I've been engaged for about one month. And to tell you the truth, before meeting my fiance Jonathan I didn't really think I'd ever get married. So as far as weddings go, I've never given them much thought.
On the other hand, the one thing I know really well is the internet and specifically website development. So it wasn't long after I said 'YES!' that we started planning our wedding website.
Because our love is a geeky splendid thing.
We both work on web development industry and we've seen the gamut of websites: good, bad and ugly. During our research we've come across 10 things that make a wedding website spectacular. Whether you're a beginner or an internet ninja, this list is a useful place to start when you're planning or updating your wedding website.
1) Easy, memorable URL: If available, try to secure a domain name that has both of your names - this makes it more memorable for your family and a bit more special for you, too. Try combinations like these examples:
Or you can make sure your wedding website fits on the invitations by using a URL shortener like Google's URL shortener or Bitly.
Pro Tip: My favorite domain registration site is Hover. Their website is easy to use and isn't cluttered with ads.
2) Information for Venues: You'll want your guests to have as much information as possible so they can easily find the venues and arrive on time. This page can have the following:
- Interactive map that can supply directions. One way is to embed a Google Map.
- Phone number for a contact at the Venue
- Time Ceremony starts
- Any additional special instructions or information
Pro tip: Include a link to download a document with location, phone number and other details for the venue. Some attendees will want to print the map out and have the information at their fingertips on your big day.
3) Hotel Information: List multiple hotels in the area to offer your guests plenty of options at different price ranges. Be sure to include the following information on your hotel page:
- Contact information for the hotel
- Any special rates or codes a guest should mention to get a special rate
4) Registry information: Many stores offer an online element for their registries. You can link directly to your registry from this page. Popular registries to include are:
- Crate and Barrel
Pro Tip: You can even add items that are not part of an official registry. For example, you can add your Amazon.com wish list or a link to a specific item on Etsy!
5) Proposal Story: Everyone loves a great love story, so give the people what they want! This is your chance to talk about how the proposal happened and everyone will naturally want to know all the details.
6) Photo Albums: Photo albums on wedding sites can be compiled into different categories. Here are ideas for how to organize your photos into different albums:
- As A Couple
- Engagement Pictures
- Wedding Pictures
- Honeymoon Pictures
Pro tip: For the wedding and honeymoon pictures, put up a cute placeholder image and add the photos after you're officially a Mr. and Mrs.!
7) RSVP form: Let your guests RSVP straight from the website. An easy way to do this and keep it all organized is to make a form using Google Docs, embed it in the site, and set up the form to notify you when someone has sent an RSVP.
Make this form short and sweet with a comments section so your guests can send a personalized message. Here's an idea for what fields to include in your RSVP form:
- Will you be attending? _ Accept With Pleasure _ Regretfully Decline
- List all Names of Guests Attending/Not Attending
- Email Address
- Vegetarian dish
8) Your Special Touch: Whether the site is designed with your wedding colors or you both have a favorite font - be sure to add a sweet digital token of your love to the site to make it yours. Other ideas include:
- Wedding Party List - Show your friends you're grateful for all their support by mentioning them with his and hers lists. You can even list a fun fact about why they were chosen like "Sam introduced us at her Halloween party!"
- Comment Form - This lets people leave general well wishes on your site that will be displayed publicly.
9) Vendors: Want to show some love to that cute Etsy shop that handmade your dress? Here's the chance to promote vendors that you're excited about. You can list this as links to their sites with a short description of why you love them.
10) Wedding Date: Be sure to include this on the homepage and many additional pages, perhaps at the bottom of each page (the footer) or incorporated at the top in the header.