How to Pick Your Wedding Website

The amount of "free" wedding websites out there can make your head spin.  All claim they're easy to use and free - read on for the detalles on five of the most popular and find out which live up to the hype.
Standards Include: Welcome, Our Story, Gift Registry, Guest Book, Wedding Party, Events
Plus: Free RSVP management, Flash intro, and the option to match your stationery to your website theme with designs by the likes of Vera Wang and Martha Stewart Weddings (though the amount of choices for each designer is pretty slim).
What's Special: Apps!  Wedding Wire allows you to add in "Apps" on your page: flight, hotel, and car rental buttons that let guests search for the best deals, an app that allows guests to request songs and help create playlists.  Bonus: an app for your blog.
Cons: The site does not allow you to purchase your own custom URL.
Cost: Totally and completely free.
CG Rating: * * * * * (5 Stars)

Standards Include: Welcome, Our Events, Gift Registry, Guest Book, Engagement Story
Plus: Option to match your stationery to your website theme with designs by Wedding Paper Divas, Hello! Lucky, Green Kangaroo, and Luscious Verde (though each designer only has between 4 and 9 choices).
What's Special: The site allows you to find and manage vendors, keep track of those you're researching and which you've booked, including their costs.  Planning items like these are integrated into the homepage you see (not your guests) when you log-on.
Cons: RSVP management costs $4.99
Cost: In addition to the RSVP fee, a custom domain name is $19.95 for one year.

CG Rating: * * * *  (4 Stars)

Standards Include: Welcome, About Us, Our Proposal, Ceremony, Gift Registry, Guest Book
Plus: Free RSVP management.  Also includes wedding planning tools like wedding checklists and a budget breakdown.
What's Special: Can send save-the-date emails.  Site also gives you the option to upgrade to Wedding Tracker which, for a fee, allows you to link maps, poll your guests, and even preserve your site on cd rom after the big day.
Cons:  Not a lot of design options.
Cost: The Knot - free.  Wedding Tracker - $60/year.

CG Rating: * * *   (3 Stars)


Standards Include: Our Story, Wedding Party, Wedding Events, Gift Registry, Guest Book
Plus: Free RSVP Management.  Also allows guests to leave suggestions for music selections.
What's Special: Couples can search for a theme for their website by category - outdoors, inspirations, green, destination, etc.  You can also match your wedding stationery to your website with a wide selection from Minted, Wedding Paper Divas (these guys alone have 113 options to choose from), The American Wedding, Papeterie, and Hello! Lucky.  The site also allows you to send group emails and create a wedding blog.
Cons: Can't purchase your own custom URL through the site, your wedding website address will appear as www.mywedding.com/yourURLextensionhere.
Cost:  Free.  They guarantee you will never, ever be charged a fee.

CG Rating: * * * * *   (5 Stars)

Standards Include: From Us, Registry, Calendar of Events, Contact Us
Plus: Flash intro, free RSVP management, guests can sign up for your mailing list and take polls and quizzes on your site.
What's Special: EWedding offers a keepsake of your personal site and lots of space for your data.
Cons: Unlimited storage is not free.
Cost: Basic - free.  $4.95/month (or $49.95 for the year) gets you increased file storage, a custom domain name, and several other upgrades.

CG Rating: * * * *   (4 Stars)

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