Posts in the 'Wedding Inspiration' Category

Real Bride Kate: Question Everything and Be Yourselves

Okay, Broke-Ass Brides and Grooms, my time as Real Bride Kate is drawing to an unfortunate close. However, before I fill out the Real Wedding questionnaire and check out from the site, I wanted to impart my ultimate piece of wedding planning wisdom.

I began to title this piece: “Question Everything and Be Non-Traditional.” However, I quickly realized that this advice was highly excluding and didn’t get at the heart of what I really wanted to say. So, here it is again, let it soak in:

Question everything and be yourselves.

wedding elements

Most people know that I studied English in university, but less people remember that I also studied sociology. If sociology taught me anything, it was that everything we do in life we do according to set patterns created by our cultures. Of course, there is room for free will in this, but think about it. Our society (for the purposes of this article, I mean Western society) has a set schema for how a wedding should go.

The bride wears a white dress and carries flowers. The groom wears a suit (typically black). The couple is married by a religious or civic official. They exchange rings and vows. They cut a fancy cake. They have a first dance and the bride dances with her father. It goes on and on. You all know the drill.

bouquet

So, here is my challenge to you as you plan your wedding. For every single decision, no matter how minute, ask yourselves:

Why are we doing this? And do we truly want this?

Once Daniel and I did that, nearly every notion of a “traditional” wedding fell apart. As you can see from the pictures throughout this post, we broke or reworked a lot of traditions and shocked our families.

I wore red. All the bouquets were made from book pages. Daniel wore grey and donned a pocket square instead of boutonniere. We were married by a close friend without a speck of religion in our hand-fasting ceremony – which we wrote as a trio. We didn’t exchange rings, as Daniel already wore his as an engagement band. The cake we cut had the Batman symbol plastered on top. I danced with my dad to “Carry On My Wayward Son” by Kansas.

Real Bride Kate and her father have matching tattoos from the TV show "Supernatural."

 

My dad and I have matching tattoos from the tv show “Supernatural,” whose unofficially theme song is “Carry On My Wayward Son” by Kansas.

Some people reacted negatively. For instance, my grandmother asked me – in front of my entire bridal party and the photographer – if I was wearing red because I wasn’t a virgin. She just could not believe that I simply wanted to wear my favorite color instead of the color Queen Victoria wore a bazillion years ago.

However, most of our families and friends were overwhelmingly, even surprisingly, positive. Throughout the night, we were bombarded with compliments. People adored my unique dress – “Red is your color, Kate!” They appreciated the cake – “Batman is so bad ass!” They marveled at the ceremony – “I’d never seen anything like that before. That hand-fasting, that was so unique and cool!” And even better, they got the point – “Your wedding was so you guys in every way.”

Let me repeat that: “Your wedding was SO YOU GUYS in every way.”

Now, if you ask me, that’s the best compliment a bride and groom can receive.

feet

Again, let me implore you to question everything. Do you really want to wear white? Do you really want that venue? Why are you having a bouquet toss? Why are you doing the Chicken Dance? (Side note: we did neither.)

And again, let me beg you to be yourselves. If you are a traditional couple, that is fantastic! Live it up! But, if you have been feeling queasy about wedding planning and notice some light bulbs going off as you read this, follow that instinct!

Don’t worry about what anyone else will think or whether or not the day will feel like a “real wedding.” Trust me, if you stay true to yourselves and only do what you honestly and direly want to do, your guests will love it and you will not regret it.

This is your day to celebrate your love! It should be as uniquely and beautifully you as the love you share.

 

Words to Wed By: Blessings and Prayers

It’s come to our attention that while we talk a lot about smart ways to save money on your wedding day, we haven’t really addressed the wedding itself — more specifically the ceremony. And y’all, while the words you speak have very little to do with your budget, they are still a vitally important part of the day, because they help set the tone for your marriage … you know, the whole reason you’re doing this damn thing in the first place. So we’re kicking off the Words to Wed By series with a more traditional bent, specifically blessing and prayers for your marriage.

Words to Wed By Blessings and Prayers

1 Corinthians 13:4-8

New International Version (NIV) Bible

Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.

Love never fails.

Traditional Irish Blessing

May the raindrops fall lightly on your brow

May the soft winds freshen your spirit

May the sunshine brighten your heart

May the burdens of the day rest lightly upon you

And may God enfold you in the mantle of His love.

