WWW = Worthwile Wedding Websites
Aaaaaaaand we’re back! I hope you all had a fantastic New Year! Posts will resume as normal for the next few months (barring any unforseen disasters/exciting events). I’ll be disappearing off and on for the next few weeks (poor Tim has to get his wisdom teeth out…so I’m heading to MI to take care of him and feed him mashed potatoes and pudding), but I’ll make sure posts are written and ready to go since I took time off for the holidays.
Formerly considered only for the snooty, the wedding website is now a pretty solid staple amongst the marrying crowd. It’s an easy way to make sure everyone on your guest list gets all of the information they need without having to rely on the traditional “word of mouth” method. It can be as fancy or as minimalistic as you want, but it is a great way to keep everyone informed.
The two biggest uses of the website are to post hotel/travel information and registry information. Rather than you and your parents fielding umpteen phone calls about what hotels are in the area, do you have any rooms blocked out, what’s the nearest airport, etc, you can simply dedicate a page of the site to this information. Likewise, the old rule of “never include your registry information in your invitations; it’s tacky” still applies today, so this is a way to side step it. After you create your registries, you can make direct links to your lists on your website, saving any guests who are inclined to get you a gift the headache of trying to guess what you want, where you’re registered, and try to locate your list and not some other random couple who has the same or similar names.
Most websites give you space for an “about the bride/groom” section, ceremony information, reception information, guest info (like the hotels and what not), registry info, an RSVP option (if you want to get all modern with it), the proposal story, an “about the bridal party” section, and a photo album. Some have a little more, some have a little less, but you can essentially edit it to make it whatever you want. There are free ones available through The Knot and Wedding Channel which let you choose from some predetermined formats (this is what we’ve used), or you can pay for one through those sites or through a secondary site like Wedsite so you have more freedom in your formatting and content.
If you’re sending Save the Dates, include the URL for your website on them. If you’re waiting until your invitations go out, you can either print the URL directly on them, or if you’re worried about throwing off the awesomeness that is your invitations you can print it on a separate slip of paper to include in the envelopes. If your site isn’t done yet, you can usually disable certain pages from your control panel. Disable whichever pages you don’t want showing yet, and put a note on the welcome screen (the first page they’ll get to when they type in your URL) saying that the site is still under construction and that they should check back in a few weeks for updates. Do NOT put any information on the site with the pages enabled until it is confirmed. If you want to store notes and possibilities in it (like start a list of hotels, but you haven’t called any yet to actually block out rooms), disable the page from public view.
I definitely recommend creating one, because not only is it a great resource for your guests (especially those who have to travel), it also reminds you of some of the things you need to remember to do (like block out hotel rooms). Make it as interactive or as straight-laced, detail filled or simplistic as you want. Tim and I got ours done about 12 hours before we dropped the Save the Dates in the mail, and I have to say I’m loving it. Almost all of my family will be traveling, and the idea that sending them this web address will save me about 30 phone calls full of the same questions over and over again is FANTASTIC. We also kept our “about the bride/groom” sections and wrote little tid bits about ourselves so that way anyone who wasn’t familiar with the other half of the pairing could know a little about us. For giggles we also updated the available “how we met” section, because our story is kind of amusing (I was the “crazy annoying girl” that sat behind him for a whole semester; I’ll tell you the whole story sometime if you want). We sent our the URL with our Save the Dates so that way all of our guests who were already making summer plans could have access to as much info as possible. They’ll still get formal invitations even though they’ll already have some of the key information, but it just works out better this way.