From the moment we got engaged, or shortly thereafter, we decided we just HAD to have a wedding website! And not just any website…it had to be out-of-this-world cool and designed (and coded) by us! Tall order? Not really…we did meet while studying web design. Shortly after our education in web, I realized that web wasn’t for me. I much rather prefer designing things for print! However, Mr. B. loves all things web-related and has made a career of coding. (He works as a UI [user interface] developer for a gaming company.)
I knew our website had to be epic! I had extremely high hopes for it. It was going to be the first “fab-collab” (fabulous collaboration) between the two of us (I design and he codes)! I got busy designing a super-cute site, and when I was done Mr. B. began to code. However, it was proving to be a slow process. Mr. B. told me that since I’m a graphic designer, I design things to look pretty, and don’t think of much else in terms of the how it will work or be coded. Whereas when he designs a website, he is constantly thinking about how it will look and work out. With that said, had designed a beautiful website…. but apparently it was a nasty little *beep* to code! I could see it was taking quite a bit of time (coding websites from scratch = hours upon hours of work), so I suggested the unthinkable—purchasing a wedding template from a website! As long as we could customize it to our liking, it could work!
I found several templates that I really liked, but whenever we were about to buy, we discovered something about the package or template that we didn’t like (no custom URL, only certain colors could be used, etc.). Boo!
When we felt like all hope was lost, we stumbled across an amazing wedding website on a random blog! (I constantly am on the internet searching for inspiration and come across some of the best websites.) Mr. B. took a look at the code and was able to see that it was a WordPress site and he was able to determine what theme was used! Mr. Beanstalk told me that he could purchase the theme and then completely customize it for us!
For those of you that don’t know, WordPress is a CMS (content management system). Many websites are built using this format because it makes upkeep easier so that basically anyone can maintain the site and add/delete data (that’s why it’s very popular for blogs). People like the ease of WordPress because, with it, they don’t need a webmaster to keep updating their website. There are many types of CMS out there (Joomla, Drupal, etc.), most of which are like WordPress and are open source (meaning they are free to use). You can, of course, purchase different templates and themes to customize your site. The one downside to being open source is you don’t know what kind of code you are getting. (That’s why Mr. Beanstalk doesn’t like WordPress much.) The CMS he specializes in is Expression Engine (which is a paid CMS).
So, we purchased the theme, hosting, and our domain name, and then Mr. B. got to designing. It took him several weeks of coding our site in his free time (oh, and there were several issues with broken code in the theme we bought that he spent countless hours trying to correct), but all of his hard work paid off. Our wedding website is amazing! And it was a very successful fab-collab! Even though I didn’t design the site (like I originally envisioned I would), he used the save the dates I created as his core inspiration and kept me in the loop by asking me frequently for input. I did have my hand in writing most of the text that is found on the site, and I did create and code all of the galleries and unordered lists!
This is our “welcome” page. Our URL is not Thebeanstalkwebsite.com. I had to do a quick little fix in Photoshop for privacy, but you get the general idea. This is a picture from the day we got engaged. It was the Fourth of July so we had some fun playing with sparklers! In this picture I painted our initials with the light!
Our website has several photo galleries, one of which is dedicated to our engagement photos.
This is our “Engagement Photo” gallery. People can scroll down and click on an image to enlarge it, while at the same time darkening the background (for optimal viewing).
What our gallery looks like when you click on an image (There’s a caption under every photo as well.)
Does this photo look familiar?
There’s a gallery for me and one for Mr. Beanstalk (plus one for the two of us together). We wanted to include photos in our website but hadn’t shot our engagement photos yet (hence, why there are so many fun galleries!).
Mr. Beanstalk’s gallery
Beanstalk wedding countdown
Here’s a closer look at our wedding-day countdown! Yes, we’re down to double digits! The little bird used on the tracker was also used on our save the dates and our invitations. Also, you can’t tell based on these images, but I made sure that both teal colors were the exact same shade (Pantone Turquoise) used throughout our wedding!
View the Beanstalk save the dates here.
So what exactly does our website include?
I think wedding websites are a great tool to use to communicate information to your guests! What are your thoughts? Do you have a wedding website? Did you DIY it or go with a template?