The Best (Really) Free Wedding Websites
Hurray for free wedding websites!
We live in an age of DIY-ing, so I am always interested in free websites (be they medical, culinary, craft-related, or what have you) that meet the growing demand for self-empowered action.
In honor of romance and the recent marriage of someone very dear to me, I decided to take a foray into the world of free wedding planner sites to see what interesting developments may have taken place. Below you'll find an overview of common DIY wedding website trends, as well as brief introduction to the best free wedding websites.
Major Wedding Website Trends
Here are some common trends I found in terms of features:
- Social network integration: many of the decent planning sites allow one to create an account simply by connecting with Facebook, and some have additional activity on Twitter and Myspace
- Customized wedding websites: apparently it’s not enough to send out invites these days; more and more couples are creating websites devoted to their special event through which they can share registry infromation, photos, and updates
- Online checklists, tools, and calculators: as opposed to clunky print-out templates, the major sites offer tools that incorporate real-time calculation, communication (both with guests and vendors), and utility (e.g. in the form of online gift registries and instant access to local vendors and previous customers’ reviews)
In sum, these sites offer a wedding planning process that is cheap, social in nature, public, and full of utility. Additionally, design is used to make the planning process pleasant and indulgent. Ultimately, it seems much of the reason a bride-to-be might turn to these sites is she wishes to draw out and savor the wedding experience. By gaining more control over the planning process, a bride can get more out of her wedding- even more than she can get by passively reading wedding magazines and blogs.
The Best Free Wedding Websites
To be honest, many of the free planning sites are clunky, not really free, cluttered and poorly designed. Some, however, are pretty nifty. I’ll leave you with the ones worth considering:
WeddingWire: (my personal favorite) presents couples with crisply designed checklists, inspiration boards, budget tempaltes, seating chart tools, personalized wedding websites, guest list trackers, vendor lists, and a “binder” in which all relevant information can be stored
Google Docs & Style Me Pretty: a wedding solution for Google Devotees; provides wedding planning templates made super effective via the easy sharing aspects of Google Docs (see their intro video to the right). Tools include wedding album presentation templates, budget templates, address book templates, guest lists, music lists and seating charts.
OneWed: lists local vendors (and provides reviews), shares new updates on a daily blog and offers wedding site templates, advice articles, community, style galleries and wedding news.
WeddingChannel.com: provides planning checklists, budget calculators, guest list managers, save-the-date email templates, an online scrapbook, and a wedding website
Perfect Wedding Guide: provides nice looking checklist, seating chart, budget calculator and calendar tools, as well as a wedding site, bookmarks, and dashboard
The Knot: shares checklist, budgeting, and guest list tools; customizable wedding sites (both in save-the-date and “My Real Wedding” form), e-cards, newsletters, community, and an online notebook for keeping track of it all
mywedding.com: has an ideas and trends blog, listings of local vendors, and allows couples to create their own customized wedding website to which they can upload photos and music as well as post an online gift registry, interface with invitees, and monitor guest lists, RSVPs and page views
Brides.com: offers customized wedding web sites, an image bank, guest list and budget tools, and even fitness plan templates
Lots of Choices!
As you can see, there is no dearth of choices with regard to free wedding websites, so have a look at the ones above and pick the one (or maybe a couple) that is best suited to your own needs.
No matter which site you pick, I want to congratulate you and wish you a wonderful wedding and very happy marriage!