Setting Up a Personalized Wedding Website for the Big Day
Congratulations! You’re engaged to be married! There’s a lot of exciting information that you need to share with family and friends, but the logistics of planning a wedding can be overwhelming. With all those details and everyone’s busy schedules, calling everyone with every piece of information just isn’t practical. The Internet to the rescue! Keep your invited guests up-to-date with a personalized wedding website.
The Do-It-Yourself Wedding Website
These days, you don’t have to be a professional web developer to have a great looking website. There are many online tools that you can use to easily design a wedding website. Some of them are completely free! Here are some to consider:
- NearlyWeds – offers templates that match their wedding stationery, unlimited photos, online RSVP, online registry linking, blog, guest comments, music, video and more.
- WeddingWire – free tablet and mobile friendly wedding websites, with a choice of styles to match your wedding invitations. Guests can post photos from their mobile device.
- The Knot Free Wedding Website – free easy-to-build wedding website, personalized URL, hashtags and streaming from Instagram and Facebook.
- AppyCouple – wedding website and mobile app. Features include instant messaging and RSVP, many different designs and easy-to-use widgets.
But What Do I Put On There?
If you think you don’t have enough wedding information and items of interest for your guests to fill a website, think again! The style and content of a wedding website will vary greatly from couple to couple, but here are some ideas:
- About Us – the story of how you met and fell in love, shared interests, goals and dreams.
- Meet the Bridal Party – photographs and brief biographies of everyone in the bridal party, including the mother and father of the bride and groom, bridesmaids, maid of honor, groomsmen, best man, flower child, officiant, pages, ring bearer, and ushers.
- What, Where and When – all the details of the wedding ceremony and the reception, including directions.
- Gift Guide – the shops and websites where you are registered.
- Photo Gallery – this can include engagement photos, trips the two of you have taken, family outings, pets and much more.
- Guest Book – so everyone can write their personalized messages.
For an out-of-town destination wedding, you might include information about accommodations, restaurants, things to do and other details about the location.
Delight your wedding guests, keep them in-the-loop and have a lasting online remembrance of your special day with a wedding website!
12 Month Wedding-Planning Checklist
If you’ve just become engaged and are imagining your dream wedding, your head may be spinning with all that you need to do. This 12-month wedding checklist calendar will ensure that everything comes together beautifully.
12-plus months before your wedding day:
□ Choose a date and time, with several options.
□ Visualize your ideal wedding and plan the budget.
□ Check date and time with venues, special guests and hired help.
□ Research and book ceremony and reception sites.
□ Assemble a planning team.
□ Begin your guest list.
□ Ask relatives and friends to be in your wedding party.
At 8-10 months:
□ Shop for and order a wedding gown.
□ Decide on reception entertainment.
□ Plan reception food.
□ Select décor and floral arrangements.
□ Interview and hire vendors (musicians, DJ, florist, videographer and photographer).
□ Reserve hotel accommodations for guests.
□ Contact rental companies for chairs, tables, tents, etc.
□ Join a gift registry.
At 6-8 months:
□ Order bridesmaid dresses.
□ Book musicians.
□ Send out save-the-date cards (for a holiday or destination wedding).
□ Plan your honeymoon.
At 4-6 months:
□ Order wedding rings and wedding invitations.
□ Research wedding cakes and hire a cake designer.
□ Purchase formal wear.
□ Acquire passports, if needed.
At 3 months:
□ Address invitations (or hire a calligrapher).
□ Order the wedding cake.
□ Rent men’s formal wear.
□ Book transport (cars, limousines).
At 2 months:
□ Write wedding vows.
□ Mail invitations.
□ Purchase gifts for your wedding party.
□ Book hair stylist and makeup artist.
At 1 month:
□ Apply for marriage license.
□ Have final bridal gown fitting and bring it home.
□ Confirm with bridesmaids that their gowns are ready.
□ Confirm arrangements with vendors.
□ Create a wedding program for guests.
□ Order in-room welcome baskets for guests.
At 2 weeks:
□ Review RSVPs and call anyone who hasn’t responded.
□ Check in with wedding vendors.
□ Go to beauty salon for wedding haircut.
□ Send song list to band or DJ.
□ Deliver instructions to photographer and videographer.
At 1 week:
□ Give caterer and reception site final head count.
□ Give vendor requests to ceremony and reception sites.