May the road rise to meet you

May the wind be always at your back

May the sun shine warm upon your face

and the rain fall soft upon your fields

And until we meet again my friend

May God hold you in the palm of his hand

May God be with you and bless you

May you see your children’s children

May you be poor in misfortunes and rich in Blessings

May you know nothing but happiness

from this day forward

May green be the grass you walk on

May blue be the skies above you,

And from this day forward.

May the joys of today

Be those of tomorrow.

Armenian Wedding Blessing

May you grow old on one pillow.

Blessing of the Hands

by Unknown

These are the hands of your partner, young and strong and full of love, holding your hands as you promise to love each other today, tomorrow, and forever. These are the hands that will work alongside yours as together you build your future. These are the hands that will hold you and comfort you in grief and uncertainty. These are the hands that will countless times wipe the tears from your eyes, tears of sorrow and joy. These are the hands that will hold your family as one. These are the hands that will give you strength. And these are the hands that even when wrinkled and aged, will still be reaching for yours, still giving you the same unspoken tenderness with just a touch.

Ecclesiastes: 4:9-12

King James Version Bible

Two are better than one; because they have a good reward for their labour.
 10For if they fall, the one will lift up his fellow: but woe to him that is alone when he falleth; for he hath not another to help him up.
 11Again, if two lie together, then they have heat: but how can one be warm alone?
 12And if one prevail against him, two shall withstand him; and a threefold cord is not quickly broken.

BABs, what traditional readings are you using in your ceremony? Tell us in the comments below, and we’ll add them to this list!

Real Bride Katie: Venue Hunting and Dealing with Date Drama

Hello readers!

I was hoping to write my second post with the news that we had settled on a date and a venue and that all is sunshine and roses. Here at BAB, however, we deal in reality, even when it’s not pretty.

First, the good news! We are nearly 100% set on the venue. Andrew and I met through a theater production, and we’re both still involved in theater today. When we walked into Chanhassen Dinner Theatre’s Club Theatre, we fell in love.

IMG_2287

Andrew and the event coordinator, looking from the stage into the audience. Personal photo.

I wish we had taken more pictures, but I was too busy being overwhelmed with information. The space has a legitimate stage and a full light bar with smart lights (you can read that as “ooooh, pretty!” if you’re not technically inclined) that we can use and customize. It’s tough to see, but if you look down in the lower left, the space was set up for a ceremony. We would go across the hall for a cocktail hour while they converted it for the reception. There will be a bunch of tables on the floor with dance space, and then more tables up in the upper level. The head table will be on the stage, which is where the ceremony will take place as well.  And those pretty lanterns can be any color we want!

We saw a second venue last night. We probably aren’t going to use it, but it’s lovely and they certified me as a princess.

Real Bride Katie's Princess Pen  I normally don’t approve of pretty princess rhetoric, but that pen is hard to argue with! Personal photo.

Rosehenge Hall (Lakeville, Minn.) is a fantastic venue, with some really thoughtful and interesting updates, including an impeccably designed lighting and sound system. The 11 p.m. end time due to city ordinance was something we weren’t thrilled about, and we also really wanted a location with walkable hotels, since 2/3 of our guest list is from out of town and we don’t want to worry about alcohol issues. We’ve mostly crossed this off the list, but if you have more of an early-ish crowd with a lot of locals, check it out!

IMG_2298

Set up in progress for a wedding this weekend. Personal photo.

Pretty sunshine-y so far, right? Well, here’s where things get stormy.

Halloween is on a Saturday next year, and so I immediately started lobbying (and planning, because I prefer my carts to be miles in front of my horses) to have the wedding on that date. We’ve received a lot of pushback from friends who have children, because the wedding would interfere with trick-or-treating. Also, my mom informed me that because it’s my step-grandma’s birthday, the date really would not work for them. I balked at this, because (while I love her and believe all birthdays should be celebrated, no matter how old you are!) they haven’t historically made a huge effort to do much more than make a phone call, and of course she would be invited! She reminded me that they had never made that much of a effort before, because she always had her husband there — who passed away in December.

Ouch.

What’s more, she isn’t super likely to be healthy enough to travel.

