Every happily engaged couple wants to through the best wedding possible, but it’s not always easy to know what’s best for you personally in the pre-wedding process. When should you order the official wedding invitation or how much work should you give the wedding party on the big day? Wouldn’t it be so much easier if you had a handy tool to plan the rehearsal dinner and bridal shower or help with any other pre-wedding tasks, like setting up your wedding website?
If you’ve looked into building an all-in-one wedding website, then you may think that you’ve found the perfect planning tool to make the planning process so much easier. But as with many things too good to be true, they’re not always all they’re cracked up to be.
If you’re considering using an all-in-one wedding website, here’s what you need to know first before you sign up.
What is an all-in-one wedding website?
An all-in-one wedding website is a type of platform that houses every aspect of the big day. Not only will guests find day-of information like time and the address of the location, but they’ll also be able to look at photos of the happy couple, read about the bridal party and browse the wedding registry.
Here’s what you need to know about all-in-one wedding websites.
Pros of all-in-one wedding websites
These websites come with some pretty good perks. Here are a few you need to know.
There’s no denying that having everything wedding-related all in one place can be a major plus for wedding guests. They won’t have to pivot between one site or another, and they’ll feel confident knowing they have the right website.
one site for you and your partner
If you need a wedding website, then an all-in-one option means you’ll only have to build one once. It’s easy enough to take an afternoon off and spend it building the site together.
Once it’s up and live, the two of you can always make minor tweaks to it. Because there’s only one account, you and your partner can quickly log in, make a change and set it live again so all guests are up to speed on your nuptials.
free wedding website
Many of these all-in-one wedding websites advertise themselves as “free,” and if you’re paying for both your wedding and your honeymoon, then anything for free seems like the best idea.
These sites usually offer fewer design options, so they take less time to build than other sites might. They also don’t allow for as much customisation, and if they do, then they charge for them.
Cons of all-in-one wedding websites
Though these sites come with some pretty great perks, they’re not perfect. Before you choose one of these wedding websites, here are some cons to consider.
Because these sites are free, they often don’t provide users with many options for layouts. That means your wedding website will look very much like everyone else’s. There won’t be a good way to make your wedding website stand out.
Unless you want to pay for it, but we’ll get to that later.
too many ads
When you launch your wedding website, you might notice advertisements along the side of your page that make it confusing to read and difficult to determine where the ad stops and your wedding website begins. Some wedding websites make their money by displaying ads on user sites, but they’re often unrelated to the content and clunky.
If you don’t want ads on your free wedding website, then you’ll have to pay a fee to take them off. Suddenly, that free site is costing you.
free wedding website?
Now that you know you have to pay for better designs and sites with no ads, that free option isn’t looking so free anymore. And since you’ve just put in all that work building the site, it seems painful to have to go back and start from scratch with a new site.
On top of that, many of these wedding websites charge a per-transaction fee. That means each time a gust buys a gift, you’ll have a small fee deducted from it, which goes to the platform. You can also set this feature so the guest pays the fee, but that can upset some guests.
Alternatives to all-in-one wedding websites
An all-in-one wedding website is not the only option available to engaged couples. There are other ways to inform guests about the big day and keep them updated on your wedding registry.
If an all-in-one wedding website is suddenly looking like a less-than-viable option, here are some others.
Online registries at big-box stores
Most of your wedding guests will probably be familiar with wedding registries at big-box stores like Target or Bed, Bath and Beyond. Before the internet, you and your partner would have gone to these stores, met with an associate and toured the store with a scanner so you could tag and add items to your registry. People on your guest list would then go to these stores, ask to see the registries and pick out a gift.
Technically, you can still create a wedding registry this way, but these stores now offer online registries, which means you and your partner can add everything online. Wedding guests can then search for your registry on the store’s site and shop from there.
