If the only reason you’re hesitating to make a “wedding website” is because you “don’t know a lot about computers” – don’t worry, it’s not hard. You don’t have to ask your “tech-y friend” for help. Websites like Zola, Wix, and Squarespace are website builders designed for people who don’t really build websites (aka: people like me who really only use the Internet to buy stuff, watch make-up tutorials, and look up “business casual outfits” on Pinterest – if I can do it, so can you!)
Wedding websites are a great way to set up all of your information in a “one stop shop” sort of way – event details, the registry, hotel options for out-of-town guests, etc, etc. You can even include your “love story” or some blurb about the two of you as a couple – but consider that people might quote it back to you for the rest of your lives. “Jamie knew Brad was the one when he agreed to go apple picking on their third date… aww…. are you guys going to go apple picking on your honeymoon? Will there be apple tarts at the wedding?”
You don’t have to include the cutesy stuff if you don’t want to. But if you do, make sure it’s in a separate section from the hard-nosed facts. No one wants to skim through “….and then he took a knee…” when they’re running late to the reception and need to find the address.
Things like : date, time, place, etc should be included front and center. This is the number one reason why people will come to your website – because they either lost their Invite with the information on it, or left it hanging on their refrigerator at home.
Once you’ve made it through the nitty gritty, here’s a list of other things you may consider including on your website as well (because, trust me, people will ask. Including it on your website won’t eliminate the “question” text messages completely, but it may save you from a few.)
- Obviously the details should be first – front and center – as mentioned. DATE, TIME, and PLACE. For ALL EVENTS – this includes ceremony, reception, cocktail hour, anything that you want people to attend.. I’m including this again, because this is actually the most important part of your website. I promise. Even more important than the “how we met” story which – yes, people care about, but really they’re all there for the boring time and place stuff.
- Wedding weekend events and attire. This is where you get to play Sally Cruise Director to your own wedding. If you want everyone to wear black-tie, make sure you explicitly say so. If you want everyone to show up wearing Hawaiian shirts, you can do that too. Whatever you want – you’re making the rules here. Be sure to also include a summary of the weekend’s events (if there are any besides the actual wedding). Sometimes couples like to host a brunch the following day, or a “welcome dinner” the night before if they’re hosting a lot of out-of-town guests (or if it’s a destination wedding). This is the time to provide details of how you expect the weekend to play out.
- Airport and hotel information. This is especially important if you’re doing a destination wedding, or hosting out of town guests. Unless you’re booking flights for everyone, people need to know where they should fly into and which hotels are nearby. (There’s also Google – but honestly, as someone who has had a destination wedding, people will ask you for this. They won’t book anything until you give them something to go off of, so you might as well include it on your website.)
- The registry. People will ask for this too. And yes, even if you’ve already included it on the invitations – people lose the invitations. When my husband and I got married, he literally texted photos of our invitations to his friends because he knew they would lose them. Including a link to your registry on your website will direct people on where to go if they want to put you a gift. That way you won’t end up with 27 photo frames.
- Cutesy stuff. So, how’d you meet? How did he propose? How did she react? When did you both know you’d found “the one”? Include this in a separate section, but if you want to include it – by all means, include it. I enjoy reading about other peoples’ love stories, especially when I know them!
- The wedding party. Similar to how you would list your maid of honor and best man in the ceremony programs, you can also include them on your website! With more space than the small piece of paper you would use as your program, you could also include fun details about how you met or how you’re related, etc.
- Announcements. If you’re doing the “no kids” thing, or the “no phones during the ceremony” thing or any other kind of thing that guests should be aware of – this is the place to include it. No, you’re not going to sound “bitchy”. If you prefer to keep your wedding an adults-only affair, this is the place to specify that it will be “adults-only” (or that you’ve hired a babysitter or have other activities planned to keep the kiddos occupied).
- Specifications on dress code. If you want your guests to stick to “cocktail attire” – it doesn’t hurt to provide a brief description of what you believe that is. Sure, there’s Google. But what fun is that? This is also the place to include any suggestions regarding “what to wear” to your venue (ie: if your venue is outdoors, suggesting that ladies stick to flats and wedges and perhaps bring a sweater, etc.)
- Engagement photos. I wouldn’t go nuts with this – definitely include your favorites, but having too many (like, all 200 that your photographer took that day) could feel like posting nothing but selfies on your Instagram. Include your favorites, because yes, we want to see them – but know when you’re edging into “too-many-selfies syndrome” territory. (For the record, I wanted to include photos BEYOND just our engagement photos. Photos from all of our trips, and our third date, and our first apartment together and…….. and then I realized, honestly, no one is going to care about our love story as much as we do.)
- Your wedding hashtag. This isn’t a necessity, but in 2020 it can sure feel like one. #MarryChristman #FinallyFreeman #MeetTheNelsons If you have a wedding hashtag, include on your website so that people know what to tag when they’re posting pictures from your wedding – that way all of the photos from that night can be in one spot!
**Things NOT to include on your wedding website**
- Exclusive events. Anything meant for only your bridal party or your close family (basically any wedding event that THE WHOLE WEDDING isn’t invited to) don’t include details on your website. Grandma doesn’t need to know that your Bachelorette party will be starting at Magic Mike’s Strip Club on Saturday at 8pm (unless Grandma’s invited).
- Inappropriate photos or anecdotes. Mom and Dad are going to see this website, and probably send it to all of their friends that they’ve invited to the wedding. Not one of them wants to see that photo of the two of you from freshman year when you were drunk and did a keg stand.
- Your personal journal entries. It’s a wedding website, not your Xanga page from 7th grade. We all know that wedding planning can stressful, but this isn’t the place to air out your dirty laundry. No one needs to know that you and your fiancé have been arguing more often because of the wedding stress, or that you’re mad because your mom keeps trying to get you to invite her old co-workers. Leave your personal thoughts and feelings in a notebook hidden somewhere in your sock drawer.
How to spread the word about your wedding website:
- Include it on the invitations. All of the invitations. The bridal shower invites, the wedding invites, the Save The Date cards – basically anything you’re sending out to people in reference to the wedding.
- Don’t post a link to it in your Facebook status, unless ALL of your 600+ Facebook friends are invited to the wedding. This is an exclusive website for exclusively invited guests to your exclusive event. We don’t need your ex-boyfriend showing up to crash because he found the details on your website.
Written by Jennifer Kosatka of Chicago, IL. Jennifer is a contributing Vow, Bella bride who was married October of 2019. She lives in the Chicago suburbs with her husband and their two puppies. Follow her on Twitter at @JennKosatka.