How to Build a Kick-Ass Wedding Website
When I first got engaged I was really clueless on all things weddings. One of the things I had no idea even existed were wedding websites. At first this seemed a bit weird to me, do we really need an entire website dedicated to one day? YES! Having a wedding website is so helpful for so many reasons. And it makes things easier for you because you can get a lot of info out to all your guests, and you only have to write it once!
In order for your wedding website to do everything you want it to do, making sure it's set up well is essential! Today we're going to go over all the elements you need in include and how to set it all up so that you have an informative, helpful, bad-ass wedding website!
First things first, what platform are you going to use to make your site? There are a lots of options here, but we're going to focus on two. First, there are sites like theknot.com and minted.com where you can build a wedding website with one of their templates. There are plenty of wedding centric sites that offer this, these are just the two best in my opinion (we used the knot for absolutely everything, so our wedding website was no exception). Most of these are free but there are 'premium' options on minted's site that offers extra features. Basically these sites are super easy to set up, because all the templates are made specifically for wedding sites. The designs are wedding-y and the format is ready for you to drop your info in and boom, you're set. The downside of a free site is that you don't have your own url. Your site will be something like theknot.com/us/teamwiggins or wigginswedding.minted.us, however in the grand scheme of things I don't think this is that huge of a deal, especially when you can message or e-mail people links. Option number two is to use a site that's just made for making websites in general like squarespace.com or wordpress.com. Same idea here but it's more up to you to layout things in a way that's best. Both sites have options to buy a domain name so you can have whateveryoudlike.com (wordpress has a free option as well). No matter what site you decide to use, you're going to use them pretty much the same way so don't stress too much on this!
Once you choose a site, and get your account all set up, the first thing you'll want to do is pick out a template. The template will not only be the cosmetics of your site- the colors, background, and fonts but also the layout of the pages- were the text and photos are, what the navigations looks like and things like that. I recommend looking through the previews of a few before choosing one. Sometimes a template will have a really pretty design, but when you start filling in you information you find it's clunky, or hard to use. The whole point of a wedding website is to make it easier for your guests to get this information so you don't want the pages to then be difficult to navigate! If you are using Wedding Paper Divas or Minted, you can even find templates that coordinated with your Minted invitations, how simple is that? If you can't get one that is made to match, look for similar themes (flowers/rustic/geometric) and colors as your invitations. If you'd rather skip the matching game you can opt for a minimal page, with a solid color background, with out a lot of design fuss. Another option is to upload your own images for a banner/header/or background (if you're up to it!), this can take a little adjusting to get it right for your particular template.
Alright so you've chosen a platform, made an account, and picked out a template. Now you can start adding your details! First things first, you'll want write out everything that needs to be included so you can decide how many pages to add and things like that.
Here's what I'd recommend:
- "The Big Day Info"- wedding date, location, time, attire, hotel, transportation, etc.
- RSVP Info- If you are able to set up an RSVP online option it is super helpful for your guests and you!
- Registry Info- Maybe you don't want to clutter your invites with this, put it on your site and include links to make things even easier!
- Dinner- This can be included in the RSVP info or if you don't need a head count for food, just have a space to let the guests know what to be expecting.
- The Wedding Party- Tell your guests a little bit about your bridesmaids and groomsmen. This can be photos, names, or a story about how you met each of them.
- Your 'Story'- I'm sure you told this story a million times especially after you got engaged, but have fun with a short summary of how your relationship started. It can be sweet, heartwarming, funny, what ever best encapsulates your relationship.
- Photo Gallery- This is another option to add more personal details to the site!
Now that you have all you info together, all you need to do is decide how to lay it all out. Depending on the layout you chose you may have tabs at the top to take you from page to page that are labeled, or you may have a drop down menu. I would recommend putting the most important details on the very front page. Things like the date and location, the "Big Day Info" we discussed, that way no one can miss it. Everything else, the registry info, RSVP, you story, can go on separate pages. Here's how I laid it out, important stuff on page one then, our story, further details, photos, registry, and RSVP. On pretty much and web service this should all be pretty simple. They will already have pages and tabs set up and all you have to do is change the names and type in your details. Voila! You're ready to share the URL with your guests!
Having all this information easily available with your guests will hopefully save you so much explaining, so make sure people know about it! If you don't want a URL on your actual invitations, a small card that goes in the envelope with just the wedding website and the info you can find there is a great way to make sure people are aware of it. Happy planning and happy making!