Though wedding websites now seem like a non-negotiable part of the wedding planning process, the uber-useful tool has actually only been around since the early 2000s. So if you’re not taking advantage of the easy and convenient (and often free!) way to communicate essential wedding day details with your guests, now is the time to change course.
“Very rarely do people go back and look at [a wedding invitation] or remember what they need to do,” says Appy Couple’s Sharmeen Mitha. “That information should be more readily available.”
Meet the Expert
Sharmeen Mitha is the CEO and co-founder of Appy Couple, a wedding website and mobile app platform.
Still, for those who are new to creating a web page, the process can seem a touch intimidating. When should you create the site, and how do you share it with your guests? What information should you include, and how do you organize it all? Read on for answers to these pressing wedding website questions, as well as tips for making your website the best it can be.
Benefits of Having a Wedding Website
Though creating a wedding website does add another line item to your already long wedding to-do list, the benefits of having one far outweigh that con. Here are some of the pros:
- All of your event information will be stored in one place that guests can easily reference for many months ahead of the wedding. So it’s no problem if a guest misplaces their save-the-date or invitation, or needs to access details from their phone while traveling.
- You can digitally collect and manage event RSVPs, meal preferences, and more. (Seriously, who wants to manually enter that information into spreadsheets if they don’t have to?)
- You can ask guests to enter their address when they RSVP, thus making thank you notes a breeze.
- You can quickly and easily update guests should event plans need to change.
- Guests don’t need separate links to your registries, as those details can be added to your wedding website.
Wedding Website FAQs
What information should I include on my wedding website?
When guests attend a wedding, they want to be good guests, Mitha explains. Your wedding website is the place to provide the information they need in order to do just that, without having to bother members of the family or wedding party. At a bare minimum, those details should include:
- Event Itineraries. Include start times, locations, dress codes, and pertinent transportation details for any important wedding weekend events that all guests will be invited to, such as the welcome party, ceremony, reception, and after-party. Keep details about more exclusive wedding-weekend events, such as the rehearsal dinner, off the wedding website and confined only to the invited guests. That way, there’s no confusion about who’s included in what.
- Travel Info. Your destination wedding might bring guests to a part of the world they’re unfamiliar with, so you’ll want to offer suggestions on the best airports to fly into, as well as any recommended transportation, taxi, shuttle, and/or ferry services.
- Accommodations. If you’ve coordinated a hotel block for guests, your wedding website is the perfect place to link to booking.
- Your Registry. Your wedding website is the easiest way for guests to access any gift registries you may have.
- COVID Protocols. While we still deal with the lingering effects of the pandemic, it’s best to be explicit and upfront about any health and safety precautions you’ll be taking with your event.
- RSVPs. An online guest list tracker will likely be more efficient than using mail-in RSVP cards. If you’ll be requesting RSVPs digitally, be sure to include a page on your wedding website.
When should I create my wedding website?
“We see couples creating sites with us the moment they secure their date and venue,” says Mitha. “Our average time out is a minimum of 12 months.” While it is ideal to have your URL live ahead of guests receiving their save-the-dates, don’t feel pressure to have every detail in place at that moment. Most wedding website services allow for constant updates, which means you can add new details as they become available.
How should I share the URL?
Your save-the-date is often the first communication your guests will receive about your wedding. Whether it’s digital or paper, you’ll want to include your wedding website URL so that guests know from the beginning where to head for more information about the event.
Your formal wedding invitation is a logical place to re-share the URL, but there’s no need to clutter up a beautiful design with a clunky link. Instead, Mitha recommends including the website on a separate insert or detail card that’s included in the envelope.
Should I password-protect my site?
Mitha says yes. Your wedding is a private event, and as such the details should be confined to those that will be in attendance. However, if you belong to social or cultural groups in which it is customary for people not invited to the wedding to send gifts, you may not want to make it difficult to pass registry information through the grapevine.
Wedding Website Tips
Opt for the custom URL.
If you do have the option to create a custom URL for your wedding website, it’s often worth the money. A shorter URL, particularly one featuring your names and a ".com" address, will be easier for guests to remember and will fit better in the minimal space available on paper invitations.
Include info that can be used as icebreakers.
“There needs to be a sense of familiarity before a guest gets to a wedding,” says Mitha. “All of your friends are going to know your history, but family members and extended guests may not.” For that reason, it’s often a good idea to include sections that explain how you met, highlight key moments that lead up to the wedding (including your proposal story!), and introduce your wedding party. “These are all great conversation starters for guests,” Mitha adds.
Don’t write too much.
At the same time, you don’t want to go overkill with paragraph after paragraph of minute details. “Putting out too much information can be overwhelming,” says Mitha. “Instead, break info into bite-sized sections that are easily identifiable.”
The tone of your wedding website should be personal, not formal, and the content should come straight from the source. In other words: don’t outsource the job to a relative or wedding planner. (Though you certainly can ask them to proofread before you hit publish!)
Explain unique traditions.
If your wedding will include cultural or religious traditions that one subset of guests may not be familiar with, your wedding website is the perfect place to offer explanations for those traditions, as well as instructions for participating. Though you’ll likely want to repeat the information in day-of materials such as the ceremony program, it’s always helpful to give guests the opportunity to debrief ahead of time.
Make it mobile-friendly.
Almost all wedding website services on the market these days offer mobile-friendly versions of their website templates, and for obvious reasons: people use their phones to access info on the go. By making sure your wedding website is easy to browse on a small screen, you’ll make it easy for guests to get the info they need when they need it during your wedding weekend.
“Notifications and alerts are our number one feature, especially in this COVID world,” says Mitha. If your wedding website service offers this feature, you’ll absolutely want to opt-in. That way, you can quickly and easily disseminate last-minute changes and updates, such as delays in ceremony time or the need to change locations last-minute due to inclement weather.
Take advantage of design suites.
From save-the-dates through thank you cards, the wedding process stretches out several months before and after the main event. Visual cohesion is key to making all the elements feel like they were part of the same event, but thankfully many wedding website services make this easy by offering save-the-dates, invitations, and even thank you cards that match the design of their websites.
Follow up with photos.
If you’re not interested in blasting wedding photos all over your social media accounts, but wouldn’t mind sharing images with those in attendance, your wedding website is a great place to upload images or include links to an album after the fact. That way, those that partook in the event can relive the memories without worrying that those less-than-flattering late-night dance floor pics will leak their way into the general public.