How to Gather RSVPs Electronically

by Jenny Bryde 6. January 2013 16:15

So on the side, I'm pretty much a techie geeky nerdo-rama.  I love finding cool new ways to solve problems, and it just so happens that a huge problem that we brides and grooms to be find ourselves facing is the collection of RSVP information when we send out our invitations.  We snail mail our beautiful invites, and we wait and wait for the RSVP cards to return.  Once we have them all back, we sort our data.  A pile of those who are coming, a list of those who aren't, a jumble of paper sitting on your desk that can be a logistical nightmare in the end.  How about entrusting our old friend Mr. Internet to take care of the dirty work for us?

Here's one way to do it...

1) Create a free Google account if you don't already have one.  Hint - if you use Gmail, you already have a Google account.  

2) Go to http://drive.google.com and log in using your Google account username and password.  Your Google Drive is like your hard drive where you can save documents only it's up in the "cloud" aka stored on the internet rather than on your physical computer.  

3) Click on the red "create" button, and choose the "form" option.  On this page, you can design questions in any way you see fit.  You can ask people to enter all kinds of information such as name, number of people coming, meal choice, etc.  You can choose different themes to make it "pretty" up in the top left corner, and when you're all done entering information, you can save your form.  Made a mistake?  No worries, you can come back and edit your form whenever necessary.

4) Back on your Google Drive page, select the form that you just created by checking the box in the lower left hand corner, and then clicking the button that looks like a plus and a person on the top of the page.  This will let you set the sharing options.  

5) Change the sharing option to read that anyone with the link may view the page.  This lets you share the link with anyone that you want who can use the form to enter a response without having to sign in.  Your form won't appear in search engines, so the chances of anyone other that those you give the link to viewing the page is slim.  

6)  Copy and paste the URL into an email or add it to your invite.  Hint - use tinyurl.com to create a shorter web address to share.  Once shared with your guests, you can sit back and wait for responses to come in.  The responses will be automatically collected and arranged in a spreadsheet for you to view.  

7)  While viewing the form, select tools from the menu bar, and then select "notification".  You can choose how often you'd like to be notified of any entries made on the form.  Maybe you want to know right away when someone has entered an RSVP, or maybe you want a summary at the end of each day.  

The beauty of this whole ordeal is that the data is collected for you, and you can sort the data and figure out your wedding "logistics" much quicker than if you had to compile this information all on your own.  If you still prefer to send out the physical RSVP card, you could still do a Google form and just enter the data on your own and let the computer still do all the work for your data crunching.  

Need a visual?  Check out this video tutorial...

 

 

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Hot Site - ModCloth.com - Dresses for your Maids!

by Jenny Bryde 26. November 2011 14:53

Today I was doing my usually busywork on the computer when I stumbled upon a rad site called Modcloth.com.  Maybe I've been living under a rock.  Maybe I've been too wrapped up in Thanksgiving.  Either way, I've been totally missing out on awesome dress deals from this site.  As your blogger, I daresay it behooves me to ensure that all you who are planning a wedding and picking out bridesmaid dresses and what not get to this site immediately to see the numerous dresses they have for any color palette.  The dresses are AWESOME!  Each one is unique and a refreshing spin off of the tried and true selection that you might find elsewhere.  The best part is, that the dresses are totally reasonable!  Most of the frocks are under $100, and some are on sale right now for as little as $25!  Ladies, start your engines!

I thought it would be fun to show off a selection that I picked out from the hundreds of dresses available on the site when I searched for "red dress".  How much fun would it be to get your gals to don these duds:

 

And it doesn't stop at red!  This site has everything from blush to bashful.  I love how imaginative the designs are and how they would totally work as bridesmaid dresses AND be awesome deals!  PS - They have a sale on many of their dresses right now that takes of 50% through tomorrow night, so get shopping!

