Let's Get This Party Started: Making the Most Out of a Wedding Website

From the get-go I knew that our website would be one of those things that I would care about more than one might expect. I feel like a lot of people underutilize their wedding websites and I knew that would not be us. 

We have a lot of guests coming from out of town so being able to a have a one-stop shop where you could get all the information you need and then some was crucial. And making that one-stop shop a fun, easy-to-use and mobile friendly website seemed like a no-brainer. 

Here's ours: www.tinderhotdish.com

I love Squarespace. I use it for this website so it was only natural (and easy) to use it for our wedding website. The templates are awesome and it's so easy to customize the design. Some sites promise "a simple and easy wedding website" and that's exactly what you'll get - simple and easy. But if you're looking to make more out of your website, I suggest going with a place that offers more robust options like Squarespace.  

Consider Online RSVPs

It's 2017! Beyond the fact that I think paying double postage for RSVP cards is a waste of money, doing online RSVPs can be a huge time saver.

We put our RSVP button smack dab in the middle of the homepage so people can't miss it. And because it's a form, Squarespace allows you to download it into an Excel sheet making it easy to go through. 

Another bonus? We're able to ask more questions/collect more info than would fit on a itty bitty card. We're having a weekend welcome reception and a farewell brunch, and we're using the RSVP to gauge attendance for those events as well. 

Share Your Story (In a Fun Way!)

Just beyond the RSVP button is a fun, simple explanation of what the heck "Tinder Hotdish" means. Instead of writing out the story of how you met in one long block of text, websites now offer up the flexibility of telling your story through photos, small blocks of text, and even videos. Mark and I's story was pretty simple, but the nickname for it was silly, so we decided to focus on the "story of #tinderhotdish" instead of "our story."

Make it a Destination

I firmly believe that a wedding website gives you the opportunity to make your wedding feel like a destination regardless of where your guests are coming from. 

We created a page on website completely devoted to the location of our wedding, not just the hotel itself, but the area around it, too. We love our city and we wanted to give people options if they had any downtime.  

On top of that, by putting everything on a mobile-friendly website, guests can pull this out whenever they need it–whether that's when they land at the airport and can't remember the address or are just checking-in to the hotel and realizing they need a bite to eat. 

An Easy Way to Share Photos

When we got our engagement photos back, I was blown away. I loved every single one of them. But we really only needed one for our save the dates. Not only did we feature the photos in the design of our site, we created a gallery for relatives to easily look through the photos. We're planning on doing this with the photos from our wedding night. 

Squarespace also allows you to pull in photos based on a hashtag or from a certain user, so you can easily have photos your guests share using your wedding hashtag pulled into the website–again making it a one-stop shop for all things wedding. 

These are just a few of the ways we're getting the most out of our wedding website, but there's plenty of other examples and inspiration out on the web. A Practical Wedding (my wedding planning life-saver) has a good guide on what details to include on your website. Most importantly though–YOU DO YOU.

Closet Makeover: Why It's Nice to Have Friends With Power Tools

I’ve always known my closet was crap. The people who built it clearly did not intend on using it that much because half of it was unreachable. The plywood shelves were two feet deep and started at eye-level. There was raggedy carpet in it and the garment rod was bent.

So last weekend I gutted it.

beforecloset

I gutted it and turned it into something I don’t just mind looking at but can actually use.

I moved the rod to the right side of the closet with shelving above it and put floor to ceiling shelves on the back wall. I scored at Home Depot when I went to get supplies and was able to get a lot of wood for free since it was in the scrap bin.

closetafter

First screw into the project I was slowly beginning to realize I didn’t have the right tools. My Philips head did not want to work with the screws I had, so after a brief fit of angry tears, I texted a friend to come over with better tools and help. I left enough room at the bottom for a shoe rack and added a sheepskin rug for pumped up coziness. 

Before, I kept majority of my clothes underneath my bed or on a garment rack in my room. Now I have open space under the bed, and my garment rack is cleared of clutter.

closetafter3

The boxes are from IKEA, each one is $3.49 – which compared to container store prices is awesome, and they’re pretty durable.  Shoe rack and rug, also from IKEA.

A Lazy Tree Skirt That Doesn't Look Horrible

Tree skirts, the ones you buy at the store, are not worth the money. Most that I find are too over the top and don't fit in with my faux-artsy-hipster-chic lifestyle. In the past I'd just grab a spare piece of fabric I had and wrap it around the stand. This year however, I didn't have any fabric I liked lying around. My solution? Let's give this tree a flannel diaper. 

    

 

 

Since moving to Minnesota my flannel shirt collection has grown tenfold, needless to say, I had one to spare. If you don't, head to your nearest thrift store and pick one up. A men's L or XL is probably best. 

The steps to making this flannel tree skirt are simple and straightforward and just take a little messing around at the end to make it how you want it. 

1. Unbutton the flannel shirt and wrap it around the tree stand as if you're dressing the stand up to be your date to your company Christmas party. 

I started by putting the collar in the stand first and then wrapped the rest of the shirt around the rest of the stand. I then buttons the shirt a bit to keep it in place. 

Once buttoned, arrange the shirt so that it drapes the way you want it and covers the stand. Next, wrap the arms around the stand and tuck the cuffs of the shirt in at the top to hide the fact that this is a shirt around the bottom of your tree. Fuss with it until you like it, step back, and congratulate yourself for being such a Christmas tree skirt genius.