The ultimate destination-wedding website
For their wedding, our company partners, Dan and Katie, planned a four-day celebration in Dublin, Ireland. Across those four days, activities were planned stretching two Irish counties, from sightseeing to meals to entertainment, not to mention a two-day affair for the wedding itself.
The vast majority of guests were traveling to the wedding from outside of Ireland, and, as a result, Dan and Katie wanted to develop a tool that showcased the details of the wedding activities in a comprehensive way, while adding as much ease to the planning and travel process as possible for guests.
Simplifying a thousand moving parts
For a destination wedding with this many moving parts, the website had three primary goals: first, to roll-out the full itinerary to guests in a way that was easy to understand and digest; second, to serve as a one-stop-shop for all wedding- and trip-related information and questions; and third, to collect all RSVPs and advance payment for the activities throughout the four-day trip. As a result, the site served as a reference point for guests with their final trip itinerary.
In addition to the celebration in Ireland, Dan and Katie were also planning a party in their hometown. As a result, they needed to collect RSVPs from guests who were invited to both wedding celebrations — home and abroad — as well as those invited solely to the hometown celebration. All data collected through the site served as the couple’s primary reference points for party planning across two continents.
Private user accounts for RSVPs
Instead of collecting paper RSVPs for the wedding, Dan and Katie wanted all RSVPs to come in electronically. The site was set up with password-protected accounts for each individual household that received an invitation. User names and passwords were handwritten in each guest’s invitation. Upon signing in, the user was prompted to establish a profile of guests attending the wedding, including names, dietary restrictions and noting the ages of any minors in attendance.
The website had the ability for site administrators to update RSVP information on behalf of users, if necessary.
Showcase custom illustration
Dan and Katie worked with an illustration partner to develop unique artwork for their invitations, visually showcasing the four-day celebration. As the invitation was the first official wedding correspondence to guests, the website needed to marry with the brand established in the invitation booklet. Accordingly, the custom illustrations are shown throughout the website, including a portrait of Dan and Katie on the homepage along with a limerick about the wedding written by Katie.
Streamlining the user journey
A great deal of thought and attention went into developing a user journey that presented information clearly and in a logical progression as it pertained to travel logistics and itinerary building throughout the four days in Ireland. The site needed to also account for the various journeys different users would take, such as those who were staying in different accommodations, those who were traveling with children, and those traveling with other users.
Related to the user journey, a simple-stepped process was created to serve users with options dependent upon previous selections to keep the itinerary-building process clear and streamlined.
With the information presented being so heavily detailed coupled with unique user journeys, user testing was paramount to understanding if we succeeded in creating a simplified journey. Internal tests were first conducted, where data was learned to help improve the user process before invitations were issued. Upon issuing the invitations, four guests were selected to test the site for the first time with the 19 IDEAS design and development teams for observance of user behavior. Data gleaned from guest-user testing was applied to additional UX design and development enhancements, furthering user experience.
Recognizing the need for ad hoc communication updates from Dan and Katie to their guests, as well as amongst guests themselves, a forum was created to allow for individual conversations about travel to Dublin, wardrobe options, accommodations and other updates prior to the trip.
Collecting advance payment
In an effort to streamline planning for Dan and Katie as well as their guests, payment for add-on activities, such as dinners, golf and sightseeing, was required two months in advance of the wedding. Guests were able to pay directly through the site with a secure checkout that was connected to the couple’s PayPal account. As such, collecting payment in advance allowed Dan and Katie to prepay activities so guests did not have to worry about carrying cash or paying for activities while in Ireland.
A key feature that was built custom for this site was the ability to aggregate all data collected — a total of 52 unique fields — as a downloadable a spreadsheet accessible by only Dan and Katie through a custom URL to see the most recent guest information and RSVPs at any time. This spreadsheet became the foundation for which the couple kept track of all guest activities, who was attending which activities, what transportation was needed for whom, where guests were staying, and any special requirements.
The site allowed guests to view, print and save their itineraries as a PDF to their phones for added ease of accessibility while overseas without access to phone service.