Although it may not appear so at first, your wedding website is a very important part of planning a successful wedding: It will be the main source of information for all your wedding guests where they can learn more details about the big day, meet your wedding party, and find answers to any questions they may have.
So, make sure you don’t neglect making a wedding website or leaving it until the last minute of your wedding planning timeline. Keep your wedding guests informed and excited with these dos and don’ts that will help you create a wedding website that does everything it should.
1. Do Collect RSVPs Through your Website
These days, nearly a third of couples are collecting RSVPs through their wedding website. Of course, you should still send formal invitations but guests will love having the ability to tick a box on their phones instead of taking a trip to the post office. This is a great way to keep information organized, and keep you level-headed as well.
2. Don’t Publish your Guest List
If you haven’t started your guest list yet, then you have no idea how tedious it can be to whittle down the people to a reasonable number while still keeping everyone involved in the planning happy. Trust me, you don’t want that drama to extend to a public forum, such as a website where guests can post comments, by publicizing who made the cut and who didn’t.
3. DO Ham it Up
A wedding website is a great way to get some mileage out of your engagement shoot (and a nice excuse to have one in the first place). Your site’s gallery page is the perfect platform for showcasing otherwise wasted “outtakes,” and gets you more bang for your buck. Consider using a photo-based design that allows you to upload your own image as your homepage background.
4. Do be Clear about the Dress Code and Suggested Attire
Whether it’s black tie, black tie optional, formal or casual, your guests will want to be dressed appropriately. The same goes for if you want guests to wear a certain color to any of your parties throughout the weekend.
And if you’re getting married in, say, a vineyard, your guests will appreciate knowing what kind of footwear will be best for the day—or if you’re saying “I do” in a barn in July that doesn’t have the best ventilation, they’ll want to know to wear attire with breathable fabric.
5. Don’t use Acronyms Guests may not Understand
Try to avoid easily confused wedding abbreviations, like MOH for maid of honor (it could be confused with matron of honor), or regional expressions like LIE for the Long Island Expressway.
6. DON’T Share details
DON’T give details on any exclusive events you have planned for the wedding weekend that are only meant for immediate family members and the wedding party.
For example, details about your bachelorette party, rehearsal dinner, or weekend brunch party will only upset your guests or lead them into confusion and awkward, unexpected appearances. However, if there are other wedding-related event, like a welcome happy hour or farewell brunch, that all guests are welcome to attend, be sure to include these in your wedding weekend itinerary.
7. Avoid Sharing Sensitive Information
Often, couples forget that websites are accessible to everyone, so avoid adding personal phone numbers, emails or your residential address unless they’re essential to the wedding day. What you should include: dates, venue locations, parking/transportation info, maps and points of contact!
8. DO Keep your Domain Simple
Prioritize making your domain memorable. Even though a unique URL often makes a strong impression, you don’t want things to get too complicated. Keep domain length at a minimum so it will be easy for guests to recall. Remember that domain names don’t have spaces. Consider re-arranging names or substituting words to avoid back-to-back, repeating letters (i.e. annaplusandy.com NOT annaandandy.com).
Keep in mind that even though your mom is good (maybe even too good) at Facebook, your other older or less tech-savvy relatives will appreciate simplicity. A wedding website should make things easier on everyone. Death to the never-ending email chain!