Customer Testimonial: Adhiraj Didwania

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The best reward for a software publisher is a good customer testimonial. I am happy to share the one received from Adhiraj Didwania.

“I subscribed for the WedPlan service in August 2015 for my wedding which was coming up in January 2016. WedPlan made my wedding planning very structured, and its well-planned and meticulous features never gave me an opportunity to miss out on any detail whether it is ceremonies, gifts, events, vendors, card distribution etc.

Foreseeing my marriage in early 2015, I had already started preparing a detailed guest list on Microsoft Excel with my parents but the comprehensiveness which WedPlan allows in its own data of guest list is simply amazing. It allows one to go into great details such as providing individual preferences and facilities for guests, setting reminders about serving them on certain dates and occasions etc.

WedPlan’s interface is pleasing to the eye, easy-to-use, comprehensive and easily accessible across mobile devices. Further, on incurring any difficulty, the WedPlan team, especially the founder, Arun-ji is just a call away from fixing one’s issues. The team indeed is very proactive and understanding and it is a pleasure to work with them. The WedPlan team is kind enough to follow-up on its services regularly and this made me appreciate their services very, very much.

I would highly recommend WedPlan to all, especially non-tech-savvy individuals because they will be really surprised as to how easy this software will be to use practically and allay the tension and feverish nervousness in the midst of executing a big, fat Indian wedding.”

Thanks Adhiraj. We will continuously strive to make clients like you happier 🙂

The free, no-obligation demo can be requested here.

Common Mistakes in Planning Indian Weddings

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Indian weddings are elaborate and require extensive planning. Small slip-ups can come in the way of flawless fun and guest satisfaction. Most mistakes happen because you are getting too much stressed looking after everything yourself. Careful planning and timely execution can help in a big way.

Let’s look at some of the common goof-ups and bloopers which have the potential to undo your hard work, leave you embarrassed or your guests disappointed.

Budget considerations: You must draw up a carefully thought-out budget with broad and detailed views. But we Indians are so often found guilty of it. The moment you let emotion take precedence over your rationale, know that you are in for trouble. You need to deliberate and match your expectations with available resources at every point and plan accordingly. Plan a budget effectively and save yourself from over-blowing it.

Consult all stakeholders: Consult all stakeholders like the bride (or the groom), your own family and close friends for new ideas and get a draft budget. Some areas will need you to loosen the purse strings to get the wow factor while you can sit tight in other areas. If you have hired a wedding planner, he/she can give you an idea of the expenses involved in the different aspects.

Don’t miss out on an important guest: Ah! This is such a real threat to so many Indian weddings. We tend to miss out on some important family members or business associates. Start building your guest list early and refine often. Approach the list group wise like own family, maternal side, paternal side, in-laws, business associates, clients, vendors etc. Keep in mind that you will end up adding at least 25 guests to the list at the last moment.

Create separate guest lists for various events: Every guest is not invited to every event. You need to mark guests event wise. So you may be inviting 300 guests in one event and 800 in another.

Invite your guests as early as possible: It is only natural that you would want your closest friends and relatives to be available for your nuptials. They should be informed about the wedding schedule as early as possible. Cards are sent much later but you should send “block your date” notices early so that they can make their plans. Outstation guests have to book tickets which become costlier if not booked early.

Request R.S.V.P: This is still not very popular in India but the concept has many advantages. You can get a fair idea of how much accommodation you need for outstation guests. You can request RSVPs in email invites. Call and confirm with those who have not responded to the emails.

Steer clear of busy vendors: Popular vendors are busy. They will have multiple assignments on the day of your events. However, you must ensure that they personally supervise your functions or appoint a senior level guy who can take quick, on the spot decisions when needed.

Don’t feel shy to negotiate rates with your vendors: We are often too shy to ask for discounts or negotiate rates with our vendors. Most vendors keep some margins to reduce rates on request. However don’t squeeze them so much that they are forced to cut corners.

Constantly follow up with your vendors: You need to be regularly updated on the progress of the different activities status and take note of any impediments that the vendor may be facing.

Work closely with your makeup artist: The bride and the groom need to discuss the planned make-up in sync with the wedding dress. This will result in a harmonious look. If you are not well-rested, no makeup in the world can make you look gorgeous.

