Sunday, October 9, 2011

Step Four: Your Wedding Website

As I mentioned in Step Three, taking the time to create a well organized, detailed and fun wedding website is a great way to get your guests a little more involved in your wedding day as well as provide important information about travel, accommodations, dress code preferences and registry details.

There are many website hosts out there that are both free and paid. We used a pre-designed template from Wedding Wire and then customized it to make it our own.

Some of the categories that are important to cover in your website include:
  • Your Story - (Details about how you met, when and where you fell in love, etc.) Keep in mind, not everyone that you are inviting will know or remember your story. This is a great opportunity to allow them to get to know the two of you as a couple a little better before they take part in your big day.

  • The Proposal - People may know that you got engaged, but they may not have heard the full story. Now is your chance to tell them about it.

  • Bride & Groom - Include a little bit about yourselves as individuals. Your fiance's Aunt Mable may not know much about you, but after reading about how you volunteer at the Senior Center every Tues, she'll be even more excited to welcome you into the family! 

  • Bridal Party - Your family and friends want to know who you've asked to be a part of your wedding. They will want to "get to know" these people as much as they will want to know how he proposed. Make this page fun by adding in little details about each person like how you met, why you are friends, etc. (Since we didn't have a Bridal Party, we included a page all about our family.)
  • Ceremony & Reception Details - Make sure you include the date, start time, address(es) and any other pertinent information in this section. Believe it or not, many people throw out wedding invitations as soon as they RSVP. By having your website fully stocked with all of the details of the day, you'll hopefully save yourself from having to answer phone calls and emails about when and where the wedding is. (Let's face it, you'll still get some questions, but this way you can easily direct inquirers to a place where they can get all of their questions answered!) 

  • Attire - This page isn't completely necessary unless you want to ensure that your guests are aware of any important details about how they should dress. For example, if your wedding is very formal, you may want to put this not only in the invitation,but also in a page on your website. Or if the ceremony is outside and may be very hot or very cold, you can remind people to bring a sweater. (For us, since we got married on a ranch, we reminded people not to wear spiked heels and to bring a light weight sweater in case the evening was cool!)

Other things to include are:
  • Registry - since it isn't "good etiquette" anymore to include in your invitation
  • Map - this will save you from having to print one for the invitation (unless of course you want to)
  • Contact Info - your emails and phone numbers in case there are questions
  • Travel and Accommodations - if you set up preferred rates with hotels for your guests, this is where they will access this info
  • Fun Photos
  • Song Requests
  • Virtual Guest Book
  • Weather Info
  • Things to Do - We put together a list of all of the major tourist attractions, fun things happening in the area during the week/end of our wedding, some of our favorite restaurants and other misc things that we like to do! This is especially helpful for people coming in from out of town who may be looking for things to do while in town.

Most importantly, remember that this is your day and include whatever you think is important. Do your website together and make it fun. This is something that will set the tone for your wedding and you want your guests to find it not only useful, but enjoyable as well.

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