Jan 11, 2011

25. Wedding Wed sites

 I try to stay balanced and show the pros and cons for each wedding part, but the truth is...I see nothing wrong in having a wedding web site. In fact, both as a guest who has used another couple's site, and as a bride who was able to provide all the information to her guests at once I have nothing bad to say about it. It's truly a couple's best tool at their disposal.

Please note:
1 - I am not saying to go 100% digital and not provide any info in the invitation "packet." Grandma and Great Uncle Ed still probably need tangible info mailed to them, not to mention it doesn't hurt to be sure that people who won't check the site...get the info they need.
2 - I completely respect that some couples do not want to create a web site. This is just showcasing all the pros from having one.

So let's break down a wedding a basic web site (or wed site). Section-by-section and why it's good for both the guest and the couple.

To keep things easy, we'll use the wedding web site Jason & I had for our wedding.

PS - for the couples looking for the best sites to host their wed site on I will list them at the bottom!

The URL/web site link
When a URL is simple, I find that people are more inclined to remember. I mean, how easy is it to remember Facebook.com right? So you would want that for your wedding web site so it's easy to remember and to share.
It was clean, minimal words, not to mention it's our names.

I know some sites make it super long and difficult to remember (no, I'm not going to rip on the sites that do, they know who they are) but I think it makes it convenient for your guests and it looks clean on whatever stationary you provide it on.
Save-the-dates via Magnet Street

Next, onto the basic pages for the site...

Wedding Events
While this page is great for couples who are having the wedding all at one place...it benefits the couples who are having their ceremony at site A and the reception and site B the most.

You can break it down to "Ceremony" "Cocktail Hour" "Reception" and then if you want "After Party." MyWedding gives you the option to have all of the following info about each place:
  • Identify what is happening where
    • e.g. Ceremony at St. Gabriel's Church
  • Time
  • Address
    • With a corresponding map
  • Phone number
  • Web Site
  • Anything additional you may want to add about each event
    • e.g. Cocktail hour is from 7-8pm, dinner and dancing to follow

 

Overnight Accommodations
I'm sure we can understand why extensive detail may be needed for this part because "If you are staying over, it costs $125" just isn't enough for some hotels. Why you may ask? Here are some things to factor in...
  • Your hotel may have a deadline as to when guest can book with the rate the hotel gives you for your wedding. 
    • We did, it was a month before and there was another wedding at the hotel and the entire place booked up.
  • To let people know if breakfast is or is not included
  • The rate may not be guaranteed if they book outside the block or after the deadline
  • Letting people know if there is an additional charge for more than 2 people in a room
  • The dates the room are booked
    • Sometimes people will block off the night before the wedding as well for out-of-town guests
  • How to book
    • A personal online link, a promo code for online or via phone
Directions
This section is really self-explanatory and extremely useful for a guest if the couple's ceremony or reception site can be difficult...or confusing to get to.

Transportation Accommodation (the day of the wedding)
Perfect for the couple who is having their reception at one place and providing hotel accommodations at another and plans to have a shuttle bus of some sorts escort gets back and forth. You can outline the times the bus will be running so that people can plan ahead for cocktail and then when to go back to the hotel.

Contact Us
Also a self-explanatory section so that any guest of your wedding can contact you. On the flip-side if you are a guest and have a question for the couple it's super easy to get a hold of them.


Okay, so those are the pages I think we can all agree on that are the most needed and the info that everybody would like to have access to. Next up, optional pages that can make your site super personal.

Our Story
So this part is kind of cheesy, but come on - how many people really know how you met and you got engaged? Your friends will already know, but your extended family and parent's friends find it extremely fun to read.

Wedding Party
Do you love your bridal party the way I did? What a perfect way to let the guests of the wedding know who your attendants are and to honor your party with a photo, name and maybe a little about how you met...
            


Photo Galleries
Jason & I have been together over 5 years (now) and we have a ton of photos to share. It's a great addition to showcase how you two have grown as a couple over the course of your relationship.




Registries
This can be the perfect spot to lead your guests to your registries. Aside from the bridal shower and word of mouth - it is the easiest way, without being pushy about where guests can get you a gift for the wedding.
Web sites like Bed Bath and Beyond and Macy's make it easy to link directly to your registry and you can fill in any other FYIs about any shipping or discounts a guest can use.


Other page options include...
Guestbook
Music
Attractions


Okay so now that you have heard about the basics to have on your site, I'm sure you want to know the best hosts for your wed site.

On a scale of what to pay for, and what now...wedding web sites is definitely on the "not" list. But in reality, there are some great options out there for those want a great site and not pay. Not saying there is anything wrong with those who decided they wanted to pay...just saying there are some amazing options out there without spending a dime.

PS they are not paying for this post, but if say...MyWedding.com would like to shout me or Haley Madison Magazine a sponsor...feel free to contact me!


Andddd if you need more features, themes, colors or just flat out don't mind paying...No1Reviews has a great list of the Top Ten Wed sites you can use to create (but cost) wedding web sites. Click here to see the article.

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