Your Maine Wedding DJ: Chris BouchardWith so much technology available at our fingertips today, it stands to reason that wedding management should be in the mix. Instead of paper lists and lots of manual communication – what about setting up a website just for your wedding to keep things organized and connect with your guests? But, are wedding websites really worth the effort?

So with, yet, another decision to make in your wedding planning journey, how do you decide if creating a special wedding website is right for you? Let’s break down some of the particulars:

The Highlights of Wedding Websites

Even a simple wedding website can help you a lot with basic information for your guests such as location of venues with directions, and transportation and accommodation details. Information that your guests will be looking for (and potentially lose as paper inserts in their invitation), and most frequently asked questions they might have. Having all this basic information in one handy, online location allows for easy access and helps you avoid a lot of last-minute phone calls and emails.

If you want to take things a step further, formal wedding website packages let you tell your guests everything they could want to know about your wedding. Features available include taking and tracking RSVP’s, sharing your registry with links for easy purchasing, options for cash or charity gifts, as well as some history about the two of you and the story of your trip to the alter. You can also share photos and other contact information, and some offer options such as checklists, gift tracking, seating charts, and other organizing tools.

The Upside

Automating the information about your wedding for yourself and your guests is a huge time-saver, and it’s great to have things in one place. Once you have your site set up, it’s just a matter of sharing the link with everyone so they can access all the details wherever and whenever they want.

If you are skilled, you could build a site yourself on a website builder program with templates and drag and drop tools, but you will have to purchase a domain name and pay the fees involved with the software provider. Alternatively, there are many wedding-specific sites offering special wedding website builders to couples that are easy to set up and specifically designed for all the aspects of weddings so you don’t have to create them. All you need to do is choose a design template, then input your specific information into the various areas of the template. Some online printing companies now offer a website builder to couples as well, creating a website that is in theme with your invitations, as long as you order them from the company. These sites tend to be a little more limited and less sophisticated about features than the larger wedding-specific websites.

Things to Look Out For

Before choosing a website builder, think through all the information you want to be able to include to be sure the features are available and if there is a cost. Will you just use it for your RSVP’s and venue information, or will you want to also offer your registry information and purchasing links? Do you want to be able to include links to accommodations and other activities in the area? Is having checklists and other organizational tools important to you? Review all the features carefully before making your selection.

Check carefully through all the free and minimal cost options available from the large wedding websites, as you can likely find what you need there. Some sites charge for things such as custom domain name or personalized URL, but personalizing a URL is often available. Also, some offer very specific templates that might only include specific pages such as Home, About, Registry, and Events, with no ability to create custom pages.

If you want to share photographs on your wedding website, look into any additional costs to do so. Some sites charge for a photo gallery. You can give your wedding site life after your big day by using it as a place for guests to view and purchase photos.

What to look for in a wedding website builder:

  • Cost – Most wedding sites offer free sites for you to create for your own wedding. Some may have upcharges for added features.
  • Template Choices – How much you can customize your site by way of design, colors and fonts will vary.
  • Photos – Some sites allow for photo uploads and sizing while other do not have this feature.
  • Features – Features vary greatly from site to site. Consider whether you really only want a simple design with just essential information for your wedding or if you want to use your site to assist you with the guest list, gifts, and other organizing details.

Overall, creating a wedding website gives the modern couple a one-stop portal to everything their guests need to know. Of course, not all your wedding guest will be tied to their Smartphone or as tech savvy, so you will still need to handhold some of your guests. You don’t want to lose the personal connection and ability to show appreciation toward guests who are not involved with your big day online so don’t alienate these folks. Creating your own wedding site can help you keep track of information and organize a lot of the aspects of your wedding, so it’s definitely worth looking into!

There are many to choose from, but here are some of the most popular sites offering customized wedding websites:

Wedding WireThe KnotZolaWith Joy

Featured Image Credit: Samantha Kensell – Samantha Kensell Photography: