Many more readers of lux-traveller.com than we expected are planning their wedding. We are used to giving travel advice: now we look at the best wedding websites for destination weddings, and our top five wedding websites.
Here at lux-traveller we recently got married. We were looking for the best wedding websites for destination weddings, and came across a pretty mixed bunch. In the end, having tried the best ones, we created our top 10 wedding websites, and our wedding website reviews.
Certainly if you hear wedding bells, and you about to take the first step into your brand new life, for many after booking the bride's mother and making sure there's money down on the church is to set up a wedding website.
And a pretty diverse bunch of wedding websites (also known as wedsites) they are.
Facilities and ease of use varies wildly. All offer a basic ability to tell everyone where you are getting, and list the date and location. Most also offer pages where you can enter registry (wedding gift) information, details about hotels and directions to the venue, plus a little bit of information to tell the world how you became a loving couple, and explain just why you are about to get hitched for life.
However some only have a basic ability to respond to invitations, while other wedding websites offer different language options. And if you want a wedding website offering two different wedding receptions on two different days, you're mostly out of luck.
Also, to our surprise, almost all are based in the US. When we did this for real, we received a nasty shock that the price in dollars quoted from an Australian website wasn't Australian dollars, it was US dollars at nearly twice the price. Another wedsite which shows the price in GBP (UK pound sterling) didn't tells us we'd be charged in US dollars per month - and each month we got whacked with a foreign transaction charge. Beware.
However, our easy top ten wedding website lists allow you to see which wedding website creator can be personalised to your unique situation. Prices quoted below are in Australian dollars and UK pounds sterling.
Price: $70 a year.
WeddingWoo is often treated as the big daddy of wedding websites. And no wonder, the sites themselves look gorgeous. We've had plenty of good feedback about the customisation options, and the sites are fully responsive (so you can read it on your mobile).
There are plenty of great options with a lot of great features, like Instagram hashtag and RSVP support.
You can create extra pages, and move them up or down the order, changing the menu.
WeddingWoo reviews also highlight one of the most detailed customisation sections we've seen.
However, many of the sites look very similar, with a huge picture background, and the three boxes for the people, the menu, and the details.
Alas, your wedding website may look just like every other weddingwoo website. You can see them a mile off.
If you don't have a stunning high res image of you as a couple, all happy and smiling with good clear patches where the text can sit, this probably isn't one for you. Sure, you can have a blank background, but it then looks rather dull.
There is only a 7 day trial, and then it costs AUD$70 (US$49, GBP£45) a year.
You'll always be charged in US dollars, so you'll be hit by a foreign transaction charge on top.
Also it may pay to note that your site will be hosted in the US, so we are unsure if the site will be compliant with UK internet law regarding cookies etc. You might need to check, if this is important to you.
Price: $110/$250 a year.
Always a runner up, and never the bride. Wedding Window doesn't seem to have quite as many customers as Weddingwoo, and this is a shame, as it has taken a massive leap forward, with most of the templates now responsive, so it will look great on computers as well as on your mobile phones - a must for your guests.
However it is the templates that really make Wedding Window stand out - there are hundreds of them! Many of them are modern looking templates.
It must be said in our Weddingwindow review though, some work better than others, and one we found always put up an image of a chandelier before our background, and there was no way to remove it. It takes a lot of experimentation to get the best of Wedding Window.
There is a free 10 day trial, and then it costs AUD$110 (US$79, GBP£60) a year, or whopping AUD$250 (US$180) if you pay $15 a month as we did. You'll always be charged in US dollars, so in Australia or the UK you'll have to add in a $5 foreign transaction charge to boot, meaning you could shell out up to $300AUD for a website with bugs in it. There are also a lot of extra costs if you want add ons like custom domains. Our weddingwindow review can't wholeheartedly recommend it at that price.
Price: $45 a year
A new entrant to the wedding website scene, to-wed is brilliant. It has themes, but also the option to just use images with custom text boxes if you prefer. You can customise the look and feel without problems, and the website is fast - very fast - and every theme is responsive meaning it works without problems on phones and tablets.
Uploading images is far easier than most other sites - you just drag them in, or tick a box against the image on your phone.
There is an unlimited RSVP feature, and the part we love is that you can tick who is invited to which event is the form of a simple grid. You can have multiple events, and special questions for each.
To-wed has a great registry function too, with either a custom registry, or you can link to wishing wells or external registries.
Best of all is the very short URL - smith.to-wed.com is much better than the huge unwieldly website addresses some other wedding websites offer. And it's cheap, at only $45 a year.
The downside - to-wed is only available in Australia and the UK at the moment.
Price: Free or £5.99 per month ad-free
Wix is the new wedding website on the block, and many people swear by it. We found we swore at it, and with good reason. It's great for patient couples looking for optimum customisation, but you'll spend a long time getting the look just right.
Wix is a really easy to get something up and running, and it's web-based drag and drop editor is really good at letting you edit absolutely everything about the website. However, it isn't just for weddings, and that's it's downfall - it's a jack of all trades, and so if you want a wedding website in ten minutes, you won't get it at Wix.
The options to also set up events, and a custom RSVP list and registry for your wedding just aren't there to start with, you have to create them. With Wix you may be able to do it, but it will take a lot of time and effort to get it looking just right.
Wix is initially free, but you'll get adverts on your page - not the best look for a page. To remove them it's an extra six quid (£5.99 per month / AUD$12).
Price: Free to $19.99.
The Knot has a strong following, thanks to having lots of gorgeous themes, and it is very much a popular wedding website builder. However, it is strongly US based, and you just can't remove some of the options that look very odd in the UK. Want a registry that offers lots of options for shops in the US? Go ahead. You won't however find a single UK or Australian store. Want to list the "City, State" style of your wedding, that's good. But it doesn't know about English counties. And the annoying way it always removes the Us, adds in Zs, and puts an S at the end of accommodation can get on your (British) sensibilities.
There are however lots of themes available, and there are easy editing tools which we found meant we could get a working site up and running pretty quickly.
The themes also nicely tie into personal stationary, which is great if you are in the US where you can get the invitation cards delivered, but totally useless in other countries, where you can't.
However some of the options were hard to manoeuvre and in the end we had so much trouble, we finally gave up.
THe worse part was, we then found there was no option to delete the site and it kept on coming up whenever you googled our wedding. In the end we had to email the administers of the site (no UK Freephone number) and begging them to take down out site. Not the best experience.
Free to $19.99.
Price: $220 a year.
There are very few wedding websites we'd suggest avoiding, but WeddingJojo is a bit of a donkey nowadays. Over a decade ago it was the first on the block, but the developers seem to have abandoned the site in 2009 - which is when the last examples were listed. As a result it's a fascinating insight into how the web used to work.
For a start, it's expensive, at $15USD a month, or $180 a year ($220AUD a year). However none of the themes are responsive, so it displays badly, or not at all, on a mobile, tablet, or new computer.
You can get a free site, but if you do this the options are so badly locked down it's pretty much unusable except list events. You can't set an RSVP list with the free site. You can set a registry with three or four US stores, but it's useless for the UK or Australia.
It doesn't help that the name, while harmless in the US, is a double-entendre in the UK, and will cause massive red faces all round to invited aunts and uncles who won't see the funny side.
There is only one basic theme with the free site, and if you pay full wack, there are only a dozen or so themes, which are very much in the 'pastel' style which was in vogue for the web at the turn of the century. Some of them look OK, but that isn't enough to sell this badly outdated site to us.
The pages, such as they are, aren't really customisable, but instead you talk about yourself by asking yourself questions - a really odd way to do it.
There also seems to be no support. There isn't a phone number, and emails to the site went unanswered. Avoid.
Price: $420 a year.
RSVPify is a new site which sells itself as a site that does everything, however its strong point is really only the RSVP section, as the web pages it generates are pretty basic.
Page style is limited to two variants, with the banner and menu, or just menu. You can put a banner picture behind the text, and err, that's it.
However the RSVP section does SO much, this is why couples seem to love it, from plus ones, to titles of guests, and custom questions, and answers with customisable text, such as accept with pleasure, or decline with regret. We love the fact that you can import your guest list from an excel file.
However to access all this, you have to pay. There is a very basic free plan, but for cutom questions, more than one event, seating charts, or custom emails prices start at $9 a month, up to $25. That's $300USD a year, or $420AUD. These guys know how to charge.
Finally, a wedding website that is customised for the UK! Zankyou has UK options, but it is mainly a gift list with a difference, and has some wedding details on the site.
There are some really great templates to choose from and is easy to get in there and customise them to get the feel of your wedding, but all the way through there is a heavy presence of the gift registry. This is designed to be a more personal way to ask for money from your guests, and they can pay directly into the website itself.
However, Zankyou itself takes 2.85% of the total amount contributed and £0.85 per transaction. That can be a lot of money you lose from your wedding, and creates a bit of a bad feeling.
All of our wedding website reviews are our own personal option - if you know of some good wedding website editors, please comment below, and we'll add them to our list.