One of the first things I did after becoming betrothed, was to create our wedding website.
Anytime I need to check for information I use the internet, checking my bank balance, looking for directions, opening times and so on.
Aside from a small number of our wedding party, the guests are all online. Everything I do is online, until recently I paid for my dance lessons online, I order my groceries from Tesco.com, my clothes from fashion websites, my hosiery from Sockshop.co.uk, music iTunes, DVD’s Play.com, books Amazon.com, flowers Interflora.com or bunches.com, hair products HQHair.com, the list is endless but I think you probably get the picture.
So, where best to allow our guests to obtain all information regarding the big day? Of course, the traditional invitation pack, with all the directions printed, the menus, the RSVP card, the gist list etc. Well much as this is lovely, I have 400 guests to invite and I’m not only an eco-sympathiser, I am also a spendaphobic. And if truth be told, once I have stuck the save the date card to the notice board in the kitchen, I will lose all the other information, the vital postcode, dress code, gift list etc. It is not intentional or sloppy, I am just very busy, like most people living in 2010.
With a website people have always got a source to check upon, at any time from almost anywhere, without the embarrassment of guests putting an emergency call into the wedding party en-route (usually running late) to the ceremony. I have been so specific with details that I do not think I have missed anything of any importance (please feel free to correct me here).
Not all electronic invitations are successful, often emails can filter into spam, facebook group invites often go unnoticed (so guilt of that also) and the arrival of the printed or handwritten hand crafted or professionally produced card through the letterbox is terribly exciting. So we made a compromise.
Vistaprint offer an incredible service at very reasonable rates. The Holland based company has a vast array of designs, or you can create your own design, as we did. They will print your image in most formats. We selected postcards for invitations to the full ceremony and party and business cards for evening invitations. The quality is very good and the turnaround is excellent.
The invitations direct guests to the website for all information, with downloads available to print for those who feel secure holding a document. And for those without access to a computer there is my telephone number printed, and they can request an information pack to be posted.
Guests leave comments, make enquiries and R.S.V.P via the website. These all come to me electronically, allowing me to process in my efficient, slightly obsessive little way.
The design reflects the event, I wanted guests to get a feeling for the occasion from the outset. I chose the colour theme for the site, green for the grass in the field, white for the tent, and we carried that through to the invitations and even the wedding party dress.
Designs, themes and schemes vary from wedding to wedding as they do from project to project.
Those who desire a more romantic feel may want flowers or scrolls, others may want their site to reflect their own personalities or tastes so I would incorporate their specifications and tailor it to them.
If my designs are not to your taste, there are many web design companies who would create a bespoke package for you. I have a number of contacts with graphic designers and animation specialists that I could refer on. Feel free to enquire email: firstname.lastname@example.org or twitter.com/clarewaterfall