Ah, yes the wedding website! When I got married back in 2013, wedding websites were honestly a newer phenomenon. We had a website that didn't have a personalized URL (hello bulky thing to write on my
invitations!), no one knew it existed, and I had to spend hours upon hours trying to figure out what to include in the site.
Lucky for you, in 2020 creating a wedding website is much easier.
What resources are out there?
There are so many different website that provide free or reasonably priced templates that you can choose from. My favorite template websites are Minted, Zola, and TheKnot - but there are so many others! Through these sites you can use a free URL option or you can pay extra to customize your own URL that doesn't include the host's name. A site like this will only take you 20-30 minutes to complete and you can easily edit as you go which I love!
Another avenue to go would be to create your wedding website using a website host platform like Wix or SquareSpace. These sites have some templates started for you but you are mostly on your own to create the site. The benefits here are that it is truly completely customizable! You aren't held into any sort of template or required website sections to choose from.
What to include on the site
Whether you go the template route or the completely custom route, there are a few things I recommend you for sure include. Your guests will thank you!
The physical address of your ceremony and reception.
Are you providing any transportation? If so, include all pick up time and location information. If you are not, include helpful tips like whether or not Uber/Lyft is available in the area. In Colorado, we have a lot of venues that ride share services do not service!
Rough itinerary for the whole day. I don't think it is important to include full schedule details but guests will especially want to know what time the event ends.
Attire that you are requesting but only if it's important to you and specific.
Room block information and the rates associated. Also, if it's vital that your guests book under the room block for transportation or other reasons, be very clear about this here.
Registry information. Do not include registry info on your invitations. The registry information is the number one reason someone will come to your site! If you'd prefer no gifts or you want them to make donations to a charity, make sure you put that in here as well.
Online RSVP and/or deadlines. Your caterer and venue will likely require you to submit final guest counts 2 weeks to a month out from your wedding date so make sure you have RSVPs in at least a month ahead of time. And I hate to say it... but you will 100% be tracking people down who haven't RSVP'd even after this deadline... sorry.
All weekend events. If you're hosting a welcome party the day before or a brunch afterwards, your website is a great place to include this so folks know how to plan. Just make sure it's very clear who is invited to this! If it is only a select group invited (ie. just the bridal party) - do NOT include that on the site!
Your hashtag. I'm a total #weddinghashtag fan. I think this may be going out of style, but I won't be one to let that happen! It's both a great way for you to see guest photos afterwards but also for folks who can't attend to follow along with the action. Plus, as a wedding coordinator I love posting photos using the couple's wedding hashtag - so make sure I know about it too! Fun fact - for my wedding in 2013, I wrote out instructions of how to use hashtags and how to download Instagram. If that doesn't make me feel old, I don't know what does 😏
Things that you don't need to include
I may be standing alone on these points, but to me the simplicity of a website is the most important. You want someone to log on, get the information they need and log off. If you add too much, your important information may get lost in the shuffle. For this reason, here are some things I don't think you need to include.
You don't need to include a list of local attractions or things to do. In the smart phone day and age, most people will search area attractions on their own. Unless you're providing specific things that YOU as a couple like to do and are personalizing it, don't just add a list of things to do for the heck of it.
Unless the venue is difficult to get to, you don't need to include driving instructions or local airports.... again.... 2020.
Song requests. I'm sorry to say that no one uses them and you'll probably forget to even submit this list to your DJ. At your wedding, folks can requests songs (if you agree to that) so do it then instead!
A "guestbook" on your website isn't necessary. It's fun to see your mom say she's excited for you, but she'd probably also tell you that in person a million times before your wedding day too.
A photo album with 3,457 photos of the two of you. Limit it to your top 20 or some great engagement photos that people haven't seen to keep it simple!
Your website is a tool, be sure to use it effectively
If you only get one thing from this post, I hope it is this --
Keep your wedding website simple.
Your website is a tool for your guests to use and it should be clear, concise and easy for everyone to read. In addition, always be updating with new and pertinent information. If anything gets outdated, log on and update it immediately. You never know when your guests will be accessing the site!
Photos by The DeLaCastros