12 Tips For Building a Great Wedding Website
1. Yes, You Can and Should Make Your Own Site
How many wedding invitations do you get in the mail each year? Five? Ten? More? When you are the one doing the inviting, you are going to want your special day to stand out. Your wedding website adds a wonderful personal touch, allowing your friends and family to share in the joy of your engagement, registries, ceremony and reception theme, honeymoon destination, and any other details or events you would like to share.
Modern web design programs are very user friendly, allowing almost anyone to create a website for whatever topic they have in mind. These programs also have the capability of making a site simple enough that even the most technologically-challenged Aunt or Uncle of yours can easily navigate through and find all your great information.
(In this article we'll be using examples from Sandvox, the easy website builder for the Mac from Karelia software, though these tips should apply no matter what tool you use.)
2. Pictures, Pictures, and More Pictures
Nothing says "happy couple" like the two of you staring into each other's eyes or kissing for the first time as an engaged couple. Not only that, but some friends and relatives from each family may not have laid eyes on your better half yet...time to show off! Some web design programs even allow you to insert a photo "pagelet" that will display the same image on the side of every page of your site (choose that picture wisely!).
You can get creative by adding separate albums for all the important events. Include your official engagement photos, pictures of your days spent registering or visitng your ceremony location, even a video of the proposal if you were so lucky to capture it. Nothing helps your loved ones share in your joy more than having them see your happiness in pictures.
Do not forget to add a few of your official wedding photos to the site after you have recovered from the honeymoon, gift opening, etc. (or maybe just have your maid of honor do it). Adding these pictures is a very nice gesture for any friends or family that were unable to attend.
Sandvox from Karelia
- Create an Easy Wedding Website
Build your very own wedding website, including all the items mentioned here on this page, with Sandvox for Mac OS X.
3. Be a Storyteller
Personal and touching stories come in a close second to pictures for helping your friends and family be a part of your special day. You can include your "Story of Us," chronicling your time together, the story of how you first met, or a meaningful event or occasion during your relationship.
Another idea that is really catching on with wedding websites is the story of the proposal, told from the viewpoint of both of you. Sorry guys, this means you will have to get a little sentimental. But, this should be much less nerve-racking than the actual proposal.
And, of course, every story should be accompanied by what? You guessed it, pictures.
4. Post Links to Your Registries
Your registry info is an absolute must for your wedding website. You can save yourself or your parents the trouble of fielding call after call about registries and having to explain where the stores are located or spelling out the websites. Your site can function as a one-stop shop for all your guests or generous friends. Some design programs will even help you create a pagelet of your Amazon wishlist, often helping your loved ones get a better deal.
Nearly everywhere you register will make your registry available online, allowing for review or purchase of the products listed. The ease of use for this section of the website will be a treat for your friends and family, and may even encourage an extra touch of generosity.
Or, if you don't need gifts, you can also create a list of links to your favorite charities, to which your guests can make a contribution in your honor. Check out "Making Your Wedding Make a Difference" for related ideas.
5. Ceremony and Reception Info
Let's face it, there are dozens of options out there for ceremony and reception venues. You picked yours because they were the best fit for you and your special day. Tell your friends and family why. Are you doing a destination wedding? Let everyone know why the location you picked is so special to you.
For each venue listed, include pictures, a short write-up, directions, and a link to their site, if available. Be sure to select a web design program that helps you build a list of outside links. You can even help your guests out with a link to Google Maps with your venue already plugged in.
6. Provide Online RSVP
Talk about a wonderful time saver. Allowing your guests to view the list of meal choices and contact you directly via email is a giant step forward in the RSVP world. No more waiting for procrastinating relatives to return those little cards or finally call you (though you will still want to provide a phone number option for older friends and relatives).
Some web design programs even help you create a contact form for your guests that does not reveal your email address, thereby maintaining your privacy and protecting from spam.
- Sandvox - For Easy and Elegant Website Development
Welcome to the Sandvox hub, the place for easy and elegant website development for the Macintosh...
- Karelia Software - Proud Creators of Macintosh Software
Welcome to the Karelia Software Hub! We setup this hub to give everyone the opportunity to ask questions and find answers regarding Sandvox and other website creation and development topics...
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7. List Your Wedding Party
This addition is much more on the optional side, but it does provide you another opportunity to further include your friends and family in your special day. You can also supplement this page with photos of you and each of your attendants together, along with write-ups about your friendship.
Take this opportunity to show your attendants how much they mean to you by letting your guests know just how special your friendship is.
8. Add The Musical Touch
Every wedding is different and you can show part of what makes yours special by adding a list of wedding music. Whether these are songs for your ceremony or reception, this will help your guests get a feel for the two of you as a couple.
Do you and your better half have an official song? Some website creation programs will even allow you to setup a pagelet playing your song. The nice thing about the pagelet is that the song will be accessible to guests even as they navigate away from the homepage to other areas of your site. You can even setup a page that allows visitors to your site to download your song and enjoy it themselves.
9. A Variety of Video Options
Feeling especially generous? Why not add a video "thank you" message for all the visitors to your site. You can record and upload one right away, or wait until after the ceremony to thank all those who attended and/or gave gifts. You may even want to record your message near the conclusion of your reception, adding that extra touch of thoughtfulness to an already generous gesture.
One particular wedding craze that is sweeping the internet is the posting of choreographed wedding dances to YouTube. Share your humor and good times with those unlucky enough to miss your sweet moves by directly linking this video to your wedding website. Some web design programs help you link seamlessly with YouTube for just such an occasion.
10. List of Accommodations
For whatever reason (price, location, etc.), some of your guests may be inclined to stay at a location separate from your reception venue. Help out your friends and family by providing a list of nearby lodging.
Each listing can include relevant information such as address, pricing, distance from the reception, etc. Some web authoring programs will assist you in creating this list, along with links to the hotel websites, if available.
11. Vendor List
These are the folks who really helped bring your wedding together. You can list the minister, the photographer, the ceremony and reception venue(s), the caterer, the DJ or band, etc. If you had a fantastic experience with any of these people or groups, this is your chance to let your friends and family know.
For each vendor, you can include a short write-up and a link to their site, if available. As previously mentioned, such lists are fairly easy to create with some of the more user friendly web design programs.
12. Keep the Site Going After the Wedding
Chance are, your friends and family are very interested in your life and plans beyond the wedding. You can add pages to your site with info about the next big thing in your lives together. New jobs? Travel? Baby? You can tell your loved ones all about it.
The best website design programs allow you to continually add pages to your site as your life and family grows. You can edit existing pages and pagelets to show your most current info, add photo albums of your travels, even start and link a family blog.