□ Give site managers a schedule of deliveries and setup times with contact numbers.
□ Contact vendors to confirm details and make any necessary changes.
□ Create reception seating chart and print table and place cards.
A few days before:
□ Pick up men’s formal wear.
□ Plan wedding party positions and processional.
□ Give table cards, place cards menus, favors and centerpieces to site manager or caterer.
□ Connect with wedding vendors for final confirmation.
□ Make arrangements to pick up guests, if needed.
□ Deliver welcome baskets for guests to hotel.
□ Give locations and pickup times to car rental or limousine company.
The day before:
□ Give photographer, band and others an emergency phone number for wedding day.
□ Write checks for wedding services; confirm any final balances with hosts.
The night before:
□ Meet with officiant, wedding party, family and other participants at ceremony site and review/rehearse ceremony. Bring necessary accessories.
□ Give marriage license to officiant.
□ Attend the rehearsal dinner and present gifts.
On your wedding day:
□ Give each other and your parents their gifts.
□ Give wedding bands to the maid of honor and best man to present during the ceremony.
□ Give officiant’s payment to the best man.
□ Introduce reception site manager to a contact person for any issues that arise.
□ Assign someone to assist the photographer.
After the wedding:
□ Arrange for rentals to be returned and for bridal gown to be cleaned.
□ Send thank you notes for gifts that arrived on the wedding day.
It’s a long list, but being well-organized will make the best day of your life run smoothly, so everyone can concentrate on having a wonderful time!
Photography Feature: Amanda Ambrose Photography
As part of our featured photographer series, we’d like to introduce you to the stunning wedding portraits of Amanda Ambrose Photography. Her portfolio of distinctive New England weddings includes a recent wedding ceremony and reception at Hampshire House, exquisitely captured. This collection features posed portraits of the bride and groom, wedding party and guests as well as pre-wedding preparations, a romantic stroll thru the Boston Public Garden, located just across the street from Hampshire House, and a celebration at the legendary Cheers bar, formerly the Bull & Finch, popularized in the “Cheers” television series and located on the bottom floor of the Hampshire House. There are candid moments as well where the love and joy of the couple and their family shine through.
This artistic and lavish photographic series offers not just a close, intimate account of a couple’s most wonderful day, but also an artistic glimpse inside the historic, warm and richly appointed Hampshire House. There’s the carved oak paneling, Italian marble fireplace and elegant chandeliers of the library, which makes the ideal setting for an intimate wedding ceremony. The upscale New England pub atmosphere of the Cheers bar is a cozy place for celebratory cocktails in the grand Boston Brahmin tradition. A formal wedding reception dinner is then set in the library for the happy couple and their guests, wonderfully luxurious and romantic.
These sensational photographs capture all the majesty and joy of this beautiful wedding, which we were honored to host here at Hampshire House. Kudos, Amanda Ambrose Photography!
All Photos courtesy of Amanda Ambrose Photography
Photography Feature: Christina + Salil’s Wedding
Hampshire House recently hosted Christina and Salil’s wedding fete, offering elegant surroundings and sumptuous amenities. The couple’s nuptials were attended by a gathering of friends and family, who subsequently helped the couple dance and laugh the night away.Photographer Leah LaRiccia captured the entire proceeding by offering her particular style and highly-sensitive portraiture. LaRiccia is quite adept at clearly depicting the most beautiful characteristics of the human condition. She is driven to make each of her imaginative and personal shots better than the previous one. And this evocative assertion is clearly supported by her work.
Hampshire House has been creating wedding memories for nearly a half-century. The venue is entirely committed to hosting the most graceful and sophisticated nuptial gatherings in the Boston area. Located in Beacon Hill, the building was originally built in 1910 and embodied Edwardian-Baroque architecture. Today, it lends Old World charm to any event, whether it’s a simple meeting or a large wedding ceremony.
Hampshire House: 2016 Engagement Celebration
Calling all brides-and-grooms-to-be! Join a choice list of wedding vendors, staff and wedding planners at Hampshire House for a one-night-only wedding open house set in the historic Hampshire House on Beacon Street. On Thursday, Jan. 28, 2016 from 6 to 8 p.m. you’ll get the chance to experience first-hand the beauty and elegance of Hampshire House, Beacon Hill’s most enchanting turn-of-the-century estate.
