Bridalnet / WeddingChannel

Date: 1995-1998
Client: Bridalnet / WeddingChannel
Role: Co-Founder and Art Director
URL: weddingchannel.com

Close your eyes and you will hear the beeping and hissing of a dialup modem as you view these designs.

I was the Co-Founder and Art Director of both companies, Bridalnet being the first. I started this company with my soon-to-be husband, Andy Kleitsch in 1995. By 1997 we had become the number one wedding planning site on the Internet and we were on the rocket ship. We were offered an exit with an idealab backed up company in L.A. We packed our bags and headed South to launch WeddingChannel.com (now owned by former competitor, The Knot.)

 
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Bridalnet Identity

At this time in history, most people had not seen the Internet. When I told people about my company there was often a scoff and “Now I’ve heard everything!” type comment. Yes, people thought we were crazy… and they were probably right. I’ll admit, running this startup did drive us a bit crazy.

I mixed in classic black and white photography from local photographer Craig Larsen to give the brand a retro feel, but added the tagline “a new tradition” to let people know that using the Internet for planning was the new way of the world.

 
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Homepage

I partnered with local photographer Craig Larsen to use his images for our branding. HTML was a lot simpler back then, no responsive sites or mobile devices!

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Splash Screen designs

Here’s a sample of the splash screens I would create. By 1997 corporations were contacting us to sponsor these slots.

Due to the Internet pipes being slow I designed “splash screens” which were single graphics that would load first so that when the user clicked into the main site, the main graphic would already be cached. Monthly I would design a new splash screen and launch new content.

 
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First WeddingChannel Homepage

We had one month to launch our first website after relocating to Los Angeles. This is back in the day when “more was more.” Yahoo was ruling the day with an insanely packed homepage, so they set the norm.