I’m using my iPad in the video and in the screenshots. It turns out that most of the people who visit my website are iOS (i.e. iPhone or iPad) users. Luckily, Google and Apple play a lot nicer with each other these days. Google’s apps are now widely available (and very functional) on iPhones and iPads running iOS. With all that said, this post will be geared to iOS users who are probably less familiar with Google software. Most importantly, this post will help you by teaching you how to use these apps for wedding planning.
The Power of Google’s Apps
Understandably, there are many different approaches to keeping track of all of the stuff required for planning your wedding. The reason I like Google’s apps is because of the following: they work really well, they sync with the cloud automatically, and they’re free.
Quick Summary: Google Apps and Their Usefulness for Wedding Planning
Here are the apps I’m talking about and how they can be helpful for wedding planning:
How to use Google Apps for wedding planning.
- Docs: A really nice word processor.
Like, really nice, especially for something that’s free. You can use this to make lists, mock up invites, and write your vows all on the go.
- Sheets: Just like Docs, but for spreadsheets.
Use this app to create and maintain your wedding budget, make guest lists, and keep track of gifts.
- Drive: For viewing and handling your files stored in the Google cloud.
Just like iOS’s or Android’s Files apps, used to manage and access the individual files that you create while planning your wedding.
- Photos: Quite similar to iOS’s Photos app.
Save and share screenshots of wedding attire and décor ideas, then eventually create albums of wedding day photos for sharing.
- Keep: A nice note-taking app.
The perfect, easy-to-use app for creating quick and powerful notes and checklists. You can even assign notes to your partner.
- Gmail: For email. Of the best features of having a Google account.
Create a single wedding planning email account for you and your partner, filter and label emails, and keep in touch with your people.
- Meet: Google’s version of Zoom, perfect for videoconferencing.
Host meetings with prospective wedding vendors and talk to your wedding party attendants.
- Calendar: Probably the best calendar app out there, honestly.
Schedule all of your wedding planning meetings, visits, and events. Oh, and don’t forget to put your actual wedding date on there, too.
Setup Step A: Create a New Google Account
A common move for couples planning their wedding these days is to create a shared email address dedicated to it. For example, my wife and I might have had “firstname.lastname@example.org” had we decided to go this route. This approach would simplify things in a way: as long as you and your fiancé/e share the password, you two should be able to stay logged into your single account simultaneously when you’re using the apps.
Whether you two want a single, joint account or your own separate accounts, read on!
Creating a new Google account
For all of Google’s apps, your Google username and password covers everything, including email (called Gmail; we’ll get to that). So this means that for a given device (I.e. computer, phone, or tablet), you’ll generally log into Google once and then be all set to use the apps and services.
To create a new Google account, just act as if you’re trying to log in, then click “Create account -> For myself” (you and your fiancé/e are a person in this context, rather than a business).
Why you might want a single, joint Google account dedicated to planning their wedding
By having one account, all data that you two access or save with that account will be shared between the two of you, including email. As far as I can tell, that’s the reason that most engaged couples tend to create and share a single Google account when planning their wedding. This way, when you contact wedding photographers, inquire with venues, and create online gift registries, all of the emails will be central to this account.
Furthermore, once you create a joint Google account, you’ll both sync data from Google’s apps for wedding planning. It’s automatic and just happens, with little to no input on your part!
Why you might NOT want a single, joint Google account for wedding planning and may prefer having separate accounts
While I’m an advocate for creating one Google account for you and your partner to use while planning your wedding, I can certainly understand why you might not want to. In fact, my wife and I didn’t. Here are two reasons why:
- You and your partner will be sharing all of that account’s data across all of your phones, tablets, and computers. With that said, if you two value your digital space and independent, you may want to stick with separate Google accounts for now.
- You’ll have a shared email account through Gmail, too. In our case, my wife and I actually split up some vendor categories. For example, I was responsible for picking our wedding photographer (she wouldn’t let me pick myself though). So, I started email conversations with several different professionals and then brought MaryKate in on CC once I had narrowed down the pack. The point is, a shared email account wasn’t something we really needed nor wanted.
Regardless of which approach you choose (separate Google accounts or a joint one), the rest of this guide will help you learn how Google’s apps can help you while planning your wedding.
A quick word on Google account settings, security, privacy, etc.
It seems like companies such as Google, Apple, Facebook, etc. are always in the news with regards to privacy and security. In order to see everything in one spot, just head to the My Account section of Google from your browser at any time.
