TWIA’s Best Wedding Industry Website is an Award very close to our own hearts. Having recently redesigned our own website, we enjoyed every moment of judging this Award – despite the huge challenge of picking just one winner. Presented on a national basis only, an amazing shortlist was drawn up from all the wedding suppliers who entered TWIA 2016. Read on to see some of our favourite websites from the shortlist and the national winner!
1. High House Weddings – www.highhouseweddings.com
High House know what sells their venue and an inspirational photo dominates their home page. A pretty patio with a picturesque bridge over a pond in the sunshine; who wouldn’t want to put themselves in to that photo? The information on the site is clear and uncluttered. The additional images on the home page could link to additional content rather than relying on the top navigation bar. There is all the information you might need on the website, including prices, capacity and testimonials, without it feeling like information overload, and a downloadable brochure answers any remaining questions.
2. Lemonade Pictures – www.lemonadepictures.co.uk
This is the only website that made it onto our shortlist without being mobile responsive. The design is fresh, fun, relaxed and very original. The personality of the photographer really shows, with their own original language being used throughout the site – “raves” in place of “testimonials” and “friends” instead of “recommended suppliers”, and the photographer stepping in front of the camera herself so you can really start to identify with her. Pricing is clear and the descriptions of the packages again give a hint of the relaxed, personable style of the photographer behind the company. Accreditations and awards are shown discreetly in the footer and we liked the way that they are then explained further on the “About Us” page.
3. Pete Henderson Photography – www.pete-henderson.com
Pete’s website has all the elements that make up a classically perfect website; the home page includes clear navigation at the top with a simple logo, a prominent photograph, a personal introduction, testimonials, examples of his recent work and a very clear call to action. There is plenty of information throughout the site, all backed up by testimonials.
4. Alexandra Jane – www.alexandrajane.co.uk
Alexandra Jane has taken the brave step of putting examples of her photography at the top of every page above the navigation bar, but it works well and gives the very clear message about what she is all about; great photography. We loved the use of social media link with a clear call to action rather than just a logo; “send us a message”, “tweet to twitter” or “pin to pinterest” – these are far more likely to encourage the desired sharing than a logo alone.
5. Southdowns Manor – www.southdownsmanor.co.uk
The desktop version of Southdowns Manor’s website is image based with text overlaid so brides can really appreciate the beauty of the venue and its surroundings. The mobile version has a very different style and more conventional style for ease of mobile navigation. Although most web designers understand the importance of including testimonials, Southdowns Manor are one of the few businesses including a clear request to add a testimonial. We particularly liked the simple but effective photo galleries where you can select images by season or category.
6. Wedding Marryoke – www.weddingmarryoke.co.uk
It is hard to instantly get across a new concept on a website but Wedding Marryoke have done exactly that. This is a fun and effective website with lots of great photos, testimonials and videos, all showing people having lots of fun. Information and pricing is easy to find and clearly laid out, but the focus is very much on inspiring people to capture the fun of their wedding. There is no doubt that couples visiting this site to see what it is all about will want to recreate the fun at their own wedding.
7. Stolen Hearts Wedding Videography – www.stolen-hearts.co.uk
Stolen Hearts specialise in the spectacular and everything about this website reinforces that message. Moving images and graphics are balanced by strong, still icons and clear explanations of where each link will take the user. The sight is intriguing and a step ahead of most of the other wedding websites we come across.
8. DM Photography (Highly Commended) – www.dmphotographyuk.com
Stunning, unique, full width photographs towards the top of Dan’s home page really sell what he is all about; great photography. The home page is simple and uncluttered and you are left in no doubt that he is a specialist wedding photographer. Dan has clearly understood the importance of making a connection with brides; in his “About Us” page he is a candid about his passions and interests and his site includes an introductory video where Dan speaks straight to the camera, giving him the perfect opportunity to connect with his audience.
9. Kate Scott Photography (Highly Commended) – www.katescottphotography.co.uk
The fun, relaxed and informal style of this website gives couples an indication of Kate’s personality and the photographic style you can expect. She shares her likes (bubble wrap, hot water bottles) and dislikes (tinsel, ticking clocks and tippex) and she speaks like you are in the room with her. Testimonials and examples of her work are scattered amongst the information on what to expect and how she works. There are clear calls to action encouraging brides to contact her and share her website with others.
And the Winner is…
10. The Tythe Barn – www.thetythebarn.co.uk
Bold imagery, a clear statement of what the venue is all about and strong branding throughout the site made the Tythe Barn’s website stand out to our judges. The rustic background works well with clear, simple photos and text boxes. The double layer of navigation at the top of the page enables a wide range of users to get straight to the content they are looking for, with additional navigation on the left of page. Joint venue owner, Emma Deeley, updates the website herself to ensure that the content is relevant and up to date.
We spoke to Matt from Superrb Studio about the site’s design and the tricky brief to combine the elegance of a luxury wedding, with the rustic nature of the barn and surroundings. Matt largely directed the website’s success to Will and Emma’s team work and continual correspondence with Superrb Studio. They successfully mixed glossy photography with natural textures like stone and wood, which created a nice contrast. The fine stroke lines, gold accents and hand drawn fonts give the site some finesse and a personal, welcoming vibe. For Matt’s top tips on working with a web agency, click here.