Wedding Website: Is creating one, for your upcoming wedding, an act of narcissism? An attempt to add more of self-glory to yourself and maybe to your ego?
Maybe, but in modern times, having a wedding website is much more helpful than it’s made out to sound like. In fact, it’s going to come in useful in so many practical ways that sometimes one would wonder why they even heaped on themselves so much burden which could could easily have been digitally streamlined.
Of course, I’m not talking about throwing in 800 photos of the both of you in various lovey-dovey poses into the Gallery of the site, which might bore the visitors a bit. But a modest amount is fine and magical enough, with some details (timeline-based) on how the magic between you two had happened. Maybe the photos of you in your diapers can wait until the actual wedding.
In short, a wedding website is something that should come in handy and helpful mainly to your guests, because they need it more. But, technology being technology, it cannot be helped that it ends up helping the wedding organizers as well, in ways more than one. Don’t forget to read till the last 2 points, which I believe are main killer features of having a wedding website.
Reason 1: Save on Printing Costs
Guess what, printing costs money. More printing costs …. more money. The more guests you have, the more it adds up. So, you have a nice invite. Try adding one more paper to the mix. How about one more color? And don’t get me started if you’re planning a multi-event marathon on multi-days. You need 3 separate invites for the 3 events. Yes, soon the costs just adds up on and on. But, if your invite is digital, by means of a website, you save all those money and effort which might otherwise be spent on printing and add-on costs.
Of course, it’s always nice to have a physical invite. You CAN have ONE. A nice one, which includes among other things, the URL to view more and updated details of your wedding. With that, the guests can be more up to date with your wedding details.
Reason 2: Gift Registry
Do you know what’s a gift registry?
In short, gift registry is a feature that allows your guests to know and buy only the gifts that you want/like and to avoid duplicate gifts. We all have seen the typical sitcoms where the bride opens her gifts and gets excited about getting her favourite Prada bag, which she had amply hinted to anyone and everyone. And guess what, her excitement dies down much, after opening the 5th gift of the same Prada bag.
The current digital age prevents this scenario. A gift registry on your website lets your guests KNOW (no, not a hint) what are all the gifts you would like to be presented with. And lets THEM make a secondary decision on which, among those, they want to present to you. And yes, after a gift is “taken” by a guest, it cannot be “taken” by another, so no duplicate gifts.
Who said technology isn’t cool.
Reason 3: Change of Plans? Houston, we do NOT have a problem
What’s a major event without expecting some change of plans. It comes with the mix, and the ones who think there won’t be, are the ones who’ll be the worse to manage it. But, never fear. With the digital modern way we’re proceeding forward, changing wedding details is as simple as contacting your web developer and giving him the list of changes. Or even better, you might even ask him to do the site in such a way that certain portions can be update-able by yourself. So, no more panic, no more stress due to changes in plans.
So, last-minute location changes? In-case-of-rain info? Hotel updates? Links to nearby affordable hotels? Not a problem. Just a website update.
Of course, if you’re wondering, now that we’ve edited the site, how do we inform the guests. Not an issue. Once you’re going digital, almost all problems can be taken care off. For this particular issue, I’ll address this at Point 7: Control Panel features.
Reason 4: The Latest-Updates section
Wedding days are hardly just the wedding day itself.It’s more of a multi-months journey. You will have updates even 6 months before the actual day. And as the day draw nearer, the updates that need to be published to guests become fast and furious. No more multiple phone-calls, no more group-sms or group-whatsapp-ing and risk missing out 1 or 2 persons. You can have a nice section of Latest Updates, complete with photos and finer details. Your guests will appreciate this better than the single message sent to a WhatsApp group.
Reason 5: Social Media Integration
And what’s going-digital nowadays without integrating our social media friends. Be it Facebook or Twitter or the likes, there are a dozen ways you can include them as part of your wedding website, so that your social-media-active friends can now be more in-tune with your daily updates and wedding day details. And now even they will lack any excuse to miss your wedding.
Reason 6: Guest Book
If you are an old dinosaur like me, you would probably recall the days of some decades ago, when dotcom was still a crawling baby. Do you remember what do you usually see in any typical websites of those times? Yes, it’s a Guest Book. It was such a cool feature. It was like a tool for your visitors to say, “Hey, I was here. Cool website, keep it up”, and he felt happy and you felt happy. Those were the simpler days.
Let’s come to this century.
Your Guest Book will now REALLY act as a Guest Book, for your wedding. Your Guests can post their advance compliments and wishes for your big day. They can make their comments and express their feelings. And all their entries can either be displayed charmingly on the website itself, or be extracted out into the real world to be used in a physical Guest Book. The options are wide and open.
Further, with their emails collected, you can have the system auto-email them a “Thanks for your Wishes”.