Setup step B: Install the Google Apps on Your Phones
Next, it’s time to get the apps onto your device and then get yourself logged in. Once you do so on all of the devices you two use on the daily, you’ll both be ready to use the apps for wedding planning.
- iOS: Head over to the App Store and download any of Google’s apps; start with Google Drive, let’s say.
- Android: Nice and easy. You probably have all of the apps already. If you just created a new account in the previous step, just add that new account to your device (you can Google this for your specific version of Android; on 10, you’re looking for “Add another account” in settings).
Planning to work with Google’s apps for wedding planning on your computer? Then it’s even easier: at the top-right of the main Google homepage, you have a square icon that you can click to view all of the apps associated with your account. If you want to, you can browse to each app individually then bookmark each one within your web browser of your choice.
Make Wedding Planning Documents in Google Docs
Let’s get to it by making a draft guest list! Open up Google Docs, which will present you with a blank interface. Click the plus sign in the lower-right corner, choose New file, give it a name, and then you’ll be on your way.
The rest is pretty self-explanatory, if you’ve ever used a word processor before (Microsoft Word comes to mind). Like most of the other Google apps, Docs will save your work for you pretty regularly. If you ever want to save manually, though, just click the check mark in the top-left of the screen.
To access your guest list later, you can just open Docs again and it should be listed there. You might be wondering where the file actually lives; we’ll get to that in a later tip (hint: Google Drive is the key).
Other ways you might want to use the Google Docs app for wedding planning
When my wife and I were using Google apps for wedding planning, here are some of the other ways we used Docs:
- Creation of wedding invitation labels
- Drafting of wedding vows
- As a general purpose spell-checker, such as before ordering wedding invitations
Sharing individual Google Docs files between accounts
If you two opted for separate Google accounts while planning your wedding, you can still work on Docs files together. Docs files can be shared between Google accounts. While working with a file within the app, click the three-dot menu icon, choose Share & export, then provide your fiancé/e’s info. Then, when your partner opens up Docs while logged into their own account, then can choose the Shared with me menu option within the app to see all of the files you’ve shared with them.
Use Google Sheets to Create a Wedding Budget
Organizing information in spreadsheets really saved my now-wife and me when we were planning our wedding. No matter how big or small your wedding will be, you will quickly realize that the multitude of color scheme, decoration, food, wedding photographer, venue, etc. options available to you can be a little overwhelming. This is where Google Sheets comes in handy as one of the best apps for wedding planning.
If you’re not an expert with spreadsheets, that’s no problem at all. There’s two simple ways to think about spreadsheets in general:
- As tables for holding and sorting text, e.g., wedding planner options.
- As powerful mathematical tools for calculations, e.g., wedding budgets.
If you want to get technical about it, Microsoft Excel calls a single “spreadsheet file” a workbook while Sheets calls it a spreadsheet. The important thing here is that a single Sheets spreadsheet file can contain multiple spreadsheets itself, just like an Excel workbook. So when using Sheets, you can create multiple, individual spreadsheet files for different purposes. Or you can create one, big file that contains multiple spreadsheets (which appear as tabs at the bottom of the screen) all in one place.
Using a spreadsheet to plan your wedding using text only
As powerful of an app as Sheets may be, you can use it for just organizing words in a table if you want to. I’ll be honest, I do this daily. Here’s one way:
- Using row 1 as a header row, type Photographer, Photo Style, Package Options, Package Perks, Price, and Notes.
- Then, highlight that entire row by clicking the “1” all the way over on the left of the screen, then click the “B” in the top toolbar to make your header row bold.
- Now, select all of the columns that you have typed into, click the three-dot menu icon at the top-right of the screen, then choose Create a filter. Once you have populated your info, you can click the upside-down triangles in your header row to organize or sort the information, if you want to.
- Save your Sheets file by clicking the check mark in the top-left of the screen. Then, at the lower-left corner of the screen, click the triangle on the spreadsheet tab that says “Sheet 1,” choose Rename, and rename this spreadsheet to “Photographers”.
- Lastly, head back to the main Sheets app screen. Give your file, which is called “Unnamed spreadsheet” by default, a new name by clicking the three-dot menu icon next to it and choosing Rename.
Now, you’re ready to begin organizing wedding photographer info as you look around for someone to capture your day!
Using a spreadsheet to set up and keep track of your wedding budget
Now, you can see here that we’re using Sheets as a glorified table to organize words, names, websites, etc. But the true power of a spreadsheet is to play with numbers.
