Should you even have a wedding website?
In today’s digital era, many forward-thinking, tech-savvy brides are turning to online tools like wedding websites to help streamline their wedding planning.
But with so many things to organise already in the lead up to your big day, I completely understand why you might be wondering why you would want to add another thing to your already extensive to-do list! Are wedding websites really worth the time and effort?
In my opinion, a wedding website is not essential. My husband and I didn’t have one and we managed just fine. But in hindsight, I think it would have been pretty cool. And, it would have helped streamline communications with our guests about our ‘on again – off again’ date changes during the topsy-turvy lockdown period!
Here are some of the benefits of having a wedding website:
- They help you stay organised by enabling you to send Save the Dates and Invitations digitally, track your RSVPs, and easily collate guest information such as dietary requirements
- They offer easy access to information for both the bridal couple and guests.
- A wedding website assists with communicating additional information such as directions, itineraries (especially if you are planning a destination wedding), accommodation options, activities in the area, gift registries, wedding song suggestions, etc.
- You can easily and swiftly communicate last-minutes changes
- Your wedding website info is always accessible and keeps your info safely housed in one place (i.e. no trying to find those scribbled notes you made during a telco with a guest, or trying to remember if someone send their info via whatsapp, sms or email)
- A wedding website can be a more cost-effective solution than printed invitations.
- If you choose to forego printed invites altogether, you are eliminating paper wastage which is a nice eco-friendly touch for an environmentally conscious couple.
- Your wedding website can be highly personalised and enable you to share a little more of your love story with your guests than you are able to include on an invitation.
If you think that maybe a wedding website is a good idea, the next question you will need answered is what info to put on your ‘wedsite’.
Here are my suggestions of what to include when designing your wedding website:
Key Event Details
Your names, wedding date, time and location should be the first things your guests see when they visit your site.
Schedule of Events
If you are hosting additional events such as a rehearsal dinner, or day-after brunch, add this information and provide times and locations so that your guests know where to be and when.
Wedding Day Timeline
It can be helpful to provide your guests with a guideline so that they know where you want them to be, and when, on your wedding day. If you are running a tight ship and you have a timeline that you would like everyone to observe, you can let your guests know details such as your ceremony start time, when canapes will be happening, and what time you will be serving dinner, hosting speeches or your sparkler exit.
The contact information on your website may be yours if you have chosen to handle queries in the run up to the wedding but it’s a good idea to also add the contact details for another person such as your wedding planner, family member or friend, who can field questions on the day while you are otherwise occupied with… getting married!
Your Love Story
Your wedding website is an opportunity to paint a picture of your love story. Share some fun an intimate details such as how you met, what your love about each other and a little highlights package about how you got engaged. NB! Don’t write an essay – people’s attentions spans are short! Be sure to include some beautiful photographs of the two of you. If you did an engagement photo shoot, now is the time to shine the spotlight on those gorgeous pix.
An optional extra may be to include a write-up on your bridesmaids and groomsmen. Make it fun by including one quirky fact about how your met, or why they mean so much to you. Pop in a photo of them if you have this handy!
Make sure you tell your guests how they need to RSVP and by when.
Kids and Plus Ones
Your wedding website is good place to inform your guests if you are having an Adult-Only celebration, and whether Plus Ones are included. If you are including the small humans, let parents know what is planned in terms of entertainment, catering and so that they understand what plans they need to make for their kids.
Catering & dietary requirements
Take advantage of the ability to collect dietary restrictions from your guests when they RSVP. If it’s not going to spoil any surprises, you can give guests a sneak peek into your menu to whet their appetites!
Whether your celebration is local or you’re having a far-flung destination wedding, there are bound to be some out-of-town guests attending, so be sure to give them the lo-down on travel and accommodation options in the area. You might need to tell them where the nearest airport is, which shuttle services or car rental companies to use, or the best route to get to your ceremony/venue based on the condition of the roads.
Give your guests a heads-up if you are getting married in a location that offers limited accommodation options. Providing guests with contact information or links to the relevant accommodation providers websites will assist them in getting their bookings in place well ahead of time. If you have made a block booking on behalf of your guests, share the booking reference number on the website so that your guests can quote this when they confirm their reservations directly with the hotel, or BnB.
Local Activity Information
Depending on your wedding itinerary, some guests may be arriving early and have some time to spare on your wedding weekend. Why not take the opportunity to recommend some of your favourite local activities for them to enjoy whilst in the area.
Dress code information
Your guests need to know what the dress code is for your wedding so that they can plan and pack accordingly. If you are hosting multiple events, let them know the dress code or each.
Plugged or Unplugged
Do you want to host an unplugged ceremony? Now is your chance to announce this to all your paparazzi friends and family members. You will need to remind them of this via your wedding signage / stationery on the day and probably an announcement from your officiant too! That said, if you welcome a more inclusive ‘plugged in’ experience, use your wedding website to let your guests know what your wedding hashtag is so that they can be sure to reference this on social media!
If you have created a gift registry, your ‘wedsite’ is a handy place to include direct links to your online registries so that guests can easily click through and make a purchase. If, like many modern couples, you don’t have a registry and would prefer guests to contribute towards your honeymoon fund, you can provide some insight into what you plan to do on your honeymoon and what kind of experiences their gift would allow you to enjoy. If you are saving towards a bigger ticket item like a new fridge, bed or special piece of art, invite guests to contribute towards your ‘house fund’. You may want to use your website to request a donation to a charity that is close to your heart, or perhaps to tell your guests you do wish to receive gifts at all.
👉🏻 If you are looking for guidance on how to ask for the gifts you really want, read this blog article entitled How to ask nicely for the gifts you want.
Who can design your wedding website?
If you have decided that you would a wedding website is the right tool for you, but you don’t know where to start with creating one, don’t let this be a source of added stress.