On top of all that, Andrew admitted that he is only really on board with allowing kids to be in costumes, not adults. Are we the Grinch who stole Halloween if we invite people to a wedding on Halloween but don’t let them dress up? Are we jerks for ruining trick-or-treating, even if we create a trick or treat experience at the wedding? I honestly don’t know.

There’s a recurring family event on 10/17 that I don’t think the organizer will be willing to move, and 10/10 for some reason feels too close to my sister’s anniversary, 10/2/10. We are hoping that the coordinator will tell us that the wedding on 10/24 is only a hold, not a solid booking, and that it will expire, solving all our problems in one fell swoop. No one expects to be able to wear costumes, no family issues, and I can still use my Halloween ideas. Otherwise, we’re looking at November 7th, and all of my Halloween plans are out the window. That’s not the end of the world, but I’m sure pouting like it is! Fall weddings are so popular these days, and it just feels like a much larger challenge to make it uniquely us. There’s also the fact that my sister had the quintessential classic fall wedding, and that I don’t like most of the classic fall colors (reds, oranges, yellows).

… It’s okay. I know I’m overthinking and pouting and being a big ol’ drama queen about it. But I think the crux of the matter is a universal issue: When should you take into account the opinions of people other than yourself and your fiancé? Andrew is quite frustrated and wants to just make a decision. I’d already proclaimed that there are only two opinions that matter for this wedding, but I can’t help but feel like this is one decision where we need to listen to at least SOME of our guests! At the same time, we feel like we’re never going to pick a date that pleases everyone, so we might as well do what we want.

Guys, did you deal with any of this stuff? How and when do you draw the lines on other people’s opinions?

Get Inspired: Lovecraft-Inspired Wedding Shoot by Casey Fatchett

With Halloween right around the corner and today being the 13th of the month — an ominous day for the superstitious among us — there’s no better time to bring out this amazing Lovecraft-inspired wedding shoot by Casey Fatchett Photography. Many of the vendors fall within budget range for BABs (the dress is right around $1000) and even Casey himself — as a photographer in NYC — starts his pricing around $3000 (Sunday-Friday, 8 hours + engagement sesh). Take it away, Casey!

Get Inspired: Lovecraft-Inspired Wedding Shoot by Casey Fatchett

I toyed with the idea of an HP Lovecraft inspired wedding shoot for several years. It may seem like a bizarre concept for wedding inspiration, but I find that sometimes the best inspiration comes from the unlikeliest places. Lovecraft wrote horror stories in which often characters were driven mad with overwhelming terror — so basically how many couples feel when they are first starting to plan their weddings (that’s a joke, kind of … ).

Get Inspired: Lovecraft-Inspired Wedding Shoot by Casey Fatchett

Get Inspired: Lovecraft-Inspired Wedding Shoot by Casey Fatchett

Get Inspired: Lovecraft-Inspired Wedding Shoot by Casey Fatchett

When putting the shoot together, I wanted to create something that was truly “inspired” by Lovecraft and rather than just “translate” one of his stories into photos. The monsters in Lovecraft’s stories very often have tentacles and there are often nautical themes. It would have been very easy to go overboard on that front.

Get Inspired: Lovecraft-Inspired Wedding Shoot by Casey Fatchett

Get Inspired: Lovecraft-Inspired Wedding Shoot by Casey Fatchett

Get Inspired: Lovecraft-Inspired Wedding Shoot by Casey Fatchett

Get Inspired: Lovecraft-Inspired Wedding Shoot by Casey Fatchett

Luckily, I worked with some amazing vendors who helped create a shoot that is both beautiful and at times creepy. The makeup and hair styling evoked a Victorian/Tim Burton-esque feel while the flowers took on a look of blood and brains and tentacles. The amazing skull and tentacle cake featured eldritch designs imprinted on its sides. And the invitation suite incorporated actual names and addresses from Lovecraft’s life as well as a “handwritten” feel. In his short life, Lovecraft was a prodigious writer, sending thousands of letters to his family, fans and peers. Overall, we felt the shoot reflected aspects of both the man himself and his work.