As a big believer in budgeting and planning finances, I highly recommend that you add a budget spreadsheet to your new Sheets workbook. My wife and I did this and it helped us stay on track with the money aspect of our wedding planning. No matter your backgrounds or wedding plans, you and your fiancé/e must have some kind of budget. Sheets can help you keep track of that. Here’s a quick example. Let’s suppose your wedding will be in September of 2020 (hopefully weddings are back to normal by then):
Start your budget spreadsheet
- Open the Sheets file that you created in the previous section.
- In the lower-right corner of the screen, click the plus sign to add a new spreadsheet to this file. It’ll be called Sheet 2 by default; rename it to “Wedding Budget”.
- Create a header row as follows: Category, Total Budget, Total Cost, Rem. Owned, then June, July, Aug, Sept. Then, highlight the row and make it bold.
Sprinkle in some formatting and a formula
- Now, let’s format certain cells for money. Highlight cells B2 through H2 then click the icon in the top-right of the screen that has the letter A with three little lines next to it. In this formatting menu, choose Cell -> Number format -> Currency. If you want, you can work ahead and apply this formatting to all cells in columns B through H, excluding row 1 (the header row).
- Next, let’s create an example entry row representing your venue. Start by entering the following formula in cell D2, which will calculate how much you owe to your venue from month to month:
By the way, go ahead and copy and paste that formula right into your spreadsheet. Here it is one more time, for your use in cell D2 (column D, row 2):
Now try it out with an example item:
- Next, place $12,000 in cell B2 to represent your venue budget.
- Then, enter $10,000 in cell C2. This value represents your total venue fee, which you’ll know once you’re ready to sign on with a venue, receive and sign a contract, and are told what the payment schedule will be.
- Now, pretend you have made the June payment; enter $2500 in cell E2 and watch the Rem. Owed value reduce from $10,000 to $7,500 due to the formula you already typed there.
- Go ahead and enter a couple of more rows’ worth of budget info, possibly for your wedding photographer budget and cake budget, as examples.
And there you go, you now have a simple wedding budget spreadsheet! If you want to get a little fancier with it, you could use two rows per budget item (where one row is for actual payments made and the other row is for the payment schedule) or add conditional formatting to certain cells (such as to change the color of a cell if you go over budget on something).
A note for iOS users
I mentioned earlier that Google and Apple are now playing more nicely with each other. Well, that’s mostly true. The truth is, however, that Sheets on iPhone and iPad lacks a little bit of the power that Android and computer users have. So, if you’re an iOS user and you want to do advanced things like conditional formatting (e.g., making a cell turn red if the dollar amount in it is above a certain value), then you’ll have to do so using a web browser on an actual computer. But honestly, if you’re using Sheets and the other Google apps for wedding planning on Apple devices, you probably won’t care all that much.
Sharing individual Google Sheets files between accounts
Google Sheets files can be shared with your partner, too. The process is just like the one for sharing files within Docs.
Organize and Access Files with Google Drive
Up to this point, you’ve probably been wondering how to find all of the Google Docs and Google Sheets files that you’ve been creating and experimenting with. Once you start contacting vendors, selecting them, then filling out their contracts you’ll probably want to organize your files within the Google ecosystem. For example, when you begin contacting and hearing back from wedding photographers and they send you pricing info, you may want a single place to put all of that. This is where Google Drive comes in: it helps you with the data organization side of using these apps for wedding planning.
At its heart, Drive is Google’s file management app. It does, however, have a little more power than that. For example, when you eventually head in to sign your venue contract, you can pretty easily create a PDF scan of right there on the spot using Drive on your phone. Also, Drive is the single app you can use to manage sharing of the Docs and Sheets files that you created in the previous step. The best part is that all of the files you save with Drive are securely stored in the cloud, meaning you can access them no matter where you are.
Your Drive stores almost everything, but not everything is visible there
Nowadays, new Google accounts come with 15 GB of Drive storage space (that’s three times what Apple gives you in iCloud, by the way). This is also known as your drive quota. That’s a lot of space for free, frankly. If you’re following this guide and using all of these Google apps for wedding planning, this free storage will serve you really well.
Here’s a quick nuance to get out of the way:
- Google Drive is an app. It’s where you can view most of the files you save on your Drive…
- “Google Drive” is also how you refer to your space in Google’s cloud. Again, with a free Google account, you get 15 GB of storage to start. This covers everything you have within the Google app and cloud ecosystem, not all of which is actually visible/accessible within the Google Drive app.
