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I have a friend who just got engaged and is planning her wedding on v. short notice (like, 4 months, y’all), so I’ve been helping her as much as I possibly can from a distance (I’m in Texas, she’s in Wyoming). They found a venue, figured out a date, nailed down some other pertinents and she got to designing their e-vites, since she’s a graphic design artist and all.
Upon asking my opinion on her invites, which were gorgeous, I let her know that I felt they looked a little cluttered — they had info regarding kids, dress code, etc. on the invites themselves. Normally, that information would go on an accompanying card or said card would simply have the couple’s “wedsite” URL on there. And, under circumstances where they have more than a couple of months to plan and are also sending out Save the Dates, the wedding website address would be included on those.
But, for this couple, time is short and expediency is of the utmost importance.
I asked where her wedding website was. *Cue crickets* To which I responded:
Save Yourself a Headache and Make a Damn Wedding Website.
Here’s the thing, you guys, it’s true. You will be saving yourself a headache. You WILL be asked ALL OF THE QUESTIONS. And you’re already pouring a lot of time, energy and effort into planning the damn thing, so don’t become your wedding’s PR person, too. Let the Internetz do that for you. Because you don’t want to be the one trying to tell cousin Joe how to get to the venue while you’re trying to get your hair and makeup done, even though he has a smart phone and Google and an Internet browser ON HIS PHONE. (Also: If you’re answering your phone on the day of your wedding, you’re totally breaking one of my cardinal rules.)
There are a holy boatload of options, from pick-a-template-and-fill-in-the-blanks to build-the-whole-thing-from-scratch, and any of them will do juuuuuust fine, regardless of your coding or design skillz. It’s really easy, and I’m going help.
BAB partner Wedding Paper Divas offers free wedding websites — with templates matching their stationery!!! — so I picked one.
And then it asked for the names. For the sake of the Internetz and … well, because I can, I built a wedding website for my cats.
Guys, it’s really super simple to do. The particular platform Wedding Paper Divas uses pretty much walks you through the whole thing, Here are the basics of what is a good idea to include on your wedding website:
1. Intro Page / Greeting
This is the first page you’re prompted to edit. Pretty self-explanatory, but it’s where you’ll want to assure people they’re in the right spot and give them an idea of why they’re there. And give them a Call to Action: Tell them what they’ll get when they click on the buttons. “Have a look at our photo album!”, “Check out our engagement story!” and the like will help the least tech-savvy among your crew figure out how to get the information they’re looking for.
2. Couple Information
For guests who may only know one side of the nearlywed clan, or those distant family friends your mother insisted you invite, this page (or pages) will provide a little back story. Many couples write an “about her,” “about him” and then a blurb about their relationship and how it all began. Another page entirely can be dedicated to the engagement story, or it can live on this page with the rest of y’alls history.
3. The Wedding Party
Give a shoutout to your crew. Show your guests who your main homies are. This serves multiple purposes: It introduces those peeps who will be standing beside you on your wedding day — a position of honor, so it’s nice to let everyone know who they are; and it’s a great way to familiarize the two sides with one another before any big events. Your favorite cousin probably doesn’t know your fiance’s best friend from sleep-away camp, so this is a good chance for them to size up the person they may be walking down the aisle with and break the ice for the initial meeting. Also, throw moms and dads in there. It’s a big day for them, too.
4. Accommodations/Area Information
This may be one of the very most important pages. Hell, you could probably skip the vast majority of the website and just put this information on it and you’ll still save yourself a headache. Left to their own devices, people WILL ASK YOU. So have all of the information they could possibly need about the hotel at the very least available on this page. If you have booked a room block (recommended), put that information here. If there is a special discount for staying at a certain hotel, put that information here. If this hotel has free continental breakfast, put that information here. Include directions, restaurants in the vicinity, shops, attractions, whatever you find awesome about the area so that they can experience it, too. People are people and will do what they want, but if you give them a way to figure out what it is they want, they’ll do it without asking you.
5. Ceremony and Reception Information
This page isn’t included in the template, but it should be. Regardless of the fact that time/place/date were included on your invitation, put it on the website as well. Include both the start time of the ceremony and the reception — the actual start time (please, do not ask your guests to show up early, because they will and it’s not as awesome as it seems). Include the locations for both. If there is a significant time gap between the two, suggest a good bar or activity for the interim.
- Kids/no kids/babysitter
- Dress Code
- Parking or other transit-related information
- Odd policies the venue may have
- If a full meal will be served or if it’s an hors d’oeuvres situation where they may need to eat before or after
This is also a really good place to reinforce whether you’re having an unplugged wedding or to pimp your hashtag.
6. Registry Information
This, right here. This is where you put it. Not on your save the dates. Not on your invitations. Sure, you can include it on a little card with your bridal shower invites or accompanying your save the date, but this is the ideal space for the information regarding your registry. People are super weird about gifts and the couth/uncouthness of them, and it is generally agreed upon that the wedding website is where such information should live.
Anything else is kind of bells and whistles. I mean, really, aside from the marriage license, the officiant and the two of you, it’s all kind of bells and whistles, but we all know that.
If you want a better idea of what it looks like IRL, I really did make a wedding website just for the kittehs, so go check it out! And if you have any questions, please feel free to ask in the comments below!!!