This is a viable option, but it does limit you in a few ways. You can only register for products sold at the store, so if that blender you want isn’t at Target, then it’s not going on your registry. It also limits you to products as gifts. If you need help paying for your honeymoon or want to ask for money politely as a wedding gift, then a big-box store wedding registry won’t help you.
Honeymoon fund linked to a wedding website
What many couples are doing nowadays is building two sites: one wedding website and one with a honeymoon fund. Your wedding website will still cover all of those basic facts about the big day, but the honeymoon fund and other online wedding registries will be housed elsewhere. But it’ll still be easy for guests to get from one website to the other. They’ll both have links to the other somewhere on the page.
A honeymoon fund, or a honeymoon registry, is a type of wedding registry that helps you raise money for your honeymoon by asking guests to give you experiences as gift, rather than physical products like sheets and towels. With an online platform like Hitchd, you can add honeymoon-related gifts, such as spa packages, theater tickets or museum passes, and guests can give you something that will make your honeymoon even more special.
Why having a separate honeymoon fund is better
It may seem time-consuming and counterproductive to have both a separate wedding website and a honeymoon, but the benefits will make the wedding gift experience more pleasant for guests and yourselves. You won’t be boxed into a wedding registry that you don’t want from a store like Target, and you won’t have to deal with “free” wedding websites that charge you for anything but the most basic site.
You may not realise it now, but having a separate honeymoon fund and wedding website may be the best decision you ever made when it comes to wedding planning. Here’s why.
Opens more options for wedding website
Now that you don’t have to worry about loading your wedding registry into your wedding website, you have far more options regarding the wedding website that you ultimately choose. You have far more website templates to choose from, and you can look for added perks like digital save-the-dates and other wedding planning perks.
Couples can also devote more time to creating the best wedding possible with a more flexible wedding website. Though the site, you can build a custom domain to make it easier for guests to remember your site and write out a timeline of dates and invitations to be sent to guests. When guests know what to expect from your wedding, they’ll feel excited to attend, and they’ll appreciate you thinking of them and being respectful of their time and schedules.
You can also choose a honeymoon registry platform that adds to some of these perks. Hitchd, for example, allows couples to send digital thank-you cards to guests whenever they purchase a gift on the platform. This allows you two to thank guests right away, so they don’t have to wait for a thank-you card in the mail (though you should be sending that after your wedding).
Personalisation of each platform
It’s briefly mentioned above, but having a separate wedding website and honeymoon fund will open up so many possibilities when it comes to customisation.
With a honeymoon registry through Hitchd, you have all the power to create the exact registry you want with gifts you’ll actually use. Many of our users share their dream honeymoon with their guests and add detailed gift descriptions so guests feel confident that the happy couple will use the gift money as described. With Hitchd, you can list virtually anything as a gift, from spa packages and airfare to luggage and climbing gear.
Now that your honeymoon registry is separate from your wedding website, you can check out all the wedding websites out there to find one that fits your needs. If you need help wedding planning, you can find one that offers great tools for wedding invitations, guest list options and save-the-dates along with providing a front-facing custom domain that lists all those important day-of details for guests.
How a honeymoon fund differs from a wedding website
In many ways, wedding websites and honeymoon funds are a lot alike. Both can provide basic information about your wedding, and they both make wedding planning a little easier on you, especially if you don’t have a wedding planner.
But these two types of wedding websites offer separate benefits, and when they’re being used for their expressed purposes, they can work together to make navigating your wedding easier and more enjoyable for guests.
Here’s more on how honeymoon registries differ from wedding websites and how you can use both to optimise your wedding.
Focus on honeymoon registry over planning your wedding
A honeymoon fund prioritises your dream vacation over the actual planning of your wedding. And if you’re paying for both simultaneously, that’s definitely a good thing. Wedding planning can be a ton of fun, but it’s easy for the honeymoon to become lost in the shuffle. It’s not uncommon for couples to get caught up in the guest list and digital save-the-dates that they forget to actually plan and book the honeymoon.