Give enough time to your photographer: The photographer needs to meet your family people a few times so that he can identify all the members fairly well. This will ensure he can take good shots and cover them well during the different ceremonies.

Discuss beforehand the songs your DJ would play: It is very common for us to appoint a DJ for the wedding. You should review and / or guide him about the mood you want to build up and he should be guided as to which songs to play and not to play. You don’t want him playing a popular raunchy number during a wedding function.

Try to avoid inaccessible venues: The venues get booked quickly and identifying and booking venues should be done at a very early stage. Some great venues may become a misfit during different seasons. A lovely outdoor venue will be useless in the hot summer season while a low-lying venue will be inaccessible during rains. Transport connectivity & parking facility are also important considerations.

Ensure that your venue has the basic amenities: A lot of venues don’t have proper basic amenities. It would be prudent to check whether it has standard washrooms and lavatories, first aid kits and proper security arrangements in place. If your venue lacks these amenities and the management cannot help, you should make those arrangements from your end or have some backup options.

Check whether your venue has a separate antechamber for the bride: This is a very important requirement which is often overlooked. A bride needs a small private chamber to freshen up, rest her back or just catch up in private with her mom or sister for a word or two before or after the wedding, away from the glare of the camera and the prying eyes.

Familiarize yourself with the venue beforehand: It is extremely important that you and close members of your family visit the venue multiple times before the wedding. You should know the venue like the back of your hands. You should know which stall has been put up where and which room is for what purpose. Don’t act like a ‘guest’ in front of your guests on the all important day.

Make proper seating arrangements: A lot of times we forget to make proper seating arrangements for our guests. Often, there are kids, expecting mothers, elderly as well as sick guests who may be inconvenienced by the lack of enough seats. Have enough number of chairs and importantly get them placed strategically so that they can be availed easily.

Try to have backup plans: The most important advice that I give to all my clients and friends is – don’t leave anything to chance. If you are hosting your wedding in an open space, make plans for unexpected weather. Don’t let it play spoilsport. If you are having a destination wedding, arrange for transport facilities to take your guests around. Don’t hope for things to fall in place on their own. It is always wise to be prepared for any kind of contingency.

Monitor your buffet spread: Start the buffet a little early so that the guests who are in a hurry can be served. Ensure that the food is hot and the containers are regularly refilled. The guests should not be kept waiting for food to arrive once a container in the counter has been emptied. If your guest list is primarily non-vegetarian with a few vegetarian invitees, there have been instances where not enough attention has been paid to the vegetarian stalls.

Delegate duties to responsible members of your family: You cannot manage it all alone. Assign responsibilities of different departments and functions to family members and friends. Review the progress regularly though.

Attend to all your guests. Some guests are super-special. However, you should personally attend to each of your guests. Ensure that they are comfortable and enjoying the rituals. Ask those close to you to be vigilant and see that no guest leaves unattended or dissatisfied.

Drink enough water and follow a proper diet: So often we stop eating properly before an important event in our life because we are so tensed. This is just the time when we should be eating a good diet and having enough water.

Feel happy and wear it on your face: Marriage is a happy union of two souls. Always wear a radiant smile on your face. Make your guests feel comfortable. Drown in the gaiety. Happiness is infectious. If you look happy, people around you will be happy too. Don’t sit with a stressed or grumpy look.

I wish you all the best for your wedding and hope that you don’t get anxious or nervous. I also recommend that you take help of a professional and reliable, end-to-end wedding management software, WedPlan. With this, managing the logistics become easier and you can focus on the creative aspects and most important – the occasion.

 

 

Punjabi Hindu Weddings – Fun-filled Rituals which Enthrall

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Punjabi Hindu weddings are loud and extravagant.” Really? This is a common perception that the world has about them. But I have a different view. Are they a fun-loving race? Yes, but so are most of us. Only that they are probably a bit more expressive than some of the other Indian ethnic races. I will discuss their wedding rituals to establish my point.

