Your wedding website is as important as your invitation, and it has to be perfect. But, creating a wedding website is not like building other websites. You don’t need to have a background in computer programming just to get a fabulous looking wedding website– enter wedding website builders. These are sites that make it easy for you to simply ‘plug and play’ the perfect site for your wedding. With these simple website builders, you can create simple, free wedding websites or put a bit of cash into the project and get a site with more functionality or a better design. The choice is up to you!
Squarespace is one of the more popular website builders that you’ve likely heard about. Their offerings are solidly professional – right next to what you would expect out of a design company (without the bill). Pick your plan according to your wedding date. If your date is within the year, opt for a monthly plan (if you get a year-long plan, you’ll be able to save on the monthly price). You also have the option to own your own domain. When you own your own domain you have greater control over what you can customize on the site. You can add a password for the backend as well. What we like about this platform are the quick and easy updates or changes – such as a color or the font style. You get to see them as you make them, doing away with the previewing option entirely. Previewing is when you have to click your way through to visually inspect the changes you have made.
Keep in mind though, if you go with the free version, you only have two weeks before you hit the paywall. There is no registry tool and does not include features such as RSVPs, etc. This means there is no connection between your guest list and a database to record interactions. As for the registry, you have to manually upload everything which is needlessly painful. Additionally, the blog and the e-commerce features seem really out of place, although I’m sure that some people may make the most out of those.
Basically, it looks good, but does little, and is one of the more expensive options.
Wix is another website builder that offers a free option as well as the option to own a custom domain. We liked that there were all kinds of layouts here: minimalist, chic and modern as well. While it’s often not something to worry about, with Wix you do have the option of hiding your site while you work on it until the website is ready to be published, as well as a password for the backend of the site. There is also a click and drag editor that lets you see changes in real-time, eliminating the need for previewing.
Keep in mind that the free version will have an ad banner at the top of the website, saying “Wix”. But what sucks is that there is no semblance of a guest list. Several other wedding-specific features are also absent. You would have to manually upload the images and links if you wanted to create a registry as gifts are not displayed.
If you don’t mind paying for the premium plan, this could be an option because the banner may take away from the look of your wedding website, but you’ll still have to tolerate the lack of features.
WeddingWire is one of the more robust wedding website builders. It comes with its own planning tools and the free tier offers substantial benefits. They even offer a premium plan with a custom domain. This website builder is easy to use and has several features linked to WeddingWire’s other digital planning tools. There is also the photo template with a custom background, which we can see just about everyone putting to good use. One of the key features is related to accommodations for your out-of-town guests. The builder lets you activate a feature that recommends places to stay directly on your site. What’s more, is that you can easily unlock special rates for your guests. Just as with other website builders, you get to password protect your content, hide individual pages from time to time, and keep your website secret by disabling search engines until you’re ready.
What we don’t like so much is that the templates tend to be on the sober side. They also appear to be heavily used; perhaps a bit dated. While there is a mobile app, it is limited in the changes you can make to your site. If you need to make changes, you’re better off using a desktop. The overall experience was low on user-friendliness, plus the number of options can be a bit overwhelming. If you need any help you can always visit WeddingWire’s community forum for advice.
Yet another option for your wedding website builder is Appy Couple. As the name implies it brings along a modern app that caters to your wedding specifically. As you can imagine, the pricing in this case is higher than the other website builders that don’t specialize in apps. The designs and the color schemes would be characterized in one word: classy. We found the features to be quite interactive and it should be easy to create guest alerts or message your guests. In fact, you also get to “themify” your messages! So if your theme is green and yellow, your invites don’t have to be neon pink. It even allows you to selectively message your guests, only inviting a few to specific events.
The flip side is that for everything to work smoothly, all features totally functional, each of your guests will have to download the app. The plans are quite expensive, and for the extra money, you are not getting a whole lot over the other options, minus the app. If you decide to go with this option, just make sure your people can and are willing to download the app so they stay up-to-date on all the wedding info.
Minted is already renowned for stationery. If you’ve been looking at their invitations or your wedding, you may want to consider the Minted Weddings website builder. They often offer a discount or coupon for their wedding stationery when you build a wedding website with them. This builder has 100s of templates to choose from, fit for every season. These designs and templates are fresh and new since they are constantly bringing on independent designers through design competitions.
While they do have a free option, to use key features, you have to upgrade. Until then, you can’t work with photographs, privacy settings, etc. Like other platforms, gifts do not show, and the registry will have to be manually linked. This platform lacks customizations though. Therefore, if the look, feel and color scheme are paramount, you may want to consider this option. But, if it is important that you have access to features, you may want to go with another website builder mentioned.
No One-Size Fits All
When it comes to wedding website builders, it depends on your personalities and those of your invitees. Barring the one option with an app, most other others are equivalent in pricing, considering that you are designing for a wedding. A good place to start would be to see what design you like the most among all of the offerings, everywhere. Make sure to get your significant other on board. Then look at how much more work would be involved in adding the extra functionalities. Keep in mind, there are always freelancers to assist where you may hit a dead end. Just remember to persist! Now that’s good advice for life ever after, as well.