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Glö: RSVP Management, Websites, And Yes, Paperless Invites


(It's the sanity-saving guest list management tool that you'll kill for)

by Meg Keene, Editor-In-Chief

Glö: RSVP Management, Websites, And Yes, Paperless Invites | A Practical Wedding

So, you’re newly engaged. Or maybe you’ve been engaged awhile, but your wedding is this year, and you’re realizing that it’s finally time to get down to business. Once you’ve moved out of the “WHEEE wedding! Let me pin All The Pictures!” phase, and are into “Oh. Shit is getting real.” At this point your goal is simplify and keep yourself sane. In indie wedding circles, it can sometimes seem like the cheater’s route to do things to make your life easier (see the conversation a few weeks ago about hand crocheting… what turned out to be seventy-five feet of trim to save a bit of money). I’m here to tell you: it’s not. And unless you’re eloping or having a teeny tiny wedding (bless you) or are a saint, one of the things that’s going to make you the craziest the quickest, is managing your guest list. And that’s where long time APW sponsor and woman-owned small business Glö comes in.

The guest list is a multi-headed monster. First, you have to gather all the names and addresses (which sadly, no one can really help you with, except maybe your mom). Then you have to handle (usually multiple) mailings, and finally try to track down all the RSVP information and record it. The last step is the most frustrating part, and not just because people have a tendency to not RSVP (WHY GOD WHY?). It’s also because you may well be trying to collect information on multiple events. (Examples include: Bridal shower, Bachelor(ette) party, pre-wedding BBQ/rehearsal dinner, oh-yeah-the-wedding, day after brunch.) And not only are people bad at RSVPing, they’re bad at RSVPing with the correct information. (Don’t get me started on the number of responses we got marked “yes” under “number of people attending.” Head desk.) So now you’re tracking RSVPs and you’re calling your relatives on the phone, and you’re wondering WHY, in an age where there is an app for everything, is the wedding industry so behind the times?

Glö: RSVP Management, Websites, And Yes, Paperless Invites | A Practical Wedding

Meet: Glö. The company that’s going to make your engagement a lot simpler (if, like me, the guest list RSVP mess is your worst nightmare).

Glö does so many things that it’s hard to narrow it down to just one, but let’s start with this video (which if you’re pondering getting any kind of wedding website, you should watch tonight at home with your partner, because a Glösite is basically a wedding website that also washes your dishes).

Glo (glosite.com) paperless wedding invitations, wedding websites and RSVPs demo from Taryn W on Vimeo.

But if you want the highlights, let’s run through them now (or just head over here here and sign up for a free twenty-one-day trial from Glö, no strings attached, and figure it out for yourself).

  • Glö starts with email wedding invitations, save-the-dates, and even a group thank you, but you don’t have to be looking at virtual invites to use Glö. You can send email Save The Dates and paper invitations (they even sell designs that match their websites). Or you can go paper all the way and use Glö to email your guests and manage RSVPS.
  • You can upload a design, or choose from one of their gorgeous preexisting designs (now featuring even more designs from APW designers!)
  • Create a Glösite, your multi-page wedding website. You can personalize like crazy by adding photos, a countdown, fancy slideshows, videos, interactive maps, or any other widget. You can specify which guests can view each page.
  • Add unlimited events to your website (e.g., rehearsal dinner and reception) and select which guests are able to view each event. GET THIS: when guests look at your events page, they’ll only see things they were invited to (magic).
  • Add unlimited RSVP questions for each event, seamlessly collect responses, and view them online or download them to a .csv file. Guests can edit RSVP responses for their entire household, preventing duplicate RSVPs. You can also update your guests’ RSVP responses online.
  • Easily communicate with all or some of your guests before and after the wedding celebration using the easy messaging tool. It’s super easy to ping and remind guests to RSVP or send last minute updates.

Glö: RSVP Management, Websites, And Yes, Paperless Invites | A Practical Wedding

Plus, Glö has added a bunch of new features for 2014. Taryn, Glö’s founder, is pretty much the APW icon for customer service (she answered customer service emails from her hospital bed after giving birth), and she’s always working to improve. For starters, Glö’s new sparkles include:

Design

  • Over fifty-five new fonts for the websites and invitations
  • Use a full screen design on your website (no longer limited to the width of the text area) and make the design in the text area transparent
  • Add photos directly to your invitation designs (vs. needing to upload a design with a photo on it)

Tracking

  • Track which guests have viewed your website if you’re sending paper invitations (before this feature was only available to those sending email invitations and messages)
  • Receive an email notification when a new response is received

Login

  • If you are sending paper invitations, your guests can log into protected pages on your website by searching for their name or email (email invitation guests continue to be logged in automatically)—you no longer need to have an email address saved for a guest in order for them to log in

Plus Taryn says, “We have many more slated in the coming weeks. And if there are specific things that Glöbies would like to see, they are always welcome to email ideas to me!”

In short, if you’re getting started with the serious phase of wedding planning, and you wanna stay as sane as you can: sign up for Glö. It saves you money to buy more fun things like wine, and it saves you time to think about pretty things, like decorations.

Meg Keene

Meg is the Founder and EIC of APW. Her first book, A Practical Wedding: Creative Solutions for Planning a Beautiful, Affordable, and Meaningful Celebration, was published in January 2012, and has been a top three bestseller on the wedding bookshelf ever since. Meg has her BFA in Drama from NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts. She lives in the San Francisco Bay Area with her husband and son.

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  • Heather

    I’m so excited about this! I signed up for the free trial last weekend to get a better feel for things. Everything is so user friendly, and I’m so glad my fiancee and I only need to track down email addresses!

