Help!

There's a lot of useful information on this page, and while it would be nice to think that you'll have time to concentrate on the 'useful' part of that statement, realistically you're already concentrating on the 'lot' part and wondering if you have time for all this :) So, here's a quick set of bullet points for people without much time to spare:

OK, that's the quick summary for the busier of our visitors. Now here is a clickable list of the topics covered on the rest of this over-long page:

The point of this web site

We met online. We met a large proportion of our wedding guests online. A majority of our guests don't live anywhere near us. Taking all these factors into account, and even putting aside the whole zoo thing, this is clearly no typical wedding.

Where your average wedding might have a majority of guests seeing members of the wedding party on a regular basis and keeping up with the latest developments in that way, with our wedding we decided that the best way to keep people 'in the loop' was to make use of the technology that got us together in the first place - the internet.

The point of this site, then, is to create a virtual community around our wedding. Logged-in guests can contact other guests, perhaps to arrange to take advantage of all being in the same place at once and arrange other activities, or maybe just to talk about what an unusual wedding this promises to be. And through our dlog you can keep up with all the wedding preparations as often - or as rarely - as you'd like!

The solution to most problems

Essentially: if at first you don't succeed, try again.

We haven't been able to test the web site with loads of people using it at once, so it's possible that when lots of you all come to look at the site at once it might sometimes struggle to keep up with you all. After an initial rush when the invitations arrive, we expect that most people are not likely to check the site more than once a week at most, so this shouldn't be a problem (until a few days before the wedding, perhaps!).

If you are getting errors or strange/missing bits on pages, just wait a short time (how long depends on how long you can spare - ten seconds, ten minutes, ten hours - it's up to you!), and try again. Please don't keep clicking links or buttons (or your browser's Reload/Refresh option) over and over again, as that could mean that all the people in the crowd of site visitors end up acting like mini-crowds in their own right, and a crowd of crowds is definitely a dimension too far!

Logging in and out

Each guest has a unique Guest ID and Password, which can be used to log in to the site.

To log in, enter your Guest ID and Password into the relevant boxes in the 'Log In' area, which is at the top right of most pages on this site, then click on the 'Submit login form' button. Wait a short while for the site to check your info, and then you should find yourself back on the page you were just on, but logged in.

You'll know you're logged in because your name will appear where it used to say 'Log in' and the list of links at the left-hand side of the page will grow much longer. This is because guests have access to lots more information than non-guests, and is one of the main reasons why you should log in.

Logging in will also mean you can choose gifts from our Wedding List and keep us updated with your acceptance status, whether you want to take the wedding coach and so on (see below). You can also change your password to something easier to remember (and/or type) on the Edit your details page!

If you experience any trouble logging in, make sure you're typing your password exactly as it appeared on your invitation, including using capital and small letters in the right places. If you still can't log in, please contact us, using one of the methods at the bottom right of your invitation, and we'll try to help out!

Updating your details

When you're logged in to the site, the 'Change your details' link in the left-hand menu, also available as 'Edit your info' under your name at the top right of the page, takes you to one of the most important pages of the site. This page is basically a great big form, which allows you to do a number of useful things.

Once you've changed or updated anything you wanted to, you can simply press the 'Update your details' button at the end of the page, and wait for the site to save your changes. Apologies again if this is slow, but please don't click the button more than once as it might not save your info properly then. If you've waited more than, say, 30 seconds without anything happening, try pressing Stop in your browser and then clicking the 'Update your details' button again.

Viewing the site for others

This is one of those unfortunate systems that's far harder to explain than it ought to be to understand. We hope it doesn't scare anyone too much.

Perhaps it's best explained with an example. Mr. and Mrs. X get invited to the wedding. They are both able to attend but Mr. X leaves computery things to Mrs. X because he thinks computers are horrible. Mrs. X can, of course, log on with her own Guest ID and Password from her invitation, go to the 'Change your details' page and accept the invitation for herself.

The extra feature is that she can then click 'View as someone else' (from the area under her name at the top right of the page). She'll see a list of anyone who she has been allowed to view as, including Mr. X. She can click on him, then click 'View site as this person'. The site is then displayed to her as if she were Mr. X, and she can accept our invitation on his behalf. She could also change his first name to 'Silly', although for the sake of her marriage lasting at least until ours begins, we wouldn't recommend this.

When she's finished updating (or defacing) his information, she can click on 'Switch back to viewing as yourself', located under Mr. X's name at the top right of the screen, and the site returns to seeing her as herself!