Get Inspired: Lovecraft-Inspired Wedding Shoot by Casey Fatchett

Get Inspired: Lovecraft-Inspired Wedding Shoot by Casey Fatchett

Get Inspired: Lovecraft-Inspired Wedding Shoot by Casey Fatchett

Get Inspired: Lovecraft-Inspired Wedding Shoot by Casey Fatchett

The final element was the location, Lovecraft Bar & Restaurant. What more perfect location? The setting provided a backdrop that ranged from “steampunk” mad scientist lab upstairs to the downstairs space which one could imagine a Cthulhu cult meeting in. The bronze, gold, and silver elements in the space (and in the other details) brought another common Lovecraft theme to the forefront: alchemy. For what is a marriage if not an alchemy of sorts? Bringing two people together and transforming them into one family.

lovecraft-inspired-wedding-shoot-by-casey-fatchett-15

Get Inspired: Lovecraft-Inspired Wedding Shoot by Casey Fatchett

Get Inspired: Lovecraft-Inspired Wedding Shoot by Casey Fatchett

Get Inspired: Lovecraft-Inspired Wedding Shoot by Casey Fatchett

Photography: Casey Fatchett, http://fatchett.com | Venue: Lovecraft NYC, http://lovecraftnyc.com | Hair & Makeup: SB Beauty, http://sb-beauty.net | Cake: City Sweets, http://citysweets.com/ | Flowers: Blossom & Bee, http://blossomandbee.com/ | Dress: Saja Bridal, http://sajawedding.com | Veil: Happily Ever Borrowed, http://www.happilyeverborrowed.com/ Tentacle Rings & Black Rose Earrings: RockLove Jewelry, http://rocklove.com | Octopus Hair Pin: Elluna Fae Creative, https://www.etsy.com/shop/EllunaFae | Jacket and Vest: DAS, https://www.etsy.com/shop/dashandbag | Masks: Eden Bachelder, https://www.etsy.com/shop/edenbee | Stationery: Arobesque Design Studio, http://arobesque.com

Real Wedding: Elizabeth & Bryce’s Romantic and Rainy North Carolina Nuptials

 It’s been nearly two months since contributor Elizabeth married Bryce on a rainy day in Greensboro, N.C., and they partied down in a Gatsby-looking fashion on a $7K budget. Today, Elizabeth is back to share the details, Real Wedding-style.

Real Wedding: Elizabeth & Bryce's Traditional, Romantic North Carolina Nuptials

Name: Elizabeth & Bryce

Occupation: I work for study abroad at Duke University

Wedding location: Greensboro, NC

Wedding Date: August 9th, 2014

Budget: $7,000-ish

Real Wedding: Elizabeth & Bryce's Traditional, Romantic North Carolina Nuptials

How would you describe your wedding: It was somewhat traditional (married by a pastor) but also had non-traditional elements (groomsladies, no garter toss or cake, uneven wedding party, non-traditional vows)

What was your favorite part of your wedding? Besides the actual getting married part, the décor was amazing. The space was transformed into a floral-Gatsby-dream.

What did you splurge on? Photographer – and after getting my pictures back it was SO worth it!

What did you save on? Flowers. We spent $350 on farmers market flowers and used them for bouquets, boutonnieres, corsages, and decorations

Real Wedding: Elizabeth & Bryce's Traditional, Romantic North Carolina Nuptials

Was there anything you would have done differently, in retrospect? I would have listened to my fiancé more, because I didn’t really realize until closer to the wedding how much he wanted to be involved. He was really great about letting me have my “vision,” but I realized he was a lot more hands-on than a “typical” groom.

What was your biggest challenge in planning? I was really good at the big picture things but absolutely horrible at the small details and making decisions. This drove my now-husband crazy, as he is VERY detail-oriented.

What lessons did you learn from planning or from the wedding itself? Pick your battles, and try to keep the goal (getting married) in sight.

Real Wedding: Elizabeth & Bryce's Traditional, Romantic North Carolina Nuptials

What were your top 5 favorite things about your wedding?

- I got married to my wonderful husband!!!!

- Seeing all my friends and family together

- The venue/decorations were amazing

- Our photographer took us on a walk downtown after the ceremony and that’s where we got the best pictures

- Our pastor made our ceremony super personal. He asked our bridal party questions about us as a couple prior to the wedding and used what they said in the ceremony.

Top 5 least favorite?

- It was pouring rain the morning of — trying to transport all the girls without getting our hair wet was a challenge!

-I couldn’t find my headpiece until an hour before the ceremony

- I can’t think of anything else!

