Now that it's officially wedding season there are about a gazillion anxious brides and grooms wondering how the heck they are going to pull it off in time for the big day. Whether you're an uber geek or just a geek in training, it seems the latest wedding must-have is a hip, clean and beautiful wedding website.
There's a great range here - some wedding websites chronicle the engagement through the wedding with photos, announcements and even message boards and some are simple one-pagers that announce the engagement or wedding day with few bells and whistles. While I'm far from designing a wedding website for myself, I've seen a handful of friends do it the right way, so I've put together some concise notes for all you geeky soon-to-be married folk. For my step-by-step guide to making a website,
Step 1: What Do You Want To Share? Where Will You Share It
The first thing you have to do is decide how much information you want to share and put up on the website. If you want to announce your engagement to all your friends and family at the same time consider putting up a simple page with the picture of the two of you and a cute note about your engagement. I love when couples purchase a domain name that combines both their names, ie, JessicaandNick.com or AngelinaandBrad.com (note, yes, I made those up). You can purchase a domain name from Go Daddy for less than $10. Go Daddy will actually host a very simple site for you that can be configured like setting up a blog. If you want to host the site somewhere else, you can just have the domain name forwarded.
Step 2: How Detailed Will It Be?
When you begin creating the site take some time to consider how much detail you want to put on the site. There are some couples that start with a wedding website and later extend it to include photos of their children, vacations, funny videos and life accomplishments. Others create a website just for their wedding, but make it incredibly detailed, detailing not only the engagement, but an online invitation and RSVP form, links to online registries, the story of how the couple met, details
Step 3: Design It Yourself or Get Help?
If you're not a computer programmer or HTML savvy, I suggest going the easier route (after all, you have enough to worry about, don't you!) and picking an easy package from ewedding.com (this one is my favorite) or MyEvent (this option is good if you only want to put the website up temporarily because it's $10 a month). If you have money in your budget you can also consider hiring a designer to make the website look exactly like your invitation or wedding theme.
Step 4: Announce Your Site!
Once you have put the site together, make sure to send out an e-mail or handmade snail mail announcement to let your friends and family know about the site. Also, don't forget to send me the link - I love to live vicariously!
Ready To Make It? Check Out These Resources
- eWedding - It's been featured on ABC, CBS, The Wall Street Journal and dozens of wedding publications as one of the best destinations for making your own wedding website. I played around with it and it wins for having the easiest setup and the most choice in terms of background themes and design. (See galley of images for a few of it's themes.) Price: Free with domain name purchase or 9.95 a month.
- TheKnot - This is a good resource if you just want to put your wedding photos up on a simple page. Price: Free membership
- Wedding Tracker - It started as a web-based wedding planning and management software, but you can make a simple, but elegant wedding website with photos and text. Price: $60 a year.