I know, I know! This may be the last thing you want to add to your to-do list as a bride however a good website can really help weddings guests with the below…
A) RSVP for your wedding or provide interactive submission forms
B) Find your wedding location/accommodations easily
C) Locate your registry online without having to print out those crazy long lists at the store
So before you toss this item in the trash, consider this. Think about your own behavior whenever you want to find the answer to something easily. If you’re anything like me, you probably google it. We are all pretty much attached to our phones 24/7. It’s often the first place we all go to to find answers now. I’m not really pulling out my phone book anymore. Also I’m not sure about you, but often times whenever I’m trying to remember registry info or invitation details, I’m away from home. Having a website allows for wedding guests to easily locate all the details of your big day right from their smartphone.
So now that you’re convinced, let me also tell you that I absolutely loved making our wedding website! We actually made a custom site from Squarespace but I know plenty of people who have used TheKnot.com or Minted.com. I got married in the Spring of 2015 and I remember this being one of the first things I wanted to do as a newly engaged couple! It was fun to write our story as a couple and also show off all of our engagement pictures. We also added a fun feature to ours where guests could submit song ideas to add to our playlist.
So like I said, many brides enjoy the capabilities that TheKnot.com and Minted.com have to offer for wedding sites and they are awesome resources for website creation. For this blog in particular, I am going to be talking through custom creation mostly – and more specifically, through Squarespace. We used Squarespace for our wedding website, which was super easy to setup honestly. I actually use Squarespace to also host THIS site as well. It’s SO easy and I built my site in 1 or 2 days. Even though the below examples are for Squarespace specifically, you can apply these tips to many different hosting platforms.
1) Create & Purchase a Catchy Domain Name: This can be purchased easily from GoDaddy.com. Creating a fun and catchy domain name makes it even EASIER for guests to find you as they can just type in your easy-to-remember domain name versus www.host.com/mattandlaurawedding. It can also be exciting picking a domain because it’s one more place where you and your fiance can really customize your wedding to reflect you – similar to a hashtag. Our domain, which we no longer own (RIP), was itstalleytime.com and it cost us a total of $13.17 to have for 1 full year. Depending on the name, domain names are generally around $10 – $20.
2) Create Custom, Interactive Pages: After you’ve purchased your domain, you can sign up for Squarespace (or any website hosting site)! For Squarespace, specifically, you can pick a template from the beginning, making it much easier to build your site. Squarespace does have a cost of $12/month if you pay an annual fee or $16 to pay month-to-month. You can add a custom page to any template and any theme will be carried out throughout the entire website.
Whenever Matt and I got married, the pages we chose were Our Story (spoiler: we met in a bar), When & Where (we provided ALL of the details and directions to our venue, accommodations details and also some fun things to do and eat for out of town guests), Wedding Party (we included pictures and names of all of our wedding party – you don’t have to stress yourself over a bio for each person), Registry (we included the links to all of our registry lists which Squarespace makes SUPER easy), Request a Song (guests could submit song ideas online by filling out a form that went direct to our emails – it also was setup to save to an Excel spreadsheet so it was easy to look through in the end).
Other suggestions for pages would be RSVP (guests can RSVP directly on your website to save on postage for RSVP cards), Photo uploads (upload all of your engagement photos, shower photos, etc to a gallery), Other important details (such as cash bar, child care, dress code, etc), a Countdown Clock to the big day or even a Weather Tracker for your wedding date (for some, this may cause more stress hahah).
Some other fun ideas for interactive pages for your guests would be “Advice for the Engaged Couple”, “Honeymoon Destination Ideas” or a Social page that displays all images where guests have used your hashtag on Insta!
Side note, I WISH I still had images to share of our wedding website but since it’s no longer in service, I can’t grab any! SO word to the wise if you’re sentimental like me, take screenshots of your finished website and save them 😉
3) Create Hype: Get your guests excited about your wedding and website – specifically for your submission form pages – by sharing the link on Facebook or on an additional info card in your invitation suite. Again, we used a Request a Song page so we shared this as a separate card in our invitation suite but also would share on Facebook so that people could easily access the link. Similar to a hashtag, the more you share before the big day, the more interaction this will get! if you feel weird about sharing this with everyone on social media, Squarespace allows for some pages to be password protected so you can include this on the card in your invitation suite if you’d like. Truthfully, I didn’t care who was suggesting songs for the reception, as long as we had an awesome playlist.
AND it’s all truly that easy honestly. If you’re not super tech savvy, find a friend who is but to be honest, the help page with Squarespace is SO great if you need it!
In the end you might be wondering “why would I create a custom site, whenever I could just use sites that make it easier like TheKnot.com?” which is a very fair question! This blog’s intent is truly just to stress the importance of a wedding website in general. I thought it would also be fun to share the custom route to highlight just how easy this CAN be if you choose to go that route. Obviously in the end, the important thing is that you have the friends and family around you in the end that will help you celebrate your big day!