  • Katie

    So, I appreciate that glo appears to provide a lot of options for wedding website management, but the part that I’m having trouble with is why would I want to pay for a website when I can get one for free from 10 other wedding websites? The only advantage I see here is that you get access to their invitations and you get online RSVP management (neither of which are important to me).

    (I’m not trying to be bitchy, I genuinely want to know)

    • CJ

      I actually like how customizable the RSVP system is to actually listing the EXACT NAMES of the people you wish to invite. From what I saw on theknot and mywedding, it would be a drop-down menu of how many people would RSVP, but you wouldn’t know who and it would be easy for people to RSVP for more than themselves, causing awkward phone calls later.

      • M.

        YES. This feature was a selling point for me too!

        • enfp

          Ditto. Glo had the exact rsvp customization options I wanted, which was a major plus for me. The other two reasons I signed up were because I basically hated the design options on the free sites (totally a matter of personal preference there, I just preferred the APW designs), and was happy to pay a bit to get a design I liked, and also because we used the electronic save the date option (will be sending paper invites later). For us, these features were worth paying for, but for sure they’re not for all people. Plus since I’ve been using it, the guest management database has proved super useful. Oh also I liked that you can get a custom domain name, though I think you can do this with other sites too.

    • M.

      It may just not fit your needs, in that case. We’re using Glo for all save the dates, invites, RSVP/events/guest list management & contact, plus website. What for you may be the “only advantage” is for us the whole reason we signed up. For less than $150 for 100 guests, and not wanting to do paper invites, plus a design from Up Up that we loved and a simple user interface, it’s been AMAZING for us! But that’s us :)

    • Meg Keene

      If you ask me, the REAL point of Glo is RSVP management, and the fact that it’s responsive to who’s invited to what event (people only see the events they’re invited to on your page, magic). For a lot of people the point is also paperless invites, but as someone who wouldn’t have gone paperless but would have found the RSVP management worth every penny, I value the former.

      That said, if you don’t care about RSVP management (it’s a total unbelievable headache for lots of us, but maybe it isn’t for you. Maybe you have a small guest list or your mom’s managing it or whatever). If that’s the case, then no, it doesn’t make sense to pay for a tool you’re not going to use.

      The point of Glo isn’t really the website, though the websites are nice. The point of Glo is the tools. If you don’t want the tools, then it’s kind of silly to debate the details.

    • Jenny

      We used it because RSVP management wasn’t something that I wanted to deal with, and doesn’t fall really in K’s skill set/desire. I was finishing my first year of a PhD program, and K was working 2 jobs. I didn’t want to create a website, and check the mail each day, then come and log everything by hand. It saved me TONS of time. Plus, I could just send reminder prompts to RSVP through the system, which was so much better than by phone since most of my “free” time was midnight to 2 am and people don’t like to be called about a wedding RSVP during that time (but hey I say you didn’t RSVP on time, you are fair game).

      We really liked Glo and found the tools helpful and the customer service really responsive.

    • http://colormegreenanew.blogspot.com/ Julia (Color Me Green)

      I knew I wanted to go totally paperless with our invitations (except for like 10 elderly people) and considered using Glo but in the end decided we we could handle it ourselves using a combination of google docs, mail chimp, a free wordpress website, and google forms for RSVPs. After the wedding in June, I”ll do a recap of how well it worked. But I could see why someone who is less technologically savvy would appreciate Glo.

  • CJ

    Geez, way to post this AFTER I set up my wedsite and sent out of Save the Dates. THANKS GUYS.

    But seriously, this looks pretty cool and now I’m jealous that I didn’t know about it before!

  • Jenni Kissinger

    I love Glo. We uploading our own design, made by my little sister, and I can’t wait for our guests to see it!!

  • Nicole Cherae

    “WHEEE wedding! Let me pin All The Pictures!”

    Totally the phase I’m in.

  • Karen

    We are using Glo precisely because of the guest management. We are excited because Glo allows us to group people in different ways that works for us. For example, we are providing childcare. To do a rsvp for who will be using this service, only the parents are tagged for this. They have to rsvp for their kids and have to write in their kids’ names so that we know the names and ages of the children who will need childcare. This will help us know how many childcare workers and how much space we need to devote to this. Thanks to Taryn we figured out how to do this. We’re sending out the paper invites next week! I hope everyone “gets” how to use the website. We’ll see!

  • Michele

    I like the idea of Glo, but it seems fairly expensive for our budget, especially when there are some free alternatives that do similar things (although not as well). I think it makes sense financially if you’re going to do email invitations because that’s such a savings, but we’re only doing email save-the-dates and then paper invites, so Glo would be an additional cost. And unfortunately, our guest list is just above the cut-off for the small wedding package. :(

    I was hoping there might be an APW discount!

    • Taryn Westberg

      We’re not running any discounts right now (gotta keep the lights on and severs humming…), but we do have a monthly subscription option that allows you to bite things off in smaller pieces. That was Meg’s brain-child a few years back specifically with the APW community in mind!

  • Taryn Westberg

    Hey all – It’s so fun for me to see all of the great comments here – Thank You!! And I love knowing why each of you has found Glö useful in your planning…soooo interesting! I’m always here to help, so definitely reach out if you have questions (or just want to say hello)

    • Karen

      You’ve been very helpful, Taryn. At first, I too, worried about the cost but I have found that the ease of having everything in one place and easily accessible has made it more than worth it. Truthfully there’s this part of me that feels kind of ridiculous creating a website but with over 200 guests, it’s really the only sane way to keep everyone informed.