Building Wedding Websites

Building Wedding Websites - The Essex Room Cape Ann MA

 

Learn about building a wedding website and how it can help your nuptials become even more special.

John Maher:  Hi, I’m John Maher, and today I’m here with Faye Broderick, senior consultant at the Essex Room, a wedding venue on the North Shore of Massachusetts. Today we’re talking about building a website for your wedding. Welcome, Faye.

Faye Broderick: Thank you for having me, John.

Why Should You Consider Building a Wedding Website?

John:  Sure. Faye, why do brides and grooms today build wedding websites for their ceremonies?

Faye:  Brides and grooms are building websites today for their weddings because it’s a one‑stop resource for their guests to go and find everything they need for making travel arrangements, finding a gift on the gift registry, all of those things that are going to make the guests’ lives easier to plan their journey to the wedding.

John:  Right. There’s only so much information maybe that you can put in your invitation package when you send that out. Maybe there’s certain things that are not very appropriate to put in the wedding invitation, like the gift registry or information about that, so having the website, like you said, is just a good way for people to go to. Maybe somebody lost their invitation or something, but they can go to the website and find out all of the information right there.

Faye:  Exactly. It’s also a great place to tell your story, so if your fiance’s side of the family doesn’t know you as well as, perhaps, your family knows him, they can learn more about your story, the engagement, where, how you met, all of those exciting little steps and places that got you where you are ‑‑ planning this big fantastic day.

What to Include in Your Wedding Website

John:  As long as we’re talking about that, what other types of information are typically included on a wedding website?

Faye:  You’re going to have information about the wedding and any other events leading up to it. If you’re inviting people to the rehearsal dinners, after‑wedding parties, or the day‑after brunches, you might have directions to the venue, to hotels. You’ll definitely have information on accommodations if it’s a destination wedding or you have a bulk of guests traveling from other cities and towns. That’s pretty much what information would be on the website.

John:  Websites can sometimes seem a little bit impersonal. What type of information is really better delivered the old‑fashioned way, in terms of maybe a letter or a note, an invitation, or a phone call even, something like that?

Faye:  I think because I’m a little older, I’m more old‑fashioned, so I think a straight‑up paper invitation, even a Save‑the‑Date ‑‑ even if it’s just a postcard ‑‑ is definitely the way to go. I think having your website as a backup, as a means for people to reply, is probably easier for the bride and the groom, but not necessarily for maybe older guests.

If you have older grandparents or aunts and uncles who aren’t tech‑savvy as the younger kids are these days, they want that paper to send back, maybe make a phone call, but the kids, as I call them, they’re going to get online, they’re going to click, “Hey, we’re coming. We’re having chicken,” and call it a day.

John:  So you can actually use the wedding website as a way to respond to the paper invitation that is sent out.

Faye:  You can, depending on the place that you’ve generated your wedding website. “The Knot” allows that. I believe the “WeddingWire” allows guests to RSVP, and guest tracker ‑‑ you can track your guests all in one place. You’re not looking at a spreadsheet or flipping through a checklist, highlighting a list of labels you printed off of the computer.

It is one‑stop shopping in that sense, but as a traditionalist, I still say, “Send the paper invitation, even if you want to give them the option to reply online. They don’t have to mail back the reply card,” and I still emphatically say, “send the Save‑the‑Date.”

John:  Do you typically, in terms of publishing the website address or getting it out there so that your friends and family know where to go, would you typically put that on the Save‑the‑Date card?

Faye:  I would definitely put that on the Save‑the‑Date card, and if you didn’t do a Save‑the‑Date, I would put that on a separate piece of paper that goes in with your invitation, and not print that on your straight‑up formal invitation.

John:  It would look a little awkward on the formal invitation to add at the bottom, www.theknot, or something like that. You don’t want to do that.

Faye:  No, I don’t think so.

What to Have (and Not to Have) On Your Wedding Website

John:  What makes a really stand‑out, excellent website for a wedding, and maybe what features of a wedding website should brides maybe avoid?

Faye:  I think what makes a wedding website stand out is having the website completed from start to finish, so when you go into these places like The Knot, or WeddingWire, or lover.ly to build your wedding website, they have different pages that are going to be added to your website ‑‑ your registry, how you met, the “Your Wedding” details, all sorts of different [things].

John:  It’s almost like a form that you fill out. Here’s the information for this, here’s the information for this, and it has a bunch of typical pages that it’s asking you for information on.

Faye:  It is. They’re going to guide you through it, but from my standpoint as a guest going to a wedding ‑‑ especially last year, we went to a number, and some of the websites weren’t completed. In one case I knew the groom better than I knew the bride. I didn’t know about their proposal. I knew how they met, but not about their relationship per se, how it budded and grew into what was becoming a marriage.

I think the best wedding websites are the ones that are complete ‑‑ how you met, your story, how you got engaged, how he popped the question ‑‑ all of that good, great, detailed fun stuff, especially the stuff that the girls are going to love, mostly because even if guys are invited to the wedding, if they’re bringing a date, that girl is probably going to look at the website, if she can get her hands on the invitations.

She’s going to want to know what to wear. She’s going to want to judge that website and see how casual or how formal the wedding is.

John:  It can set the tone for the wedding, right, on the site?

Faye:  Exactly, and girls ‑‑ we’re kind of a little nosy. We’re all looking for ideas and things of that nature, for when our big day comes along, so definitely make sure your website is complete. Make sure your i’s are dotted and your t’s are crossed, and you should be set.

John:  Great. That’s really good information, Faye. I appreciate you speaking with me today.

Faye:  Thank you, John. Good luck building your wedding websites everyone!

John:  For more information and wedding planning tips, or to inquire about having your wedding at the Essex Room, you can visit the website at essexroom.com, or call 978‑768‑7335.