Balance important information and personal touches to make your website a fun resource for your guests.
Planning a wedding has a lot of moving parts, but getting your wedding website running will accomplish an important aspect of the process – getting information to and communicating with your guests. Wedding websites – sometimes called “wed-sites” – are resources that help your guests stay informed and excited about your big day. Streamlining your wedding details into a website will reduce confusion and help guests make arrangements for your celebrations all while letting them get a glimpse into the theme of your wedding and story as a couple!
Throughout my career in the event planning industry, I’ve seen how communicating with your guests has evolved and how wedding website etiquettes have changed. Below is a list of things I have observed that make your wedding website helpful and fun!
Your website is a resource for your guests so ensure that the basics are covered! These items should be included when the site goes live. Other extra sections can be added later but the basics are the most important to have posted as soon as save-the-dates go out and guests start visiting your site.
Dates & Times List the dates and times of main activities that ALL guests are invited to such as the ceremony and reception. Be sure to include the start time of the ceremony or any pre-ceremony events you want guests to attend. Wedding planning is all in the details but guests don’t need to know all of them. That being said, be sure to only list main events that are open to the entire guest list. Invite-only events such as rehearsal dinners, showers, family-only, or exclusive parties should NOT be listed on the website. This will help reduce confusion.
Location, Location, Location! Be sure to include the address and name of your wedding venue and facilities. Include parking information. Letting guests know of designated or nearby parking lots/garages and associated costs will help them plan ahead. Attaching a Google Maps or Waze link to your venue or posting a picture of the map are helpful to make sure guests go to the correct place. If you can make the map downloadable, even better! Also include information about the closest airport and any public transport they could use to get to your venue. Be especially sure to include specific travel directions if your venue is harder to find or if the GPS locations aren’t accurate and any handicap access considerations.
Lodging Accommodations or hotel room blocks that you have secured for your event should be on your website along with any access or discount codes you may have. Be sure to include deadlines to reserve a room from your block and web links and contact information for the hotel to make it easier for guests to book their hotel.
Shuttle Information If you are arranging a private shuttle or if your lodging block includes one, it is helpful for guests to know times of pick-up and departure and how to arrange using the shuttle (i.e. let the concierge know, call to reserve).
Things to Do. Sometimes the party starts as soon as the guests arrive in town! Help give them ideas on how they could spend their free time. For those guests who arrive early or are planning to stay after your wedding, you can provide a small list of things to do in the area or near the hotel. Points of interest, nearby shopping, and restaurants and coffee shops. Hyperlinking this section will help streamline things.
Tell Your Story & Personal Touches Consider adding a section on your site about yourselves and thanking guests for being part of your lives. Some ideas: a brief description of how you met, the moment you knew they were “the one”, proposal story, or a favorite memory or story that captures you as a couple. These are the special personal touches that resonate with your guests and get them excited about your wedding.
Pictures Tell a Thousand Words Don’t forget to add a few pictures of you and your partner throughout the page. Pictures help break up the website space and complement your information. Guests enjoy seeing funny, memorable, or old photos of the couple (or their kids and pets!). Any engagement photos would be suitable to post as well.
Align Your Website Theme with Your Wedding Scheme As you build your website, I recommend matching the colors, tones, and aesthetic of your website to your wedding save-the-dates and invitations. Avoid having too many tabs or sections. Most wedding website builders have easy-to-use editing features you can play around with to design your page and make it eye-catching. Keep with your theme and try to keep it simple.
Password Protection In this day and age, you can’t be too careful about security. I suggest password protecting your website. This will help keep addresses and agendas private and available to guests only. The access code can be included on the save-the-date.
This is the fun part! Adding touches of your relationship and tidbits about yours and your partner’s personalities will help make your website memorable and engaging for your guests! You don’t have to have the following on your website, but I highly recommend one or two to keep your page sentimental and focused on your big day.
Registry It is more common to not have your registry on your invitation so including the information on your wedding website is the perfect place. Including links to your registries will help direct guests to them for ease of access. Adding a couple of short sentences as to what and why you have opted to do charitable donations or a honeymoon fund will help shift the focus back to you as a couple rather than the idea of gifting.
Dress Code This is a simple way of letting guests know what attire is expected so they can prepare accordingly. It might also be helpful to include general weather conditions, especially if you are having a fall or winter wedding where guests may need to plan for staying warm or for inclement weather.
Wedding Party Introductions Adding pictures or brief bios about your wedding party can help familiarize your guests with the wedding party and break the ice, so to speak. It helps them know who’s who and recognize people when they are at the wedding.
Promote Your Wedding Hashtag If you’ve chosen a hashtag or special filters for your guests to use when posting pictures and videos to social media, you could post the information on your website. This way guests can see it ahead of time and use it for any pre-wedding travel or activities. It also helps let guests know in case they miss seeing signs of your hashtag at your wedding.
Frequently Asked Questions Page This is totally optional! It could be where you can broach trickier subjects and list common questions such as: “Are children allowed?” or “Is it a cash bar?”. If you are inclined to share this information, this style could be an easy way to put the information out there. If you choose this format, be sure to answer questions politely and provide a clear reason. Sprinkling some humor or cleverness to answers adds a touch of fun to this section!
Lots of templates are online, get inspired!
There are a lot of tools online to help you build your site. Do some research on what platform works best for you and fits in your budget. Some popular and free builders are on TheKnot.com, Zola.com, Wix.com, and Minted.com. If you choose Minted.com and are one of my clients, you can get up to 35% off of select services with my discount code! Building your site is one of the early steps of planning your wedding. It can be a lot to think about, but once it’s done, you will have made one big step towards your big day! With a helpful website, your guests are sure to be ready to celebrate the love on your wedding day! Good luck!
XO - Jen