If you ever want to view the details of your overall Google Drive storage, just head to the My Account section of Google from your web browser. By the way, photos (up to a certain size) which are stored in Google Photos don’t count against your Drive quota. Also, things like Google Keep note don’t show up in Drive.
Browsing your Drive
To start, open up Drive and you’ll see your Docs and Sheets files sitting there. Next, try creating a new folder called “Wedding Planning” and then move (I.e. cut and paste) your files into that folder.
Sharing folders and files between Google accounts
Now, here’s the important part: if you and your fiancé/e opted not to create a single, shared Google account for use of these apps for wedding planning, then you’ll want to share your “Wedding Planning” folder with your partner. To do that:
- Select the folder (on your phone, you can press and hold the folder’s name), then click the three-dot icon in the top-right corner of the screen.
- Select Share. Next, type your fiancé/e’s email address.
- Click the send icon, and then they’ll receive an email notifying them that a Google Drive folder has been shared with them.
Be careful with sharing folders
Please keep something in mind: when you share a folder within Drive, everything in that folder is shared by default. Now, you can individually un-share files within a shared folder, but they will start out shared. Don’t be like me, who almost made my secret vows available to my wife by saving them in our shared wedding planning folder (we ended up not having vows anyway, but it would’ve been funny).
If you’re an iOS user, then you’re used to Apple’s own Photos app. Well, Google Photos is very similar (but better; sorry, Apple fans). Nice and simple, it allows you two to save everything from screenshots to photos you take with your phone’s camera. One of the best things is that you can store unlimited photos up to 16 MP in resolution for free, not counting against your overall, free 15 GB Google Drive quota (the largest size an iPhone 11 Pro Max is capable of is 12 MP).
Open up Google Photos and you’ll begin at the main Photos screen. This part of the app is like your Camera Roll…pretty simple. Let’s dive a little deeper into why Photos is among the most powerful of Google’s apps for wedding planning.
First things first: configure the app for automatic backup (or not)
If you and your fiancé/e took my advice and created a joint Google account for planning your wedding during the quarantine and beyond, you’ll want to read this section closely.
Conveniently, Google Photos automatically finds the important photo locations on your phone or tablet. This means that when you first open the app, you’ll see photos you’ve taken with your device’s camera as well as screenshots you’ve saved.
Turn on automatic photo backup
Now, let’s check on automatic photo backup. On iOS, you can click on your Google avatar in the top-right corner of the screen and then head over to Photos settings to configure the app to your liking. On Android, just click the hamburger and then Settings. In either case, your destination is Back up & sync.
And best of all, if you two opted to create a single Google account to share while planning your wedding during the quarantine, then when either of you opens the app from your respective phones, everything will be backed up and saved in one place.
Note that if you have multiple Google accounts (that’s allowed, you know, and the individual apps make it really easy to quickly switch between accounts), you can only automatically back up your phone or tablet’s photos to one account at a time.
Caution for couples using a joint Google wedding account and sharing these apps for wedding planning
If you two opted to create a joint Google wedding account in step 1, you probably DON’T want to enable automatic backup of your photos to this account on your phones and tablets.
Here’s a potentially awkward scenario: once the quarantine is over, you head out and start looking at dresses with your mom, sister, and/or best friend. You snap a few photos of yourself trying some on so that you can go home and think about it for a while. Then, Google Photos automatically backs those pictures up to the joint Google account that you and your partner created in step 1 of this post.
Suddenly, the decision to have a first look or not won’t matter because your spouse-to-be will have already seen you in your dress. Yikes.
Sharing pictures between Google accounts
Surely, while you’re planning your wedding during the quarantine (and after), you and your partner will be downloading and saving pictures you find online, creating screenshots of things you want to remember for later, and taking photos on the go. Obviously, you’ll want to share these pictures, both with your life-partner-to-be and maybe with your closest family members and friends. Organizing these pictures into shared albums is the solution.
To create a Shared Album, select the images that you’d like to be in it then click the plus sign in the top-right corner of the screen. Next, select Shared Album, give it a title, click Share, then choose the Google accounts of the people you’d like to share the album with (or type in their email addresses), then lastly click Send. This will send an email to all of the people you choose and then they’ll be able to contribute and comment on the photos in the album, too.