You would never find the mood sombre even at such a solemn occasion. There is a dazzling array of colors on display, beautiful ladies decked up in designer lehenga-cholis and heavily embroidered sarees and handsome gentlemen in sherwanis and expensive branded suits. Continue reading

Gujarati Wedding rituals: Glittering Weddings in Vibrant Gujarat

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Gujarat is a land of different shades and hues. Gujarati wedding rituals, in tune with the soul of people of the land, are also very colourful. People of Gujarat, a proud ethnic race, have achieved modernity that is an inseparable part of affluence that they have attained through the sweat of their brows. But instead of turning iconoclastic, they are to this day dearly upholding their various customs and traditions.

Let’s embark on the journey that Gujaratis go through when they have a wedding in the family.

Pre-Wedding Rituals

Chandlo Matli

Gujarati Wedding Chandlo MatliChandlo marks the commencement of the marriage alliance. In this ceremony, the father of the bride along with four close male relatives of his family visits the home of the groom and marks his forehead with red vermilion. A circle is usually drawn at the center of the forehead which signifies the third eye or awakening of his spiritual conscience. The father of the bride also gives a gift or token money, also called

The father of the bride also gives a gift or token money, also called shagun to the groom. Traditionally, this is also the ceremony where the wedding dates are formally finalized, creating a strong, unbreakable bond between not just the engaged couple but also their families.

Sagaai or Gol Dhana

Gujarati Wedding SagaaiThis is the Gujarati engagement/ring ceremony. It is held at the house of the groom and the close family members from both sides are invited. The bride and her family arrive with savouries and other gifts for the groom and his family in a container called matli.

The would-be couple exchanges rings, formally accepting each other as their future partners. Often the Chandlo Matli and the Sagaai happen on the same day. The elders, especially married women bless the couple one by one, wishing them connubial harmony. The name Gol Dhana or Gor Dana comes from the fact that coriander seeds and jaggery are distributed during the sagaai.

Mehendi/ Sangeet Sandhya or Sanji/Garba

Gujarati Wedding mehendiThis is an informal ceremony which takes place two or three days before the day of the wedding. It is a ceremony of mirth and lighthearted banter. Mehendi, henna dye is applied on the hands and feet of the bride and other ladies of the house. Mehendi is considered auspicious and an inextricable part of any Indian wedding ritual.

This is followed by singing and dancing (the traditional Garba or Dandiya Raas), all through the evening till late night and ladies crack jokes and try to make the bride loosen up. A similar ceremony resembling a bachelor’ party also takes place at the residence of the groom.

Pithi

Gujarati Wedding PithiThis ritual is usually held a day or two before the wedding. Pithi is a mixture of crushed turmeric, sandalwood powder, herbs, rosewater, and perfumes. This mixture is primarily prepared by the paternal aunty of the bride/groom. It is put on a decorated platter and taken to the priest who blesses it.

The mixture is then applied to the body of the bride/groom a day or two prior to the wedding and also on the morning of the wedding. It is believed to enhance the glow or the radiance of the body of the bride or the groom.

Mameru or Mosaalu

Gujarati Wedding MameruThis is a ceremony in the Gujarati wedding rituals where the maternal uncle or the mama of the bride presents her gifts for her wedding. Usually, the saree or lehenga she would wear during the marriage ceremony, ivory bangles or chooda and other jewellery are bestowed on the bride. The bride touches the feet of her mama and

The bride touches the feet of her mama and mami and asks for their blessings. Mameru or Mosaalu, generally take place a day before the wedding.

Mandap Mahurat and Grah Shanti

Gujarati Wedding Mandap MahuratA puja seeking the benediction of Lord Ganesh and other Gods is performed before setting up the Mandap where the wedding rituals would take place. The designated spot is covered with a canopy.

Immediately following this ceremony, Grah Shanti puja is also performed. This is a Puja performed to invoke the blessings of the nine planets, asking for a favorable union of the two families, peace in the house and a trouble-free marriage. Grah Shanti puja is performed at the houses of bride as well as the groom.

Wedding Rituals

Baraat or Varghoda and Ponkhana

The groom leaves his home with his baraat or wedding procession. Before leaving the home, the groom’s sister would wave a bag full of coins over his head, partly to ward off any evil attack and partly to remind him of his duties to her as the brother even after his marriage.

