Ok, lets be real. My wedding was not a DIY wedding. Though you might know me for being a DIY queen of everything (I started my music career by burning 100 CD's on my laptop till it fried) I got a lot of help from my wedding planner and my family. Without them, it would’ve been difficult for me to plan the whole thing myself! But I just didn’t want to miss out on doing something completely on my own for my wedding.
So I wanted to do my wedding site. But how do I make a wedding site that is private, password-protected (it was amazing how our wedding site did not leak!), looks sleek and user-friendly, that I can embed codes from other sites and on top of it all - free?
Here's a complete guide on how to make your own wedding site, like mine! I'm going to pretend you have absolutely zero knowledge on how to make a site, all you need is basic computer skills (like sending an email lol!) but if you know a little HTML, this will be super easy for you.
1. START A NEW SITE
Unless you already have accounts or prefer other blog hosting sites like Wordpress, Squarespace etc. Tumblr was my first choice because its free and its super easy to use. Plus if you already have an existing account, Tumblr allows you to start a new blog (or a site!) with a new name.
Now you're on your theme editing page! Get familiar with everything - the buttons, the themes, the colours. Tumblr lets you view the changes you make on your site while editing without affecting your site live view. You can test out things without affecting your main live template.
Tumblr offers a lot of themes but I chose Persona because I could add my own photos on the header slideshow! ust pick your favourite 3 photos and upload them on Header1, Header2, and Header3!
Scroll down and you'll see the 'Pages' section. Here you can add as many pages you want like Info, Map, RSVP link, Contact, Registry (if you have one!). Just make sure when you make a page set it to ‘Show a link to this page’ so the link to the page will show on your main site. Voila! Now you're halfway through the whole thing - let's move on to making the RSVP page!
2. RSVP PAGE
Oh RSVP page.. what would I’ve done without you! When we were starting to invite people to the wedding, I was looking for an easier way to get my friends and some cousins to RSVP with their names and their plus ones. My biggest fear was that when I text all of them one by one I will definitely miss out a name when we're organizing our tables. So I did some research on the best, FREE, form sites, and decided to give JotForm a try!
JotForm is another awesome site that lets you build your own form be offering you a ready-made template (they have a few RSVP/invites template) and you can add or take out any details you don't need from your form. When someone RSVPs, all the info will be mailed to you directly (to the email address you use for your account with JotForm. I created an entirely new email address (something like email@example.com) to make it easier so my guests infos wouldn't get lost on my personal email.
So first step is to get your own JotForm account, and then on your main page go click on
Template > Classic Templates
Go for the simplest form you can find, for me, this basic form template is the best, its easy for me and for my guests to use it.
Next step! Time to publish your form! You can now share this link by clicking QUICK SHARE (if you chose to skip the whole website thing and just send this RSVP link to your friends) or embed the code on your Tumblr page.
To make this form show up in your Tumblr RSVP, click on EMBED, scroll down and you'll see IFRAME button, click on that and copy the code shown in the field.
'What the hell is iFrame Yuna?' Well its frame of a site WITHIN a site. Get it? Like imagine a picture frame hanging on your wall in your room. You can move this frame anywhere you like.. it's kinda like that. The iFrame code lets you 'view' the JotForm site you worked on earlier without changing its true form.
So let's bring this iFrame to your Tumblr. Okay so this is kinda tricky so I'm gonna try and be specific!
1. Go back to your Tumblr editing page, create a new page (+ Add A Page),
2. This will take you to this page (in the photo below)
Add a name for this new page (I use 'RSVP'),
3. click on the 'Show a link to this page' button,
4, add the same name to show this link ('RSVP' again).
