Soon after I got engaged, I visited to, one of “the” wedding Web sites that guides brides-to-be through the sometimes overwhelming planning processes. I reviewed the checklist of things I should be doing, learned I should have been doing them months ago, freaked out, and left the site.

But Cheap Thrills reader and Knot user Katherine Laurin convinced me to give The Knot a second chance, pointing me to the site’s community feature, which gives you access to message boards written by brides in your area, who are endearingly referred to as Knotties.

“Wedding planning is so stressful, and right now everyone wants to spend their money wisely, even if their budget isn’t really tight. If a bride finds someone who she loves and is making her wedding planning easier, she is quick to recommend them,” Laurin says, adding that The Knot keeps vendors out of its message boards.

Laurin also found some tips about where to buy discounted decorations. Turns out many brides count on Craig’s List to sell wedding goods after their big day.

“One really good tip is to buy early,” Laurin says about Craig’s List. “Wedding items are very seasonal, so if you are planning a fall wedding, try and buy just after the fall wedding season. Sometimes you’ll strike gold and be able to buy items in bulk that just happen to be in your wedding colors.”

Laurin also says DIY brides thrive on The Knot, where she found projects for less than $20 that she incorporated into her thank-you notes and reception.

Sounds like the Knotties might be my kind of brides, after all.