Can you recall the last time you had a disappointing experience that prompted you to share it with the internets? The other day I wrote a review about a restaurant titled "Basic" accompanied by a 2-star review. The manager wasn't happy with the review I wrote and responded emotionally and unbelievably unprofessionally, which further validated my review (he later deleted his response). I'm going somewhere with this, I promise!
I ordered two fish tacos and a small burrito for almost $30. Now I happily paid $15 for three veggie tacos at Blue Plate Taco in Santa Monica but these tacos were VERY far from Blue Plate Taco status.
Here is the thing, if you don't manage expectations, people get upset. This is exactly what your wedding website does; it manages expectations so that everyone involved in the process knows exactly what to expect. This is why I’ll be explaining what a wedding website must have so you avoid being upset on your wedding or avoid your guests getting upset on your wedding day.
But First, Why You Should Create a Wedding Website
Your wedding website should not be an after-thought because it plays a BIG role in creating that enjoyable experience you're investing so much energy into. If you don't want to be upset on your wedding day you need to lay out very clear and concise messaging to make sure you get exactly what you're looking for. Don't want your guests to wear white, tell em. Want to highly encourage ride-share so guests aren't late to your wedding at a venue you chose with terrible parking. Want to make sure your guests don't freeze to death or get three-degree burn standing out in the sun for your cocktail hour. Use your website to tell them how to dress.
“Your wedding website should not be an after-thought because it plays a BIG role in creating that enjoyable experience you're investing so much energy into." Michelle Isabel & Co
Wedding Website for Wedding Planning
Not only do you need to create a wedding website to outline clear communication but you'll find it incredibly useful throughout the planning process. Here is how our team uses wedding websites to help make the planning process easier for everyone.
Collect email addresses so you can readily send updates and helpful information to guests as the wedding day nears especially if it involved inclement weather plans.
Collect the correct physical addresses to make sure you don't get a "return to mailer" notice.
Collect RSVPs that'll automatically be dropped into the excel spreadsheet, which will then be used for the seating chart, for the caterer and for the calligrapher.
To communicate expectations and general information to guests so you’re expectations and theirs are met.
Wedding Website Must-Haves
We design A LOT of websites for our clients. We feel that it's important to manage this process because it takes HOURS and saves our clients so much time. It takes them away from the obsessive tendency to always update it, which only creates confusion for the guests.
While every client is different, especially because we work with a lot of multicultural couples , here is what your wedding website should have:
Welcome - The welcome page is the first opportunity you get to set expectations. Is your wedding day intended to be an elegant night out where your guests are going to have the best day ever? If so, you need to convey that in your design through typography, your colors, your imagery and especially in your context.
About - The about page shares information about the two of you. This is an opportunity to connect with your guests so they can understand how MUCH this day means to you. From the moment your two met to the moment you both said, I Do-- you need to share in that experience with them so they understand what they are celebrating. We all have a unique story to tell but not everyone knows it. If they don't know it, they can't possibly understand how special this day is even if the word wedding is written all over it.
Day-of Details - This is thee most important page. This page has to be in TIP TOP shape containing all the logistics (who, what, when and where) of your wedding day outlined in plain english and translated into a different language if you're planning a multicultural wedding.
Travel - Ah, this is the most helpful page for your guests especially those traveling from abroad and/or making a trip out of your big day. You've gotta think about all that goes into the traveling such as requesting time off from work, researching flights, renting a car, navigating a new city, getting passport ready, etc. Making this as easy as possible for them by outlining their options is so incredibly thoughtful. You'll want to have information about hotels, AirBnbs, ride sharing services, airport information and directions.
Wedding Registry - This is becoming so unpopular so this page is pretty simple and straight forward. If you've got a registry, great, you'll just want to pop the direct link onto the page. The request I've been getting the most lately is for Honeymoon funding. What we've been doing with my clients is adding a Venmo link to the webpage instead of adding a registry. The general consensus is that we already have too many mugs.
RSVP - This is going to be the most helpful to you in the planning process. It's so important to create a form that answers all the questions you'll need so you're not having to research for answers. The RSVP form normally includes:
- Names of their guest, if applicable (if this is 21+ event, you can remind them in a note here)
- Attending/Not Attending checkbox
- Menu selection (includes allergy question)
- Location where they will be staying
- Optional message so they have a space to communicate something more complicated. Like maybe their guest can't attend but they are so that can be done easily in here.
If you're interested in adding other things to your form in an effort to be as efficient as possible, you can look at this guest list spreadsheet we created.
How to share your wedding website
Save the dates are the perfect place to initially share your website. At first there won't be many details. It might just have the date, time and location. The official grand reveal will happen when you send out the invitations. Typically we attach a note card to the invitation called the details card. On the card you'll direct your guests to your website. Most of our clients opt out of the RSVP card and just have guests RSVP online.
Which Wedding Site Should I Use
I absolutely LOVE Squarespace and that's what I use for all my clients because it's highly customizable but still manageable. If you're not really techy I also like WithJoy .
When you're designing your website think of it from a planning perspective. It can make the planning process easier for you if you do it right. It's a powerful tool so you'll want to wield it to your advantage.
The best way to make sure that you're making the most of your wedding website is to consult with an expert. If you need help in this or any capacity relating to your wedding journey, we invite you to have a quick chat with us about how you'd like to partner together. Just fill out the form below and we’ll be in touch shortly.