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When wedding planners and/or wedding venues are considering using our software, they often ask how Planning Pod compares to our competitors … that is, Planning Pod vs Aisle Planner vs Honeybook. Usually, those wedding pros are doing initial research in event management and wedding planning software for their business and want to do their due diligence in evaluating all viable options.
The challenge in shopping for software is that it’s not always easy to compare two or more platforms – not everything is apples-to-apples. For this reason, we always recommend that wedding professionals set up a free trial when possible in order to see for themselves if a platform can meet their needs.
To help you get started with finding software to streamline your wedding planning business or venue, we wanted to provide a quick overview of the strengths of Aisle Planner, Honeybook, and Planning Pod as well as the pricing and intended audience of each.
The information provided in this article is based on what we have heard from prospects who have tried Aisle Planner and Honeybook, as well as information that those companies have provided through their websites, help portals and other public online applications like YouTube.
We have done our very best to provide an honest and factual summary of their software applications and ours. With that being said, we are not affiliated with Aisle Planner and Honeybook and are not entitled to speak for their organizations. Also, if you want to see a broader review of Aisle Planner alternatives and competitors, we also offer a comparison of Planning Pod vs Honeybook vs Dubsado vs 17Hats.
If you’re a wedding planner or manage a wedding venue, Planning Pod can save you 62+ hours/month in busywork and help boost revenues with professional, client-friendly tools. Get started with Planning Pod today!
|Pricing & Users|
|Yearly Pricing Starting at…||$59 per month||$32.50 per month||$39.99 per month|
|Number of Users||Unlimited||Unlimited||Unlimited|
|Bookings & Appointments Calendar|
|Task & Project Management|
|Files & Note Management|
|Event Floor Plan Design Tool|
|Guest List w/ RSVPs|
|Event Registration & Ticketing|
|Venue + Room & Space Management|
|BEOs and Menu Management|
|Timeline & Itinerary w/ Notifications|
|Event Budget Management|
|Event Vendor Management|
|Centralized Email Inbox|
|Online Client Portal w/ Payments|
|Credit card transaction fees starting at 2.39% +$0.29, ACH transaction fees at $0.64 (via PaySimple)|
|Integrations w/ Stripe, Square, Quickbooks Payments|
|Lead Management w/ Contact Webform|
|Contact CRM Manager|
|Forms & Questionnaires|
|Proposals & Contracts|
|Online Electronic Signatures|
|Invoicing & Online Payments|
|Workflows & Automations|
|Templates & Customizations|
|Integrations w/ Other Applications|
|Reporting & Dashboards|
Who Is It For
Planning Pod is the perfect event management platform for wedding pros, whether you are an event planner or manage a wedding venue. Our founders have been building tools for wedding professionals for over a decade. In fact, the first version of our product created in 2007 was wedding planning software for couples and planners.
We wrote the book on timelines, to-do’s/tasks, budgets and more essential event planning tools. For this reason, Planning Pod is also great for event planners who manage events outside of the wedding industry, including parties, galas, celebrations, corporate/business meetings, and more.
Our platform is also extremely well-suited for venue management. We have special packages that provide project management tools for wedding venues, receptions halls, banquet halls, hotels, restaurants, golf clubs, wineries/breweries and even unique venues like museums and libraries.
Since we launched in 2013, our tools have helped 10,000+ wedding industry pros run their businesses and manage 200,000+ events.
FYI … we also have many members of the Association of Bridal Consultants (ABC), American Association of Certified Wedding Planners (AACWP) and Wedding International Professionals Association (WIPA) who are customers and have used our software over the last decade.
Planning Pod Pricing
Planning Pod’s pricing for event & wedding planning software with business tools starts at $59/month (paid yearly). That pricing includes:
- All 20+ tools that we offer for event planning and management (there are other packages available with additional venue management tools)
- Unlimited users – includes staff/team members, clients, vendors and contractors
- Customer support and live webinars – training also included for Enterprise packages
Here’s how our pricing model works: we offer packages based on the number of events you are managing at any given time. If you have a smaller event load, you need a package with a lower event capacity, and if you have a larger event load you would need a larger package to accommodate your business.
