Designing a website for your wedding is probably one of the most useful things you can do in preparation for your big day. There are many benefits to having one, but it’s an especially useful resource for your guests.
When deciding what to include on your wedding website, it helps to think of it as a one-stop-shop for all details related to your wedding. Mention anything that guests would want to know. Think of it this way: if you were invited to a wedding yourself, what details about the event would you want or need to know?
Your wedding website should be detailed, but simple and easy to navigate. It’s helpful to have a separate page for every important aspect of your big day. No idea where to start? Here are some important subjects that every wedding website should include.
Begin with the Basics
It may seem obvious, but every website should at the very least include the full names of the couple getting married, the date and time of the wedding, and the location(s) of the ceremony and reception. In addition, mention a deadline for the RSVP.
When all details are finalized, make sure to include a schedule for the day of. If you’re celebrating your wedding over multiple days, provide a program for those as well.
Your website is also the best place to mention details that might be awkward to say on a paper invite. For example, that you don’t want any children in attendance, or that no uninvited plus-ones are allowed.
The “Where” and How to Get There
The location of your wedding ceremony and reception is probably one of the most important topics to cover. Even if you’re having your wedding at a famous venue, don’t assume that everyone knows what it is (especially if you have guests from out-of-town). Make sure to include the full address, so that people can easily copy and paste it into their navigator, and include a photo of the venue and a virtual map, if possible. Directions are also useful, as are best modes of transportation. While most people might arrive in a personal car, do include public transport links if they’re convenient. And if you expect people to arrive with their own vehicle, mention parking. Lastly, if your ceremony and reception are held at different locations, repeat the same for both venues. And, of course, provide driving directions and estimated time of travel between the two.
A Mini Travel Guide
This may not be necessary unless you’re having a destination wedding or have guests that are new to town, but a quick reference guide can be helpful. Of course, you can get very creative with this, but all you really need are recommended places to stay, ideas for things to do, and a recommendation for a restaurant or two. When mentioning potential accommodation options, consider all budgets. It’s helpful to suggest a wallet-friendly hotel, an average-priced place, and a luxury option.
One of the main benefits of having a wedding website is the option for an online RSVP form. You can choose to send a physical invite as well, but having a second one online will help you keep track of everyone going forward. In addition to asking whether a person is coming or not, you can also inquire about whether they will be bringing a guest, if they have a menu preference (or dietary restrictions), and if there are any other concerns, such as wheelchair accessibility.
Deciding what to wear is probably one of the top thoughts in your guests’ mind, so giving them an idea about the dress code, be it casual or black tie, is important. It’s also nice to mention whether the venue is indoor, outdoor, or both so that the ladies don’t end up ruining their stilettos on a grass field. If you’re hosting outside, consider the local weather and climate as well. For example, the area may be known for chilly winds or unexpected drizzle.
Your Love Story
It’s quite common and charming to give guests a little insight into your love life. For example, you might want to share how you and your future spouse met, or how you got engaged. Feel free to tell a bit about yourselves as individuals as well. You don’t have to write a whole book—a paragraph will do just fine. Don’t forget a photo or two of you together as well—but don’t overdo it with a whole online album.
On some wedding websites, the couples also choose to give a short introduction to their bridal party or the parents of the to-be-newlyweds. This may be useful if you have a large guest list with friends or relatives you’re not very close with.
Whether you’re creating a customized hashtag or want to keep your event as private as possible, it can help to mention this on your website as well. If you do end up sharing your big day online, this is where you’d state your platform of preference, be it Instagram, Twitter, or Facebook. Don’t be shy about asking people to follow certain rules of etiquette in this section. For example, you could say, “Please no phones during the ceremony!”
The Gift Registry
Some people argue that mentioning registries are tacky on invitations, but the same isn’t true for your wedding website. In fact, some etiquette experts consider it the best place to mention it, if you do at all.
No matter how perfect your website it, it’s likely that guests will have one or two questions beforehand, so include an email or phone number on the website that people can reach you at. It’s a good idea to start a separate email account solely for wedding purposes so as not to crowd your regular mailbox. In this section, you can also choose to mention what vendors you used for your wedding. You’ll be surprised how often people ask!