Like every other aspect of your nuptials, choosing to have a wedding website or not should come down to your personal preference. If you’re looking to stay paper free, then a wedding website may be the ideal way to give your guests the information they need, while showcasing some of the design elements of your wedding. But if you’re a couple that loves stationary and can’t wait to feel the joy of finding RSVP cards in your mailbox, then you may not need one.
To help you decide whether you need a wedding website, here’s a look at some of the reasons to do it — and some of the reasons not to. And, if you do choose to go down this route, we’ve also included some wedding website best practices that have helped our clients stay organized and give their guests great experiences.
REASONS TO NOT TO HAVE A WEDDING WEBSITE
Let’s start by talking about some of the reasons for avoiding a wedding website.
For some of my clients, for instance, they’ve chosen not to have a website because of privacy concerns. While most wedding website providers have the option to password protect the site or make it “unfindable” on Google, it can be a little anxiety-inducing to have all the details for your big day on the internet.
Another thing to consider is who you’re inviting. If the majority of your guests are not tech savvy and are likely to have a hard time navigating the site, then it might be more effort to create than it’s worth. Instead, you’ll have to make sure you get all the details your guests need into the invitation suite. A details card or an insert dedicated to available accommodations can be great additions here.
Lastly, wedding websites do take time to put together — particularly if you want to include a unique take on your story as a couple, and share some details about your wedding party. If you won’t have time to think about these elements, or you’re not confident in your writing abilities, then we’d suggest taking this task off your plate. Your invitation can still cover a lot of the bases you need to.
REASONS TO HAVE A WEDDING WEBSITE
In our many years in the industry, we’ve seen all sorts of weddings. Big weddings. Small, intimate affairs. Destination bashes. Through working with all of our wonderful couples, we’ve figured out which situations lend themselves best to having a wedding website. These include:
Destination weddings. If most of your guests are travelling to your wedding, it’s great for them to have a central, easy-to-access repository of information about the wedding itself, any other planned activities, where they can stay, and what they can get up to during their visit.
Weddings with multiple events. For couples that plan to have a welcome party and/or a day-after brunch, a wedding website can be a great tool. This way, guests can check where they need to be, when. And if a pre- or post-wedding event doesn’t fit into your budget, you can also plan a casual “hang” that people can join, and share the time and place on your wedding website.
Streamlined RSVP process. Do you trust that your guests will post their RSVP cards in time? Or that some won’t get lost in the post? A wedding website can help simplify the RSVP process, and give you the opportunity to ask your guests for some other details including food allergies, song requests, and more.
Easy access to the wedding registry. When you send your invite, it’s not proper etiquette to include your wedding registry. However, if you have a wedding website, you can link it to your registry and make it easier for guests to choose a gift for you with just a few clicks.
WHAT TO INCLUDE
To us, your wedding website should ultimately be a reflection of your big day. It’s a chance to start sharing your colour palette and help your guests visualize what the wedding might look like. It should also be a tool that helps make life easy for your friends and family. With that in mind, here are some staples that we recommend our couples include in their site.
- A welcome blurb that has a short story about the couple and how they met. One of our clients took a “he said, she said” approach for their origin story, and having the two versions side by side was delightful.
- Pictures of the couple. If you’ve done an engagement shoot, this can be a great resource.
- The details of each event that’s taking place. This should include the time, place, dress code, and any transportation details, if needed.
- For a destination wedding, we recommend including a list of things to do and places to visit. This can include favourite restaurants, fun activities, and must-see landmarks. We also suggest if you are going to be doing a room block at a hotel to included the details on the site. Even if you are not planning on doing a room block or group rate, it can be helpful to include a few accommodation options to help your guests get started finding a place to stay. If your destination wedding is in a location that’s a little bit challenging to get to, directions, ferry schedules or airport recommendations can also be helpful.
- An RSVP form that asks for any details you need from your guests.
- Optional: a couple of sentences for each member of the wedding party, so that guests can get a sense of who’s joining you at the front of the aisle.
In terms of publishing your wedding website, we recommend that you build out as much as you can before you send your save the dates and be sure to include a link with it on your card. This way, your wedding website can field a lot of the preliminary questions you might get from guests — like where they should stay or whether there’s more than one event they’ll be attending — and that’ll just make life easier for you!
At Alicia Keats Weddings & Events, our complete wedding planning package includes building out a wedding website from a template for our clients — and we love to do it. If you’d like to learn more about what we do, please reach out! We can’t wait to hear from you.