I considered squeezing this detail into yesterday’s post that featured all of our wedding cards/materials/design components, because maybe you noticed, or maybe-my-photos-were-too-embarrassingly-fuzzy, but our special little wedding URL was smattered all over the place. #needtoworkonthatnowthatmypicturesarebig.
We whipped up a little wedding website for our guests to provide general information and facilitate online RSVPs. Check out 122412.com for yourself.
I was surprised to find that it’s not all that uncommon for modern couples to have a wedding website loaded with generalities for family and guests (who knew, clearly I live in a hole or am way to consumed with things other than wedding trends). Such sites allow brides to profess (in my opinion in way too many words, Annual Christmas Letter style), how you met, who’s in the bridal party, where to stay, etc., but instead of using one of the many templates available on sites like The Knot and eWedding.com, Pete made a custom wordpress site for us using the Chameleon theme. It’s not heavily customized, not in the same way as merrypad.com at least, but organized as an efficient one-page site with convenient anchor link navigation to give the visitor (until now, anyone who would have received our save the date or invite) more detail about our big day.
In our case, we focused on:
- Branding. The fonts used in our site aren’t exactly the same as our materials, but they have the same feel. By designing a simple logo for the upper left corner that incorporated the peony illustration, and creating a header designed from the graphics used in our save the date card, we made sure that our visitors knew they were at the right place. Not at some other Emily & Pete’s Christmas Eve wedding thing.
- Timing. Pete had this site built in just a short week, or, I should say, in a few nights working overtime. We timed its launch to correlate with the mailing date of our save the date cards so our guests would have an immediate go-to if they wanted to get more info about our wedding day up front, rather than have to wait for our formal invite. It’s all about convenience, and since we were asking people to dismiss their own holiday traditions to be with us, we wanted to be as helpful and forthcoming as possible.
- A memorable URL. All of the “emilylovespete.com” and “emilyandpete.com” configurations were taken, so we opted for 122412.com, the date of our wedding (December 24th, 2012). Side note, it’s a convenient date sequence that we’ll never forget on those years we’re trying to calculate how long we’ve been married. What, doesn’t everyone have to do the math at some point?
- Straight forward details. We kept it so succinct that it allowed us to create a manageable single-page website for our friends to navigate. Top line details, date, time, location, and included a map because if for no other reason, I love being able to save time and not have to google a store’s addy to see what streets it falls between.
- Contact information. Both for ourselves, as well as for both sets of parents. It’s all XXXX’ed out now, but we wanted to make sure everyone knew who they could reach out to in case they needed to ask a question.
- RSVPs. I think it goes without saying that we assumed some people 1) might not want to RSVP to a wedding online 2) might not have a computer 3) might not know what a website is and 4) might not trust websites, or computers, or us (all are points we battled with our families) but for god’s sake, setting up a simple email form in the body of our website couldn’t have been an easier way to capture responses from everyone (and yes, almost everyone participated and saved us at least $35 in return postage, printing RSVP cards, and buying RSVP envelopes. Every submitted form came directly to my email, and I kept a running tally in a little wedding database excel sheet. Of those who fell into the 1-4 listed above, they got in touch with us more traditionally, or passed on word through our parents that they’d be there with party shoes, or sent regrets. One thing: the only glitch was in our required response question “How many people are attending?” as in, if you’re bringing your 5 kids please let us know, but because if a person didn’t have anyone coming, they still had to write “0” or “none” or “self” and we heard from more than a few people that they thought it was broken. #andnotonlyoldpeople #sorry #wahhh
- We didn’t think too much about the comment aspect so much, but it turned out to be a nice place for people to leave us messages.
Because we won’t have 122412.com live forever (hosting website costs money, yo), I did a full site grab using the handy Chrome plug-in for Awesome Screenshot so that we could continue to enjoy it for years to come.