Reason 7: FAQs on the Wedding Website
Websites being websites, it’s wise to have a FAQ section. There’s no denying the fact that FAQs have helped many website users and have saved many website owners from repeated same-questions. Now, that’s for other normal websites. Applying that to our wedding website, it’s going to be even better!
No more 200 people calling at the same time and asking you for directions to the venue. No continuous repetitions of the same answers to the same questions, but to different people until you feel like a broken record.
And of course, you know, your guests are not just going to keep calling you for directions, but for the other 101 things related to the wedding event. FAQs, together with categorization, will put all these concerns neatly that even any idiot can get his answers fast.
Reason 8: Be Green, Be Eco-Friendly
We can have all the Saving Gaia and Save the Earth initiatives. But, all effects come from the actions of each of the common man on the street. Do your part for the Earth. Cut down on paper usage. Go digital/electronic/internet, whatever you like to call it. But, don’t go paper so much. This will save you money as well as saving some trees, stamps and reduce carbon emissions.
Reason 9: Control Panel Feature
As a Web Developer, I develop this, day in day out, for various industries and companies. The biggest boon of the Internet technologies is the ability to have a Control Panel to do various types of control functionalities. I’ve done such control panels for shipping companies to manage their shipping and product operations. As well for educational companies, e-commerce companies and many other industries.
Basically, a control panel is a custom-developed web site/app where the owner/administrator can log in and do various types of administrations, according to their needs (as discussed during development). So, every day, when he gets to work, his workflow is now much better than it was before. Where it might have included much manual work, manual Excel spreadsheets update, much manpower and so on, now it’s just a one-man-show to get all the work done. Yes, just one man and his device (whichever device he happens to be holding at that time, due to the system’s cloud-based nature)
Now, coming back to the wedding topic, this same Control Panel feature is going to help you, the wedding organizer, a lot as well. All the people who signed your Guest Book can be listed here automatically, for your further management. You can also manually add other guests as well to form your full Guest List. Forgot about old Aunt Maggie? It’s just a matter of clicking the [Add] button and adding her.
Now, for some automation example: Let’s say the wedding venue has changed. This is what you have to do: Log into Control Panel > List of Guests > Select All > Send Message, and type your very-apologetic message about how your venue has changed due to the weather or something. And then click [Send]
As a guest, I will receive an email from you with your message. Following that, I’ll also see a link to click to “Please acknowledge this message by clicking here”. So, once I’ve read the message and understood it, I’ll click that link. And so will all the other guests (at least most of them).
Now, on your side, in the Control Panel, you’ll be able to see who, among your Guests have acknowledged your recent message, and who have not. And this makes your life much easier. If, out of 500 guests, after 3 days, 400 have already acknowledged the message, it just leaves you a lesser manual work of calling the remaining 100 and informing them the old-fashioned way.
Reason 10: The all-important RSVP
You might have heard of the running joke about what RSVP means. You know it means that we all must “Remember, Send Vedding Present!”. So, guys, don’t forget your “Vedding Presents”.
Jokes aside, RSVP, sounding elegant as it does, is actually a simple French term: “Répondez S’il Vous Plaît”, which simply means “Reply please”. But your guest won’t give your “Reply Please” as much importance as the term “RSVP”, so let’s talk about RSVP.
RSVP-ing for your wedding is important. It means you’re requesting your guest to give a confirmation that they will be coming to your wedding. This has many practical purposes, like catering for the food and the venue arrangements. As well as the table setups, and many other details. So, ditch the paper-way, of using a paper list, and crossing out the ones who won’t be coming, and then counting, and then counting again the total.
The Control Panel will tell you, at a glance, how many people have RSVPed so far, and who they are. Not just in numbers, maybe even a chart is possible.
So, quit the headaches, quit the paper-usage. Go digital and be kind to the Earth, as well as look cool to your guests. Nowadays, a website means mobile-responsive by default (unless the web developer is still not upgraded yet). What this means is that you do not have to go to your home or office PC, but do your management with any device you have at hand, even a borrowed one, to log in and do your management.
Having a wedding website is too cool an initiative for it not to be used widely in the world today. And this is me, a programmer/web developer/app developer trying to promote its glory.
So, how do you get someone to do a wedding website? If you’re interested to do the website yourself, DIY-style, there are many tools nowadays to help you, like Wix, Squarespace, Weebly and such. But if you would rather delegate it to someone who knows his stuff, then you can look for a web developer to do this. How to find? The usual way: just type “web developer” in Google. Usually, it’ll show the results local to your location.
And don’t forget, I’m a web developer too. I can do all the above-mentioned features for a good price. Contact details [Anees Khan, +65-91097721, firstname.lastname@example.org, www.getcha.com]
And lastly, if you’re getting married, do take my advance congratulations. May you two have a great smashing life ahead! Have fun, people!