12 Wedding Website Ideas You Should Know About
Weddings have evolved over the years to reflect the culture around them: Dress lengths go up and down, flowers come in and out of fashion, ceremonies move in and out of places of worship. But few big changes to wedding protocol have been as practical as the wedding website.
A far-cry from a classic snail mail wedding invitation, the wedding website has evolved to become a one-stop matrimonial shop for every aspect of your Big Day, from albums to dress codes to registries. But what, exactly, should you include on your wedding website? And how can you make sure that it fits your precise needs? No wedding is created equal, after all, and neither should your wedding website.
The primary function of your wedding website is as a hub for information, so it’s important to include the basics front and center as guests arrive on your site:
When: Dates and times of your ceremony and reception are crucial, and are best included front and center on your site’s home page. It’s helpful to lay out a full schedule of events beforehand.
Where: Instead of a hand-drawn map on the back of your invitation, add a Google Maps widget to your home page. For most of website-builder.com’s wedding templates, Google Maps is already integrated into the site design. All you have to do is mark your spot.
Places to stay: If you’re holding your wedding out of town, be sure to include a list of accommodation options (along with contact information and a price range, if necessary).
Dress Code: Whether it’s formal or bare-foot, your wedding’s dress code remains an important question for many guests. Make sure to keep it next to other important information
The Happy Couple: Weddings bring together families and friends in ways that few events can, but in many cases, invitees are unfamiliar with one half of the couple, or don’t know how they met and fell in love. Adding your love story to your website helps guests understand the gravity of the event they will attend, and introduces the unacquainted beforehand (so that at least your long-lost aunt will know how to recognize your new husband or wife).
RSVPs are often seen as the bane of any wedding planner’s job. Guests, after all, have a knack for waiting till the last minute to confirm, and waiting for a handwritten response via snail mail can take weeks – if not months – to arrive. A wedding website can go a long way to simplify RSVP woes, and these tools remove any fears of coding from the matter:
RSVPify is an app designed specifically for wedding and event RSVPs, and includes a host of useful tools, from seating charts to meal preferences. Forms are beautifully designed, fully customizable, mobile ready, and can be easily embedded on to your wedding website. Oh yeah, and it’s free.
Free-RSVP is a completely free RSVP tool that works in much the same way as RSVPify. Users can sign up using their Facebook or Google accounts, and guest lists can be tracked using helpful data visualizations.
Anyone who has been involved in wedding planning knows all too well that gift registries are a double edged sword. Planning your new life (and the stuff that goes with it) is fun, but dealing with the confusion of organizing obligatory gift giving is…well…not. A poorly designed registry can all too easily wind up in the happy couple receiving three cake knives.
Many couples make things easy for themselves by setting up online gift registries through major department stores, but if frying pans and tea sets are not high on your list of priorities, check out these great alternative online wedding registry resources:
Wedding Republic is an online gift registry generator, and a great alternative to registering with a department store. Couples can make their wish list, share it with wedding guests, and collect funds following the wedding. The beauty of Wedding Republic is the opportunity to go beyond traditional wedding gift fare. Couples can add charity donations, cash, and experiences (from cooking classes to rock-climbing) to their registry. Best yet, your customized registry can be linked to your own wedding website.
IDoFoundation.org allows couples to set up a “charity registry”, where wedding guests can choose the amount of money they would like to give to causes of the couple’s choice. The I Do Foundation also offer “charity favors”, small donations that are pre-paid by the couple and offered to guests as party favors. Check out I Do Foundation’s website for more charitable wedding ideas, as well as their helpful tips on how to throw an eco-friendly wedding!
Keeping Things Quiet
A common fear in creating a website for your wedding is the unwanted attention it might receive. Jealous ex-boyfriends and uninvited acquaintances can easily sour what should be a wonderful experience. If you don’t want the world to know about your wedding, it’s easy to password protect your website. Take a look at these resources to learn how:
Christopher Heng at sitewizard.com provides basic step-by-step instructions on how to password protect a site using an Apache server.
The experts over at Mashable published an article a while back offering plenty of resources dedicated to password-protecting your site.
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About Bee Kay
Bee Kay is an artist and writer with a knack for writing about the intersections between web design and everyday life.