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WEDDING WEBSITES

Wedding websites are now extremely common among engaged couples, and many will include a text directive to the website on their save-the-dates. 

 

The beauty of the wedding website is that it is a less formal means of communication than the invitations. Even if the design is cohesive with the rest of your paper suite, you can include information that would typically be inappropriate to put on your invitation card (like registry information), or too lengthy (like a list of the bridal party members).

 

Many couples also like the customization options available when creating a wedding website, such as the ability to share their personal love story, include photographs from their relationship, and even set up a digital guest book for others to leave their well-wishes.

WHAT INFORMATION TO INCLUDE IN YOUR WEDDING WEBSITE

Some couples choose to put lots of information out on their websites, while others only include a few details. As the engagement progresses, you may find yourself coming back to update your website, as you discover more information or details of which your guests should be aware. Here are some common items that couples include on their websites; if you choose to set up a site for your wedding, you can choose which topics are best suited to your relationship and the big day.

 

  • About Us — When it comes to weddings, not every guest will know both the bride and groom. An “about us” page allows you to list the information that guests might like to know, such as where you went to college, what you do for a living, and what you like to do in your spare time. You can also include information about how you and your partner met, and the activities you enjoy doing together.

  • Our Love Story — Often a separate page than “about us,” telling your love story gives guests a glimpse into the relationship: how you met, how your partner swept you off your feet, how you knew that this was The One. You can also include the story of your engagement if you would like to share.

  • A Wedding Countdown — It’s so exciting to see the days tick closer and closer to the big day! Some website templates offer a countdown clock to list how many days until the wedding, or if you are creating your own site, there are widgets you can use to set up your own countdown.

  • Photo Album — You may choose to post photos of you and your partner together, to share your relationship with guests who may not know the two of you as a couple. 

  • The Wedding Party — You’ve asked your attendants to stand up with you because they are important people in your life. You may include a list of all attendants — including bridesmaids, groomsmen, honor attendants, ushers, flower girls, and ring bearers — as well as any friends or family who will be doing readings or have other special roles in the ceremony. You should at least include a line about how you know or are related to each attendant, and if you wish, you can include more information about each person (similar to the “About” page).  

  • Ceremony Information — In addition to listing where the ceremony will take place, you may wish to include information about any religious activities that will take place so guests will feel informed and comfortable. This is a good place to let guests know if they need to cover up their shoulders in the church, if specific head coverings are requested, or if guests will be expected to answer a call-and-response during the ceremony. You may also choose to include Scripture or other selected readings if you’d like. The goal is to make sure your guests will know what is going on and to put them at ease. (Some of this information may also go in the program on the day of the wedding.)

  • Reception Information — Likewise, you want to make sure guests know where the reception will take place, whether it’s at the same place as the ceremony or at a different location. In addition, this page is a good place to let guests know if there will be dancing if alcohol will be available, and what kind of meal, if any, will be served. The latter is especially important if the reception falls during mealtime; guests will want to know if they can expect a cake and punch reception or a full meal.

  • Dress Code — If you don’t include dress code information with your invitation, guests may not know how formal your event will be. Be sure to let them know whether the event is semi-formal, black tie, white tie, or if you have any other specific dress code requests.

  • Directions — For those guests who may not be familiar with the area, you can write directions to the ceremony and reception venues. Be sure to check that mapping websites such as Google Maps and MapQuest take you to the correct location when you type in the address, and if they do not, make sure guests are aware of this so they do not accidentally get lost and miss the celebration.

  • Hotel Accommodations and Nearby Restaurants — Some couples work with local hotels to book a block of rooms for out-of-town guests, while others choose to let guests make their own arrangements. Even if you plan for the latter, provide a list of local hotels and their addresses and phone numbers so guests can book their rooms. If you are reserving a room block, let guests know when they must book their rooms by, and if any special discounts will be offered. Remember that guests may be arriving earlier than the day of, or staying for longer than the wedding weekend, in order to make a vacation of their trip, so it is polite to include a list of nearby restaurants and attractions for their enjoyment as well.

  • Registry information — It is considered bad etiquette to include registry information on your invitations, as it is viewed as asking your guests for gifts. While the same could be argued about listing this information online, it is becoming increasingly common for couples to include links to their registries on their website. The benefit of providing a link to the registry is that, if guests choose to purchase a gift, they can shop online to save time. Increasingly, too, couples are choosing not to register at brick-and-mortar stores, opting instead for registries on Amazon or Honeyfund, a website where guests can contribute to the honeymoon.

  • Honeymoon — You may choose to share where you will be going on your honeymoon trip, whether it will be a full-scale vacation to another country or a nearby mini-moon of only a few days. Guests may wish to provide suggestions of attractions they enjoyed at your chosen locale.

  • Guest Book — Some website templates allow you the option of a digital guestbook so that as invitees view your website, they can leave well wishes and share their excitement for your wedding. It involves a simple comment form box for the guest’s name and response and is not complicated to use. 

  • Contact Information — Finally, include an e-mail address or phone number so guests can contact you if they have any additional questions that were not included on your website.  

 

"I DON'T WANT A WEDDING WEBSITE.
HOW CAN I COMMUNICATE IMPORTANT INFORMATION TO MY GUESTS?"

It is perfectly acceptable if you do not wish to create or maintain a wedding website. Be aware, however, that your guests may have questions about where you are registered, how to get to the ceremony location, what the dress code is and other inquiries. In this case, ensure that the parents of both the bride and groom know the answers to these questions, as guests will be likely to contact them for this information. You may also want to relay this information to the bridal party as well, if you expect that mutual friends will contact them for information.

 

PLACES YOU CAN CREATE A WEBSITE

There are several options for creating a wedding website and more options are being added everyday. Some are free, and are only able to be customized in limited ways — there may be a set number of templates or colors to choose from, or only allow certain styles of widgets for information. You could also choose to purchase a web domain and set up your own fully customized website without the help of a template, if you are design savvy. 

 

You can set up a free website and use a template through The Knot, Wedding Wire and blogging sites like Wordpress and Blogger. In addition, even if you utilize these sites, you can purchase a custom domain name if you do not want one of their standard, often lengthy URLs.  This allows you the benefit of utilizing the site’s templates while having a personalized URL. If you are proficient at web design, you may choose to forgo a template entirely and build your own site from scratch under a custom domain, which would allow you more creativity in the set-up.

 

One of these options may work better for you than others. However you decide to set up your website, the important thing is that your guests will have any information they may need at their fingertips.