Wondering if you should build a wedding website? At first, it may seem like the task of designing a blog or website is just something else to pile on your ever-growing list of “Wedding Things To Do.” There are a lot of fringe benefits to having a wedding website that you probably haven’t though of yet, though, as well as plenty of bonuses for your beloved guests. Think of your wedding website as an organized mind map, a place where you can lay out everything, large and small, that you need to remember for your wedding day. Modern wedding websites are one-part information sharing and two-parts wedding planning.
Features of an Impressive Wedding Website
- Tell your engagement story or describe how you and your other half fell in love.
- Countdowns to all of your wedding events including the big day.
- Blog your feelings, thoughts and experiences during the entire getting married adventure.
- Bios of the bride and groom for guests who only know one or the other.
- A list of the wedding party to show your bridesmaids and groomsmen how important they are to you – a thought that can get lost in the hustle and bustle of planning a wedding. Include information about how you met and why they’re part of your special day.
- Have an option for guests to play your wedding song as they browse your website.
- Video “thank you” messages both before and after your wedding day.
Photos can make or break a wedding website. Your visitors don’t want to just read a ton of text, they want to view gorgeous images, too. Post everything from your professional engagement photos and candid shots of your bachelorette party to pictures from your relationship. You can also put up photos of your planning details, like your bridesmaids’ gowns, floral options and color schemes.
Your wedding website isn’t simply a place to store lovey-dovey anecdotes and tidbits of information – it can also be used as an effective planning tool. For example, the wedding websites from WedSimple.com have plenty of planning options for the happy-yet-swamped couple. Look for these features if you need your website to do double duty:
- Budget planning tools.
- E-mail blasts – remind your main guy’s guys to pick up their tuxes or gather the girls for their dress fittings.
- Write, organize and manage your guest list.
- Plan out the table seating charts.
- Keep track of music suggestions and ideas to eventually show your band or DJ.
- Oversee all of the necessary information for each of your vendors.
Another adorable idea for your wedding website is to put up polls. Asking your trusted loved ones for their opinion can help you make decisions that are weighing heavy on your mind. For example, “Is black a good color for my wedding dress? Sarah Jessica Parker made it work!”
Perks for Guests
Face it – no matter how important your wedding is to your guests, they’re going to have to hunt down the wedding invitation that was delivered three months earlier because they forgot to RSVP, fill in their dinner menu choice or order a gift from your registry. Make it easy on your nearest and dearest by having all of this information conveniently online for them to access whenever they need to. Include these must-have features to make attending your wedding a piece of three-tiered cake:
- Go green by having an online RSVP form instead of asking your guests to mail one back to you.
- Links to your gift registries.
- Maps and directions to the ceremony and reception locations along with the bachelor and bachelorette parties, the rehearsal dinner, nearby hotels and area attractions.
- A guestbook so your friends and family can send their warm wishes and nuggets of advice even before you walk down the aisle.
“I’m already dropping thousands of dollars on my wedding. I don’t want the added expense of a website.”
Depending on the type of website you want, you don’t have to spend a dime or invest a ton of money in your little corner of the Internet. Many websites are free, like Weebly.com and the super easy-to-use wedding website layout at TheKnot.com. If you don’t care to have a completely personalized URL, you really can get away without paying for a thing. Plus, these sites are a cinch to use yourself, so you don’t even have to worry about hiring a web designer.
“I don’t have time to plan and build an entire website.”
The beauty of starting a wedding website at the beginning of the wedding planning process is that it’ll grow with time. You can build at your own pace as things arise and nothing has to be done all at once.
A Few More Tips…
Depending on the building platform you use, you may have a lot of free reign to design your web pages with colors, fonts and images. Consider designing your website to look exactly like your invitations or using graphics that coordinate with your wedding theme.
Some couples continue to post information even after their wedding day. Upload a video of the event for guests who couldn’t make it. Post your honeymoon plans and then an update when you’ve returned. You can even write about your vendor experiences to help out future brides who are starting to plan.
Remember, your wedding website is yours and you can choose how much or how little you’re willing to share. Some couples use their website as a catch-all for everything wedding-related, while others simply post the must-know information and leave it at that.
Whatever you do, don’t forget to announce the wedding website’s arrival! Send e-mails and even snail mail to everyone who’d be interested to keep up with your escapades.