Weddings are big events that require extensive planning - on your guests’ part, as well as your own. Along with the basic details (such as the date, time, and location) there’s a lot of extra information that your guests will need to know.
For example, what’s the dress code? Is there free parking at the venue? Are the bride and groom registered for gifts anywhere?
In the past, the only way of communicating these little details with your guests was to send huge ‘invitation suites’, stuffed full of inserts. While you can still do this, the modern (and cheaper) alternative is to host a wedding website. This will act as the central ‘hub’ where your guests can find out anything they need to know about your big day.
So, what information do you actually need to include on your wedding website? Here’s a comprehensive list.
First off, the homepage of your website should include all the basic, bare-bones information about your wedding day. This will be the first page that your guests will see when they visit the site.
The wedding date (including the year), location (name and address of the venue), and time that you want your guests to arrive should all feature here. And don’t forget to include the names of the bride and groom - so they don’t forget whose wedding it is!
Directions to the Venue
Include a page containing detailed directions that your guests can follow to find your venue. Your wedding venue may, in fact, have a ‘How to Find Us’ page on their own website - you can copy the directions listed there, if you need inspiration.
To be extra helpful, include a map of the area, for guests who do best with visuals rather than descriptions. Draw a map yourself, or for an easier option, take a screenshot of Google Maps.
Parking and Transport Information
Guests who are driving will need to know where they can park. Find out whether your wedding venue has a car park on-site, and if so, whether or not it’s free to use. If it is a Pay and Display car park, it’s helpful to mention the cost of parking on your website, so that guests can arrive prepared. If there’s no car park at the venue, find the nearest ones and include directions to them.
For guests that will be using public transport, include some information about local bus routes, nearby railway stations, and telephone numbers for a few local taxi companies.
Evening Reception Details
If your evening reception will take place at the same venue as your ceremony, and will follow on immediately after the wedding breakfast, there’s no need to have a separate ‘reception’ page. However, if your guests will need to travel to a different location, you’ll need to provide directions, parking and transport information, and a time for your guests to arrive.
This works best as a dedicated ‘reception details’ page. It’s a good idea to also mention what kind of food (if any) will be served at the reception.
Itinerary for the Day
To help your guests prepare for your big day, include an itinerary or schedule that outlines what will happen at what time. For example:
11:00: Welcome drinks
11:30: Ceremony starts
12:00: Photographs and canapes in the garden
13:00: Wedding breakfast begins
And so on. This will be of enormous use to your guests, particularly those with young children, so that they can plan things like nap times and snacks.
Wedding Breakfast Menu
Include a menu for both your sit-down wedding breakfast meal, and any food you’ll be serving at other times of day (such as canapes and the reception buffet). This is particularly important if you’re offering your guests a choice of food, and will need their pre-order in advance.
Even if you aren’t offering a menu choice, guests with allergies, intolerances or other dietary requirements will need to know what kind of food is being served.
Most weddings have a formal dress code - this means suits and ties for the gentlemen, and gowns for the ladies. But many modern weddings have more relaxed dress codes such as semi-formal or even casual.
To help your guests decide what to wear, include a page with information about your dress code. And don’t just focus on formality: consider practicality too. For example, if any part of your day will take place outdoors, warn your guests to bring a jacket and forego the stilettos.
Let your guests know what kinds of facilities the venue has. For example:
- Baby changing area
- Nursing room
- Creche or dedicated kids’ room
- Accessible bathrooms
- Wheelchair-friendly entrance
- Sheltered smoking area
If there’s anything your venue is lacking - for example, if it isn’t wheelchair-friendly - mention this, so that invitees can make an informed decision as to whether to attend.
A wedding is a great opportunity to let your hair down and have a drink. Your guests will need to know whether drinks will be provided (in the form of an open bar or drink tokens), or whether they’ll need to bring money to buy their own beverages. Don’t forget to state what forms of payment the bar accepts (e.g cash-only).
For destination weddings, or out-of-town guests that will need to travel to your venue, it’s good etiquette to provide some details for a few local hotels. Include the name, address and telephone number for each hotel, as well as a link to their websites and room rates.
If you’re expecting a large number of guests to need hotel rooms, some hotels will allow you to block out 10 or more rooms at a discounted rate for your guests. If you choose to do this, tell your guests to mention your name when booking.
Things to Do in the Area
If you’re having a destination wedding, your guests will be in the area for at least a few days. So, play tour guide and give your guests some tips regarding the local area. You could mention good bars and restaurants nearby, as well as fun places to bring the kids, such as woodlands or beaches.
If you’re marrying abroad, you should also offer advice as to the climate and any other useful information - e.g. will your guests need a visa to travel? Will they need to bring bug spray or get any vaccinations?
Guidance and Rules
This is optional, but if you’re imposing any rules or restrictions on your guests, you’ll need to make them clear. For example: are you having an adult-only (childfree) wedding? If so, your guests will need to know, in no uncertain terms, to leave their kids at home.
Are guests allowed to bring plus ones? Sometimes, it’s not clear on the invitation. Will guests be allowed to use their mobile phones and cameras during your ceremony, or would you prefer an ‘unplugged’ celebration? Your wedding website is the perfect place for these sort of guidelines.
If you’ve got a gift registry at a department store (such as John Lewis), or an online retailer like Amazon, include a link to it on your wedding website. If you aren’t registered anywhere, at least give your guests an idea of the kinds of gifts you’d appreciate.
There’s no shame in admitting you’d prefer cash, or preferring to receive no gifts at all - just make sure your guests know, so that you don’t end up with a dozen towel sets.
RSVP Form and Deadline
Even if you included a physical reply card with your invitations, always give your invitees as many different ways to RSVP as possible. Including a RSVP form on your website will give guests the opportunity to reply digitally, rather than having to walk to the post box.
Make sure to include space for the guests’ names (including their plus-ones), meal choices, and a space for guests to include food allergies or other medical requirements you should be aware of.
Your Contact Details
There’s a strong likelihood that at least one of your guests will have a question that they can’t find an answer to on your wedding website. So, include a ‘contact details’ page with an email address and a phone number for guests to use if they have a query or concern. That way, they have an easy way to get in touch and get their answer!