Real Wedding: Elizabeth & Bryce's Traditional, Romantic North Carolina Nuptials

What was the worst piece of wedding advice you received? I don’t think we really got any bad advice.

The best? Our pastor emphasized that it would be really easy to “float” through the wedding day, since it’s so chaotic and busy and overwhelming. I thought of that several times throughout the day and consciously reminded myself to be in the moment.

Real Wedding: Elizabeth & Bryce's Traditional, Romantic North Carolina Nuptials

Any other bits of wisdom? Do pre-marital counseling! We had an awesome inter-faith minister who really knew what she was doing, and talked us through communication tactics, finances, and a whole bunch more stuff that I would have never even thought of. She gave us such a great foundation and lots of things to think about and work on for a successful marriage. Even though she’s in Minnesota, she said we can Skype her any time if we ever need a session.

We did a “first look” and I loved it. It really alleviated a lot of nerves and it was nice to have some time together before the ceremony to just chill out. Plus, the pictures are fantastic!

Also, I recognized my strengths and weaknesses in the wedding planning game. I hired my friend to come down and do all the decorating and day-of coordinating. In all honesty, I could not have done it without her, and it would have not looked nearly as fabulous as it did without Jenny. She has the creativity and eye for detail that I don’t have, and at the end of the night, people were asking for her card!

Real Wedding: Elizabeth & Bryce's Traditional, Romantic North Carolina Nuptials

Budget breakdown?* (These are all very approximate)

Pre-Marital Counseling: Amy Reisenberg: $300

Officiant: Jimmy Renslow: $300

Photographer: Jon Black Photography: $2,500

Venue: Carolina Theatre, Greensboro, NC $1,000 total, $700 for rental of lobby for ceremony and $300 for rental of the room where the reception was.

Catering: Stamey’s BBQ: $1,200 for BBQ for 100 –cole slaw, hushpuppies, baked beans, sweet tea, and peach cobbler.

Planner (friend): $400 for plane ticket

Alcohol: Total Wine: $400 (wine and beer)

Clothing: Dress, $400 Accessories and alterations: $300 Tux Rental: $200

Cake and macarons: Simply Scrumptious Bakery $327

Flowers: Greensboro Farmers Market: $350

DJ: Jason Barnes: $575 for music during ceremony until about 11:00 p.m.

Hair: Missy Gosset, Studio 4022, $30

Makeup: Chakaras Salon: $75

Decorations: $500

Save the dates: $200

Invites: $0 (gift from my aunt)

Real Wedding: Elizabeth & Bryce's Traditional, Romantic North Carolina Nuptials

Congratulations, Elizabeth and Bryce! We’ve enjoyed having you share your planning stories with us! xoxo

Get Inspired: Grey, Teal and Bursts of Yellow for Your Fall Wedding

I was browsing through some fall weddings on a big, well-known wedding website, and I was struck by how many were kind of … meh. I mean, sure, there is TONS of gold in fall weddings — and we all know how much I love gold — but the palettes, for the most part, seem so muted or they’re the same basic jewel tones over and over. Guys, c’mon! Let’s bring some color into this bitch, yeah? Sunflowers happen to be in season for autumn, and it doesn’t get much more bright than these fun blooms! For complementary colors, I didn’t have to look far — inspiration is everywhere! Teal and grey are great bedfellows for cheery yellow, as teal’s richness is mellowed out by a lighter grey tone, which is great for silver lovers!

Get Inspired: Grey, Teal and Bursts of Yellow for Your Fall Wedding

Top row, from left: Paper Tassel Garland, Beau-Coup | Country Charm Bridal Bouquet, Bloominous | Charcoal Grey Recycled Glass Vase, Luna Bazaar | Teal Tissue Paper Pom-Pom, Luna Bazaar | Middle row, from left: “Ainsley” Dress in Sunlight, BHLDN | Mignon White Pleated Chiffon Evening Gown, Unique Prom | Fête to Print Dress, ModCloth | Jeweled Strap Wedding Dress, Ann Taylor | Sunny Socializing Dress, ModCloth | Bottom row, from left: Make a Scene Heel, ModCloth | Dance Instead of Walking Heel in Grey, ModCloth

What are your wedding colors, darlings? Are you having trouble coming up with ideas? Tell us in the comments below!

