Congratulations on your engagement! We know you're looking forward to celebrating your love and beginning your new life together. Now that you've decided to get married, there's no time to lose. There's a lot to be done to make sure your wedding day is as perfect as you dreamed it would be, so roll up your sleeves!
Here's a tip: Choose a URL that's rather easy to remember, like: LucyandRobertWedding.com
That said, don't let anxiety get the best of you: of course, there are a lot of decisions to make and things to take care of, but with the right tools, you'll be able to handle everything smoothly, without added stress. Start by... creating your wedding website!
Are you surprised? In this post, we'll discuss:
- why creating a wedding website is useful;
- when is the best time to publish it;
- how to create this kind of website.
Creating a website is easier and cheaper than you think. You can create a website for your wedding by yourself, even if you're not a web expert. You'll soon see that it's very useful to have one.
Why create a wedding website?
Because in the past few years, technology's role in wedding planning has grown significantly. Today, nearly 3 in 4 couples create a website for the wedding (+15% increase in the last 3 years), while over half of couples create a wedding hashtag for sharing posts on social media (about 10% than in 2015).
The wedding website trend began in the USA, UK, and Canada, and soon spread around the world. But why is having a "wed-site” useful? Here are the 5 main reasons:
It serves as your wedding's information center
A wedding website hosts all the important information for your big day and everything that goes with it. Addresses, dates and times, notes about presents and dress codes, etc...: post everything your guests need to know, and let them know they can check your website if they have any questions. It will save you a lot of headache.
Your website can keep guests up to date about any changes.
After all, no matter how organized you may be, you never know what surprises lie around the corner. Although we hope there are none, it's always better to be prepared. It's much easier to inform people about a change of plans by updating your website rather than by contacting each guest individually, and run the risk of forgetting someone.
It will spare you from being bombarded with questions
There are much more fun things to do with your time than answering guests’ questions: like picking out flowers, tasting cakes, and planning the stops on your honeymoon... In addition to the main information you post on your website, you can add an FAQ page, in which you answer your guests’ most common questions.
Your website is a great way to share your love story
A wedding website is more than just an online invitation or a reminder of the place, date, and time. We bet even your least romantic guest will melt a little when they read about the first time you met. Find a personal way to tell your story: you can use words, photos, videos, even a soundtrack... It's a nice opportunity to share something authentic with your family and friends, while also creating a lasting record for yourselves.
It resolves all kinds of communication issues, including RSVPs
Either you choose to trust the mail, or you look for a quicker, most efficient way to invite your guests and receive their confirmations. Managing these kinds of communications online is sure to make it all easier and faster. In just a few clicks, you can contact everyone on your list and save a little money, too. Not bad, right?!
When to create a wedding website
The truth is that it's never too early to create and publish your wed-site. As soon as you set the date, time, and place for your wedding, you'll have all the most important information you need to start thinking of a website.
One of the first things to do is to decide on a URL for your website, which the address your guests will type into their browser window to access you page. The sooner you choose one, the better. Why's that? Simply because you'll need to include it on your invitations, and in general, you'll need to remember to share it with all your guests.
Here's a tip: Choose a URL that's rather easy to remember, like: LucyandRobertWedding.com
Your guests will appreciate it!
Remember that hosting plans often include domain registration, which means you can choose your URL and purchase the space for your website at the same time.
If you decide to use an online website builder instead, you won't have to worry about hosting, but you may not be able to choose your own domain without paying extra.
As we were saying, define all of the important information and publish your website as early as possible. Your guests will generally appreciate being informed well in advance, especially since it means plenty of time to pick out a present for you.
Don't let the fear of having forgotten something delay you from going online. Websites aren't set in stone: you can edit and update them whenever and however you want. In fact, you can even sketch out all the important steps leading up to your wedding on your website, so that your friends and family can experience them with you. You could even think about creating a little blog: who knows, maybe you'll discover that you're a talented writer!
How to create your wedding website
Now that you understand why your wedding needs a website, you're probably eager to get to work.
The good news is that you can create your wedding website for free if you want to, without spending a dime and eating into the budget you set aside for the big day. There are plenty of online services that allow anyone to create functional, attractive websites using a series of templates as a starting point.
