Couples are increasingly opting for wedding websites to chronicle their stories for eternity

Early March, William and Catherine's wedding got a website. And since at least one of them was royalty, the website made news. But Prince William and Catherine Middleton were just following in the same path that several youngsters across the world have taken – setting up a wedding website.

Praveen and Preeti got hitched over the weekend. But they have known each other for over six years, and as they decided to tie the knot, they thought it would be a good idea to tell the story from the beginning. A wedding website was what they came up with.

“Most of our close friends are abroad. And secondly, we thought a website would last forever, as against a regular wedding card,” says Preeti Sundararaman, a dentist.

“The site had to be different, short and sweet, and lively,” Praveen Krishnamurthy says. So they decided to use a comic theme right through, illustrating their relationship through a comic strip; and a comic-wedding card; apart from the mandatory pictures and directions to the wedding hall. Once they decided, it was easy to move on with a techie being one half of the couple. They found tools to put up a site online free of cost.

Most wedding websites have ‘essential' components – a backgrounder for the bride and the groom; their families; how they met; some information about the rituals; directions to the venue; and a comments section for family and friends. Throw in a lot of pictures and voila, the website is ready.

An online search will throw up a number of sites offering services to host and design your wedding website, for a price, or for free. The number of such requests from couples has been on the rise, says G. Deepakaran, proprietor, India Infotech, a company which also takes up web design. “We have some basic designs, but sometimes our clients [couples] give us the concept. We don't share a client's idea with any other client. A few come up with very impressive and novel ideas,” he adds.

Style, content, design

A basic, dynamic website will cost about Rs.1,000 per page and an average website has five to six pages. The price is dependent on style, content, and design, he explains.

But Sriram Krishnan and Sowmya B. decided to do it themselves too. It was Sriram who came up with the idea, basically to keep their friends and huge extended family informed. The couple was in the U.S. and the wedding was going to happen in India, so there was much to be explained. “I told Sowmya one day, ‘why not have a website.' And she was like, ‘yeah that sounds good, now how do we do it.”

Sriram then decided to design a ‘minimalist' site and a former lab mate offered to host it free on his server. “We picked a few ideas we liked, colours and combinations and mixed and matched a lot of stuff,” he says. Turned out to be a very fun thing to do, Sowmya chimes in. “I especially loved the part where we put up photos of 'then and now'- our childhood pictures and recent ones taken during vacations.”

The feedback was so good, the couple kept up the site even after the wedding took place. They updated the site with pictures from their honeymoon and a later trip to Paris. “Our family loved the website, especially part where we wrote about the proposal,” Sowmya says.

Vijay Venkatesh and Shakti Priya are getting married in about a month's time in Salem. “We want the website to build some excitement so that more of our friends join us in Salem for the actual event,” Vijay says.

The couple has also taken the help of a designer to evolve a monogram with their initials. “When the website goes live, it will have just this logo to start with. Slowly, we will introduce one section after another,” he adds.

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Meera SrinivasanJune 28, 2012