Through Hitchd, couples can slow down and plan their honeymoon as they build their honeymoon registry. As you narrow down activities and restaurants you want to check out, you can add them as gifts to your registry. When a guest purchases the gift, the money goes directly to you, so you can complete the reservations. This helps you keep your budget balanced so your credit card payment does not become untenable.
At the same time, you’re now free to find a wedding website that meets more of your planning needs. You might need a wedding website that will keep track of your guest list or help you budget or send out wedding invitations. You don’t have to worry whether your wedding registry will be compatible with your wedding website. Now that they’re separate, you can keep them that way.
Opportunity to customise the honeymoon fund
Having a honeymoon registry through Hitchd allows you to customise your site exactly how you want it. You can add cool experience-based gifts that will help you pay for your honeymoon, and you can add physical gifts from any and all stores. If you want luggage from Nordstrom and camping gear from Amazon, then you can list both gifts. Guests won’t have to buy the gift themselves. They’ll just send you the money so you can choose where you want to buy the item and maybe even save some money.
You can also do some interesting, less traditional things with your honeymoon registry. Some Hitchd users have created charity funds to raise money for a cause that is meaningful to them. It’s a big help for those couples who feel confident that they have everything and want to use their wedding to give back. Others build cash funds to raise money for a downpayment on a house or to finish a new home. There are so many possibilities.
How to add a honeymoon fund to a wedding website
Adding a honeymoon fund to a wedding website could not be any easier, and it doesn’t have to be done all at once. Many couples create the wedding website first when they start wedding planning, and they add a registry about six months out from their wedding day. You want guests to know dates and locations as early as possible so they can start making plans of their own to attend, especially if they’re coming from out of town.
Since a honeymoon registry requires sending money and not waiting on shipping, there’s less of a demand to take a look at it so far in advance. In fact, our data shows that most gifts come in about a month before the big day.
When you’re ready, here’s how to connect a honeymoon fund to a wedding website.
Step 1: Create a wedding website
In order to link the two sites, you need to build them separately. Because your wedding website has the more pressing details listed on it, it’s better to prioritise this for your guests.
When drafting your wedding website, be sure to include the following information:
- Your name and your partner’s
- Date and time of your wedding
- Location with direct address
- Important information about dress codes
- Partnered hotels where guests can book blocked rooms for a discounted price
You can always add more to your wedding website later, but this will get you started.
Step 2: Build your honeymoon registry
Your honeymoon registry should be built about six months before your wedding. That’s about when people will start thinking about gifts for your wedding or shower.
You can find a longer, in-depth guide to building a honeymoon fund here, but here are the basics of putting one together.
create an account
All you need is a name, email address and password, and you’re ready to go with Hitchd.
compose an introduction
All honeymoon fund introductions should welcome guests and thank them for coming to your honeymoon registry. You should also mention that all wedding presents are optional but appreciated.
add your gifts
You can add as many gifts as you want through Hitchd, and you can choose from any combination or variety, meaning you can have mainly experience-based gifts with a few physical gifts and a cash fund or a broader mix of all three gift types. We also provide website templates for text to make it easier to write out gift descriptions.
finalise and launch your honeymoon fund
When you’ve added all your gifts, you’ll be set to pay Hitchd’s one-time fee and then launch your honeymoon registry.
Step 3: Link the two sites together
Now that you have both sites up and running, hyperlink them together. Most couples add a link to their wedding website in the introduction of their honeymoon fund. On their wedding websites, they add a special page that directs people right to their honeymoon registry.
Now that the sites are linked, people can easily toggle back and forth between them.
Your wedding day will be a special one no matter what, but opting for the seemingly easy way out doesn’t always work with wedding planning. If you look past all-in-one wedding websites and instead prioritise websites that really do one or two jobs really well, then your guests will have a better experience and you’ll have the best wedding possible.
Ready to start with Hitchd? Sign up here.