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November 14, 2008 11:21 AM   Subscribe

WeddingFilter: We're trying to coordinate a wedding with guests from across the country and taking place in California while we live in Texas. My fiancee wants me to put up a wedding website with the relevant details. What kind of website should I use, and what should be on there?

Well, MeFi you got me engaged, so I might as well come by and ask for more wedding help.

The wedding it going to be a collaborative nightmare across 3 time zones, and we figured that having a webpage would be the best way to get this. All parties involved (families, friends, etc.) are tech savvy, or are at least savvy enough to get to a webpage. Now what?

Question 1:Is it better to buy a domain and just throw up some wordpress software to make a page, or to use one of the prepackaged wedding webpage deals. Anyone have any experience with those?

Cavaet - I've never actually bought a domain and put up a page, but I think I can do it - it doesn't look too difficult, especially to throw up some wordpress software. Anything I should be wary of?

Question 2: What goes on there? If you were going to my wedding what would you like to see on there? We figure directions, flight information, airline options, pictures, dates, registry, etc. Anything else? RSS feed, maybe?

Question 3: Do we put the URL in our invites, or give it out some other way?

Thanks in advance, hivemind.
posted by SNWidget to Computers & Internet (18 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
 
I would check out Backpack to see if it could solve your problems - it lets you post images, lists, and notes, so you should be able to cover everything. It's also free for <5 pages, so you won't have to pay for any hosting or anything. It's billed as a business app but don't let that fool you - i've used it for everything from coordinating buying a house to planning an event.
posted by ukdanae at 11:31 AM on November 14, 2008


I used a Wordpress blog. "Pages" for static details (Maps, directions etc.), the main blog space for goings ons. Afterward we used it for a kind of honeymoon journal.
posted by GilloD at 11:39 AM on November 14, 2008


If planning your wedding is going to be such a complicated affair, I'd recommend using a wedding site. You're going to have enough to figure out with just the wedding details. Mrs. Advicepig and I used one when we got married six years ago and I imagine they've only gotten better and more web 2.0. I make my living in web development, so it's not like we couldn't have made one ourselves. It was just more important to us to have a site we could both work with that also added some wedding specific features beyond what we could have easily done with WordPress.

We used the Knot and it worked nicely enough. It also provided some planning tools and checklists that helped up cover all the details that go into planning a wedding. Other friends of ours have used other sites, and no one has really run into trouble.
posted by advicepig at 11:44 AM on November 14, 2008


I believe my wife used theknot.com...but I'll ask her to come on here and make better advice than I can give.
posted by notsnot at 11:52 AM on November 14, 2008


Yes, I used the Knot... I had guests coming from all across the country, and some family from Europe, so having a webpage was really helpful. I liked their checklist, and the free webpage, so I signed up (it's free). the webpage setup they have is pretty much idiot-proof, you basically fill out a form.
posted by Green Eyed Monster at 11:59 AM on November 14, 2008


I just MeFi-mailed you a link to our webpage. Hopefully it works.
posted by Green Eyed Monster at 12:03 PM on November 14, 2008


The two most recent weddings I've gone to used PBWiki for pages. The other pages they included were a ride sharing page, a "things to do in the area", and a "places to eat" page.

In one case the URL was sent as part of the save the date card, the other was included with their invitations.
posted by librarianamy at 12:10 PM on November 14, 2008


I'm going to second that The Knot's "wedding webpage" thing is pretty much idiot-proof. I think they let you mass-email people with save-the-dates and stuff, and there's a special page with information for your guests, like hotels, where the ceremony is, what attire is appropriate and such. Editing it is kind of annoying, but not unbearable.

I went with the cowboy theme, because it was fabulously tacky.
posted by giraffe at 12:31 PM on November 14, 2008


My partner and I organized our California wedding while living in NYC. We used theknot.com, which is set up exactly for this situation.
posted by billtron at 12:37 PM on November 14, 2008


A friend of mine is getting married and is in a similar situation... I'm flying to Michigan from California to be in the wedding. She put up www.jandssite.com and I think it works really well for a wedding website.
posted by razzamatazm at 12:42 PM on November 14, 2008


A lot of people have sent save the date magnets with the url of their wedding site on it.
posted by All.star at 12:43 PM on November 14, 2008


I set up my own wedding web site and it was incredibly easy - i know a little HTML, so I just used a free template (search: "Free website template") that fit my aesthetic and modified it for my purposes. But yeah, if you don't have any website experience at all, then use www.theknot.com!

Also, you should definitely put the website address on your save-the-dates (if you have them), and then again on the invitation (We put it at the very bottom: For more information, visit www.WeddingWebsite.org), and mention it again every time you talk about the wedding with someone. We had people come up to us at the wedding and say, "Oh, I didn't know you had a website!" even after all that! But our friends said it was incredibly helpful.

We figure directions, flight information, airline options, pictures, dates, registry, etc.

We also added some information about activities to do in the area, as well as a schedule of events (as we had a whole weekend full of brunches, parties, barbeques, beach-days, etc.)
posted by muddgirl at 12:43 PM on November 14, 2008


We bought a domain with our names, and used drupal to set up the site.

We put the URL of the site on the save-the-dates and invites, and emailed it to our more tech savvy family.