Of course, if you want to take your website a step further, in terms of personalization as well as adding more features, you'll need to pay, but these extras generally don't cost much.
That said, if you want a solution that's as easy to use as these websites, while letting you fully express your creativity, try WebSite X5. You'll get truly professional results, without needing to be a web expert.
Once you've decided which tool to use, you can begin:
Choose or create the best Template for your needs
Some couples are more romantic, others like to break the rules; some are sweet, some are more ironic. There's no right or wrong way to approach this: just think about what kind of couple you are and how you want to present yourselves to your family and friends, and choose the template that best represents you. Or create your own, custom template.
Looking for inspiration? In addition to browsing Pinterest, you can also take a look at the gallery of wedding websites curated by awwwards.com.
Remember to include all the important information
If you've ever taken a look at other couples’ wedding websites, maybe those of your friends and family members, you'll have noticed the pages and features that every website has in common. Here's a short, useful recap to make you don't forget any of the essentials:
- Our story: this is the page that's all about you. How did you meet? How did the proposal go? What is your fondest memory together? This is where you can answer anything your friends have been wondering about. And don't forget to accompany your story with photos, videos, and maybe even the playlist that served as the soundtrack for your best times together.
- Contact information: this is another essential page, which ensures that your guests can contact you and have their questions answered. If you create a contact form, you'll receive all their inquiries by e-mail, which makes it easier to answer them all than fielding a ton of phone calls.
- Maps: don't just paste in the addresses of the various places you'll go (the bride or groom's house, the church, a restaurant, etc.). It's best to directly insert maps: inserting snippets from Google Maps is very easy.
- Wedding registry: there are several ways to approach this section, which will be one of the most-viewed pages on your site. You can simply insert a link to the stores you've created registries with, or use more sophisticated solutions: a lot of this depends on what your registry can provide you with.
- Guestbook: adding a space where you guests can write messages or post photos is a cute touch.
Got any more ideas? Of course you do. Explore all the features the website builder offers and add more. That said, remember that your wedding website's main purpose is to clearly present all the necessary information for your guests, and that it should be easy to navigate.
Don't forget the mobile display
Many of your guests will view your website on their smartphones. To ensure that you don't get off on the wrong foot with a mobile website that's slow, illegible, or hard to navigate, make sure that your website is responsive, meaning that it can adapt to any device. The steps for taking care of this depends on the website builder you've chosen.
Protect your privacy
At this point, if we were dealing with any other kind of website, we would discuss what you need to do to make sure search engines, like Google, can index it and list it in their search results. But the purpose of a wed-site isn't to climb to the top of Google’s results page and be viewed by as many people as possible: it's simply to provide a carefully selected group of family and friends with the useful information they need. Depending on the software you use, you may have the option to hide your website from search engines. Remember that you can also password-protect pages with more sensitive or private information.
Publishing your page online
As we said earlier, it's best not to let perfection get in the way. Once your site is complete enough, publish it online and start sharing it with your guests. You can always update it later.
Once the wedding is over, you'll have to decide what to do with it: many couples don't renew their website's hosting or domain. However - at least if you've decided to use WebSite X5 - you could decide to save your website on your computer: it will be one more memory or nostalgic souvenir to look at a few years later.
... what about social media?
No, we haven't forgotten about social media. Social media can't replace a wedding website, but it is a valuable tool. In fact, in the last 10 years, the number of couples who decide to snap, share, or tweet their “wedding adventure” has continued to grow.
Social media can also be useful in planning your wedding: Pinterest, for example, is an endless source of inspiration. It's a great place to find ideas for every little detail: from hairstyles and bouquets to the wedding cake itself. Social media is also a great way to share your ideas with your suppliers: so you can be sure that you'll get exactly what you want.
But if you're really social addicts, you can even take it a step further and use social media to share your wedding day in real time. Today, there's a wide range of options for doing so: from live streaming it to using personalized hashtags and Snapchat filters.
To get the most out of social media on your wedding day, take a look at this infographic.
Among all the aspects that go into planning a wedding, a website is truly the step that requires the least energy and money: but the results will help you keep everything under control, and save you a lot of stress.
Have fun creating your wed-site, and congratulations once again! We wish you a long and happy future together.