August 12, 2020
Nowadays it seems like having a website to honor your wedding day is the new norm, but creating an entire website can sound like a daunting, time consuming task. I mean it’s a whole gosh darn living, breathing website with a domain and everything! But I’m here to show you some ways to make it seem less frightening and actually pretty enjoyable. Of course there are pros and cons to everything, so let’s jump into the pros first because they are more fun.
It’s only fair to start with “It’s easy” because that’s what most people get hung up on. Let’s debunk the idea that creating a website has to be hard. For starters, The Knot, Zola, and Wedding Wire all offer a free website builder for wedding couples to use and customize. They have, like, 100 different templates you can choose from! You simply browse through the templates and find one that both you and your fiancé agree on, and it will walk you through the rest. The whole thing can take as little as ten minutes to get up and running.
Once you choose your template, you get to really start making this site your own. The site will already come with a menu bar at the top (or on the side, based on your template). The menu bar will display buttons such as “Home, RSVP, Registry, Our Story, Things to Do, Wedding Party, Photos, and Travel”. This is when you get to fill in whatever you would like under these tabs. Put a picture of your stunning self and gorgeous fiance on the homepage; it will already have your names on it thanks to your handy dandy template.
Allowing guests to RSVP online keeps your head on straight. You don’t have to sort through RSVP cards or texts from relatives to see who can make it to your special day and who can’t. The website does all the grunt work for you.
Posting your registry through a wedding website is also incredibly helpful and snazzy. You will not believe how helpful it is. Most of us have several items from several different websites or stores on our registry, and it’s hard to keep them all straight. The nice thing about creating your registry through a wedding website is it allows guests to browse through all the stores you have listed, and then it keeps track of what people have bought, so you don’t get multiples. You don’t have to give guests a link for every website you have registered on, you simply give them the link to your wedding website, and they can do the rest. I promise, even your grandma could do it.
A website is also a great way to share your story with your guests. You can share how you and your fiancé met under the “Our Story” tab on the website menu and even add photos to give it some extra YOU. Your guests will love the opportunity to hear your story, and it will also get them excited to see you two make a lifelong commitment to each other.
The beautiful thing about sharing your love story with others is that it gives them the chance to know you as a couple, together. I’m sure we all have relatives that we know and love, but that our significant other hasn’t had the pleasure of meeting yet or hasn’t had the chance to really get to know. Sharing your story gives everyone an insight to your relationship, maybe in a way they haven’t seen yet. It will allow them into a valuable and intimate space that you have created and crafted specifically for them. That’s pretty special.
If you so choose, you may also include a list of your favorite restaurants, activities, or attractions for your guests to check out in the area. Chances are some people will be traveling for your wedding and might decide to stay an extra day or so, or maybe they have an early flight and a couple of hours to spare before the wedding festivities begin. Either way, it’s another opportunity for guests to see what you like to do.
If you have guests traveling, you could also include hotel and flight information. If you are getting married at a venue that also provides lodging, like a hotel or resort, these places often provide a discounted room rate for guests. The wedding website would be a great place to post the rate and discount code given to you by the venue as well as how many rooms are available for the party.
If you haven’t already, go ahead and price some wedding invitations out. I dare you. THEN I dare you to see how the price increases when you choose to add a little “details” or “directions” card to the invitations. It won’t take long to see how quickly things can add up. For example, parking information is often included on these little cards, but why pay boocoodles of money to let people know where to park when you could have all of that information and more on your website for free?
All of the resources I’ve mentioned so far are F-R-E-E. If you’ve already done some wedding planning, you know how unheard of it is to get away with some freebies. And let’s be honest, weddings are expensive as heck.
Like I said before, even your grandma can navigate these wedding websites. They were designed for userbility and style. The hardest part of this whole thing is probably going to be typing in the web address into the address bar.
I’m going to be really honest with you here. I have wracked my brain to come up with a good list of cons, and I can only think of two.
If you go the template route and you’re a perfectionist, you may feel boxed in with the templates. There is a limit to the customization allowed when using a website’s free template. Sure, you can change the text and you can add photos, but you can’t really change font size or color or background color and flourishings. You could also choose to build your own website from scratch, but that is a WHOLE other conversation that I’m not going to get into now.
Look, I know I said even your grandma could navigate the website—and she totally could! At the ripe age of 88, my grandma has her own iPad she uses for Facebook and slot machine apps, and she navigates it like a pro. I would feel more than comfortable giving her a web address to access. If she can do it, I firmly believe anyone can do it. If you have a lot of guests who are older and not sure how to access the wedding website, consider the following
While wedding websites are undeniably neat, I understand they might not be for everyone. If you’ve made it this far and thought Hmmm… I’m not sold, that’s completely okay! You could choose to take it the more traditional route and just include paper insertions with all the details along with your mailed-out wedding invitations. Nothing wrong with that, just be ready to spend a pretty penny. Of course, if you play your cards right, you might be able to include all necessary information on the save the dates and the invitations.
I’ve also seen people create a page on Facebook for their wedding. This would also work just fine, but if you opted out of a wedding website because you had a lot of older guests who you were unsure of their ability to access a website, they might also have trouble accessing the Facebook page or maybe not even have Facebook.
Yes, there are so many perks to creating a wedding website! So why not take a little bit of extra time on the front end to create something that will pay off tenfold in the end? It truly makes this crazy process a bit more manageable. But there are a few cons as well. Overall, it’s completely up to the bride and the groom. Weigh the pros and cons and come up with a decision together that works best for your wants, needs, and vision.