Why and How to Create a Wedding Website
— By Lorna Urwin
23 March 2017
We live in a time of ubiquitous technology, and many couples are embracing this fact with their wedding planning. Perhaps one of the most useful and cost-effective ways to do so is with a beautiful and informative wedding website. Read on for some of the benefits of creating one of your own and some steps to help you on your way!
Why create a wedding website?
1/ Environmentally friendly
Image by Riley & Grey
Good news for eco-conscious brides: a wedding website allows you to convey all the wedding details you want without having to use up a whole forest in paper invitation inserts! For an even greener approach, you could opt for an e-vite that links to the website and forego paper altogether.
Image by Heather Waraksa
Taking wedding information online doesn’t only save trees; it may also save on your budget. Those with over 100 guests stand to save the most since the quantities involved mean a significant saving on inserts or - if you go entirely paper free - on the whole invite itself and any accompanying design, printing and postage costs! Though wedding site builders vary in prices and services, there are plenty of inexpensive and free options available – see section I below for a price comparison.
3 / Updatable
It’s likely you’ll need to add or change wedding information as you get further through the planning process and various things are confirmed or amended. A wedding website allows you to keep large numbers of guests updated and in the loop with minimal effort. Simply update the relevant section of the site and direct loved ones to the URL!
4/ Easily accessible for guests
Image by Minted
Let's be real; guests lose invites! There may also be times when they want to access wedding information but won’t have the invite to hand – say if they’ve already set off for the wedding but have forgotten the post code. A website is an ideal solution to this problem, providing a fixed, stable location for everything they need to know that be accessed anywhere, anytime with a smart phone, tablet or laptop.
5/ Eases your workload
There are plug-ins available that can considerably lighten some aspects of the wedding planning workload. An RSVP plug-in can aggregate guests’ responses and automatically generate your finalised guest list in a spreadsheet. No more worrying about RSVPs getting delayed or lost in the mail!
How to build a wedding website
i/ Find a host or website builder
Image by Minted
If you’re new to website building, don’t worry: there are plenty of providers out there that make the process relatively easy with ready-made templates (many of which are wedding-specific!) and solid customer support. Your first step should be deciding which one is right for you. Some popular examples and their pricing are listed below:
Wedding Wire - Free
Luv Birds - Free
My Wedding - Free
Google - Free
The Knot - Free
Wix - Free
Square Space - 11.39 NZD p/month
Wedding Window - 21.29 NZD p/month
eWedding - 21.29 NZD p/month
Wedding JoJo - 21.35 NZD p/month
Glo Site - 28.45 NZD p/month
Weduary - 28.49 NZD p/month
Appy Couple - 49 - 98 NZD (one-time payment)
Riley Grey - 341 NZD p/year
ii/ Secure a domain name (if desired)
Your domain name is effectively your URL, (e.g. emilyandalexander.co.nz). Buying your own personalised domain from a registrar isn’t necessary - many of the above services will offer a free subdomain URL with your subscription e.g. blissandbone.com/emilyandalexander - but it may be worthwhile if you want to make the URL more memorable or more unique. Most sites will allow you to use your own domain with their service, but double check before committing if this is your preference.
iii/ Choose a template, colour scheme and fonts
Image by Bliss and Bone
Each provider offers a different number of template designs, and usually, you can swap these around at no extra cost if you’re feeling indecisive! Bear in mind that some companies focus on variety, while others specialise in a specific aesthetic. They differ in terms of flexibility, too – some are entirely customisable while others have restrictions on font and colour choices to streamline the creative process.
iv/ Share some gorgeous photos
Image from the-pittmans.com
Make the site your own by adding some imagery of you and your fiancé! If you’ve had a professional engagement shoot this is the perfect platform to share those beautiful images, perhaps alongside others from the history of your relationship.
v/ Decide what information you’ll share
Personalising the content of the site is entirely up to you, but it’s advisable to provide as much information as you can. That way guests need to ask you as little as possible! Essentials include the date and location, some accommodation options at a range of price points (if you’ll have guests from out of town) and transport information. You could also add information about the bridal party, the dress code or even your love story if you like.
vi/ Add plug-ins
Image from Squarespace
If you want to make your site even more functional, explore whether your site provider offers plugins. These can fulfil all sorts of roles, from a gift registry to gathering guest information (including RSVPs, dietary requirements and song requests).
Either send the URL around to invitees via a private message or email, or take to Facebook, Instagram, Twitter et al to share your beautiful new site. (This is also an excellent opportunity to decide on a hashtag for your wedding!)