By Rachel Wilkerson, Lover.ly
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Wedding websites have become more and more common in the past few years. And for good reason! You can easily give your guests the wedding details that are too long or complicated to put on an invitation, and you can quickly get new information out to all of your guests at once if necessary. But once you sit down to actually create your wedding website, you may find yourself unsure of what it you should include and what details you can skip. Here is our advice for what to include on your wedding website.
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1. The location. The first thing guests will want to know is where exactly the wedding and reception will be held and where they should plan to stay. And guests coming from out of town will be worried about things parking and how long it will take them to drive from the ceremony to cocktail hour, so make sure the details are there and easy for non-locals to understand.
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2. The schedule. The time of the wedding events is also important to guests, so a breakdown of when everything starts is great. (Hint: only include the events where everyone is welcome!) If you're expecting a lot of out-of-town guests, a list of favorite restaurants and other things to do in town during downtime is also useful.
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3. Photos. If you had engagement photos taken, this is a great place to display them! But you definitely don't need to go overboard. One of the biggest gripes with wedding websites (and yes, some people dislike them) is the gallery of 500 photos. Pick the best ones from your engagement session, add a couple of your favorite snapshots of you and your fiance, and then move on.
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4. Bridal Party. Even if people know you well, it's possible they won't know anything about your bridal party. And because they are likely to interact with some of these people separately (like when they receive a shower invite from your maid of honor), it is helpful to introduce them with a name, photo, and story of how you know each other on the website.
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5. Backstory. If you're having a big wedding with a lot of extended family, it can be helpful to give some background on the bride and groom. It's entirely likely that distant relatives will know your name, but very little else about you. This is a great opportunity to let them know what you do for a living, what your hobbies are, and what you're like. But if you and your fiance have been dating since high school and everyone attending the wedding knows you both well, you can definitely skip this section.
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6. Registry info. According to most wedding etiquette experts, the website is the only place where it's appropriate to share your registry, and all you really need to include is the name or logo of the stores where you registered. They'll figure it out from there.
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7. Honeymoon info. If you're big travelers or are just excited for your upcoming vacation, it doesn't hurt to include a little info about your honeymoon, but keep it brief. Think a picture of the resort and a couple details: "We're so excited to head to Cancun from May 10th - May 18th!"
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8. What to wear.While you should never dictate your guests' clothing, they will appreciate knowing if there are any weather or venue details they should know about ("San Francisco is chilly this time of year, so pack a pashmina!" or "The ceremony is in a garden, so the bride and bridesmaids will be wearing wedges instead of heels!").
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9. Contact info.How would you like people to get in touch with you if they have questions or concerns? Making it clear on the website can help you stay organized. A lot of couples stay organized by creating a separate email address that is only used for interacting with their vendors, but you could share that email address with your guests too. That way, you won't forget to respond to your cousin who Facebook messages you about whether or not she can bring her children to your wedding.
The most important thing to remember is the website is there as a convenience for your guests. Focus on their needs, and choose a template that's easy to navigate (and, if possible, easy to read on a phone!) rather than just something that looks pretty but is confusing or that lacks the information they'll want most on your big day.
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By Rachel Wilkerson, Lover.ly