Staying in touch with your wedding guests is important. You want to make sure they all have access to up-to-date information about your big day. It’s also important to make sure they can reach you easily. Putting them in touch with your gift registry is a concern as well.
To achieve all this, many couples build a wedding website. Others hesitate because they assume that it’s very time-consuming and expensive to do so. You’re already overwhelmed by wedding preparations, so do you really need another thing to worry about?
The good news is that wedding websites are very easy to build, even if you have no experience with creating blogs or websites of any kind. Here’s an even better piece of news: you can build a site for free, and even the premium options can often fit into $20-$30. Considering that wedding-related services tend to be way overpriced, working on your website will feel like a breath of fresh air.
What exactly do you need to do to create the wedding website of your dreams? Let’s look at the most important aspects.
Here is a brief list of what every wedding website has to achieve.
- Give detailed information about the location of the wedding.
- Provide the guests with a timeline of wedding-related events.
- Make sure your guests are aware of last-minute changes.
- Introduce both halves of the couple.
- Link people to your gift registry, if you have one.
- List contact details for you and your future spouse.
Many wedding website tools offer a wide selection of functions beyond these basic elements. For example, some tools give you a chance to keep a wedding-related blog. You may be able to use your wedding site to stay on top of your guest list or manage your wedding budget. Sending out matching digital wedding invites is an option too.
Here is how you can make a classy, informative wedding website in 10 simple steps.
1. Choose a Wedding Website Service
To make your dream website a reality, you need to use a wedding site building tool. There is a wide variety of options to choose from. Remember that the right website building service will depend on your needs and your taste. There’s no single good answer, so it’s worth taking some time to look through your options.
Here are some well-known and free options that might work for you and your spouse. They also come with reasonably priced premium options.
Wix is a free website builder tool. It’s not wedding-specific but it’s a great fit for newlyweds. If you’re looking for something simple and intuitive, this might be the best option for you. However, Wix doesn’t give you wedding-related extra features, such as wedding budget management.
We recommend Minted for couples looking for unique and elaborate designs. It’s easy to search through the templates and find the best style for you. Additionally, this tool gives you the option to send out invitations that match the layout of your website. One downside here is that there aren’t many customization options.
Now let’s consider an option created specifically for wedding websites. Joy offers beautiful romantic templates and some wedding-specific functions like a countdown. You can use it to send a broadcast announcement to all your guests. However, this tool only offers one layout, so it’s not the best choice for couples who want to experiment with the design of their site.
Wedding Wire is a company that provides various tools that can help you plan your big day. You can use the site to find venues, organize your guest list, and keep everything running smoothly. The website building feature is simple and versatile. However, if gorgeous templates are your first priority, you might find this website limiting.
The Knot is an important source of information for brides-to-be, so you might be familiar with them already. Its wedding website building tool doesn’t disappoint. While it’s less intuitive to use than some of its competitors, the end results look impressive. You have a number of wedding planner features included, such as RSVP tracking.
Many wedding website tools are free to use, but some come with premium options that are worth investing in. You can easily stay under $50 without compromising the quality of your website.
3. Decide How Long You Want the Site to Last
Your wedding site can stay up for a few months or a year. Some couples prefer wedding websites that will stay up forever. If you want a site that will act as a permanent keepsake, you may have to pay extra.
4. Optionally, Choose a Custom Domain Name
Most wedding website services give you the option to select a domain name of your own for an extra fee. This is a useful option as it makes it easier for your guests to enter the URL.
5. Select a Template
Assuming you’ve opted for a high-quality wedding website builder, you have hundreds of templates to choose from.
Going through templates is a lot of fun but you might find it overwhelming after a while. It’s a good idea to choose a template that fits your color scheme. Your website should give your guests an idea of what kind of event they can expect. If you’re planning a themed wedding, match the layout to your theme. It’s usually possible to upload photos and customize the look of your site.
Some wedding planner services include invitations along with wedding websites. In these cases, we recommend matching the look of your website with the invitation.
6. Explain the Time and Date of Your Wedding
This is your chance to give detailed explanations and make the logistics as smooth as possible. Make use of Google Maps and take the time to write down detailed instructions about how to get to the venue. In addition to posting the time and date of the big date, you should set up a timeline.
7. Present Your Love Story
Some of your guests haven’t met your future spouse yet. There might be people attending that you’ve never met in person. Your wedding website gives everyone a chance to learn the basics about both sides of the couple.
Don’t just list the milestones of your relationship. Instead, you want to tell a coherent story, starting from the moment the two of you met. Include anecdotes and don’t hesitate to get a little sappy.
8. Include Useful Links
Linking to your gift registry is a good idea. You can also link to other online discussions of your wedding and include easy ways for the guests to contact you.
9. Make Your Website Interactive
Depending on the tools you have at your disposal, you can make it easy for your guests to provide feedback. For example, you can use your site to get input about the wedding menu. Riley & Grey is a high-end wedding website service that allows your guests to curate the playlist.
10. Explore the Other Options Provided by Your Wedding Website Service
Wedding websites aren’t just a platform where you can give information. They can also help you save time and money on the planning process.
Take guest list management for example. A recent study found that managing the guest list is the most challenging part of wedding planning for British newlyweds.
Some tools give you the option to manage your guest list and stay on top of RSVPs. If your guests are fairly young, you might want to skip the paper RSVPs and rely on your wedding website to keep track of who is attending.
How popular are wedding sites really?
During the 2010s, online wedding planning took off at a lightning pace. Wedding apps and online tools became an important part of the planning process.
According to Wedding Wire’s annual Newlywed Report, 83% of couples used online tools to plan their wedding in 2018. Around half of this planning happens on a desktop, and the other half is done on phones and tablets.
Let’s look at how the internet affects modern wedding planning.
