We all remember when people first started making wedding websites several years back. There were those cringeworthy sites made on The Knot that design-wise were barely a step above the LiveJournal blogs of 2002. Thankfully, big strides have been made in the wedding website world because, as it turns out, wedding websites are actually one of the most useful tools you can provide to your guests.
WHY DO YOU NEED A WEDDING WEBSITE?
Let’s be honest, you spend a ton of money on your wedding invitations…and everyone throws theirs out immediately after sending in the RSVP card (okay, just me?). This means all of that important information went out in the recycling bin and now your guests need another way to find out when the welcome dinner starts or whether there is bus transportation. And that’s why the wedding website is so crucial. There your guests will find all relevant details from the weekend schedule to travel and accommodation info to the registry. That means a lot fewer last minute text messages that you’ll have to answer.
WHO SHOULD YOU USE TO BUILD YOUR WEDDING WEBSITE?
I know I’ve touted the benefits of Minted in the wedding process before, but I’m about to do it again. Minted has the most professional looking, easy to use website templates that coordinate with many of their invitations. And, if you’re reading this blog, you’re probably someone who cares whether their entire wedding is cohesive, which means that matching invitation and website is important to you. Minted also makes it super easy to get a custom domain name so there’s no heatherandadam.minted.com or whatever.
Since we haven’t officially selected our invitation, this website is what I’ve selected for now, but i’m sure it’ll change when we send out the invites. Gotta keep everything coordinated.
Also, if you use Minted, spring for the Minted membership because for the $50 annual fee, you get $50 off one wedding related order and 15% off every order. It’s totally worth it.
WHAT INFORMATION NEEDS TO TO BE INCLUDED?
Okay, so once you have your website template selected, what do you need to include? There are a few must-haves for your guests’ benefit, and then a few fun-to-have sections just because why not?
- Travel: You’ll definitely want to have travel information if there are out of town guests coming to the wedding. For us, half the wedding will be coming from Texas, so they aren’t terribly familiar with how to get to Charlottesville, VA. Giving them the information on where to fly into and whether they need a car is essential.
- Accommodations: This is where you’ll include information about the wedding block. Since we don’t have a wedding block, I just included information about where I would recommend to stay in town.
- Explore: For those who are unfamiliar with the area, a list of restaurants and activities that are must-do’s is a wonderful resource to have, especially if they plan on coming into town a bit early.
- Events: Having a schedule of events on the wedding website is super helpful, particularly for those who may have tossed the invitation prematurely. With Minted, and I’m sure other sites as well, it also lets you include an RSVP for events throughout the weekend. I’m a believer in keeping the RSVP card for the wedding, but for the rehearsal dinner, online is fine.
- Registry: You’ll want to include your registry information on your website to make it super easy for your guests – and to avoid them trying to find it by typing your name into a store’s website…and accidentally sending the gift to another couple with similar names.
- Story and photos: This is the fun section that you include just because! Let people know how you met, how you got engaged, include some of your favorite photos – it’s up to you!
HOW SHOULD YOU SPREAD THE WORD?
In an ideal world, your wedding website would be included on your save the date. However, because of the design we chose, there wasn’t any logical place to include that information without paying an additional cost to print on the back, which I wasn’t about to do. I made the executive decision that our wedding was small enough that I could easily just let people know individually about the website, and then it will be included on the back of the invitation along with the weekend schedule.