7 Advantages of Having a Website for your Wedding.
Who, when and where
Foremost, a wedding website is the invitation. Therefore as an invite, it should have clear details of whom is getting married, when and where the event will be. If you prefer the traditional text, by all means have that incorporated. Just because we are using a modern and technological method of creating the invite, you need not abandon tradition. For instance, a bride’s parents inviting – “Mr. and Mrs. John Smith request the honour of your presence at the marriage of their daughter Jane to Luke son of Mr. and Mrs. Michael Brown”, or both the bride and groom’s parents inviting – “Mr. and Mrs. John Smith and Mr. and Mrs. Michael Brown invite you to share in the joy of the marriage uniting their children Jane Smith and Luke Brown”. Be clear of the date and venue; providing the venue address for your guests and perhaps a brief direction or even embed Google Maps on your website.
With the venue location in mind, consider the possibility of accommodation. Your guests may be lucky enough to benefit your generosity as part of your wedding package, so inform them of that element. If not, provide your guests with several options of hotels or guest houses, with links that you have researched for them within the area of your wedding venue. This adds personal hospitality and attention to detail for your guests from you.
Next, consider systematically what other information is provided with the traditional invitation package and discuss those items with your designer, so that he can create a website with good usability for you and your guests.
Importantly, the next vital piece of information is to gather the RSVPs. Ask your designer to create a page where your guests can respond accordingly and create a system where a detailed head count can be recorded. This is very important as you will need to finalise your guest list with your venue and caterer. There is nothing more frustrating than having to wait for a posted response from a guest when you are trying to make a head count. When using the online method, there are no excuses, and you will often have an instant reply, helping you to move forward with the rest of the wedding planning.
Food and Drink
There should also be a section on food and drink. Allow your guests to know what is offered on the day. If you are having a structured wedding breakfast, allow your guests to choose their meal choices on the website. Again, discuss with your designer to have a system where this information will be clearly gathered for you to pass onto the caterers. Also give your guests a chance to let you know of any food allergies they may have. Again, this is attention to detail of the wedding that can help bring a sense of personal hospitality to your wedding guests, even though the whole process is completed electronically.
If you are having a formal wedding breakfast, you may want to have a section to show your guests the table plan in advance. It may be controversial and you may have the odd wedding guest contacting you and complaining about who they are sitting with, but importantly it is designed to keep your wedding guests informed and prepared. Initially, this section will simply have a notice to inform your guests to revisit the website at a later date when the guest list has been finalised. This is totally at your discretion, and some wedding couples prefer to “surprise” their guest on arrival!
To enhance the personal qualities of your website, consider having a photo gallery section. Initially, this gallery will have photos and perhaps videos of you and your partner in your relationship. This is an advantage especially aimed at your extended family and friends that may be invited to your wedding. They are the people close to your heart but have not yet had the opportunity to meet your better half. Having this may save your guests from embarrassment of not knowing who the bride or groom is on the day. You may have a smaller guest list, but this still can be incorporated into your website. Doing so, may bring a little excitement to your guests after seeing pictures of you together and then looking forward to the future union.
This photo gallery will also be the beginning of your wedding album. You have initiated the collection of happy memories; your wedding photos will follow suit. Therefore after the event, your guests are welcomed to view the extended gallery of photos to remember the joyous day. This also gives them a platform to share with you and others, the photos they have taken. A photo share has then been created on your website. Often unto 80% of all photos and videos taken by guests are new seen by the happy couple – this method makes it easy for guests to share their exclusive footage.
Wedding gifts are not necessary but it is a modern wedding trend to be specific about what you and your partner may want or need. It may be considered brazen, however with this method, you won’t be disappointed and your wedding guest will not have wasted unnecessary money.
If your chosen wedding gift is a list of items, use this opportunity to publish the list on your website. Discuss with your designer to have this list regularly updated and therefore reduce the chance of having double of a specific item.
Another trend of wedding gift is to have a “honey pot”; monetary contributions will be used for your honeymoon. Perhaps you may want to set up an account where your guests can make the contribution electronically. This method is efficient for both your guests and yourselves; furthermore it is far more secure than to have envelopes given to you on the day.
As mentioned in part 2 of this article, another wedding trend is to make charitable donations. If this is what you want, do not forget you have had the opportunity to do so with the savings you have made on paper invitations and postage. Make this announcement to your guests on your website and if you wish, you can further the donation by asking your guests to do so by providing them with the charity details.
Consider having a notice board incorporated into your wedding website design. The purpose here is for you to make any announcements, for instance “the table plan is now published”. It also gives the wedding guests a chance to create a post, whether it is to congratulate you, to show their excitement, offer any help towards or for the big day and to communicate with each other with regards to the event, travel plans, accommodation or even what they are wearing!!!
The website design
Turning our attention to the more light hearted elements of your wedding website, the design. You may have had a wedding logo created for you, in this case, it is the perfect opportunity to display it. This will in turn help you create the colour scheme and theme of the website; uniting the two entities together. The design of your website should also be a reflection of your event. For instance the colours and style used for the website should correspond to the colour scheme and theme of the wedding day. This is important as the reflection will give a preview of the event to your wedding guests. They will gather a visual of what to expect and the level of formality expected from them on the day. For instance, if your website design reflects a playful summer party, your guests may expect a garden party or perhaps a marquee in an open filed. Whereas if the design leans more towards a grand and sophisticated theme, your guests will expect the more formal and traditional type of venue.
Where weddings are numerous albeit a joyous occasion, many strive to create their dream wedding with a difference. In a society where technology and the internet is fiercely used, it makes perfect sense to combine the two and create a wedding website. Not only can we fulfil our need to be environmentally friendly by cutting out the paper invites and correspondence but it produces efficient and instant feedback. With efficiency comes organisation, which is a key tool to creating a stress free wedding. What’s more, it is an extraordinary production to impress your family and friends.
The Graphic Designer and Website designer used in this article as an example was Lee Ault at https://dreamkatcha.com