This elegant, garden party-themed event is also a great chance for couples who have already booked Hampshire House for their big day to mingle with our staff, get comfortable in the mansion, and meet and greet the area’s best vendors. All guests will receive complimentary food and cocktails plus one-on-one access to valuable wedding industry professionals who can make that special day an event to remember.
The garden party theme is sure to impress engaged couples who dream of bringing an outdoor spirit to their indoor venue. Play a game of croquet upstairs or meander in and out of rooms to experience the meticulously restored, Georgian charm of our historic estate. You’ll get to have fun while checking off essential wedding planning details — from nailing down your photographer to developing a décor scheme.
This isn’t your average wedding event. We have hand-selected the area’s best vendors for a curated bridal event that’s not overwhelming or cliché. You’ll get the chance to meet with top performers and DJs, photographers, florists, wedding officiants, designers, make-up artists, bakers and an insider from Boston Wedding Magazine. Browse our complete list of vendors below to learn more about these great professionals.
To RSVP, click here or call 617-854-7627. The event is free of charge for invitees, but be sure to reserve your spot today to ensure that you’re on the list.
2016 Hampshire House Wedding Vendors:
The team at Hampshire House has hand-picked our favorite vendors to show at this special event. There’s no wedding planning element we haven’t accounted for, from your morning-of prep to your late-night playlist. You won’t have to weed through reviews online or booths at oversized bridal shows to find the best-of-the-best wedding vendors in Boston.
Whether you want a traditional DJ to give your reception a night club feel or prefer something a little more formal and ethereal, you’ll find complementing sounds with this list of vendors. These entertainment pros will have their equipment, and in some cases, their performers, on display.
- Siman Entertainment
- Groove Events
- Entertainment Specialists
- Gilded Harps
- Riverview Chamber Players
From traditional wedding photographers to wedding cinematographers, these outstanding wedding photo specialists will help you immortalize your vows and reception.
- Bharat Parmar Photography
- Modern Artistry
- Person + Killian Photography
- Johnson Photography
- Alternative Angles
- Generations Cinematography
See what fresh flowers, unique arrangements and a themed, floral touch can do to transform the ambiance at your wedding with these fantastic florists preferred by Hampshire House.
- Jeri Solomon Floral Design
- Winston Flowers
Justices of the Peace:
It’s rare that you get the chance to meet with a marriage officiant without an appointment, so we’ve taken care of that, too. Meet with these justices of the peace to see if they’re the right fit for your vows.
- Barbara Kahn
- Joseph Gagnon
Let these wedding design professionals show you first-hand what a designer’s touch can do to your space. Meet with our favorite local rental companies, wedding planners, lighting specialists and invitation designers.
- Rentals Unlimited
- Lynn Graham Designs
- Invitations & Company
- Your Love In Lights
- Marrero Events
- Unique Weddings by Alexis
Let a professional makeup artist doll you up before you say “I do.” Katrina Hess can assist you and your bridal party with professional makeup services using traditional makeup application techniques.
- Katrina Hess Make-Up
View and taste gourmet wedding cakes, pastries and other goodies by Cakes To Remember. This Brookline-based baker can surely handle your one-of-a-kind wedding cake vision.
- Cakes To Remember
Mingle with Boston’s wedding authority — Boston Wedding Magazine — to get the inside-scoop on all things bridal in Boston.
- Boston Wedding Magazine
Photography Feature: Mian + Matt’s Wedding
Mian and Matt were recently married at Hampshire House after first completing a wedding photo tour at Boston’s Park Plaza Gardens. The nuptial exchange transpired under the cozy roof of the Hampshire House, and it was followed by a subsequent reception. In typical style, the event left guests noting the building’s charm and warmth.
Shannon Grant offered her intimate photographical portrayals of the event, ranging from garden and cityscape vistas, to more sensitive and reflective imagery. Grant is a renowned wedding photographer that manages to imbibe her talents into each picture she takes (much to Mian and Matt’s good fortune).
Built in 1910, the Hampshire House has played host to countless weddings, galas and other special events, slowly building a reputation for being Boston’s premier location for intimate special events. The venue offers the perfect backdrop for couples — like Mian and Matt — that are looking to create an unforgettable experience for guests. And thanks to its Beacon Hill location in the heart of Boston, Hampshire House is able to offer all of the benefits that come with being nestled in cosmopolitan city since 1910.
