• Wedding Website 101

    Wedding Website 101

    Best practices for creating a site that’s functional and fun.

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When you begin making your wedding planning to-do list, your dress, venue and cake will likely top your list. However, don’t forget about your wedding website. The primary purpose of a wedding website may be a practical one, but it can also be a place where you can showcase your love story and who you are as a couple.

When to Start: Launch your wedding website as soon as you have details to share, likely once you’re engaged and have selected a date. Most couples include their wedding website on their save-the-date announcements, so it’s best to have your website ready before then.

What to Include: Create a website that is rich on big-day logistics in order to provide the ultimate, go-to resource that will be able to serve guests who are seeking info months out, weeks out and just days before the wedding. Among the must-have information: your wedding date; the location of the ceremony and reception along with parking instructions, if need be; as well as the city and airport (if there are options); hotel information (where you have a room block along with the rates and a couple other nearby options for friends who might be more thrifty or spendy). It’s always good to include maps and addresses for specific destinations, too, in case people need them for navigation. Also, consider linking to a PDF that contains all this info, that way less tech-savvy guests can print it out and bring it along for easy reference. Having a FAQ section may also be helpful, as it will allow you to address etiquette issues such as the dress code, bringing children or inviting a plus one.

For those guests who might be coming early or staying a few days after the wedding, it’s wonderful to have a localized itinerary. Consider crafting a little program with links to your favorite restaurants, attractions and perhaps venues or sights that are meaningful to you and your beloved. (Fun ideas might include where you had your first date, your favorite places for sips and sweet and savory delights and other notable experiences you wish for guests to enjoy.)

Regarding your registry, providing vendors with links will help make online shopping a breeze for your guests. If you aren’t registering for gifts, your website is the place to communicate alternatives to the usual, e.g., where you can: say everyone’s presence is the best gift of all, offer people the option to support a charitable cause you hold dear or share that cash gifts will go toward a honeymoon or a house.

Wedding website platforms often offer some type of RSVP service, which is convenient for both you and guests whether your invitation is paper or electronic. Even if your platform doesn’t include this feature, you might consider linking from your site to a simple Google form to help keep track of RSVPs.

All that said, your wedding website doesn’t have to be all business – there’s plenty of room for fun. Feel free to infuse your personality as a couple, showing who you are with photos and telling the story of who you are together in a paragraph or two. With that, one word of warning: Remember that this is the Internet, which means your guests won’t be the only ones with access to your information. Share only as you feel comfortable.

When to End: When to take down your wedding website really depends on you. After the big day, it’s a great place for sharing photos from the wedding and honeymoon. You may also wish to keep your site live for the 365 after the big day for the sake of gift-related info, as traditional etiquette allows up to one year for sending a congratulatory something. That said, do consider the cost of keeping your website up, as some platforms charge a monthly fee.

Where to Create: There are a lot of wedding website platforms out there. Here are a few of the more popular:

The Knot

  • Features: Details, photos and registry pages, along with RSVP tracking
  • Cost: Free or purchase a custom domain name for $19.99 per year

Appy Couple

  • Features: Creates an app for your website; RSVP tracking; photo gallery with editing and sharing
  • Cost: One-time payment of $39 for basic plan or $69 for premium plan

eWedding

  • Features: RSVP notifications via text; interactive relationship timeline; customizable fonts, colors and images
  • Cost: Free or $7 per month for premium

 

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