|I am marrying this handsome lad in 296 days.|
There are a few elements to our wedding that I had more or less entirely planned well in advance of my actual engagement. My wedding website -- and all the text therein -- was birthed fully formed from my mind mere minutes after Mike proposed, much like a grown Athena emerging from Zeus' forehead.
Apart from my innate knowledge of how to create an appropriately twee "How We Met" section, years of hungrily reading other couples' sites provided me with the ultimate website "do and don't" list.
DO proofread. You are an adult. Run-on sentences, punctuation and -- for God's sake -- misspelled words are as attractive on a wedding website as Snooki is as a mother. Only one of these things can be prevented.
DON'T share every detail of your courtship. So you met at a beer pong tournament, eh? That's nice. You know who doesn't care? THE NEW YORK TIMES WEDDING SECTION.
DO make it useful. Photo albums of you and your beloved kissing in front of sunsets on all seven continents is lovely, but it's not helping your guests find a hotel room. Make sure that apart from all the adorable, couple-y material you also include relevant details that will help people find your actual wedding.
DON'T rely on the internet. Call me old fashioned, but this whole RSVPing online thing? Not for me. Plus, when you send out real invites, I hear people write little messages on the cards they send back (cough, hint, cough).
So how did I find our website host? As is to be expected, I took quite a few for a test drive. Most, I have to admit, either looked like something Angelfire pooped out in 1997 or had so much Flash component that it took you about 15 minutes to get off the welcome page. No bueno.
Don't despair though, because there are a few out there that offer user-friendly, simple templates that allow you to whip up your wonderful wedding website (w is worth a lot of Scrabble points) within a few minutes. My personal pick: Wedding Channel.
You can pick your template, color theme, and font to be as simple or as ornate as your bridal heart desires. And my favorite feature: With one click of a box, you can add or subtract whatever pages you want included. My RSVP feature, it shouldn't surprise you, is disabled.
At this point, you may ask what's really necessary to include on your website. I veer on the over-sharing versus the under-sharing for one important reason: there will be a fair amount of guests who know one of you, but probably don't know your fiance(e) well, if at all. The site is a wonderful way to share the best sides of yourself with all of your guests, even Grandma. And, while I may love weddings more than your average lass, reading a good proposal story never gets old.
We also have a page with our whole, crazy wedding party on it. Sourcing pictures for this took longer than I'd like to share, but it's such a fantastic way to honor them and have all of our guests learn a little bit more about our nearest and dearest.
If you'd like to take our site for a test drive, you can peep through all the pages right here. I could go through every single one, but probably only my mom would keep reading.
One last tip: many people have asked me about the pros and cons of buying a domain name. Do it. It's only about $19 for the year and is a lot easier to remember if you're verbally directing people to your site. But the real money saver comes with your save the dates. We printed our STDs (LOLZ forever) with our wedding website domain, thereby negating the need to send a separate card with hotel block information and directions. Everything is all there on the website, meaning we save money by printing fewer pieces and Jesus loves us because we saved the trees. Well, he probably loves me more because Mike's Jewish, but we'll save that for a different post.