The First Announcement Tends to Happen Online
Wedding announcements are the first step towards your big day. 86% of people in the US use social media to inform their friends and family that they’re tying the knot. Three out of four announcements get posted to Facebook, though Instagram and Twitter are also popular options.
Digital Invitations Are a Hot-Button Issue
There’s currently a lot of controversy about electronic invitations. The upside is that you save money and you can help the environment by keeping it all digital. But there’s a significant downside too.
Some of your guests might not check their emails regularly, and there’s always a chance you have outdated contact information. Additionally, some invitees might feel that getting an email isn’t serious enough for the occasion.
However, it’s convenient and appropriate to send save-the-dates online. More than one in three couples went for this option in 2018.
Finally, let’s look at the prevalence of wedding sites in the US. 62% of couples getting married in 2018 used a wedding website.
Interestingly, wedding sites are more popular than wedding planning apps. Only 52% of couples used an app.
Around 54% of couples turned to special Twitter hashtags to set up a community discussion of the wedding. This is a good option to choose alongside your wedding website because it’s an easy way to keep people up to date. Group chat is far less widespread, only 19% of newlyweds have started a group for discussing the upcoming wedding.
Wedding websites are by far the most popular way to plan your wedding. And the popularity is on the rise, especially among young newlyweds, and this trend is likely to continue.
Since wedding websites are still a relatively new invention, there aren’t any entrenched traditions for you to worry about. You and your spouse can follow your own taste and instincts when it comes to designing the website. This is supposed to be an expression of who you are as a couple, so you shouldn’t overthink it.
However, there are a few simple rules you should keep in mind. The following will help you make a useful website where everyone feels welcome.
1. Keep the Guest’s Needs in Mind
When you’re explaining where to find the venue, don’t forget about guests from different cities. Don’t just rely on well-known local landmarks, but rather give a detailed explanation anyone can follow. It’s extremely important to include a map.
If you’re planning a remote wedding, or you have a lot of guests flying in to see you, consider adding general advice about the area (e.g. nearby hotels, attractions, etc.). Additionally, you can mention places that are important to you and your future spouse. For example, why not recommend the restaurant where the proposal happened?
2. Try to Be Concise
Describing your love story is the most exciting part of building a website of your own. The site’s visitors want to know how it happened and they love reading about your memories. Feel free to include a few funny and touching moments from your courtship.
However, it’s better to stay away from long tangents. Short, well-written accounts are a lot more engaging than rambling reminiscing. Why not ask a friend to read your About section before you post it? Find someone who will give you an unbiased, honest opinion.
3. Keep the In-Jokes to a Minimum
Your wedding website provides a great opportunity to break the ice. Anyone who visits it will feel closer to you and your spouse. This will make interactions at the reception feel a lot less stilted.
But this means that it’s better to cut back on in-jokes, odd endearments, and stories that are only funny to people who were there. Although you absolutely don’t have to make your website sober and formal, you should try to be as considerate as possible.
4. Photos and Videos Are Great – in Moderation
There are newlyweds who prefer to keep their site as simple as possible. They choose a lovely, minimalist theme, they provide concise text information. In these cases, the website serves as a sort of brochure or an extended invitation.
But many others make use of the multimedia options provided by most services. You could upload your engagement photos or professionally edited engagement videos. Remember that the best wedding sites are interactive, and photos are a great way to immerse your audience.
At the same time, the rule about staying concise applies here too. You don’t want to bore your guests with too many pictures, especially if you’ve already made the photos available on Facebook or Instagram. There might be a limit on how many photos you can upload, so go through a rigorous selection process before you start.
5. Make It Easy for Your Guests to Access the Site
It’s a great idea to password-protect your wedding website. After all, you don’t want people stumbling across your site just because they Googled your name. If you and your future spouse value your privacy, feel free to make use of this option. A password can help you avoid party crashers and unpleasant misunderstandings.
On the other hand, you want to make it as easy as possible to use the wedding website. Some wedding site tools require your guests to download an app before they can view your content.
Appy Couple is one example of such tools. If all of your guests are young and tech-savvy, they probably won’t mind downloading an app for you, as these downloads are free for the guests. But there may be people on your guest list who aren’t comfortable with using an app. We recommend sticking to websites anyone can reach.
6. This Is the Right Place to Mention the Registry
You should never mention the wedding registry on the invitations. Even though your guests want to know what kind of gifts you’re looking for, including this information on the invites or the enclosures is a glaring faux pas.
This is where wedding websites come in. Mention your wedding website on the enclosures, along with other pertinent information. When your guests enter the URL, they’ll find a discreet link to the registry.
7. Never Talk About Exclusive Events on Your Wedding Website
We left the most important piece of advice for last.
Before and after the wedding, you may decide to hold exclusive events for some of your guests. This includes the rehearsal dinner, bridesmaids’ parties, bridal showers, bachelor/bachelorette party, and even after-wedding brunch.
At first glance, it would make sense to mention these events on the website. However, this would be a gross breach of wedding etiquette. You don’t want any of your guests to feel left out.
So don’t make any announcements on the site and leave these events out of the timeline. Send out exclusive invitations through private messaging instead.
The Final Word
Wedding websites are becoming the standard, and famous couples have them too.
A lovingly prepared wedding website can make the entire planning process easier for you and your guests. It’s a low-cost way to stay connected with everybody. People will have a lot of fun clicking through your content and your registry is guaranteed to get more views too.
But none of this makes wedding websites compulsory. Some couples simply prefer to stay off the grid. If making a wedding website sounds like a chore, just skip it. You can make sure your guests have all the information they need on the invite and the enclosures. As for the registry, you can rely on close friends to get the word out instead.
Remember that all of this is ultimately about you and your spouse. Go with whatever option makes you feel the most comfortable.