5. Click on <html> (you need to do this for your HTML code to work)
6. Paste that JotForm code
7. Click on <HTML> again to preview your page!
And now your form should show on your site! Give it try, submit your first form and see if you'll get an email notifying you that someone had submit a form! ( PS. When your guest submits a form, they will also receive a notification email saying that their form has been submitted successfully. )
3. WEDDING REGISTRY
Adam and I will be in Los Angeles most of the year, so we were trying to figure out the best way for our friends to give us wedding gifts since we won't be able to take our gifts with us from Malaysia to LA. Of course we would never say no to guests who would come to our wedding bringing gifts, but just to make sure we won't get 6 sets of dinnerware and 4 rice cookers, we decided to start our own wedding registry at Amazon. Amazon has this feature and mostly delivers to the U.S, so it was perfect for us because we just needed a few things to start our lives together. We added key items that we needed for the house, and maybe a few stuff that we always wanted.. My personal favourite from my list, was the copper utensil set. I was so happy to get that! We had gifts in different price range - some were $20, and some $200.. and it is really up to our guest what they feel like giving us! If they can't decide, we also listed $15 gift cards! We appreciate anything!
'But Amazon doesn't deliver to Malaysia, Yuna!' I know. It sucks. The wedding registry culture is not a huge thing in KL (which is weird! because a lot of people in Malaysia LOVE online shopping!), so a lot of the Malaysian local sites do not provide wedding registry for their customers. Well no problem! ..it's time to get creative!
Here's an idea; Go to a local shopping site like Lazada, list down a few things that you like by copying the links onto a notepad. Now that you're a JotForm pro (wink!) you can use your skills to create a form where you list down all the URL links to the items you want, and when someone purchases something for you, the form will notify you which gift has been purchased by them - and you can just take the item off the list when it's already purchased.
Head back to Jotform, repeat the exact same steps, rename your form to Wedding Registry, and using the SAME TEMPLATE, add form elements like Text and Single Choice to create your Wedding Registry form.
Here's the link to the dummy form I created if you wanna check it out yourself.
Then, repeat the same thing - copy and paste the iFrame code to your new Wedding Registry or Wedding gift page... And you're set!
A little note for my Malaysian readers, let me remind you that the wedding registry will not work on EVERYONE. When I shared this idea, I got mixed response from Malaysians. Some would think its too much for the bride and the groom to ask what they want, they see it like we're 'demanding' guests to go purchase gifts online.. and some just don't know how to work an online store and they would be offended that you're asking them to do this. We all know this is a voluntary thing, you're obviously NOT 'demanding' anyone to get your gifts, but just on the surface (most people just like to judge.. especially newly weds!), culturally, this whole thing might not look so good on you. So I suggest that you carefully pick people from your list of guests - who's most likely to love this idea. Someone who is tech savvy, willing to spend time to get on the computer and purchase gifts for you, someone who thinks this is a great idea. Same goes to RSVP-ing online. Make sure your physical invite is ready for the older folks. I know, I know, wedding invites can be pricey but trust me they'll so love you for making the time to see them, or sending them a card invite! Don't expect the uncles and aunties to use the RSVP form of course! Use your common sense, and all will be alright!
There are a lot of things you can do to utilize your wedding site. Don't want everyone to know your wedding details? Set a password for it (its on the first page on the Edit Appearance page when you scroll down). You can add videos, photos, instagram feed, a Google map, and more! After the wedding, I also created a photo gallery page where I have all the photos that our official photographer's took of our beloved guests. This way they can easily download their photos.
Oh and last but not least, here's how I saved a lot of money for wedding invites - send out E-invites via emails or Whatsapp! Make sure it is simple - all you need to specify is your date, venue, your wedding site link and password (if you have one!). Again, this was only meant for our friends who didn't mind RSVP-ing online.
And that's it! I'm so happy I finally got to share this with everyone. This REALLY helped me in planning my wedding, I'm actually really proud of it. In the midst of making my dress, picking caterers, venues, etc.. it really helps to have a website that friends and family can check on from time to time, for updates and info about our wedding day!
Also, I'm so happy that you took time to read this. Here’s our little wedding website that I created about a year ago, its no longer password protected. Enjoy!
Good luck everyone, and to all future brides/grooms.. congrats! Any questions, feel free to tweet or leave a comment on my Instagram! Love you all!