Our intent is to provide you with good value and allow you to pay only for the event capacity that suits your needs. If at any time you require a higher event capacity, you can upgrade your account to the next package level by contacting our support team.
Planning Pod Strengths
Planning Pod is the ultimate all-in-one event management software for both planning and managing weddings (or any other kind of event) AND running your wedding planning business or venue.
1. Planning Pod got its start building the best planning tools available to wedding pros.
In 2007, our first product was focused on tools for engaged couples and their wedding planners – so we’ve had lots of time to dial in our event management tools and make them exactly what planners need to streamline their business.
Our wedding planning tools do three things extremely well:
- Give wedding planners lots of time-saving functions to better manage information and tasks and enhance their customer relationships.
- Offer planners the flexibility to share as many (or as few) tools and functions with clients as they wish.
- Provide engaged couples with an online experience that’s intuitive, user-friendly, and lets them feel in control of the planning process.
Your subscription includes to-do list templates that let you create tasks with due dates backed out from the wedding day date, reminders and due date notifications and attached files – that way when you import the list into an event, every task related to your planning process is properly organized on a timeline.
Additional features related to the to-do’s and task management tools include:
- Pre-built wedding task list templates
- Ability to assign tasks to one or multiple contacts as well as sub-lists, and set up email and/or text reminders and notifications for assigned tasks
- View and create tasks inside the task manager or on your master calendar
- Clients can also view and mark tasks as complete in their client portal
Timelines / Itineraries
With our itinerary/schedule tool, you can create a highly detailed timeline for every wedding that lets you fine tune your time management for each event. Our software allows you to build out detailed timeline templates with multiple items. Your account also includes a pre-built template specifically for wedding timelines, so you don’t have to start from scratch.
You have the ability to attach files to each itinerary item, categorize those items, and assign them to contacts, vendors, and venue rooms/spaces. You can also easily set email and text reminders for items so that staff, clients and participants know what will happen and when on a client’s wedding day. When adding a new item to your itinerary, you can set it so that items prior to or after the item are automatically shifted forward or back a certain number of minutes/hours. It’s also quick and easy to download separate itinerary PDFs for each contact/vendor including only their assigned items.
Event Floor Plans
Using our floor plans tool, you can quickly build colorful, stunning, to-scale event floor plan layouts that show your clients exactly what their event will look like. You can easily drag-and-drop elements and use auto-layout features for creating a grid of tables and chairs. Our floorplans tool also integrates with the guest list tool to double as a seating chart – guests can be assigned to seats directly from your layout, which also displays names, meal choices, and more. Via the client portal, you can choose to provide clients with view-only capabilities or let them edit items and place guests at seats from their event floor plan.
You have the ability to create event budgets with unlimited line items and categories (or give the tool to your clients and let them manage their budget themselves) using our budget tool. You can quickly and easily add estimated, negotiated and actual costs, track payments and payment due dates for each line item, and view remaining amounts due. This tool also allows you to see overall progress and if you are over/under budget. And you can assign managers and vendors – like florists, caterers, venues, photographers and DJs – to line items and add notes for reference.
Guest Management and Wedding Websites
You or your clients can enter or upload guest lists from CSV files as well as manage names, contact information , RSVP statuses, meal choices and responses to custom questions for all attendees. It’s quick and easy to assign guests to families or groups and add Plus One’s. Your clients can also create colorful wedding websites / webpages where guests can view event details and RSVPs online. Guests can check in at the door and be directed to their tables with our mobile friendly check-in tool. Each event webpage includes SEO tools and settings that allow you to add social media sharing buttons so site visitors can easily post about your event on social media sites like Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.
Vision / Inspiration Boards
Our interactive vision board allows you to visually brainstorm with your team and clients. Each user can upload inspirational images and group them in categories. You and your clients can also add titles, descriptions and comments to the uploaded pictures.