The groom then sets off on a caparisoned mare towards the wedding venue with his friends and relatives in tow. They usually follow on a motorcade or walk, depending on the distance.

They dance and make merry. This is known as Baraat or Varghoda.

By the time the groom alights from his mare, the family of the bride is already waiting at the entrance to receive and greet him. The bride’s mother then does mangal aarti of the groom and puts a tilak on his forehead. The rest of the guests are also welcomed with aarti.

Ponkhana is the ritual where the mother of the bride holds the nose of the groom playfully to remind him that it is he who has come to their home to ask for the hand of her daughter and he must make every effort to keep her daughter in good humor and comfort always. The groom also bows before his would-be mother-in-law to express his gratitude and humility. He is then lead inside. His path is strewn with earthen pots which he has to crush with his feet signifying his ability to overcome obstacles.

Jaimala or Varmala

After entering the premise, the groom is greeted by the bride and they exchange garlands. This is known as Jaimala. To make the proceedings funny, the bride and the groom are lifted by their friends on their shoulders and they compete to lift them more than the other group and make it difficult for the bride/groom to exchange the garlands.

Kanya Agaman and Antarpat

After Jaimala, the bride retires to her private chamber while the groom is led to the mandap where he waits for the bride. A veil or curtain called Antarpat, is then raised around the mandap.

Meanwhile, the bride makes her way towards the mandap, escorted by her maternal uncle. As the wedding rituals proceed, the curtain separating the bride and the groom is slowly lowered. The ceremony is called kanya agaman.

Madhuparka

Gujarati Wedding MadhuparkaAs the groom is considered an incarnation of Lord Vishnu or Narayana, the groom is invited to the mandap by his future mother-in-law and his feet are washed and dried by his future father-in-law.

After this, the groom is offered a special drink called Panchamrut which translates to the nectar of 5 ingredients. The ingredients are milk, sugar, ghee, yogurt, and honey. Following this ritual, the sisters and the female friends of the bride remove (steal) the shoes of the groom which he had taken off before entering the mandap.

To get back his shoes, the groom tries to negotiate the “ransom” amount and only when both sides agree on an amount, the shoe is returned. There is a lot of fun interaction and negotiation during this event.

Kanya Daan

This is a ritual where the parents of the bride hand her over to the groom. They put the left hand of the bride in the right hand of the groom. This signifies that from now on the groom makes a formal commitment to take care of all the needs of the bride, which were heretofore the concern of her parents.

The groom is considered a human form of Lord Vishnu and the bride, his earthly consort, an avatar of Goddess Lakshmi. The bride sits on the left of the groom and the wedding rituals are performed in front of the pious wedding fire that is ignited to solemnize the wedding.

Hasta Milap

After the Kanyadaan, the scarf or the end of the dhoti of the groom is tied to one end of the saree of the bride and the would-be couple also hold the hands of each other. This signifies the union of two souls, body and mind.

The priest chants mantras and shlokas and implores the blessings of Lord Vishnu and Devi Lakshmi and Lord Shiva and Devi Parvati and prays for an unbreakable conjugal bond between the couple. The assembled guests also come forward to bless the couple and sprinkle grains of rice, sometimes with their husks intact and flowers on them.

Mangal Pheras

In Gujarati weddings, the bride and the groom go around the sacred fire, completing four rounds with the pyre in the center. Each such round is called a mangal phera and with each round the groom chants mantras along with the priest to entreat his bride to give him her loving support throughout their married life. Hindus believe that our life is built on the four pillars of dharma, artha, kama and moksha and each phera represents one such pillar.

Saptapadi

This is a very important ritual. When you are talking about a Hindu wedding, the first thing that crosses your mind is probably saptapadi and this ritual has become the leitmotif of marriages depicted in Indian movies also. The groom is followed by the bride as they complete seven rounds around the sacred fire and take seven unbreakable marriage vows with each round.

The exclusivity of this ritual in a Gujarati wedding is that after completing each round, the couple stops and the bride touches seven betel nuts with her right toe before embarking on another round. Through these mantras, the groom seeks the support of his wife.

Saubhagyavati Bhava

This is a typical Gujarati wedding ritual in which seven married women from the bride’s side move around the couple and whisper blessings and good wishes in the right ear of the bride. This ritual is called saubhagyavati bhava, where they wish for the good luck, happiness and prosperity of the couple.

