A beautifully crafted website should be a snapshot of what to expect from your upcoming wedding. Don’t worry about your experience level with website design, you got this because we got this! The most important thing is to cover your bases by adding key information and make it easy to follow. Now you can save yourself from repeating the same information to all your guests and politely direct them to your PERFECT website!
The first step to choosing a website builder is doing your research on which hosting site will best suit your needs. Luckily, there’s plenty options on the market to choose from! If you are looking for free platforms that easily integrate with registries and guest lists, look at Zola, The Knot, or WeddingWire. If you want one consistent aesthetic adapted from your invitations to your website, Minted will be the place for you. If you’re looking for a wide range of creative freedom, Wix and Squarespace offer more customizable features. Pro-tip: Wix has the slight edge on being more user friendly and ALSO has a free option! Once you sign up on your desired platform of choice, you’ll be given a computer-generated URL. These are totally fine, but sometimes they can be a little long especially if you’re typing it out on your invitations. You can edit the URL and play around with a name that you like best, but beware of availability or confusion if you use your names. You can get the exact web address you want by purchasing your own domain to connect with your site - look at Squarespace or GoDaddy for affordable domain names.
Spill the details on your meet-cute story, your first date, when you knew they were the one, or the proposal. At the end of the day a wedding is really about your special love story, so don’t be shy! Your guests want to read about this. Get creative: write it as a poem, do it from alternating points of view like an interview, or get a “testimonial” from a friend or family member. If you have pictures from your proposal or the first picture you ever took together, be sure to include them!
Create a checklist of things you’ll need confirmed before you can publish your website. For example, you will want:
ALL of the information about your wedding from addresses, to directions, to timelines
Transportation + lodging options; it's a good time to have your hotel blocks done!
Any extra information involving travel like time from the airport or free shuttles available
Crafting a local "to do" list for when wedding activities aren't taking place - We have AUSTIN guests covered, here!
Getting all your information organized beforehand will make the process of building your website a breeze. The more you can cut and paste, the less stress you will feel!
THIS IS A MUST! Guests are going to have a LOT of questions regarding your wedding day; so this is a great way to save yourself the headache of repeating yourself in the future!
Ceremony + reception information; it's important to tell them if it will be strictly indoors or outdoors!
Post-ceremony plan; this is crucial if you have an early church wedding and there is a gap of time before the reception.
Additional wedding activities - rehearsal, welcome parties, post-wedding brunch, etc.
How to notify you if they cant make it
Parking - recommendations, valet, shuttles, etc.
Meal options - how can they inform you of any dietary restrictions or allergies?
Plus ones - are kids welcome, can they bring a date, etc.
Social media information; hashtags, picture sharing apps, etc.
Now the fun part- time to jazz up your website with photos! From the header photo to your gallery page, have fun with your picture selection and showcase your personality as a couple. Pro tip: Make sure your pictures are high quality and don’t lose resolution while viewing the site on mobile phones. If you face any challenges cropping photos in some of the layouts, play around with photo editors to size down images the way you want them. Open your world to the creativity of Canva!
When it comes to digital RSVP’s, you’ll be amazed at the organizational features through most hosting sites. It’s a great way to manage your guest list, meal options, and contact information all in one. And the ease of importing and exporting these spreadsheets will save you time creating seating charts and sending final headcount to your vendors. VistaPrint also has a great option for addresses! Adding cash funds, experiences, or honeymoon funds to your registry are all easily done through your website. Learn about the variety of gift giving options and what processing fees may be included before deciding which route to take. But truly, make the little things count! Put your hashtag on the info page, add individual photos and short bios to accompany the wedding party list, and if it’s a destination wedding, take the time to assemble a fun to-do list. If you’re using your website as a thoughtful way to communicate with guests, go the extra mile with special touches. They don't go unnoticed!
Looking at the same thing over and over can seriously blur your ability to spot a grammatical error or even worse, you could accidentally write the wrong ceremony time - it happens! It’s a good idea to get a fresh set of eyes on the finished product before you publish it. Get your Maid of Honor or Best Man involved by having them proofread the website. Pay extra close attention to numbers; especially addresses and times!
You should be proud of your finished product and show it off! Print the link somewhere in your invitation suite – a great place for this is on a separate details card. Share it on your social media accounts, email it to your guests and wedding party, and make sure it's on your save the dates, as well as invitations. Some couples enjoy making a Facebook group so the guests can also have a communication platform with each other! The easier the name of the link that you create, the easier it will be to share.
Keep things updated as you move along in the process. This is a CRUCIAL step, especially in times of a pandemic. Guests enjoy knowing the updated precautions being taken or travel restrictions. It doesn't HAVE to be all about safety - be sure to add pictures from events leading up to the big day - bachelor/bachelorette parties, bridal showers, or any major life events like adopting a pet or buying a house!
Google Forms are a great way to not only collect names and addresses, but they're a great way to let your guests know that you are happy to cater to their interests. You can always ask for their meal choice, favorite song that gets them on the dance floor, and if they prefer beer/wine/spirits. Letting your guests know that you are putting their presence at a priority will really entice them to not miss the wedding of a lifetime!