So basically, you can use this system to do just about anything that someone else could do on the site, on behalf of them. As well as editing their info, you can even use the Wedding List on their behalf, or just enjoy browsing the whole site with their name at the top right instead of yours. Amazing.

Using our Wedding List

Another complicated-sounding system that isn't really complicated, honest. Perhaps another example is called for.

Mr. Y is very kind and has decided he would like to bring us a present for our wedding. 'I know,' he thinks. 'They're bound to want a lovely new toaster. I'll get one of those.'

Unfortunately, Mr. Y is completely wrong: we got a lovely new toaster for Christmas from Paul's grandparents. Fortunately Mr. Y discovers our Wedding List before he has made his purchasing faux pas.

Upon visiting the List, he sees a, er, list of various things we would like to receive as presents. 'Ooh', he thinks. 'I love kitchen appliances, so I reckon I'll get them this kettle they'd like.'

He clicks on the kettle and admires its details. 'Yes,' he thinks. 'That's definitely the right gift for me to get them.'

What does he do now? Another guest could be having just the same thoughts as he is about this kettle, so he can't go and buy it in case they do too and it all ends in double-kettled disaster. Even though he is thinking of buying it online from one of our recommended places, so he doesn't expect it to take long, he still can't be sure that no-one else is about to do the same thing.

The answer is that he needs to 'reserve' the gift so that everyone looking at the site while he's buying it will know that someone else is already buying it.

Once he's bought the gift, he can come back to the site, go to the Wedding List, click on the kettle again and click a button to confirm that he has actually bought it, thus wiping the gift off the available list as 'bought'.

There are some other things to know here. When reserving or buying a gift, you're able to choose other people that the gift will be from. Mr. Y might have a Mrs. Y on the scene, or some children, and this being the case would obviously want to give his gift from them too. With a simple click (or as many clicks as he has wives and children, I suppose), he can let the system know that the gift is actually from them as well as hime.

Finally, there's a little concept called 'retrospective gifts'. Dreamed up by one of the bridesmaids, although undoubtedly not with such a ludicrous name as we subsequently gave it, this is our way around the problem of having already been living together for quite some time, and therefore already having bought most of the things that might traditionally have appeared on a Wedding List.

What it means is that you can 'retrospectively buy' us something we already own, just by giving us the same amount of money as we spent on it. From then on, we'll know that it was given to us from you in the same way we would have done with a more conventionally received gift - it just has the added bonus that we've been reaping its benefits for a year already!

Cookies

Cookies are a little piece of technological magic which web sites use for a range of purposes to do with tracking who you are and what you're doing. I'm sure the more suspicious among you are already thinking they sound bad, in a Big Brother kind of a way, but they're not always used dodgily, and I'd like to reassure you that they're certainly not in the case of this web site.

What they do do on this site is keep you logged in while you're browsing around. If you keep finding yourself logged out when you logged in and didn't click to log out, you almost certainly have some kind of cookie problem.

There are various ways to solve this, depending on your browser. If you're using Internet Explorer, you need to make sure that cookies are allowed for this site. Assuming you have the latest version, you can do this by going to the Tools menu, then choosing Internet Options, clicking the Privacy tab. Click the Edit button near the bottom right, then type zoolyweds.co.uk (no 'www') into the 'Address of Web site:' box and click the Allow button. Click OK, then OK on the next window, to get back to your browser. Hopefully, the next time you log in to the site, all will work as it's supposed to.

If you use a different browser, and don't already know how to sort out cookies, or the instructions above don't fix it, please contact us and we'll try to help further. You can find out about contacting us a tiny distance further down this page:

Contacting us

Junk mail, or spam, is the worst thing about e-mail - worse even than people who use txt msg spk instead of typing in proper sentences. Most junk mail is sent to e-mail addresses found by computers that spend all day looking all over the web for sites with e-mail addresses on them. As such, we're not making any e-mail address links available to anyone except logged-in guests, since we're certainly not inviting any spamming computers to our wedding! However, if you're not invited to the wedding but have more intelligence than the average computer, and would like to contact us, you should be able to work out how to by turning the below into a more e-mail address-like form:

happycouple (at) (the invented nine-letter word which we insist on using as the name for our wedding. Clue: it starts with z) (dot) (first half of well-known chain of shops whose second half is '-op') (dot) (the initials representing the United Kingdom)

zoolyweds - Paul and Edith's wedding

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Paul and Edith have now been married for 4459 days, 8 hours and 21 minutes!

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