Wednesday, May 29, 2013

The Must-Have Wedding Freebie: A Website

I recently received some sweet complements on my wedding website, including one lady who wanted to pass it on to her daughter who is planning a wedding. I thought it was nice that people took the time to read through all the pages and then let me know that they liked it.

I didn't think much of setting one up, only that I knew I was going to do it because of how handy one can be. I didn't know that it would become one of the best investments I never spent a dime on.

And while I assumed most people set up a wedding website, I've noticed that not everyone utilizes it to its full potential. Which is why I'm writing this post, to encourage every bride to take the time to create a site and not just any site, but a great site.

Screenshot of the homepage of my wedding website.
Why create a wedding website?

A wedding website is a free resource you can use to get important information out to your guests. You can also share personal details about your relationship for those who might know only one of you, or not know the story of how you met.

You can also save money on RSVP card postage by having your guests file their RSVP online.

How do you create a wedding website?

There are a ton of different tools for creating websites, but you'll want one specifically set up for weddings. I recommend setting one up with The Knot allows online RSVPing (not all wedding website creators offer this tool). It also offers a variety of templates for you to choose from, it's easy to use and it's simple to input photos and text. You can also take advantage of a "password protected" option so that only certain people can view select pages.

You will have to register an account with The Knot to begin your website. You will then have the option create and manage your site. It's completely free, unless you want to add a customized domain name.

What should be included on a wedding website?

It really is up to you how much you want to include on your site, but I recommend including the following:

>> Add photos of you and your significant other to each page. They liven up your site and everyone loves photos!

>> Fill in your homepage with a welcome message for your guests.

>> Complete an "about us" page for those who may only know one of you. This will help guests to feel more connected to you as a couple. Similarly, including your engagement story will lend to this.

>> Post a photo of each member of your wedding party with a little blurb about how you know them. Again, it will connect your guests to your day and also help your party feel included.

>> Information on the location of the ceremony and reception will be important for all your guests, especially those who will need directions to each venue. Make sure to fill in these pages with as much relevant information as possible. You want your guests to enjoy your day and not stress about getting to different locations.

>> Obviously if you want your guests to RSVP online, you will need to include the RSVP page. You can also offer alternative ways for guests to respond, by mail, phone or email.

>> Fill in the guest information page with additional important information. This can include lodging options (and any booking/discount information); local dining, drink and entertainment options; attire recommendations (I included a link to my Pinterest board of attire suggestions); and anything else you think guests will find helpful--especially those who are from out of town.

>> List where you are registered on the registries page.

>> You may also want to include the guest book for visitors to sign, a photo album of pictures, a map of events and info on your honeymoon, if you want to share. (You can also tie this in to a honeymoon registry if you're setting one up. Honeyfund is a helpful site for that.)

How do you get people to visit your site?

For my wedding, rather than including a traditional, mail-able RSVP card, I created my own unique card. This card included the link to my wedding website and instructions to visit it to RSVP. I also included bullet points of a few other things guests could find.

To create my card, I used the "chubby business card" on Zazzle. Since I hadn't totally settled on an invitation design, I used an engagement photo as the background, with the text printed on top. I made sure to include "RSVP" in large letters so you couldn't miss the point of the card.
I hope you find these tips helpful! As with all my wedding-y posts, if you have questions/comments/tips, please leave them in the comments!


praveena puppy said...

Hey, nice site you have here! Keep up the excellent work!

How to Create Wedding Website

eliseloyola said...

Thanks for stopping by! :)

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