Our pages included:
About us: cute stories about where we went to school, our jobs, our hobbies, with pictures.
Wedding events: pictures and details/locations for rehearsal dinner, wedding, reception, brunch
Travel info: information about area airports, hotels (we didn't do a room block), getting around, things to do in the city, maps
Blog: just for fun, i blogged about the joy/stress that is wedding planning
Registry: links to our registries and explanation about why we registered for charities

Memail me if you want to see it, it's still up as we just got married a couple months ago. Since we will keep the domain, we plan to turn it into a post-wedding/"what's up with our family" page.

My brother's getting married next year and he and his fiancee are using weddingwindow.com. Pretty cool features, like an online RSVP and guestbook and stuff, but I don't know how much they are paying for it.
posted by misskaz at 12:54 PM on November 14, 2008 [2 favorites]


I'm a web developer by day, and I took the easy way out: I bought a wedding website. Sure, you can put one together on your own for very little money, but it will take time to build and maintain. Do you have that time while you're trying to plan a wedding? I didn't.

I went with a Wedding Window site. I was able to buy my own domain and point it to the site they set up for me. Everything was easy to change and edit, from the design down to the text, with their online site management tool. You can use it for everything from putting all the important times and dates in one easy, accessible place for everyone, to sending out Save the Date ecards. They even give you the option of purchasing your site on CD.

Overall I was happy with the site and glad I didn't have to make one myself!
posted by geeky at 12:58 PM on November 14, 2008


Warning. This is really long. We're in the same boat as you - the overwhelming majority of guests are from out of town and we also have to fly to get to our wedding location.

#1: We used WeddingWindow for ours. I had started to build something on my own but it just became too much hassle. We had purchased our own domain name and it was easy to throw their material under our domain. I cannot give enough love to WeddingWindow, I was up and running in less than a day with them and their customer service is outstanding. There is a free 7-day trial and I think my year of service is $80 (plus my domain costs through another vendor), which was well worth it to me. I don't want to post our site but here is the WeddingWindow demo site: http://demo.weddingwindow.com/indx.cfm

#2: We included everything we would have wanted to know if it had been someone else's wedding. It helped that the last wedding we went to didn't have a site at all, if that makes sense. Our site includes:

- General details: A quick overview and other bits of random info that don't really belong anywhere else, like registry info and our email address
- Wedding Events: A breakdown with dates, times, maps, and other pertinent details.
- Travel Information: This is the biggest and I think, best, page on our site. Intro with typical weather info for that time of year, plus information on the airport (including info about which airlines are serviced there, taxis and other ground transportation options such as rental cars) and information on hotels (a good deal of info about our selected hotel, including rates, cutoff dates, special amenities like free breakfast and free internet, check in/out times and contact info). We also included information on other hotels in case people have a preferred brand. Finally, we ended up adding information on other airports within driving distance of our wedding, as a lot of people wanted to fly a certain airline that had recently terminated service to our airport. I went overboard on this and included the travel time and directions from the other airports to our wedding hotel. I think it was a nice touch though because it helped people decide if they really wanted to deal with flying in and then driving 1-3 more hours to save $100. That might be relevant for you as well.
- Local Activities: Fun things to do while you're in town. Includes some family-friendly and free options.
- Our Story: Cheesy info about how we met and a bio of each of us.
- Photo album: A few photos, including our engagement session, pics of us with family and friends (so people could see themselves), general photos of us, etc. This is the most trafficked section on the site.
- Guestbook: I don't typically like these but people are into it and have been leaving nice messages.
- FAQ: People submit questions and we answer them. So far the only question has been about our honeymoon, but I expect we'll get more as the date nears.

Hidden pages on the site include a special password protected page for members of the bridal party with detailed agendas, attire specifications, bios of the bridal party and contact info.

All of the special extras (like password protection, guestbook, photo albums and FAQs) are included with the WeddingWindow site - I had been attempting to program that stuff on my own and it just didn't work out too well. They made everything very easy.


#3 - We put the URL on our Save the Dates, and it is also on the Accommodations card of our invitation package.


I put a lot of effort into the site and have gotten really positive feedback. People have contacted me to tell me who thrilled they are with the amount of info. It makes everything really easy for our guests, which is exactly what we wanted.
posted by ml98tu at 1:08 PM on November 14, 2008


We set up a free blogspot.com blog and made tagged posts (wedding party, hotels, driving directions, registry, etc.). We then purchased our domain name through Google for about $15 bucks which shortened our websitename from thefuturenames.blogspot.com to just simply thefuturenames.com. (The domain name we purchased allowed users to type in the simplified address and be redirected to our blogspot hosted site.) We didn't end up updating much, but it was fun. And you can customize virutally every aspect of the website with html changes.

As others have said, we listed our web address on our Save the Dates and on the accommodations part of our invites.
posted by santojulieta at 1:18 PM on November 14, 2008


We used a website for our RSVP, directions to the site, and basic info about the day. After the wedding was finished we replaced the page with links to photo galleries.

The RSVP thing was a great replacement, in my opinion, to paper return cards or having people call back. It was very well-received, too, and allowed us to also gather up everyone's e-mail addresses for unsolicited bulk mail our address books.

It was a simple PHP page with some hand-written HTML. Not worth installing a framework or signing up for a third-party site.
posted by odinsdream at 6:35 PM on November 14, 2008


Thanks everyone - I'm going to go through a bunch of the options and see what's best. We're not sending out the invites till next week, so I have a few days to fuck around and see if I can't get something going.

At this rate, I should make the green my best man/person.
posted by SNWidget at 6:02 AM on November 15, 2008


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