2. Planning Pod makes it easy for you to do business … and for engaged couples to do business with you.
The ideal wedding planning software gives wedding planners the flexibility to share as many (or as few) tools with clients as you wish while offering powerful wedding business tools that can grow with you as your business expands. Most importantly … it gives your clients the confidence to know you are a true professional and in full control of their event.
We created the Client Portal tool to provide the optimal client experience from beginning to end in your event planning process. This tool provides clients with the ability to know exactly where things stand in regard to their event, from the pre-wedding planning process to guest check-in on their wedding day. In addition, it provides you with a client management tool that lets you streamline client interactions and automate many client touchpoints.
Clients can view and sign proposals and contracts, view invoices and make payments, track and complete tasks, complete forms/questionnaires, manage attendee lists and RSVPs, manage and upload files, view and edit floor plan designs, view timelines/itineraries, and share images and inspiration via vision boards. There is no training required – our portal is formatted to be as intuitive as possible, so clients can just log in and start using it.
Our Communications tool provides a central inbox for all emails regarding your wedding leads, clients and events. You’ll never miss a message for anything related to your business – even if a team member is out of the office. You and all of your colleagues can send and receive emails using your own existing email addresses from one centralized inbox in Planning Pod. It’s easy to assign emails to leads or events and attach any PDF document for any event to any email message. You can also send emails from inside many tools, including proposals, contracts, invoices, and questionnaires.
You can use Planning Pod to track every event, task, payment or budget due date and event room/space booking via your master event calendar. For venues, you can also track all room/space bookings and view an availability timeline to instantly see which of your event spaces are open. All events are color coded for easy reference, and you have the ability to sync your Planning Pod calendar with other e-calendars like Google, Outlook, Yahoo, and more.
Event CRM Tools/Address Book
Planning Pod enables you to effectively manage contact information for every client, lead, vendor and business contact in one convenient place. It’s also easy to view all events and items that have been assigned to each contact. You have the option to add contacts manually or upload CSV files to easily import client or vendor lists. Our event CRM tools also let you easily manage your entire lead and sales pipeline, including web referrals collected from custom online webforms you can embed in your business website. You can even allow customers to schedule appointments via an online webform or with a link.
We’ve made it easy to create detailed, colorful proposals with unlimited line items in your account. You can add titles, descriptions, images, tax rates, and markups/discounts to each line item, and assign line items to categories as well as create galleries and attach files (like e-brochures). You can quickly build out proposal templates and line item templates to streamline your workflow if you use the same content over and over again. Clients can also be enabled to sign proposals electronically and to create change orders when any adjustments are needed.
With this tool, the best way to start is by creating a contract template with your standard terms and conditions. You can easily collect electronic signatures from your new clients and view the usage history of each document.
Invoices and Payments
Invoices can be created from proposals in a single click … line items and all. You can set up payment reminders or schedule auto-payments if you get paid in installments – this increases your chances of getting paid in full. You can also track deposits and include additional charges such as service fees, gratuities, and more. It’s also easy to pull reports on invoice payments and sales tax to assist with bookkeeping. And you can connect to accounting and bookkeeping programs like Quickbooks, Xero and Freshbooks via the Zapier integrations platform.
Our forms builder tool allows you to set up custom forms and questionnaires for collecting pre-event input and ideas from your clients. You can have clients complete and submit forms directly from the client portal or from links in emails.
Worksheets and Notes
You have access to 20+ pre-built worksheet templates for tracking details for all kinds of wedding-related items, including decor, entertainment, florist details , photography/videography, rentals, wedding party and more. The worksheets tool allows you to create and share notes with team members in one centralized place.
Account Branding and Design
Upload your logo and select your brand colors to customize your account’s look-and-feel, PDF downloads, client portals, sent emails and more. This provides a professional, branded look to all your communications with clients and leads as well as to your account as a whole.
Dashboards and Reporting
The home page dashboard is your 30,000 ft view of your business and events, providing you with up-to-the-minute updates on recent actions, upcoming items, overdue items and waiting items in your account. Each event’s dashboard provides a clear picture of what has happened and what needs to happen in the planning process.