Five for Friday: Free Wedding Website Templates that Are Pretty Rad

On the heels of stressing the stress-free (or less-stress) ways of having a wedding website available for your guests, it seems only appropriate for this Five for Friday to find some rockin’ templates that will help you build a gorgeous site … FOR FREE. Guys, there are literally hundreds — if not thousands — of different template designs out there, so narrowing it down to five was pretty tough. But these are sleek, pretty and I believe they all have invitation suites that match, if you’re into that kind of thing.

Fairy Floral 
By Ann’s Bridal Bargains, available at WeddingWire.com
Big Day
by Hello Lucky available at MyWedding.com
Hoo-Ray! – Seafoam 
By WeddingWire available at WeddingWire.com
Barn Party Template by Minted at MyWedding.com Barn Party
by 
minted.com available at MyWedding.com
Enchanting Forest
Available at Wedding Paper Divas

Real Bride Meg: An Introduction to a Whole New Broke-Ass Bride

Hello, fellow brides! I could not be happier to join The Broke-Ass Bride team as a Real Bride blogger to share my wedding planning stories, advice and tips — and starting conversations with you along the way! I’m fairly far into the planning process, but I still have a ways to go. I’m thrilled to have you on this journey with me!

A (very) brief history of us: My knight in shining armor, Steve, and I met at Temple University 7 years ago. I have yet to get him to fully admit it, but what drew us together was our common passion — Philadelphia sports teams, of course! We currently reside in the City of Brotherly Love.

Steve and I also love to travel, which led us to our engagement night. Long story short, Steve’s proposal plan A was impossible, and his plan B didn’t work out either, so he proposed in the rain on a rooftop in London at the stroke of midnight on New Year’s Eve. We had a long flight home back to Philadelphia, so we started to brainstorm about how we envision our wedding. We decided to take our oversees engagement and work it into our wedding theme — time and travel!

Meg's engagement

Meg showing off her princess cut bling in their London flat on New Year’s Eve. Photo courtesy of Steve’s iPhone.

Steve and I are getting married on June 20, 2015, at the Pearl S. Buck Estate in Bucks County, PA. We both come from VERY large families (seriously, I have about 25 first cousins on just one side of the family), so our headcount is around 230. And now for the big reveal (drumroll …)

Our budget is $25,000. I know, I know, not really what you want to hear. Trust me when I say that I’m under the average budget for Pennsylvania — and especially the Philadelphia area.

State wedding costs- HuffPo

Chart courtesy of The Huffington Post
Numbers don’t lie!

Still don’t believe me? Check out this article from CNN– and pay close attention to the chart on the left-hand side.

Now that we’ve acknowledged the elephant in the room, I’m so excited to start sharing my otherwise thrifty and frugal wedding planning adventure with fellow brides! Here are some things I can’t wait to share with you:

- Where to start the planning process: figuring out your style and finding a venue to match it

- When to splurge and when to cut corners: what means most to you and using your resources

- Pinterest: Your best friend and your worst nightmare

Until then …

keepcalmmarryon

Courtesy of Etsy

Save Yourself a Headache and Make a Wedding Website

Save Yourself a Headache and Make a Wedding Website

I have a friend who just got engaged this summer (yayyyy!!!!) and is getting married this December (UM.) so I’ve been helping her as much as I possibly can from a distance (I’m in Texas, she’s in Wyoming). They found a venue, figured out a date, nailed down some other pertinents and she got to designing their e-vites, since she’s a graphic design artist and all.

Upon asking my opinion on her invites, which were gorgeous, I let her know that I felt they looked a little cluttered — they had info regarding kids, dress code, etc. on the invites themselves. Normally, that information would go on an accompanying card or said card would simply have the couple’s “wedsite” URL on there. And, under circumstances where they have more than a couple of months to plan and are also sending out Save the Dates, the wedding website address would be included on those.

But, for this couple, time is short and expediency is of the utmost importance.

I asked where her wedding website was. *Cue crickets* To which I responded:

Save Yourself a Headache and Make a Damn Wedding Website.

