By ALEXANDRA MATZKO

Some people are naturals when they are planning their weddings, as if they were born with a wedding gene.

Others, like myself, are a bit wedding challenged.

I’m not sure what people like me did in the dark ages before the Internet, but to me, the web is a planning godsend.

Sites and applications like Pinterest offer up a world of color palettes, floral arrangements, and even “must take” wedding photos. Anything you need, from vendors to do-it-yourself instructions, is out there.

Here are the most valuable websites for getting the planning ball rolling.

Pinterest

This sort of goes without saying. Even I checked out Pinterest’s wedding category before getting engaged; that’s saying something. Pinterest is the mothership of inspiration.

What colors work well with peach? What table setting is on trend? What’s a cute way to treat your bridesmaids with a gift? It’s all there. I love scrolling through adorable wedding photography and decor. Pour yourself a glass of wine, grab a friend, and plunge into this wedding wonderland. Get yourself in the mindset, and you won’t regret it. Create a wedding board and pin away!

My only note of caution? Take heed that once you start, it is addictive.

The Knot

I tried to rebel against The Notorious Knot. If I’m feeling cynical, I’d describe it as one more narcissistic platform to rave about how your love is better and stronger than anyone else’s love and how you had this amazing proposal and isn’t everything just wonderful and perfect. That is really not my scene.

But, I’ve got that awesome, wedding-enthused mom, and she insisted that I create a profile. So I did. Let’s just say that my “How we met” story isn’t going to win the Pulitzer.

(Yes, The Knot prompts users to create stories detailing how couples met, how the proposal went down, and other cringe-worthy facts). Thankfully, this information is voluntary. If you don’t feel like advertising your relationship to the world, you don’t have to. And if you do, GO CRAZY. It’s your day after all!

If you’re not one for the hullabaloo, like me, you can use The Knot for strictly utilitarian purposes. Signing up for a free account lets you create a web page featuring all of your wedding’s most important information: date, time, place, registry, and guest list. It also features a countdown to the big day.

My favorite aspect is the wedding registry feature. The Knot partners with the registry biggies such as Pottery Barn, Bed Bath & Beyond, Williams Sonoma, and many others. This allows all of your registries, from multiple stores, to be presented in one space: your Knot wedding page. It makes for a streamlined and easy registry process. I’m a big fan.

I’d say The Knot is a necessary evil to get people information in a clear, organized manner that requires very little effort on your part. The one Knot lesson that I learned the hard way? Make your wedding page private! If not, anyone has access to all of your information. Like all of your high school students, for instance …

921384_10105243047552520_4296962125461514721_oWedding Wire

Wedding Wire is like yelp for weddings. The homepage boasts “Over 2.5 Millon Reviews” and counting. Here, you are able to scour reviews of all aspects of your big day. Read about DJs, photographers, florists, venues, bakers, caterers, and absolutely anything else. It even has a Pinterest-style inspiration section with DIY reviews.

I loved this site for venue-hunting. The reviews felt honest and all were current. It has a lot of pictures taken by guests or the wedding party, and reviewers mention staff by name with a lot of specifics. It will definitely help you dodge bullets or learn that “if guest list is over 100, the guests will not all fit in the main room” and other helpful information.

You’ve definitely got to check this one out!

Ashley’s Bride Guide

These last two resources are Tennessee specific. Ashley’s is a blog and wedding-resource site. The fact that it spotlights Nashville made this site more meaningful than the others for me. My favorite tab is “Real Nashville Weddings.” You can get some serious inspiration here, plus who doesn’t love to snoop on this kind of stuff? It gives you a front row ticket to venues, dresses, decor, photo locations, even scheduling ideas. All of this important information, venue and dressmaker, etc., is included for optimal snooping possibilities with every article.

Each post also features an interview with the couple. Not only does this give Ashley’s an intimate and sincere feel, but it gives foresight. What unforeseen details needed to be fleshed out? How did the bride choose her colors? What did guests like most about the wedding? How did the couple splurge and save? What would the couple have done differently? What are their words of advice on planning? It’s a bevy of first-person advice. Every couple is different, every style of Nashville wedding imaginable has been featured, and the information is endless and really helpful.

Another favorite thing of mine is that this site is modern. It feels fresh and like it really has its finger on the pulse of current, Nashville wedding trends. Finally, it has great budgeting advice in an easy to navigate format. Click on the “Luxury” or “DIY/Budget” tabs and surf away. You’ve got to visit this site.

The Pink Bride

The Pink Bride dubs itself Tennessee’s leading wedding resource. It also publishes a beautiful, glossy magazine and hosts several bridal shows. It’s a great resource for locating vendors in your city. Simply head to the site, input your city and vendor of choice, and search away!

Like Ashley’s, The Pink Bride also has a “Real Weddings” tab that is so fun to explore. Their posts include location, but do not have the same amount of information or personal touch as Ashley’s. The posts are photo heavy, so this is what you’ll want to scroll through if you’re in an Instagram sort of mood rather than looking to read and research.

One of my favorite things about The Pink Bride’s posts is the layout. Each post features the couple’s color scheme on the top, and the pictures are beautiful. You get a feel of the wedding rather than a small, snapshot of inspiration like on Pinterest. I love to scroll through the weddings until I find my color scheme and snoop away.

This offered a wealth of inspiration for me! It’s how we decided the groomsmen and groom will wear navy instead of black.

So if you’re short on time and want to feel productive and like you’re making headway on planning, definitely check out these sites. They are free, informative, and can even be fun! I found great vendors, and avoided others, and awesome wedding ideas from all of them. Just click, scroll, and enjoy.