Planning Pod’s reporting offers a deep dive into event and business details, including overviews of event bookings and lead reports, invoicing, payments and sales tax reports, cross-event budget and task management reports, vendor and venue reports, and account usage reports.
3. Planning Pod simplifies processes with pre-built templates, automations and customizations
Most solo entrepreneurs or small business owners don’t have the luxury to “replicate themselves” by hiring employees for every role in event planning. The next best thing? Top-notch time management tools for you and your current staff so you yourself can spend more time on high-priority tasks. Planning Pod is focused on automating numerous workflows and processes to save you 62+ hours/month in busywork.
Having a lot of tools centralized into one platform is great, but if those tools don’t work together and share information with each other, their usefulness is limited. We build automations and efficiencies into every tool to save you and your staff time entering, managing and sharing data throughout your account.
Our event planning features include:
- Pre-built templates – Every account comes with 32 pre-built templates, including templates for wedding timelines/itineraries, wedding task checklists and wedding budgets. You can start with ours, or you have the option to build your own templates.
- Timesaving automations – Throughout our application there are automated actions you can set up to do things for you. These include smart fields that auto-fill in data like names and event dates, automated task and payment reminders, scheduled invoice auto-payments, automated emails and task lists for leads, and many more.
- Integrations with other applications – Planning Pod is connected to the Zapier integrations platform so you can share data with hundreds of other popular applications, including Quickbooks, Xero, Slack, MailChimp and Salesforce. We also connect directly to Gmail/Google Drive, Outlook and dozens of other e-calendars and email providers.
4. Planning Pod helps you plan and manage ANY kind of event
Many wedding planners and wedding venues also manage other types of events, including parties, celebrations, galas, fundraisers and possibly even meetings and corporate events. Whether you plan other kinds of events or anticipate that someday you might, don’t you want a software platform that is capable of handling all those events and growing with you?
Planning Pod fits that bill … although our tools have been used to plan thousands of weddings, they have also been used to manage thousands of other kinds of events. All the tools described above are event-agnostic, so you can just as easily plan details for any event and work with any kind of client (wedding, private party, corporate, and more).
In addition to weddings, Planning Pod is equally adept at handling:
- RSVP-style events – Our software includes the ability to upload guest lists and sort guests into groups/families, manage RSVP and meal choice responses through event websites, collect answers to custom questions, track guest contact details, assign guests to seats in digital floor plans, and check in guests at the door with a mobile-friendly event check-in tool.
- Registration and ticketing events – Planning Pod allows you to create custom tickets and online registration forms, collect event registrations and online payments via event websites, track registration orders and attendees, assign guests to seats in digital floor plans, and check in guests at the door with a mobile-friendly check-in tool.
5. Planning Pod provides event venues with everything they need to manage wedding bookings
Many caterers and business owners of event venues – including wedding venues, wedding barns, hotels, restaurants and banquet halls – run a fast-paced business booking wedding clients, and Planning Pod offers a set of venue management software tools specifically for these types of catering and venue customers.
Our system is equipped to help wedding venues and caterers grow in two ways:
1) By offering streamlined lead management, website referral capture, booking and billing tools that help you capture more revenue.
2) Delivering value-add tools you can offer to your wedding clients (like a budgeting tool, wedding website, guest list and RSVP management) plus a branded client portal to set you apart from your competition.
In addition to the tools discussed above, our venue management software packages include:
- Booking management – Easily track all your booked events (plus on-hold events for prospects), plus receive alerts if you attempt to double book a time/space, thus avoiding costly errors.
- Room/space management – Set up event rooms/spaces for one or multiple venues, and easily manage these bookings via your master calendar, which includes a timeline view for quickly checking your availability.
- Food and beverage management – Add food, beverage and equipment items (with ingredient lists and recipes) and create packages that you can assign to events and quickly add to proposals and invoices. You can easily manage package/item orders and counts, package/item pricing, serving and/or delivery dates/times, and more.
