Tying the Knot in a Meaningful and Memorable Way (Without Losing Our Savings or Sanity)

Saturday, August 30, 2008

How to Make a Wedding Website

Reader Question: I really like the design of your wedding website (so interactive!), and was wondering if you'd be willing to share how you created it. It looks sort of Wordpress-y to me, but I thought I'd just ask.

Editor's Note: Just for the record, I'm not a very private person, and I'm willing to share anything. Just ask!

So, I've had a couple questions recently about wedding websites. I explained a bit about our wedding website here, but let me explain a little more:

We created our website using a Wordpress blog (the specific template we chose was Cutline 3-Column Split 1.1). Wordpress is a cool way to create a free blog. However, it's less user-friendly and a little more difficult than Blogger (which is how I create 2000dollarwedding.com). But as a result, you can do more with it. For example, I was able to add a plug-in to my Wordpress blog that allowed guests to upload their photos and bios. Also, I was able to create separate pages (for carpooling, info about our dog, a story about how we met, etc.). Blogger is more limited in terms of what you can do with it.

Luckily, my best friend, Andy, is a total tech guru. He was able to guide me through the process of adding plug-ins and getting my own domain name (http://ofafeather.us) instead of using something like http://ofafeather.wordpress.com.

We purchased our domain name from http://1and1.com for $6.99/year. If you're going to go the route of creating your own wedding website through a blogging site, I highly recommend you tap into a technologically savvy friend for help!

In other words, the route I took is not necessarily the route I recommend for other people.

The easier route is to go through an internet company that allows you to create a wedding website by using their templates. I was very tempted to go this route myself, because the features are specifically designed for wedding websites.

For example, over at ewedding, you can post dates, directions, and registries. You can also send electronic Save the Dates and/or have your guests RSVP online (including specifying their meal choices). You can upload photos and videos and songs. You can also insert polls and quizzes.

All of that is free. If you want to have your own domain name (e.g., www.mattandsara.com as opposed to http://www.ewedding.com/sites/ajones3/), then you have to pay $4.95 a month or $49.95/year (I think you purchase the domain name through them, not another company like I did).

If you aren't technologically savvy, I would recommend going with a company like ewedding (there are a lot more companies out there if you want to look for other options). I found it pretty challenging to create a wedding blog that had all of the additional features like online RSVPing. As I mentioned earlier, my friend Andy pretty much guided us through most of the process.

In terms of the difference between a website and a blog:

A blog is a special kind of website that can be easily updated every day. Every time you make a new entry, it gets added to the top, and the other entries get pushed down. This format works well for a diary of the wedding planning process or your life together, but it doesn't work well for static information about your wedding.

We did actually use a blog for our wedding website, but we only put one entry on the front page.

Websites can also be updated with new information (on a daily basis). They just aren't as user-friendly when it comes to posting daily entries.

You could consider having two sites:
  1. A wedding website through a company like ewedding. It could have all the information guests need for your wedding (since a lot of people misplace the invitations anyway!). For five bucks a month, you could have a customized domain name.
  2. Then you could have a free blog through Blogger or Wordpress that you use to update people about the wedding planning process and then your subsequent life together. It's very easy to buy your own domain name (from a company like http://1and1.com) and connect it to a Blogger blog. That's what I do here at 2000dollarwedding and Meg does at http://www.apracticalwedding.com.
I hope I've clarified rather than confused!

Please leave questions in the comments section if you have any. I promise to respond to them.

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Anonymous said...

My fiancee and I use www.nearlyweds.com. We liked them because they have some really really cute designs that matched some wedding invitations we wanted. They also have great customer service, but don't offer a fully custom domain name.


Anonymous said...

i am using momentville - free forever and doesnt expire. Heaps of great themes. Heaps of functions.

Sparkle said...

I'm still sort of deciding which route to go with this (though time is getting pretty tight as that goes!) but weddingwire.com seems to allow all the features mentioned including blogging, and many great themes that could work for us (I wasn't as stoked on the selections at the knot!)

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