Sharing pictures with other Google apps for wedding planning
Photos is Google’s central point for pictures, but it’s not the only app that can handle them. Actually, the other Google apps very nicely integrate with Google Photos, allowing you to easily access for your photo library. For example, when you’re eventually out visiting venues and comparing reception table setup possibilities, snap a few photos and take some notes in a new Google Keep note. Then, easily attach those photos to your new note. Speaking of Keep…
Simply put, Google Keep is Google’s note-taking app. Nice and simple, each note you create receives a title, then you either type plain old text or a checklist into it. From there, you can even attach photos (which you take right then and there with your phone or tablet camera, or attach from Google Photos), label, and color-code your notes. This app is really handy, both for wedding planning and just everyday tasks and lists.
Sharing notes between Google accounts
In Google Keep, sharing a note is accomplished by clicking the three-dot menu in the bottom-right of the screen, choosing Collaborator, and then selecting whomever you would like to. Then, the note will show up in their Keep app with your Google avatar on it. Easy!
Communicate with Vendors and Your Wedding Party Using Gmail
Perhaps Google’s most used app, and certainly its easiest to use one, is Gmail. This is Google’s answer to email and it works really well. By default, you’ll use Gmail with your Google account, with your email address being “[your Google account username]@gmail.com”. Trust me, I’ve used a lot of different email services and programs over the years, and Gmail really is the best. If you’ve never used it, just give it a try and give yourself some time to get used to it. And don’t bother closing your other email accounts; you can even use them with the Gmail app. Once you really get going, Gmail will probably be your most-used of the Google apps for wedding planning.
The labels and filters are really useful
Gmail doesn’t use folders, it uses labels. By default, all emails arrive in your inbox. At any time, you can create labels, then apply them to emails. You can even create filters which will automatically do things to new emails, such as apply a specific label to them based on certain words that are in the subject line. Once labeled, an email will remain in your inbox until you archive it. The combination of these two actions–labeling and then archiving an email–is the equivalent to the old-school method of putting emails into folders.
Unfortunately, creation and editing of labels and filters isn’t yet very powerful in any of the Gmail mobile apps. So to set up labeling and take advantage of filtering in a computer web browser.
Create your first label
Let’s start with labeling:
- Head over to www.gmail.com in your web browser.
- Open an email. Any will do, but just choose one that’s in your inbox if you have one.
- Once the email is open, click the label icon (small rectangle with a triangle on the right side, pointing towards the right). Click Create new.
- Give your new label the name “Wedding” and then click Create. When you create a new label while viewing an email, that new label will be automatically applied to that open email.
- Go back to the Inbox view. To apply labels to emails in bulk, you can select them on the left of the screen, then click the label icon, then select and deselect labels to your liking.
A quick note: in Gmail, a single email can have multiple labels applied to it. This might be useful if, for example, you create another label called Finances which you end up applying to an email from your venue containing your final invoice.
Create a filter to automatically apply a label to new emails
And now for filtering. Let’s create a filter that will automatically label emails with your new Wedding label:
- Head back to you Inbox, select that email again, click the three-dot menu button, then choose Filter messages like these.
- The filter box will pop open with a default filter. In my case, Gmail assumed that I wanted to create a filter based on the sender of the email I selected. Were going to do something slightly different here though. So, clear out any text in the From though Doesn’t have fields.
- In the Has the words field, type “wedding” then click Create filter. If you click Search, that will apply the filter to all emails in your Gmail account without actually saving the filter permanently for future use.
- In the next box, check Apply the label and use the drop-down menu to select your Wedding label.
- Click Create filter.
With this filter, every new email that arrives containing the word “wedding” will automatically be labeled with your Wedding label. A nice time-saver!
While there are ways to share access to your individual Gmail, I don’t recommend pursuing this. If you and your spouse-to-be have opted to proceed with wedding planning using separate Google accounts, just CC each other on emails to keep things nice and clean. Unlike Google’s other apps, for wedding planning, I recommend just keeping Gmail separate (unless you created a joint account in step 1).
Save Time with Video Calls on Google Meet
In 2020, everyone is familiar with FaceTime. And if you’ve never used FaceTime, you’ve probably used Skype. And during the COVID-19 pandemic, Zoom has become a household name. Well, as of the end of April, Google’s answer to Zoom is free to all Google account holders: it’s called Google Meet.
Using Meet is pretty self-explanatory. From within the app, just start a new meeting, copy the web address (or URL) of the meeting, then send it out to whomever you would like to join.
The power is with scheduling Google Meet meetings from Gmail or Calendar
There’s nothing particularly fancy about Google Meet, but it is convenient. This convenience is expanded when you take advantage of the fact that within Gmail (in a web browser) and Google Calendar (we’ll get to that), you can set up meetings very quickly. Then from those apps, sharing them is easy, too.
While planning your wedding during the quarantine, I think it’s reasonable to expect that the wedding vendors you reach out to will invite you two to their socially-distant meeting method of choice (Google Meet is what I use to talk with prospective clients and current clients alike). If you’d prefer to take charge, however, then just ask those vendors if they wouldn’t mind talking with you on Meet if you send them an invitation.
Don’t forget to include your partner in those video meetings
There isn’t really a sharing feature to speak of in Google Meet. If you two want to stay organized using Google’s service, then just throw your fiancé/e onto the Meet invitation list when you’re creating or scheduling a new meeting.
Set Your Schedule and Dates with Google Calendar
The last Google app I’ll introduce you to might be their most powerful: Google Calendar. What’s so great about it, you ask?
- It’s clean and fast. On all platforms I’ve used it on, Google Calendar just looks and performs greatly. You can change the view and edit the colors to your liking…and the changes show up instantly.
- Entries/events can be highly customized. Creating new calendar entries and then customizing them can be as basic or detailed as you want. In addition to the usual calendar attributes, you can even set multiple reminders on your events to make sure that you get ready in time (I use this a lot).
- Inviting and sharing is really easy. About that…
Sharing calendars between Google accounts
If you and your fiancé/e opted to keep things separate as far as Google goes, then you’ll want to figure out how to share calendars with each other. Don’t worry: it’s really easy. So, let’s create a wedding calendar and share it. Like the initial configuration of Gmail, you’ll have to do this within a web browser.
Create a new calendar
- Head over to calendar.google.com in your web browser.
- Expand the left-hand menu by clicking the hamburger (three lines) menu icon in the top-left corner of the screen.
- On the left of the screen underneath the small calendar, click the plus sign next to Other calendars. Choose Create new calendar.
- On the next screen, name your new calendar “Wedding” and give it a description if you want to. Click Create calendar when you’re done. Now you’re back on the main Google Calendar screen and not much looks different. Before we explore further, let’s edit the settings of the new calendar.
Customize and share the new calendar
- Over in the left-hand menu, look for your new Wedding calendar under My calendars. Click the three-dot menu next to it, change the color if you want, then choose Settings and sharing.
- Scroll down on the resulting screen and look for Share with specific people. Type your partner’s contact info here then click Send. After that, configure their permission for the calendar; I recommend setting theirs to “Make changes and manage sharing” like yourself.
- Next scroll down and look for Event notifications and All-day event notifications. These are the defaults for all new calendar entries for this calendar only. Set these to whatever you want so that you both get Google Calendar reminders in your phone for wedding planning appointments.
With that, now you two have a shared wedding planning calendar for all your eventually planned meetings, appointments, and viewings. Note that now, you have two calendars in your Google account: Wedding and the default one. Hopefully you assigned different colors to them to keep things organized.
Create a calendar entry
Now let’s create a calendar entry. Since we’re already in a web browser, we’ll stay here for this example:
- On the main Google Calendar screen, click the big plus sign with the word Create next to it.
- In the window that pops up, give your test event a title, add a guest (if you have already shared this calendar with your fiancé/e , there’s really no need to add them as a recipient since they’re a co-owner of the calendar already). You can even add a Google Meet conference to this invitation for practice. If you want to, click More options to set other things, such as changing the default notification timing.
- When you’re done, click Save.
In Closing: Google’s Apps Help with Wedding Planning
If the COVID-19 pandemic has taught us anything, it’s that the world can change in a very big way at the drop of a hat. I sincerely hope that for you and your loved ones (especially the one you’re going to marry one day soon), life hasn’t changed too much and you’re on the right track to getting it back to normal.
Hopefully this post has helped you! Beneath the surface, Google’s apps really are useful. Throw in the fact that they’re free. Then, keep in mind that they’re updated often. The end result? You and your fiancé/e have yourselves a great set of tools for planning your wedding, at home and on the go! Now, get back to planning your wedding and remember this: we’ll all make it out of this pandemic one day (hopefully) very soon.
Now get back to planning that dream wedding!
Looking for wedding planning help from a photographer’s perspective?
I can help with that! Just click below for more resources or my contact page.