Wedding Websites are an increasingly popular way to communicate with your guests. And why not? They’re versatile and accessible. Why follow tradition and hound the Mother of the Bride, Mother of the Groom, or Maid of Honour for details when you can just log in to a wedsite and find the answers there? It’s easier, quicker, and it has the added benefit of not demanding extra energy or labour from women! There are even spouses-to-be who elect to send evites from (or directing you to) their wedsite. While this option isn’t adored by everyone, it’s an extremely eco-friendly alternative to the more mainstream paper invitations sent via post. And when you think about it, isn’t saving the Earth more important than the delicate sensibilities of Etiquette Lawyers?
I’m an absolute fiend when it comes to organization and planning. I’ve been known to compile lists, timelines, and itineraries for fun. I can understand how this trait of mine can be overwhelming… You say “control issues”, I say “determined and detail-oriented”. But in this post, I’m using my gift to help you: If you’re in the process of creating your own wedsite, feel free to use this comprehensive list to make sure you don’t leave any questions unanswered!
It’s worth noting that you don’t have to have every item on this list on your wedding website. This is meant to serve as an “Everything Possible” list… Not an “Everything Necessary” list!
The Four “W’s”. Who (your names), What (your wedding!), Where (the location of the festivities), and When (the date). I wouldn’t include “Why” unless you’re getting married for an especially unusual reason that you’d like to share with your guests.
A Welcome Page. The best welcome pages are clean and easy to navigate. Don’t forget to include password protection!
Your Preferred Contact Information. No matter how thorough your FAQ section is, you’ll probably have someone feel the need to reach out and ask you something. Make sure to include your preferred method of contact- this will minimize the chances of them reaching out in a way you don’t want, or reaching out to someone else who may or may not have the correct answers.
Registry Info (if applicable). I know a lot of people will fight me on this one- putting gift registry information on an invitation is seen as an unforgivable faux pas, so why would you put it on your wedsite? Traditional gift registry etiquette is nonsensical. If you have a registry, then guests will likely want to know where and how they can access it. Putting the information on your wedsite makes it easy to find, which will lead to fewer guests feeling the need to ask you or your parent(s) about it. Don’t have a registry, or just want cash instead? Put a tactful Q&A about it in your FAQ section. Problem solved!
Attire. Let your guests know what the dress code is. Even if there isn’t one, your guests will likely want to know!
How to Get to the Venue(s). This is necessary for anyone travelling from out of town. If applicable, make sure you include public transportation directions or shuttle information.
Room Block Information (if applicable). If you’ve booked a block of rooms anywhere, let your guests know. You’ll want those rooms to be filled, and they’ll want the relevant discount!
What kind of Weather to Expect. This may seem superfluous, but if you’re celebrating any part of your wedding outdoors, it would be wise to give your guests a heads-up if they should bring sunscreen, bug spray, warm clothes, or umbrellas.
Surname Information. Are you keeping your own surnames? Are you a woman with a male partner who’s taking on your surname? Are you hyphenating? Are you doing literally anything other than following the traditional Mr. and Mrs. His-Name format? Including this information will help minimize the chances of someone mistakenly referring to you or your spouse(s) by the wrong name. Admittedly, some people aren’t bothered by this kind of thing. But some are- and that’s valid! For some folks, an ounce of prevention might be worth a pound of correcting someone who calls you by the wrong name on your wedding day.
Any Elements of the Ceremony, Reception, or Event that may be Unfamiliar to Your Guests. Maybe some of your guests will be unfamiliar with what to expect from a polyamorous or LGBTQIA2S+ wedding. Maybe you’re having a religious or spiritual ceremony and some, most, or all of your guests are unfamiliar with the customs you’ll be practicing. Maybe your wedding is combining elements of multiple cultures that your guests don’t all share. The FAQ page is an excellent place for any relevant information or etiquette that your guests may not be aware of!
Whether Your Wedding will be Unplugged or Social Media-Friendly. If you’re having an unplugged wedding, or if you want to encourage your guests to share photos from the event, this is a great place to give them a little notice.
The “Tourism” Section
Accommodation. Where can your guests stay during your wedding? You can include additional information at your discretion, including the general cost, star ratings, and features of different places to stay, as well as their distance from the wedding venue(s).
Food. Where can your guests grab a bite to eat during their visit? What cuisines can they enjoy? How much can your guests expect to pay for breakfast, lunch, or dinner at each of these places? As a bonus, you can include information on the nearest grocery stores for guests who don’t have a lot of money to spend or who prefer to cook for themselves.
What To Do. If you’re inviting anyone from out of town, having a destination wedding, or having a wedding that spans the course of multiple days, it may be helpful to provide your guests with some suggestions for activities in the area. This can include hiking or biking trails, local tourist attractions, neighbourhoods to explore, nearby spas, galleries or museums in the area, and unique experiences they can find nearby. Include anything you can think of!
Engagement Party or Bachelorx/Bachelorette/Bachelor Party Information. If your feelings regarding these parties can be best described as “the more, the merrier”, then your wedsite could be an excellent place to tell your guests about your pre-nuptial events!
Wedding Hashtags. If you got ‘em, flaunt ‘em!
Your Love Story. Be as detailed as you want… and don’t forget the proposal story/stories!
A Photo Gallery. Include all of your favourite photos of you and your significant other(s). If you have the time and inclination, captions or short stories about each photo could be a fun addition!
Wedding Party Biographies. You can include this in any style you like… a brief list of names and roles, short biographies, or photos and “getting to know you”-style questionnaires!
The Wedding Program or Schedule. Plenty of people just include these in pamphlets or cards on the day of. But if you want to include the information online, too, go for it!
Vendor Profiles. If you’re all about brand loyalty or supporting small, local businesses, this is an excellent way to let you guests know who’s providing what. This has an added bonus of giving your recently-engaged friends or family members ideas for their own weddings!
Invitations, RSVPs, Meal Selection, and an Online Guestbook. If you don’t want to deal with stationery, this is an excellent way to have your guests provide you with the information you need for planning purposes. Don’t forget to include dietary restrictions and allergy information with the meal selection!