It is an expectation now that you have a website dedicated to your wedding. Yes, it is.
There are advantages – for example, much less information must be crammed onto the invitation or the RSVP card. This allows for more interesting and creative invites [we are using wood!], and some couples are doing away with invites altogether (stationery companies are not fans). Wedding websites provide space to share some of yourselves and your individual personalities with family and guests – something paper invites never could. Given roughly 1/2 of the guest list likely will not know 1/2 of the couple very well, this can be lots of fun, and work. Just what a couple does not need — another very big, time-consuming & decision filled requirement to check-off “the list”.
At least, that’s how David and I approached this chore. Then we started researching and discovered that it gets worse. Before we could decide what to include on our site, we needed to decide what software we would use to build our site. Another decision in front of the decision…decision-making fatigue arrived.
I took a few hours, did my research, a bit of reading and then tried a few sites, figuring I at least could write about my experience. Here is what I considered and how we decided.
I initially looked at theknot, weddingwire and mywedding — 3 offerings that are essentially “free”. Each one is serviceable and easy to use, but I was looking for a more customizable design with more content flexibility, so I moved on. Note that some of their designs have coordinated invitations too, which we did not want, but you may.
Even though weddingwire did offer same-sex couple templates, I was disappointed that the “same-sex” templates themselves were filled with opposite-sex couples and hokey same-sex restroom icons. It could have been a design oversight on their part, but given their website building tool lists same-sex as a specific style, the lack of follow-through was a big turn-off for us.
Any one of these three would save you time because they are more plug-and-play than these others I considered.
AppyCouple ($39-69 one time) This was the tool I initially chose. I paid the fee [which they promptly refunded without any questions] and started designing. I quickly decided that I was not ready for our ceremony to be reduced to an “app.” They have a web version too, and I get that the world is quickly being reduced to what can be viewed on a screen the size of your palm, but I was not enjoying the design process or the resulting 3” x 5” product, so I moved on to…
WeddingWoo ($49 for one year) This is the company we decided on ultimately. Strengths – web based, but mobile-friendly with plenty of design flexibility for the non-programmer types [me]. I could hide pages I didn’t need and create entirely new pages and call them whatever I wanted. Ultimately what hooked me was how intuitive most of the design-decision making was. The end result is a unique site customized sufficiently that our event doesn’t look like a round peg pounded into a square box. Weakness – really wish I didn’t have to send people to “weddingwoo”, but in their defense, I could spend a bit more money and create my own url.
Riley & Grey ($35/month) Whoa. This website builder creates the most beautiful wedding sites – hands down winner in terms of first impressions. I found lots of inspiration in their templates, but felt overwhelmed with the number of decisions I needed to make in order to get the website up and running. Though I could have hidden pages or added an “under construction” page to certain areas, their functionality offered more flexibility than our event requires. It was overkill for us. They also have THE BEST “Our story” page I’ve looked at recently. Go ahead, check it out.
Any of these will bring logic to your logistics, and a personality to your wedding before anyone ever arrives. I ended-up enjoying (mostly) the process of creating our WeddingWoo site, and that takes some doing now days. Made me take care of a few things I hadn’t yet finalized [hotel block of rooms], which was a good thing.
If you’ve got a site builder you love, or one to avoid, let me know. I’m building a master check list and will include what I can.
That’s our home page at the top of this post – nice, huh!