Before – Wedding Websites

We signed up for an account at The Knot, which is a wedding organizing website. Sister sites The Nest and The Bump are devoted to termite infestations and skin diseases, I guess. Or perhaps the Druidess character from Sláine and the 1975 “hit” by glam-rock never-were’s Kenny.

But again, I was struck by an urge to avoid using a template, and given the limited choices on offer, and because I know a little bit about setting these things up, I decided to set up a new website. We wanted CassieandMatt.com, but that was already taken by a couple who had used NearlyWeds to set up their site. So CassieandMatthew.com it was.

I went with WordPress as usual to allow us post news, have static pages, and support comments. It’s also pretty easy to apply various designs and themes. There are various free wedding-style themes available in the various repositories, but none of them were really any good (and some were downright ugly). So, I got my niece Kat of MieowThemes to design the theme for it, based on the design of the Save The Date magnets, and it went through several changes until we got our invitations printed.

The invitations (link coming) were a completely different design, so I then just went back to a simple white background with graphical elements taken from the invitations, then assembled in Inkscape and exported. I used a basic theme layout created in the excellent, simple WordPress Theme Generator (which I’ve used several times before) and tweaked a little.

As well as regular blog-post news updates, there were various static pages of information including:

  • Hotel Accommodations – information about the blocks of hotel rooms we had arranged for our guests.
  • About Us – a little background to how we got together.
  • Childcare – some of our guests were bringing children, so we had organized childcare at the reception.
  • Registries – links to our online gift registries.
  • Weather – people were coming from miles around to Las Vegas, so we provided links to weather information so they could pack accordingly.
  • Guest Book – this was the only page with comments switched on, to allow visitors to leave a message.
  • Contact Us – contact details and a secure email form.

The website was successful for the most part, but I don’t think many guests checked it more than once, and quite a few had to be told to visit it, despite it being printed on the Save the Date magnets and on the invitations. I posted information about how to subscribe to the RSS newsfeed, and included a link to the excellent, simple and informative website What Is RSS?, but I don’t think anyone did that either.

Now the wedding is over, we still have the site, but we’re not sure whether to keep it, turn it into a shrine, or let it disappear. Cassie and I both have our own sites, so in the end and in the long run it may have been easier to just use The Knot’s built-in templates, because we were registered anyway.

Verdict – tricky. Up to you. If you just want a page with information that will disappear after the wedding,  go with The Knot or NearlyWeds.