Wednesday, July 25, 2012

iDo: the top 10 best wedding apps for iOS

Well, I finally popped the question. And yes, she said "yes!"

And now, just days later, we're waist deep in wedding planning.

But we're millennials, so we didn't go to the bookstore and pick up magazines, nor did we check the yellow pages for wedding planners and venues. Instead, we got an app for that. Actually, apps, plural. And there are plenty to choose from -- but here are the top ten:
  1. Appy Couple: Appy Couple is simply the most stylish way to share your wedding with guests. Appy Couple makes the journey from engagement to honeymoon and beyond even more chic, social, and fun. Once you have your app set up, your guests simply download Appy Couple and sign in to your wedding to find out everything they need to know about your big day.
  2. Pinterest: Pinterest is where you can dream about, plan, and prepare for the things you want to do in your life, including and especially your wedding! Whether it's vacation plans, new gadgets, favorite recipes, fashion, the latest home decor, or your wedding, Pinterest is an easy way for you to make the most of it. Quickly and easily save and organize your inspirations with this iPhone or iPad app.
  3. The Knot Ultimate Wedding Planner: The Knot Ultimate Wedding Planner has the features couples love -- and need -- most, including: counting down the days to your wedding; the ultimate wedding checklist; budgeting and tracking payments with an easy-to-use budget tool; browsing through 1000s of wedding dresses; and browsing 1000+ of ideas for cakes, decor, hairstyles and more!
  4. Wedding Countdown: Getting married is one of the biggest milestones in life is and surely worth anticipating! Wedding Countdown is a highly customizable countdown app that lets you look forward to your wedding day.
  5. Destination Weddings & Honeymoons: Find ideas and expert advice from the leading bridal magazine devoted exclusively to romantic travel and weddings away. 
  6. Wedding Budget: This app is a necessary tool for today's bride and groom to set up their wedding budget, keep track of expenses and shows a clear view of over/under budget status. You can easily adjust budget of each wedding component as planning goes along.
  7. Wedding Scan: WeddingScan is an intuitive wedding registry application that allows you to register for any item, at any store simply by scanning a product’s barcode with the WeddingScan iPhone app. If a product doesn't have a barcode, WeddingScan allows you to take a picture of it and add a brief description.
  8. Fun Wedding: So you want a fun and memorable wedding reception? Ensure your guests have the time of their life with incredible music that keeps the dance floor packed! Not your typical boring music lists, Fun Wedding gives you access to 19 unique music charts updated monthly from millions of actual song requests made through the DJ Intelligence® request system at real wedding receptions around the world. 
  9. Wedding Flowers Moodboard: The Wedding Flowers Moodboard App, helps you create the image you want for your wedding bouquet. The app takes you through a large selection of images and tips to help you choose the shape of your bouquet, the style, the colour and also looks at the season your wedding is going to take place. You are able to select the photo’s you like and add them to your moodboard, adding notes as you go. You can also take your own photo’s and add them to your moodboard directly. Show your Moodboard to your friends, your florist or your wedding planner. 
  10. Wedding Dash: Take a moment to relax and forget about the real wedding to play a game where you plan ultimate dream weddings for picky brides and grooms! Help Quinn launch her fledgling wedding planning business, starting with simple backyard weddings and advancing to elegant ballroom receptions. Choose all the details, manage comical disasters, and keep guests happy – or risk the wrath of Bridezilla!
Are there any I missed? Add them in the comments below:

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

The Proposal: @RyanPratt & @AllyTaulbee's love story

Christmas 2009.

Ryan Pratt and Ally Taulbee fell in love on Christmas Day, 2009.

But their love story starts long before that day...

Ryan and Ally's lives came together like a fateful movie -- at times a hopeless drama and simultaneously a romantic comedy. There were a few tears but mostly laughs. Some good times, some bad. But some memorable, movie-like moments always brought them back together.

In the Winter of 2001, Ally and Ryan locked eyes at opposite ends of the long golden hallway just outside the purple gymnasium at Jackson High School. They didn't speak. But it didn't matter. It was a typical high school romance.

Then one Saturday morning in the Fall of 2005, Ryan and Ally locked eyes once again. This time just outside the Starbucks on North High. Though basically strangers at the time, their embrace felt more like that of two long lost lovers in a classic 50s film. Her warmups were a brilliant scarlet on grey film.

Then there was the notorious strip beer pong tournament in the basement of Ryan's house on Lane Ave during the summer of 2006. Ally won. And Ryan lost. It was college.

In the summer of 2007, Ryan met Ally at Lido's on North High for drinks. Her best friend was bar tending. Ryan showed off. Ally giggled. And to this day that is all they remember. It was college, the sequel.

The following year, Ally and Ryan spent a hot summer day in the lagoon-style pool at The Barn in Dublin, Ohio. Ryan sat on the shallow brick edge as Ally hung on his dangling legs. Their conversation drowned out the DJ by the bar. It could have been a scene from Gatsby.

In 2008, Ally and Ryan spent their first holiday weekend together watching a Christmas movie marathon, which included Home Alone, Scrooged, Elf, Fred Claus, The Santa Clause, and, of course, Die Hard. He surprised her with a Horton Hears a Who DVD and stuffed elephant.

2009 was their first "official" Christmas together. They had been "going steady" for only a few short months, but they were already madly in love. Ally's family spent the week in NYC and Ryan was in Canton. But they "celebrated" the weekend before and exchanged 143 texts on Christmas Day.

On New Year's Eve, Ryan called Ally from the dark street outside a bar in Cincinnati. Ally was on the beach in California pre-gaming for her march in the Rose Bowl parade. As the clock struck twelve, Ryan proposed to Ally for the first time. It was more-so a drunken declaration of love than a marriage proposal -- but even then he meant every word.

By 2010, they were inseparable, and spent those holidays traveling together to each other's family homes. Ryan was already plotting the official proposal.

In 2011, Ally moved her dresses into Ryan's closet. Cali and Barley became sisters. And that December, they bought their first Christmas tree together.

By the summer 2012, he could not wait another moment. On July 2nd, he went to Jared's. It was a secret to everyone but his two best friends. He walked out with the perfect gift and a grin from ear-to-ear. Ironically, later that night, she wept on his shoulder, wondering if he was ever going to propose. It was the only secret he ever kept.

On July 10th, he bought a fake Christmas tree online. Two days later that tree arrived at the door. Ally teased, "What is it? It's too big to be a ring!" Ryan lied as he stuffed the box on the top shelf in the garage, high above Ally's reach, "Just a little surprise for Nut Ridge babe."

On July 23rd, the ring arrived. It was a special order, designed online, a perfect 1.43 carat princess cut diamond. 143, a numerical expression of "I Love You" -- three numbers that followed them everywhere.

On the morning of July 24th, they left for work together -- but Ryan had other plans. He went to the store instead. Ensuring she'd come straight home after work, he lied one last time, saying his sister was in town for dinner. But Ryan wasn't at the store for lasagna noodles, instead he picked up a "Christmas" ham, pine scented candles, and 3 rolls of red, white and green wrapping paper. He returned home, pulled the boxes from the garage, and began decorating. By 3pm, the house was covered in lights, inside and out. And he'd even wrapped the presents. The ham was in the oven, the candles were lit, and the gifts surrounded the tree.

One small red box with a white bow stood out from the others.

Watch the entire proposal: