A wedding website is one of the most useful tools you have to help plan your wedding. (And I’m not just saying that because I’m massively biased.)
A wedding website can organise your guests, remind people to RSVP on time, collate everything you need to know in one place, and save you having to answer the same question over and over again. (Are there more beautiful, voice-saving words in the English language than, ‘It’s on the website’?)
We’ve spoken before about how useful they are (so useful) – but what do you need to have on your wedding website to make it useful? What information do your guests need to know?
We’ve put together a list of the 6 things you need to have on your wedding website.
When and where
This one should really go without saying – if you want people to come to your party, you need to tell them when and where it is!
But it’s worth listing here because people often forget how dynamic wedding websites can be. It’s not your paper invitation online – you can add context, give different guests different information, and draw more attention to the important details.
Why not have a countdown to your wedding, showing how many months, days, and hours (or even minutes and seconds!) are left ‘til the big day?
Add a button your guests can click to save your wedding straight to their calendar.
Or get creative with automatic email and SMS notifications and remind your guests when your wedding’s a month, a week, or a day away! (Especially useful if you’re having a destination wedding and you want to make sure they renew their passports and apply for visas in time!)
The venue doesn’t have to be an address listed in plain text. Have an interactive map your guests can drag to see the venue, the car park, and nearby hotels.
Give directions on finding your venue to the people who need it; it might be useful for everyone to see car directions but giving local friends directions from the train or airport they’re just going to scroll past might mean they miss something important.
Your website can change for every guest and update in the lead-up to your wedding – take advantage of the dynamic format and make something unique and easy for each guest!
Hotels in the area
If your guests are travelling to your wedding – and so don’t know the area well – they’ll want to know where they can stay.
They’ll want recommendations. They’ll want to know where you’re staying. They’ll want to know what it costs.
And they’ll ask you.
People often expect the couple to be a walking Wikipedia page about the area they’re getting married in, as if you’ll have answers Google doesn’t.
But you can ward off the inevitable questions with a line or two about nearby hotels on your wedding website. Pop a link to a nearby budget hotel, like Premier Inn, as well as a swankier option like rooms at your venue or a nice B&B, and enjoy not answering the same question fifty times. (A day.)
Timeline of the day
No one expects a wedding to be organised to the minute, but it’s useful for your guests to know the rough times things will be happening, to plan around.
If the day starts at 11am and you’re not serving food until 4pm, parents of young children, people with blood sugar issues, and the perpetually snack-y will know to bring something along – and you won’t have to see any temper tantrums.
A rough outline of the big events – like the arrival time, food, speeches, and first dance – is useful, even if it’s all down with ‘ish’.
You can customise what different guests see, so evening-only guests won’t get mixed signals about what parts of the day they’re expected to be at. And you can make sure they don’t get FOMO, too, by tweaking the wording for them – subtle changes, like showing ‘food’ instead of ‘more food’ for your evening buffet, softens the blow that there’s part of your day they couldn’t be part of.
An editable RSVP
An online RSVP is already invaluable – you sure don’t want to be counting and re-counting and oh I lost track re-counting again who wants what meal, how many children are coming, and who wants to dance The Time Warp. (Everyone. Everyone wants to dance The Time Warp.)
But an editable RSVP, like we do at Gettin’ Hitched Rocks, is even invaluable-r. Your guests can update their answers when something changes – whether their partner managed to get the night off after all, or their kid has developed a sudden, seething hatred of chicken nuggets – they can go onto your website, hit edit, and change their RSVP without needing to ask you about it.
But – to make sure people aren’t changing their menu choices when you’ve already given the final head counts to your caterer – there’s also a cut-off date, after which the RSVPs can’t be edited. Or submitted at all, because the old I-swear-I-put-it-in-the-post-weeks-ago-bloody-Royal-Mail excuse doesn’t work on a website.
This makes a lot of people cringe. But yes. You need a gift registry.
People go all out with expensive presents for weddings. If you don’t have a gift registry on your website, be prepared to answer a lot of questions about what you want, what colours you like, and your favourite thread count.
It’s only a big deal if you make it one. You can have a line explaining that all you want is your friends’ company but, if they do want to get you something, you’re registered at such-and-such. Or that you’d appreciate some money towards your honeymoon or to buy some furniture for your home.
Check out our Problem Pal column on asking for cash without seeming rude for wording examples and ideas.
While you’re listing all these details upfront to avoid your guests asking the same questions, over and over, about your wedding, you do still want them to get in touch if they have a problem!
Put the best email address and phone number for people to contact you on in the run up to your wedding – and give someone else’s details for them to contact on the day itself.
If your guests get lost, suddenly can’t make it, or are stuck down a well, you want to make sure they can alert… someone else.
Give out the details of your wedding planner or the most organised person in your wedding party, to co-ordinate with on the day.
Check out our demo
Check out our wedding website demo to see how your website can change for different guests, can automatically update in the run-up to your wedding, and can keep you whelmed while you plan your wedding. And, if you want more advice and tips on how to plan a stress-free wedding, check out our free email course.