- BEOs and booking documents – Start with our pre-built BEO and booking document templates (including master BEO, kitchen sheets, delivery orders) or create your own. Our BEO system pulls in details from each event so that you never have to double-enter information to have complete documentation to provide to your staff and clients. You can also allow clients to sign off on BEOs (with final pricing) and download printable PDFs to share with kitchen and front-of-house staff.
Who Is It For
Aisle Planner has been a popular platform for wedding professionals since it was launched in 2013. Based on tool offerings, they have a focus on wedding planning and coordination plus business management tools. Aisle Planner serves many wedding and event planners as well as venues and hospitality professionals.
Aisle Planner Pricing
Package pricing starts at $39.99/month for a capacity of 10 active projects/events. Like Planning Pod, Aisle Planner pricing for each package is based on the number of events you are planning at any given time. All packages also include unlimited users and onboarding.
Aisle Planner Strengths
Aisle Planner has a broad offering of wedding event planning tools for timelines, budgets, tasks, style guides, guest management, wedding websites and RSVPs. Aisle Planner’s platform also has number of business and sales management tools for lead tracking, proposals/quotes, contracts/e-signatures, invoicing and payments (Note: Stripe is their only payment processor), questionnaires/forms and calendars (which only include the option to view by month). Like Planning Pod, they are one of the few platforms to offer their own event floor plan layout tool. Their user interface also includes an event dashboard and financial reporting.
Aisle Planner also enables users to invite clients into an account to collaborate, although they don’t offer a stand-alone “client portal”, per se. Users can email clients details from inside select tools (like quotes, invoices, etc) but Aisle Planner does not offer any way for you to receive or view email responses from clients.
In addition, Aisle Planner does offer marketing features such as an online directory where companies can create a listing to market their services to clients. Listing bundles require an additional fee to be incorporated into Aisle Planner subscriptions.
Who Is It For
On its website, Honeybook promotes itself as a business and project management tool for small businesses and entrepreneurs across a wide variety of professions. Their audiences include designers, event planners, photographers, production firms and other microbusinesses.
The base price for a Honeybook subscription is $32.50/month (paid yearly) for unlimited team members on the account. They offer an introductory package for $9/month, but you are required to upgrade once you pass $10K in transactions.
Honeybook’s focus is on small business management tools, including lead/client CRM, integrated email functionality, client portal, task management, proposals, contracts, e-signatures, invoicing and online payments.
However, they do not offer event management tools like floor plan designs, timelines/itineraries, guest management, event budgets and registration/RSVP management, or venue management tools like room/space management and food-and-beverage management.
Along with a calendar, Honeybook offers an appointment schedule that allows clients to set appointments with a link. They have a configurable workflow to let you set up a linear process of business (like a proposal, to contract, to signature, to payment). Their platform incorporates lots of automations for setting up actions based on triggers (like signed documents, completed tasks, etc.)
Honeybook offers their own payment processing instead of working through third party providers like Square and Stripe; however, that is the only option they offer (in the case that you want to work with a different or your own current credit card payment processor). Like Planning Pod, they also integrate with the Zapier platform and offer free onboarding to users.
In Summary – Aisle Planner vs Honeybook vs Planning Pod
If you are currently researching event management and wedding planning software platforms, we hope that this article provided you with a good start to your journey.
At this point, we highly recommend you take a moment to write down a list of your business needs before conducting a more in-depth analysis of these software options. This will allow you to keep your objectives in sight when you are in the midst of comparing the different features of each platform.
Next, we always encourage event professionals to sign up for a free trial for each of these options so you can try out the tools. This is an excellent way for you to evaluate both the internal business functionality and the client experience provided by each.
It’s also wise to follow up your hands-on trial experience with online research on all the options you are considering. This can include any articles that provide Planning Pod, Honeybook or Aisle Planner reviews plus comparisons between Planning Pod vs Honeybook vs Aisle Planner costs.
If you run a wedding or events-based business, Planning Pod is the only all-in-one platform that provides you with the tools to manage all your event details AND your business functions for as little as $39/month. Get started with Planning Pod today!