Aashirvad

After the completion of all the wedding rituals and the couple have been declared married, they touch the feet of their elders and ask for their blessings. The elders also oblige and pray for their overall happiness. This marks the end of the wedding ceremony.

Chero Pakaryo

This is also an amusing ritual in the Gujarati weddings. Following the completion of wedding rituals, when the mother-in-law of the groom passes by him, he tugs at the end of her saree motioning her to give him some gifts. He is then given some token gifts which he cherishes.

Post-Wedding Rituals

Vidaai

Gujarati Wedding VidaayiAfter the wedding, it is time for the wedded couple to leave. The groom returns back to his home with his newly-wed wife. It is a very emotional and tear-jerking moment when the bride bids farewell to her family and relatives who have brought her up and asks for their permission to leave. There are tears of joy and sadness, all at the same time. Usually, the brothers of the bride escort her out of the home and the couples leave in a bedecked car or a horse-drawn carriage.

Gharni Laxmi

Gujarati Wedding Gharni LakshmiA welcome ceremony is organized at the ‘new home’ of the newly-wed wife. Married ladies including the mother-in-law and sisters of the groom welcome her. The bride is treated as Goddess Lakshmi, the Goddess of wealth and it is believed that the bride would bring in good fortune and lots of wealth into her new family.

The mother-in-law places a vessel or a pot full of rice which the bride has to upturn by touching with her feet. Red lac dye is applied to her feet and the imprint is taken on a white cloth which is then bound in a frame. The bride accepts her responsibilities towards her new family.

Aeki Beki

Gujarati Wedding Aeki BekiAfter the welcome, the couple is sat and made to play a fun game. It is known as Aeki Beki. A vessel full of water is kept in front of them. Milk and vermillion is then dissolved into the water-filled vessel. Several coins and a ring are put into the vessel. Now the bride and the groom try to find the ring.

The game is repeated seven times and it is a common belief that of the two, whoever would find it four out of seven times, would reign over the house i.e. that person would be more authoritative.

The day comes to an end with a prayer to ask for the long and healthy life of the couple, marital bliss, everlasting love and prosperity. After this, the couple retires for the night to their private suite and consummates their marriage.

As I have mentioned at the beginning of this post, Gujarati weddings are full of colour, life, and endless gaiety. They are simple yet full of pomp and grandeur. This longstanding institution binds together many different generations of the same family. It is a joyous occasion which gives an opportunity to all the members of the extended family to meet, taking time off from their busy schedules.

A complex wedding required thorough planning. People used to plan with diaries and Excel sheets. But now there is a better option. WedPlan wedding planning software takes care of the logistics planning part which would give you enough time to deal with the creative aspects of the wedding as well as spend more time with your guests and family. Try out the no-obligation and FREE demo and experience the convenience of efficient end-to-end planning and management!

 

 

 

 

 

Marwari Wedding Rituals – Elaborate & Fun

A Marwari wedding, like all Indian weddings, is celebrated with a lot of enthusiasm and exuberance. These weddings are also very grand and colorful. Authentic Marwari weddings are a throwback to the ages of the Vedas and the great Indian sears who described the rituals in great details in the Vedas.

But you should not even for once think that these rituals have become antediluvian. Strangely, they are still very relevant to the Indian context because there is a deep philosophical and scientific logic behind each of them.

And frankly speaking, without these quaint rituals, a Marwari wedding would be incomplete!

So let us now turn our attention to some of the most important rituals which are indispensable to any Marwari wedding – be it in a family hailing from Eastern Rajasthan or Western Rajasthan or Haryana. Continue reading

WedPlan Software: Not Only for Indian Weddings

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“Is WedPlan useful for planning and managing only Indian weddings?” This is a question which is often asked by our foreign clients and prospective customers. The answer- “WedPlan can make planning any wedding much easier; not only the big, fat Indian weddings.”

Most of the complex planning and management issues of weddings across the world are similar. We developed this software with the belief that complex problems require simple solutions.

