Personalized wedding websites are such a convenient way to create an accessible-anywhere information depot for guests to find all the juicy details of your wedding. An effective wedding website will reflect who you are as a couple and convey the overall style and tone of your wedding. If you remember only one thing from this post – remember this: your wedding website should contain the most important details of your wedding. Got it? Not all the details – just the essential ones. It can also be an interactive way for your guests to RSVP and know what to expect on the big day. Don’t worry, you don’t have to be a wired in tech nerd (we love our techie couples!) to set up your wedding website. The right tools and a few guidelines make it easy and in many cases, free. Grab your sweetie on a Sunday morning, pull up the engagement photos from that file in your email, make a coffee or a Bloody Mary, plop yourself on the couch and have some fun customizing! We hope our tips will help you if you get stuck.
Website Tools We Recommend:
The Knot is easy, personalized, mobile-friendly, and free. Great tools like checklist, budgeting, and RSVP maintenance empower you to feel more focused and less crazy during the planning process. The Knot also provides lots of info on wedding professionals you might want to hire (like Wonderstruck for planning, design, and coordination – please excuse our shameless plug).
WeddingWire is also mobile and tablet ready. Wedding Wire is free with custom designs and is enabled for photo sharing. We especially enjoy the hashtag generator feature. #greattip
Appy Couple helps you build a custom app with all of the information that you would have on a website. For a fee, you get access to over 500 unique designs and you can keep your account active as long as you like.
Wedding Window helps you create your own wedding website with matching e-cards and sync up to Facebook and Dropbox to easily upload media. There is a free and premium version with some solid templates.
Minted is a great choice for a website if you’re also ordering invitations from Minted because you can get a matching, beautifully designed website with a personalized URL. Shop from their community of independent artists.
Square Space is a great option with beautiful, intuitive templates for fresh, inspiring design. These sites take a bit more work, but are very customizable, look amazing and offer personalized url’s also.
8 Things to Include on Your Wedding Website
So you and the honey chose the platform you like best, now make sure you’ve got all the necessary info to stave off guest confusion.
1. Date and time of your wedding ceremony and reception
2. Location names, full address information (including zip codes), and phone number of ceremony and wedding venue(s)
3. Direction to wedding venue (with web links and/or PDF documents)
4. Local airports and rental car companies
5. Address and contact information for nearby hotels with their distance from wedding venue and any discount arrangements (“Mention Griswold-James wedding for a 10% room discount)
6. Area map showing these locations
7. Links to gift registries
8. Option to RSVP
Consider these helpful deets to keep your guests informed:
While you can’t dictate or micromanage what every guest will wear to your wedding, let them know ahead of time so they can plan and look fabulous. Whether you are going for fancy black tie or a relaxed backyard shindig – its nice to let people know what to expect. Visual examples are especially helpful. You could even use a little humor. If, say, you’re aiming for a “black tie” at the reception you could “thumbs up” an example of guys in tuxedos and “thumbs down” an example of guys in jeans and khakis.
Unique Cultural or Family Customs
If a number of your guests aren’t of your culture or religion, consider adding information they might need to know like: the length of the ceremony, the meaning of certain customs or rituals, or any particular cultural etiquette that should be observed.
Schedule of Events
List time, location, and address for events surrounding the wedding that are open to all your guests, such as planned activities for out-of- town guests or a next-day brunch. Add the schedule for any shuttle services between hotels and wedding venues, too.
Wedding Website Guidelines
When designing your website, keep these guidelines in mind and you can’t go wrong.
Your Webpage Should be Representative of Who You Are as a Couple
Take the time to develop a design that you are both comfortable with – one that reflects your personal aesthetic and style. Be sure you both agree on the kind of content you include, and the tone.
If You Prefer Guests to RSVP on Your Website…
Simply add the web address after the RSVP on your invitation or reply card like so: “Reply on www.laurenandpat.com by [date].”
DO List Your Website On Your Save-the-Date Card
Having your wedding date, the schedule of events as you know it, and travel and lodging information accessible on your website will help your core guests make their plans early.
DON’T List Your Website on Your Actual Invitation
There are plenty of other ways to let people know about the site – adding the web address to the response card, a separate enclosure, to other informational pieces enclosed with the invitation, or by group email to your guest list.
DON’T Overwhelm the Website with Content
A few well-designed pages covering information that guests will want to know is helpful; a daily update of your wedding planning progress or lots of polls on what kind of cake you should serve is definitely not.
DON’T Include Overly Personal Information
There are many pre designed web templates that may prompt you to answer questions like “when was your first kiss” or “what did you do on your first date”…if you feel comfortable letting everyone know these intimate details feel free to answer them, but don’t feel obligated to make those details public.
DON’T Overemphasize Your Gift Registry Links
It is perfectly fine to post links to your various online gift registries on your homepage – in fact, these one-stop shopping links are now expected because of their convenience. However, it’s important to keep the balance between discretion and your desire to make things easy for your guests. For instance, registry links should not be at the top of the page, the first thing people see.
DON’T Overlook Offline Guests
If you know that a certain invited guest is not connected to the web, be sure to send them hard copies of any important information posted on your website.
DO Make Good Use of Your Website AFTER the Wedding
Post pictures from your wedding and honeymoon along with any anecdotes you care to share and most important, a heartfelt thank you to everyone involved.
When you’re all finished, we’d love to see what you created, drop us a line in the comments and show off your virtual victories!
The Wonderstruck Gals