What to Include in your WED-SITE
When ever we are asked what do we include in our wedding website to actually make it useful we always answer, anything that you don't want to be asked on the day of the wedding.
First of all, you will want to make your wedding website attractive to visitors. Squarespace can help you make a really pretty one. The truth is, your wedding website is really about conveying information to your guests in order to help them have a good time. Because the number one rule for having a really fun wedding is making sure people know what to expect. Sometimes when you’re in the middle of a big project (like, say a wedding), it’s easy to fall into the familiar trap of thinking ALL the information is important. Which leads to glassy eyes glazed over your wedding website, missing all the good stuff. So before you fall down the rabbit hole, think of your wedding website like this:
IT’S REALLY ALL FOR YOU.
A wedding website is a quick way to let your guests know the important details about your wedding, where it is, and when, so that they don’t have to come to you to ask for directions to the reception when they lose the invitation. Just don’t confuse informing with instructing. Informing means that you are giving people all the important details they need to make an informed decision about how to approach your wedding, for example the grass is going to be like quicksand, so it might not be friendly for stilettos and other high heeled shoes. Instructing is telling people how they should approach your wedding, for example we’re getting married outdoors, so no fancy shoes permitted. No matter how nicely you phrase it, or how helpful your intentions are, no one likes to be told what to do, especially your older guests who have been going to weddings for longer than you’ve been alive. Consider your wedding website the one place where you ban bossiness and encourage helpful information instead. We really like the ones on The Knot and Wedding Wire as well. They are free and easy to use.
After all, the predominant section most of your guests will visit is your registry page. So while your wedding website is about conveying information to your guests, just know it’s really for you and your partner. So before you go crazy trying to design the world’s most interesting wedding website, make sure you actually care about having the world’s most interesting wedding website in the first place. If you just need a creative outlet or a cool project that combines your witty writing style and fab design skills, go for it! If it’s just another chore to cross off the list, you can still have a wedding website, but give yourself permission to try just a little less hard on it. We also suggest checking out Minted as well as Wix for your wedding website. These are also free and easy to use.
2. LET PEOPLE KNOW WHAT TO EXPECT
While you don’t need to tell people how to enjoy your wedding, you do want to let your guests know if anything at your wedding is going to be out of the ordinary. Will your ceremony be an hour of standing room only? Let people know. Will the reception feature a cash bar? Let them know. There is nothing worse than showing up to a party and feeling you missed an important memo or realized you left your much needed cash at home. If there are aspects of your wedding that require a little more explanation, this is the best place to elaborate. eWedding also has some lovely offerings at a price (free) that you will love!
3. YOUR BIO AND “HOW WE MET” ARE ACTUALLY HELPFUL
Many people feel that putting in the time and effort on their “About” pages are a waste of time. So while it probably feels redundant to tell your guests about yourselves, especially if you are not having a lot or any plus ones, even the people who know you personally will be coming to the wedding with differing levels of knowledge about you and your relationship. Now is the time to get everyone up to speed. For example, I went to a family wedding where I only knew the groom, and desperately wished I knew more about the person he was marrying, because now I really want to become friends. Over the course of the wedding, I found out that their “How We Met” story was particularly sweet, and I wished I’d taken the time to learn more about them as a couple before going to the wedding. Now, if the idea of writing about yourselves feels particularly torturous, you have our permission to have someone else write your bio for you. Your partner is a good place to start. And that said, we can't forget to mention a wedding website with Zola as a potential place to reveal your love story!
4. YOUR WEDDING PARTY DOESN’T REALLY NEED THEIR OWN PAGE
While it can be nice to honor your wedding party on your wedding website, it may make some of your guests who wished they were in the bridal party feel left out. So feel free to eliminate this page and instead honor your wedding party in real time at the wedding itself. The same goes for including wedding party exclusive events on the wedding website. If you need a place to convey information to about showers and other invite-only events to your wedding party, or any other special guests for that matter, keep those pages password protected to avoid any hurt feelings or simply send out an Evite.
5. WHEN IT COMES TO REGISTRIES, LESS IS MORE
Registries blur the line between informing and instructing so you need to be careful here. Most people are visiting to your wedding website exclusively for your registry information, and etiquette says that a wedding website is one of the few official modes of wedding communication where it’s okay to include registry information. (Formal etiquette says you can’t tell people about your registry ever, but that is really no longer realistic. Inside the invitations, for example, is still generally still discouraged.) Your guests truly appreciate you if you just embed a link to your registry right in the page. That said, if you’ve opted against a wedding registry, or are hoping for cash (it’s okay, we’ve all been there), less may be more when it comes to telling people. Please keep in mind, asking directly for cash on your wedding website might not always actually be the most effective way to… get cash.
It’s easy to over-explain your registry choice, but please know you don’t have to. This isn’t your wedding guests’ first time as a wedding guest. They will be able to fill in any gaps just fine, and if they can’t, they will simply ask someone who has been to a wedding before to find out how to proceed. Just give everyone the minimum information required to make a decision about what to get you, and trust that they will sorted it all out.
6. RÉPONDEZ S’IL VOUS PLAÎT
Most wedding websites come with RSVP software. USE. IT. Seriously. Tracking down RSVPs is a royal pain in the ass, so help your guests help you by giving them multiple points of entry to the RSVP. You can still do traditional paper RSVPs and use the online RSVP as a backup for your slacker friends who can’t ever seem to get to a mailbox. You will thank yourself later when you’re only making a handful of “Are you definitely coming?” phone calls the month of the wedding, instead of a few dozen.
7. DON’T FORGET ABOUT LOGISTICS
Remember what I said above about making sure that you’re creating your wedding website because it’s something you want to do? Well that’s because, for the most part, people are really just going to use your wedding website to figure out the following:
How to get to the ceremony
What time it starts
What gift to get you
A rough idea of what to wear
If it’s a cash bar
Please make sure to include the above information in a clear, easy-to-identify place so that you don’t end up fielding phone thousands of phone calls, texts, snapchats and emails from guests the day before your wedding, asking where and when the ceremony is going to be and what they should wear.
So, what kind of information do you think is important to include in a wedding website? What do you look for as a guest?