What if a wedding website was more than just the info you couldn’t fit on the invitation?
Most of you probably know by know that both Claudia and I are getting married this year. (We aren’t kidding when we call each other Twinsies!) We’re giddy and excited…obvi! But there are a few things that were keeping us up at night as we started wedding planning last year…one of the most stressful being our wedding websites.
Knowing that both of us have a background in building websites and design (for ourselves and work-related clients), we knew there were two things that were going to drive us absolutely nutty:
- Trying to find a template that didn’t match our individual wedding aesthetics.
- Dealing with malfunctioning customized themes.
What’s an a-type bride to do?
In a lot of ways, I had given up hope…[INSERT BIG, DRAMATIC SIGH HERE]. I started building my website through “The Knot” because it seemed a heck of a lot better than buying a custom domain, hosting, and theme. But what did I know?
Then Claudia told me about this up and coming wedding website builder that seemed as though it would solve all of our website woes called Joy. With a name like that, I was more than optimistic. We both dove into our website building and every minute got better and better!
Product: Joy Wedding Website
Features: iOS and Android App | Website Templates | Multiple Admins | Website Security | Collect Photos | Global Guest List | Control Facebook and Instagram Sharing | Import Spreadsheets | Digital RSVPs | Highlight Wedding Party | Schedule, Travel, and Details | Guest Notifications | Wedding Registries | Live Slideshows | Meet Other Guests | Share Moments From App | In-App Schedule
Time Used: 5 months
Getting Started With Joy
Although I have nothing against The Knot (I actually use their wedding planning checklist feature regularly), I could tell The Knot wasn’t going to be my go-to wedding website resource. With few themes to pick from and the inability to customize fonts and sections to my pleasing, I was extremely relieved when I started using Joy.
Probably more than others, I’m a huge sucker for a clean, functional design…that’s unique. The unique piece is the real kicker when it comes to Joy! Although yes, there are only two layouts to choose from (see below) the original layout with the scrolling sidebar (which Claudia and I both use) is so wonderfully different from most wedding websites I’ve seen.
The Fun Stuff: Design, Colors & Fonts
The best part (and possibly the most stressful part) when building any wedding website is picking your design, colors and fonts! The greatest thing about Joy is that they have SO many design themes to choose from, but they’re also customizable in many aspects. For example, you can pick a theme and assign it to use your chosen wedding color as the prominent color…so cool!
The customization doesn’t end there, friends! You can actually decide which fonts you want to use for your headings and body text. This, for me, was a dream come true!! A majority of their themes even come with the option to print invitations, save the dates, etc. with a matching design. Though neither Claudia nor I are doing this, the option to do so is wonderful!
The Cutesy Stuff
A really great thing about Joy is how they’ve incorporated more personality and life into your standard wedding website. With Joy, your site really becomes a reflection of your relationship! The story section is a great place to share how you two met and where your relationship has taken you through time. Everyone can go for a great love story!
A super cute feature of this site called “Tidbits” gives a chance for you and your bae to answer some commonly (or not so) asked questions that allow you to share some of the aspects that are completely unique to you and your relationship. So cute, right?!
Another great feature gives you the space to not only list out the oh-so-important members of your wedding party, but lets you insert photos of each individual and write a little tidbit about that person and your relationship. The people in your wedding party are chosen for a reason and so often the wedding attendees don’t get the chance to know them…so this is a great way to give those extra special people an extra special shoutout! (Check out my little spotlight of my partner-in-crime below. Yes, we’re both bridesmaids in each other’s weddings…did you expect any less?)
So personalization and cute designs are super important…obviously! But there are a lot of things that are oh-so-necessary when it comes to your wedding website. The first of which is having the ability to manage your guest list and RSVPs. Joy makes this simple and easy! You can either upload a spreadsheet or enter your guests in manually…both are a great way to go!
The best part of all of this is managing the RSVPs! You can set your RSVP questions to be completely individualized to you and your wedding. I asked things like their meal choices, dietary restrictions, and songs that will get them out on the dance floor!
I know there can be a lot of controversy over digitizing RSVPs since not everyone on your guest list may be super tech-savvy, but hear me out…
- You save $$ on printing RSVP cards and all the postage. (Let’s be real…having a wedding is expensive and saving every penny counts!!)
- There’s no headache or wasted time with organizing and noting all the RSVPs that show up in your mailbox.
- The Joy guest list creates the spreadsheet for you so you can organize by attending, which side of the guest list they’re from (super helpful when it comes time to create seating charts!), what they want to eat for dinner, etc., etc.!
- With all the pain and suffering you save from not having to organize those pesky little cards, you have more patience to handle everything else in the world of wedding planning! (Including getting a call from your grandma that just can’t seem to figure out this wedding website thing…just sayin’.)
Now I have to be honest…the app feature of Joy wasn’t the biggest selling point to me, but I do think they’re headed somewhere super duper cool with this! The idea of the app is that your guests can download your wedding’s unique app and (after registering with Facebook) they have access to see the other guests that are attending and communicate with them beforehand! This can be great for guests to avoid those terribly awkward conversations with friends and family if they’re not sure the other person received an invite to your special day.
The other great piece of this is it allows you to set the app to give your guests notifications throughout the day. So if you have a big window of time between your ceremony and reception (like me!) or many different get-togethers and after parties (like Claudia!) it allows you to remind your guests of when and where those are happening before they miss it!
Last, but certainly not least, this feature allows your guests to take photos and videos throughout your special day and share them on the app with you and the other guests! The coolest part about this is after it’s all said and done, you and your bae get to go through all the photos and see your special day in the eyes of the guests! How cool!
The Customer Service
Beyond the major Joy selling points for me, the service still has everything else you could want in a wedding website builder such as travel accommodations, listing venues and start times, linking your registries, and general Q&A.
So with all that in mind, the next best thing about Joy is the customer service! It’s SO easy to contact the Joy team whenever you need them. The best way is via a chat box that’s always in the bottom right corner of your screen when you’re on your dashboard. Just shoot them a question and you can expect to have an answer very soon!
It gives us so much joy to use Joy! (You didn’t really think I was going to get through this whole blog post and not use joy twice in the same sentence did you?) This service was the answer to our wedding website prayers! With all the standard features and the most uniquely wonderful additional pieces, Joy is the #1 wedding website builder in our book.
When it comes to wedding planning, anything that can make our lives easier gets a Certifiably Obsessed stamp of approval…so here you go, Joy! You deserve all the CO love.
FYI: It doesn’t seem like Joy is always going to be absolutely free (womp, womp!), but it’s still free for now! Eventually, as the service grows, it will start charging for certain features. That being said, if you get your wedding site built now and say they start charging the next day…you’ll never see a bill! If you’re grandfathered in, you’re good to go. So…what are you waiting for?!