Here’s the thing, you guys, it’s true. You will be saving yourself a headache. You WILL be asked ALL OF THE QUESTIONS. And you’re already pouring a lot of time, energy and effort into planning the damn thing, so don’t become your wedding’s PR person, too. Let the Internetz do that for you. Because you don’t want to be the one trying to tell cousin Joe how to get to the venue while you’re trying to get your hair and makeup done, even though he has a smart phone and Google and an Internet browser ON HIS PHONE. (Also: If you’re answering your phone on the day of your wedding, you’re totally breaking one of my cardinal rules.)

There are a holy boatload of options, from pick-a-template-and-fill-in-the-blanks to build-the-whole-thing-from-scratch, and any of them will do juuuuuust fine, regardless of your coding or design skillz. It’s really easy, and I’m going help.

BAB partner Wedding Paper Divas offers free wedding websites — with templates matching their stationery!!! — so I picked one.

And then it asked for the names. For the sake of the Internetz and … well, because I can, I built a wedding website for my cats.

Save Yourself a Headache and Make a Wedding Website

Guys, it’s really super simple to do. The particular platform Wedding Paper Divas uses pretty much walks you through the whole thing, Here are the basics of what is a good idea to include on your wedding website:

1. Intro Page / Greeting

This is the first page you’re prompted to edit. Pretty self-explanatory, but it’s where you’ll want to assure people they’re in the right spot and give them an idea of why they’re there. And give them a Call to Action: Tell them what they’ll get when they click on the buttons. “Have a look at our photo album!”, “Check out our engagement story!” and the like will help the least tech-savvy among your crew figure out how to get the information they’re looking for.

2. Couple Information

For guests who may only know one side of the nearlywed clan, or those distant family friends your mother insisted you invite, this page (or pages) will provide a little back story. Many couples write an “about her,” “about him” and then a blurb about their relationship and how it all began. Another page entirely can be dedicated to the engagement story, or it can live on this page with the rest of y’alls history.

3. The Wedding Party

Give a shoutout to your crew. Show your guests who your main homies are. This serves multiple purposes: It introduces those peeps who will be standing beside you on your wedding day — a position of honor, so it’s nice to let everyone know who they are; and it’s a great way to familiarize the two sides with one another before any big events. Your favorite cousin probably doesn’t know your fiance’s best friend from sleep-away camp, so this is a good chance for them to size up the person they may be walking down the aisle with and break the ice for the initial meeting. Also, throw moms and dads in there. It’s a big day for them, too.

4. Accommodations/Area Information

This may be one of the very most important pages. Hell, you could probably skip the vast majority of the website and just put this information on it and you’ll still save yourself a headache. Left to their own devices, people WILL ASK YOU. So have all of the information they could possibly need about the hotel at the very least available on this page. If you have booked a room block (recommended), put that information here. If there is a special discount for staying at a certain hotel, put that information here. If this hotel has free continental breakfast, put that information here. Include directions, restaurants in the vicinity, shops, attractions, whatever you find awesome about the area so that they can experience it, too. People are people and will do what they want, but if you give them a way to figure out what it is they want, they’ll do it without asking you.

5. Ceremony and Reception Information

This page isn’t included in the template, but it should be. Regardless of the fact that time/place/date were included on your invitation, put it on the website as well. Include both the start time of the ceremony and the reception — the actual start time (please, do not ask your guests to show up early, because they will and it’s not as awesome as it seems). Include the locations for both. If there is a significant time gap between the two, suggest a good bar or activity for the interim.

Include:

  • Kids/no kids/babysitter
  • Dress Code
  • Parking or other transit-related information
  • Odd policies the venue may have
  • If a full meal will be served or if it’s an hors d’oeuvres situation where they may need to eat before or after

This is also a really good place to reinforce whether you’re having an unplugged wedding or to pimp your hashtag.

6. Registry Information

This, right here. This is where you put it. Not on your save the dates. Not on your invitations. Sure, you can include it on a little card with your bridal shower invites or accompanying your save the date, but this is the ideal space for the information regarding your registry. People are super weird about gifts and the couth/uncouthness of them, and it is generally agreed upon that the wedding website is where such information should live.

Anything else is kind of bells and whistles. I mean, really, aside from the marriage license, the officiant and the two of you, it’s all kind of bells and whistles, but we all know that.

If you want a better idea of what it looks like IRL, I really did make a wedding website just for the kittehs, so go check it out! And if you have any questions, please feel free to ask in the comments below!!!