Let us see some common challenges of planning a wedding and how WedPlan solves them:

Guest Data Management

Probably the biggest challenge of them all. You will suddenly recall one more name just at the last moment and need to update all lists quickly. Including them in the invitee list, getting an updated count and like. Easy-peasy with WedPlan. And completely secure too.

E-invites Management

Sending e-invites in keeping with the current trends? WedPlan lets you send personalized e-invites to your guests with an optional RSVP option. Your guests can just click on the button in the email and update their RSVP status.

Scheduled Text messages

WedPlan lets you send text (SMS) messages on a pre-defined schedule with smart lists. All new guests added till the time of sending the text get included in the list automatically.

Integrated Task Manager

Wondering how to keep track of the 1000s of tasks related to the event plans? We have got you covered. WedPlan includes a fully integrated team-based task manager so that you can assign tasks to your friends and family members who are helping you with the arrangements.

Budget Planning

You need to plan the budget for your wedding, right? WedPlan will make the cost calculations and budgeting process much easier than using clumsy Excel sheets where you need to set formulae for everything.

Events Calendar

WedPlan includes an event calendar that shows all the events in a nice calendar view including the ceremonies, arrival and departure records for the outstation guests. Now you can have complete peace of mind and stay organized.

Vendor Management

WedPlan helps you to record venue and vendor details in a common location, easy to recall and look up whenever you need it.

Anywhere, Anytime Access

The software can be used from anywhere, at any time and you just need a browser and an Internet connection. Superb option for a multi-location situation where the different people helping in the planning are in diverse cities or even countries.

All these facilities make WedPlan a truly “global” product. 

There are so many more things you can do through this online wedding planning software. Check them out for yourself. Take this no-obligation, FREE DEMO and discover the pleasure of convenience and power.

 

7 Ways WedPlan Beats Excel for Wedding Planners

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wedplan-beats-excel

Are you planning a wedding for your family member? Or a client? Thinking of using Excel to manage the entire show? Stop using outdated tools and move up to the latest.

Introducing WedPlan!

Check out these 7 ways WedPlan beats planning with Excel hands down. Continue reading

Wedding Planners Ahoy! Meet WedPlan

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As a professional wedding planner, you very well know the 1000s of minute details required to plan and organize a wedding in India. Sometimes, even for a professional team, it’s pretty unnerving. Our wedding planning software, WedPlan has special advantages for professionals like you! Continue reading

Bengali Wedding Rituals: Tradition Coupled with Fun

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Bengali Wedding RitualsThose of you who have had the good fortune of witnessing a Bengali wedding from the start to the end would surely agree that it is a visual delight. Bengali Hindu weddings like most other Indian weddings are a blend of traditional customs and rituals with a touch of modernity.

These weddings are full of color and vivacity. Also a marriage leads to reunion of family members and old friends. New relations are made and old ones get further strengthened. In a way, a marriage signifies the beginning of a new journey not just for the couple but for the entire clan.

Bengali weddings usually are not opulent (although flashy or gaudy are probably more apt words!) but require elaborate preparations to perform the many rituals with precision. Sometimes it could also be physically demanding.

For hassle free planning and management of Bengali weddings, check out WedPlan.

Let me walk you through some of the common rituals and traditional ceremonies we see in Bengali weddings. Continue reading

Data Security in WedPlan

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“How secure will be the data that I enter while using this service?” The data security is a pertinent concern in the minds of many prospective clients of WedPlan.

Data Security in WedPlanWe have a very strict privacy policy and take all reasonable precautions to safeguard your data that you enter while using the service. We do not directly contact your guests for any marketing purpose or send any business offers to them. All communication we send to them is on your behalf – record updation, greetings or invitation.

We use secure transport layer HTTPS at WedPlan, which eliminates the chance of snooping while you are accessing the site. The data is also frequently backed up at the server level.

When you register for requesting the access to the online demo, you provide us your phone number and email id. But the information stays safe with us and under no circumstances do we share it with any of our other clients or third party businesses. We might follow up with you only when new offers and updates are released or to send requested information.

While we have an effective backup provision at our end, as a best practice, you should also periodically backup your data through the export data option.

For a hands-on experience of the convenience, sign-up for a FREE demo of WedPlan today. There is no obligation to buy 🙂