Photography by Shannon Grant. http://shannongrantweddingsblog.com/
Photography Feature: Blair + Pat’s Vintage-Inspired Spring Wedding
Hampshire House was pleased to host the classic, vintage-inspired wedding of Blair and Pat on May 12, photographed by the talented Abby Lorenz of Lorenz Photography in Boston. This creative bride blended her hippie-chic sensibilities with her classy, timeless taste to create an up-to-date wedding at the exquisite Hampshire House. With the intimate ceremony taking place before floor-to-ceiling woodwork and a rococo-inspired fireplace to the sounds of a live harpist in the Hampshire House library, this sophisticated celebration featured sweet, personal touches.
The bridesmaids’ mismatched light pink dresses paired perfectly with the bride’s eclectic BHLDN wedding gown and baby’s breath crown, while the peony and hydrangea centerpieces added a garden party touch to the indoor reception. Blair and Pat accessorized the exquisite Hampshire House with down-to-earth touches, like garden chairs, burlap table numbers, rustic wood serving ware and — our personal favorite — a donut bar stocked with Union Square Donuts.
Abby’s love for photography started while spending summers “up at the lake” at her grandparents’ cabin in Minnesota. After spending days outside, she loved spending evenings looking through her grandmother’s photo albums. She says, “I loved those old, yellowed, rounded corner pictures with grandma Alice’s handwriting noting the month, year and location on the back of each one…And while I felt sad that I wasn’t there for those memories, touching those photos always made me feel a little closer to that time I didn’t know.” She now makes pictures for people so they can remember and share memories, and sees it as her job to tell the story of whatever special event she’s capturing.
See Abby Lorenz’s full post with more images on her blog.
Say Forever in a Historic House on Beacon Hill
Say “I do” at Boston’s most desirable wedding venue — the truly exquisite Hampshire House. If you’re looking for a ceremony space or reception location that’s quintessentially Boston, our turn-of-the-century Beacon Hill mansion is the finest choice. With opulent Georgian décor complete with lavish Italian marble, exceptional crystal chandeliers and stunning Palladian windows that overlook the Boston Public Garden, there’s no more iconic and historic Boston wedding venue in town.
Our well-equipped staff can help bring your specific wedding day vision to life, whether it is an intimate daytime brunch or an elaborate, elegant evening reception. Our personalized wedding packages range from classic to grand, with a delectable menu that’s tailored to both large and small guests lists plus essential day-of add-ons like complimentary vases, candles and linens to make things as easy as possible for the bride and groom. You’ll have the chance to dine and dance your way to eternity in Boston’s most exceptional private events space. There’s no wedding day experience that quite rivals Hampshire House.
Wedding Colors – Why Settle for Just One?
Picking the picture-perfect wedding palette can make or break your entire wedding theme. Here are a few of this year’s most popular wedding colors and pairings:
1. Chartreuse, purple and cream for the vintage-inspired team. If you’re going for marvelously mod, there’s no better pairing than chartreuse and purple. This 1960s-inspired palette is perfect for the couple that wants to keep things classic while still going bold with a pop of bright color.
2. Gold, white and black for the chic and glamorous duo. If your style profile is heavy on the glitz and glam, you can’t go wrong with a classic black, white and gold theme. This Gatsby-inspired wedding palette is great for the pair that wants everything gilded and glitter-encrusted.
3. Sage, sunshine and sandalwood for the rustic and romantic. This soothing trio of down-to-earth wedding colors draws heavily from nature. Herb-inspired sage wonderfully complements a sunny yellow and warm light brown for your barn or tent wedding. Succulent bouquets are a must with this palette.
Military Wedding Attire
Servicemen and women can create a high-class military wedding with some of these great tips. Whether you’re an active-duty soldier or a war veteran, you can’t go wrong with a little bit of patriotic, military flair on your wedding day. Military grooms should wear mess or Class A uniforms, while bridesmaids and groomsmen should also wear dress uniforms if they are members of the service. While it is not customary for active duty brides to wear dress uniforms, it is up to the bride if she wants to wear dress attire or a traditional wedding gown.
It’s not a military wedding without the traditional saber arch, in which swords or sabers are hoisted to salute the newlyweds. Groomsmen should wear traditional white gloves during the arch of sabers in keeping with this ceremonial tradition. Afterwards, the saber bearers will march into the reception in formation so that the bride and groom may use a saber to cut the cake together. The arch of sabers is a common wedding custom for most military branches, including the Army, Navy, Marines and Air Force.