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Ten Amazing Shoes Which I Will Never Wear...

by Jenny Bryde 4. August 2011 07:12

I could blame it on the fact that I'm already tall or have big feet or that I'd never have a place to wear them other than a wedding, but what it boils down to is that I am one klutzy gal.  If there's someone who is going to trip, stumble, stub her toes, or what have you, it would be me.  That does NOT, however, stop me from daydreaming and drooling over beautiful shoes that would be ever so cute poking out of the bottom of a beautiful wedding dress.  I was hunting around on zappos.com today, and I found these ten beautiful pairs of shoes that SOMEONE should wear...other than me. 

 

Looking at these shoes almost makes me want to give my ungraceful self another shot...  Maybe if I strapped pillows to every exposed part of my body and walked in one of those bouncy castles I'd make it to see another day...

What shoes make you go gaga?  What other websites do you love to frequent to finagle fab foot finds? 

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What's your sign? ...er...color?

by Jenny Bryde 5. February 2011 03:46

QCWeddings.com has been serving the Quad Cities wedding community for over six years now, and lately we've decided that we needed a little bit of a face lift.  We talked to many of you at recent bridal shows and shared a few of the things coming to the site...budget tools, seating chart help, personalized pages, etc.  We CANNOT wait for you all to see all the tools and renovations that are coming down the pike very shortly!

One major discussion that we've been having around the office is what color palette should we use.  We all kind of agreed that our current color palette on the blog and message board is a little dreary and needs an update badly.  We tossed and turned around colors, and at one point, I thought to myself, is this really worth all the concern?  It's just a color choice, right?  And then I thought about when we started planning our wedding how one of the first decisions that we made (and one of the most often asked question throughout the engagement) was what colors were we using. 

Color is extremely important to people.  Whether it's weddings, websites, or widgets, having a set of complimentary hues around you can elevate your mood, bring on nostalgia, excite, or relax you.  As we became deeper and deeper into our color research, we found out that there is just a ton of research already out there on color choices and color therapy and what not.  It's fascinating! 

Here is a fun color chart provided by PaperSource.  Find your wedding colors on this chart...do the descriptions add up to what you hope your wedding day will be?  Adventurous?  Romantic?  Nostalgic?  Relaxed?  Exciting? Click on the images to open a zoomable readable version....is zoomable a word?  It is now, I suppose.  :)

 

So it's no wonder that your choice in color for whatever is an important selection.  We've narrowed down our selection to a few color palettes, and the new site design should be coming to you VERY soon!  We are so excited!!

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Colors | Jenny Bryde | Websites

Building a Custom Wedding Website

by Jenny Bryde 2. October 2010 01:56

Early on in our wedding planning process, I came to realize that I had a snobbish feeling toward the mass produced wedding website templates that were available out there.  I am not a snob.  I am not an elitist.  I just appreciate a well designed website and wanted one of my very own to showcase our wedding information. 

After checking out prices with a few web design companies, I soon came to realize that to have a website like I wanted was going to cost us big time.  The lowest quote I received was $500, and the others skyrocketed above that price. 

Never one to be discouraged, I looked for plan B.  I love learning how to do new techie things, so the prospect of building our own website appealed to me.  Knowing little to nothing about HTML codes (what??) and other such techie jargon, I fell in love with a free flash website design service provided by Wix.com.  This site features a very user friendly approach to web designs that lets you design from scratch or use one of their countless design templates that can be tweaked to reflect different information.  Wix.com looks like it's primarily used for businesses, but it certainly also works for a wedding website. 

Wix Customizable Templates

Before jumping into the design process, I decided that I needed to figure out what I wanted.  I didn't want boring.  I didn't want cliche.  I did want something that kind of matched our stationery and color palette.  I did want something customized and unique (That's the brat in me).  I decided that my first task was to take a look at some websites that I really liked and try to figure out what I really liked about them.  Here are three website whose designs really appeal to me:

100 Layer Cake - Along with being an AMAZING wedding planning resource, there is a soft and glowing look about this website.  If websites were people, 100 Layer Cake would be a bride.

Fisticuff Design Co. - This website (which happens to be the site of a web design company) gives homage to all that great vintage typography that is near and dear to my heart.  I love fun fonts and funny old fashioned graphics.

Cottonseed Oil Tours - While this website has nothing to do with weddings, I like the scattered layout where there is lots to explore by clicking on anything and everything.

With these ideas floating around in my brain, I went to the design page on Wix.com.  I looked through their templates and used a couple of items from several templates to start off my own page.  They have tons of fonts and graphics already for you to use on your page, and you can also upload any graphic that you already have on your computer.  The designing is super user friendly, and the learning curve is short.  In no time, I had the skeleton of our website built.

Wix Design Mode

After revisiting my post on what to include in your wedding website, we decided that we needed sections on wedding day details, directions, accommodations, transportation, about us, about the wedding party, area info, registry info, contact info, and an FAQ page.  That is a lot of info to fit into one website!  Before I even started picking out pretty fonts and pictures, I literally took a piece of paper and pencil and sketched the layout of the splash page, the menu, and a quick sketch of what each page should have and some ideas for design.  Then I took a deep breath, held my nose, and jumped down the rabbit hole AKA Wix.com. 

Two weeks of evenings and weekends later, our wedding website was done and ready to be launched.  NOTE:  This process did not take two weeks because building this website was difficult but rather because I am my own worst critic and thus nitpicked and scrutinized every last blasted detail until I had self-induced stress migraines.  You, my sane readers, would probably have a much quicker and less-anal experience (unless, of course, you are neurotic like me in which case, we should trade support group info). 

Anyhoo, I purchased a URL for one year through GoDaddy.com and linked it up to my Wix website (see note below about cost), et voila!  Here is our wedding website:

 

We made our website to look similar to our stationery items (invitations, programs, etc) because we wanted a coherent look).  Some of the fonts and graphics were from Wix.com while others were pictures that I found on the web and uploaded on my own. 

Note about costs:  It costs about $10 per year to "rent" a URL.  You can do this through a number of different services.  I have used GoDaddy and Google and found them both to be about the same process.  Wix.com will give you a free website, but the URL is going to be something kinda funky and not easily remembered by you or anyone else trying to remember your wedding website so they can find info.  You can link your Wix.com site to any URL for about $5 a month, and for about $10 a month the URL will be linked AND there won't be any Wix.com advertisements.  There are a few other options that you can upgrade to with Wix such as unlimited storage, but for most wedding websites, you won't need this upgrade.  Anyhoo, we decided to "rent" our URL so that our guests could easily find our site, and we paid $10 a month for about 6 months before our wedding so that our Wix site was linked and ad free.  So in total, we spent about $70 on our wedding website.  You could forgo the personalized URL and do Wix for totally free as well...

So all in all here are my pros and cons for working with Wix.com:

Pros: 

  • Totally customizable if you are creative!
  • Tons of awesome design templates if you are not so creative!
  • Free (sort of).
  • You can have all kinds of flash graphics (picture slide shows, moving objects, "buttons" etc.)
  • Easy to maneuver.
  • Great customer support.

Cons:

  • Totally addictive because it's so much fun.
  • My page moves a little slower because I have so many flash graphics loaded on it.  But I don't care!  I love it!  :)
  • If you go with the rented URL and the Wix linked URL, the service can cost as much or more than other wedding websites.

All in all, I think it's TOTALLY worth it.  If it sounds appealing to you, and you decide to take a plunge down the rabbit hole, we'd love to see your finished product!  Feel free to post a question on the message board if you get suck, and maybe I can help you out!

We'd also like to see websites from people who have used other wedding website services...Which sites rocked?  Which sites stunk?  Let us know! 

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About the Blog

Hi!  Welcome to the QCWeddings.com blog!  My name is Jenny, and I am a Quad Cities bride to be.  Our goal for this blog is to share information on all things wedding including local vendors, new trends, and amazing inspiration.  Let us know if there is something you'd like to see on here!  

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