What went into our lovely wedsite

Aditi had done her bit of making our wedding cool by getting me to do a pre-wed photo shoot – that turned out awesome thanks to Frames of Mind. It was my turn and I had to prove to the lady (who had agreed to risk her life with me) that as a Product Manager I was creative enough, and thought of surprising her with our own “wedsite”. When the question of build-or-buy came up, I couldn’t find anything that matched my needs and the flexibility I needed to fiddle with it. So without much thought, I created a sub-domain, grabbed a copy of Bootstrap and got glued to NetBeans. I released the first cut online in less than 8 hours of work, and improved it over the next couple of weeks part-time (24 hours in all I guess). And yes, it really cost me $0, because I had already purchased hosting space and the prasadgupte.com domain.

It was AditiWeds.PrasadGupte.com for the guests…

With domain & hosting available, this was just 24 hours of work @ $0
With domain & hosting available, this was just 24 hours of work @ $0

The pre-wed shoot had given us quite a few fun pictures, and together with the nimbu-mirchi trick added a twist to the wedsite.

So many people fell prey to the nimbu-mirchi pop-up ;)
So many people fell prey to the nimbu-mirchi pop-up 😉

With an arsenal of ready components & scripts, the learning curve for Bootstrap was almost flat. The hashchange plugin afforded fewer pages (=fewer refreshes = little waiting for the user) and allowed us to group similar content through tabs. With Bootstrap’s fluid layout, the wedsite worked like a charm on mobile devices (with graceful degradation where it couldn’t handle the jazz).

BootStrap + HashChange = Fewer refreshes + Fluid layout + Rapid development
BootStrap + HashChange = Fewer refreshes + Fluid layout + Rapid development

While our parents invested in traditional invitation cards, we created our own brief for a Funky Card, and Namrata did a fantastic job visualizing it. It was downloaded more times than the traditional invites.

The funky card was most downloaded - getting it the attention it deserved!
The funky card was most downloaded – getting it the attention it deserved!

We re-used these graphics to build content for the wedsite…

We used the same graphics to create our story..
We used the same graphics to create our story..

We really wanted everyone to attend and hence picked a Sunday, and a venue close to the railway station. But since it was going to be close to  Christmas, we wanted to get an near accurate guest count as many would’ve planned vacation. The solution was to push the RSVP link wherever possible, prompting guests to confirm. Guests could also change their RSVP at a later time. It really helped and the variance from our original estimate was less than 1% avoiding the usual wastage of food at weddings.

Since guests were most likely to visit this page, the RSVP link was repeated
Since guests were most likely to visit this page, the RSVP link was repeated

We created maps for every mode of transport in every possible direction, with emergency numbers of those familiar with roads. A printed version was included with the printed invites making sure no one was lost.

With directions for every mode of transport & emergency nos, no one was lost
With directions for every mode of transport & emergency nos, no one was lost

Guests could send us messages, and a chosen few were added back to the Wedsite. We also took the opportunity to thank those who had helped us get here.

The guest pages got us such lovely messages & a gave us a chance to say Thank you!
The guest pages got us such lovely messages & a gave us a chance to say Thank you!

I did not want to re-invent the wheel by developing a photo-gallery. I am anyway a huge fan of Picasa (now Google Photos) and embedded the gallery in here. While the wedsite was mobile friendly, the gallery would still not render with lack of Flash support on mobiles and hence the link at the bottom.

Embedding Picasa = No-effort picture gallery; a direct link for lack of flash for mobile
Embedding Picasa = No-effort picture gallery; a direct link for lack of flash for mobile

Influenced by the MailChimp template, we created a custom invitation template that sent individual email to every guest, allowing us to include RSVP links, track delivery and send follow-up reminders.

Personalized invitations with a RSVP link, with a reminder before D-day
Personalized invitations with a RSVP link, with a reminder before D-day

Every RSVP generated an email notification to either Aditi or me, with a copy to the guest so they could use the same link to change their RSVP.

Every RSVP shot out an email to either me or Aditi
Every RSVP shot out an email to either me or Aditi

We created a Facebook page and kept posting there all through December. The overall engagement was fun & crucial for the massive turnout.

Engaging with guests on Facebook resulted in a great turn-out
Engaging with guests on Facebook resulted in a great turn-out

If you’re planning to build your own Wedsite or an app around it, and need help or advice, please do not hesitate to reach out.

One thought on “What went into our lovely wedsite”

  1. Very Nice article. Its a very unique concept to organize your marriage with the help of a wedding wedsite. A very nice way to share your lovable moments with your friends and dear ones.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.