If you like me are a bit of a techno freak, then you will have no doubt thought about creating your very own website for your wedding. Wedding websites are fantastic tools for facilitating the organisation of your wedding and for keeping in touch with guests regarding important wedding information. With a wedding website, you can do the following and much more:
- Share the official wedding photos of your special day with guests and allow them to upload their own photos.
- Send e-invitations and regular email updates to your guests.
- Keep a track of your guest list by asking people to confirm their presence online.
- You can use your wedding website as a blog to share you feelings and experiences with your guests on the run up to your wedding.
- Allow guests to access information regarding the location of the wedding ceremony and reception with google maps or another similar application.
- Inform guests about your wedding list.
- Give guests info regarding accommodation options.
- Allow guests to contact one another if they wish to get in touch to share lifts or accommodation.
- Allow guests to post personal messages to you and your fiancée.
- Allow guests to donate money rather than buying gift using Paypal or a similar secured online payment system.
- Give guests the opportunity to upload audio files onto your website to include in the wedding play list.
Today, there are a whole host of companies offering easy to use wedding websites. Most claim to be completely customisable but I can tell you that this is not always the case. Although they generally offer a good range of templates, it is not possible to really create a totally original website. I have reviewed a few online wedding website companies for you below, all whom offer quite a similar service. Most are pay to use but some are free. Most companies charge according to how long you want your website to be online for (the length of time the company will agree to host your website on their servers). Usually the maximum online period is 18 to 24 months, after which your website is automatically taken off line. Some offer customisable domain names such as www.brideandgroom’sname.com whereas others only offer domain names as an extension of the company’s own URL. The major downside for me with all companies that I have come across so far is that they do not offer multi language websites. For international families this can be problematic.
- Wedding Window: Wedding Window is for me the best wedding website software service on the market. Wedding window offers the largest range of functions from a forum where your guests can communicate with one another, to an RSVP facility, wedding planning tools such as a budget calculator and checklist. Photos are displayed nicely and you are able to add music to your website. The themes are attractive and easy to customize. The Wedding Window package my clients most frequently go for costs 80 dollars for 12 months.
- My Wedding: My Wedding is a free website service. My Wedding websites are user-friendly and the range of themes is extensive. My Wedding does not offer quite as many functionalities as Wedding Window but My Wedding is definitely a great tool considering it’s free!
- Wedding Jo Jo: Wedding Jo Jo is fairly new on the market and offers a range of beautifully designed themes. The premium member option at 14.99 dollars a month offers considerably more features compared to the free version.
- Wedsite: Wedsite is definitely one of the most visually attractive but its made using flash so is a little bit less viewer friendly.
- The Knot: Along with a load of different wedding planning tools and useful wedding planning advice, TheKnot.com offers free wedding websites for members with TheKnot.com domain names. Becoming a member of TheKnot.com is free, however only residents of the USA can become members. If you live in the USA then great, if not then TheKnot.com is not for you.
- Wedding Tracker: Wedding Tracker is an affiliate website of the same media group as TheKnot.com and offers a more complete service with personalised domain names. Wedding Tracker is a paying service but remains very reasonably priced compared with some other wedding website companies I have found on the net.
- eWedding: eWedding is one of the most user-friendly free wedding website services that I have come across. eWedding offers a very complete range or features including custom domain names if you wish to upgrade to the paying service. The downside is that the range of themes are not particularly creative.
If you are quite web savvy and fancy having a go at creating your own wedding website, Apple offers a great basic website design tool in their iwork software package. If you don’t have a Mac, then Google has created a fantastic online application for the creation og free websites for any purpose; Google Sites. Alternatively, you could always create a wedding website using the platform I used to create my blog, the wonderful WordPress. You could even find a local web design company to create you a totally tailor-made, professional wedding website. The advantage about creating your own site is that you can keep it online for as long as you wish. Equally, if you have an international family and need to present information in several languages, this is easier to accomplish if you create your own website.