In the process of wedding planning, you’ll need to inform your guests of many important details. Not only will they need to know the wedding date, time and venue, but they may require accommodation details, directions, gift ideas, and much more. A wedding website is an excellent way of sharing this information.
Prior to the internet, the only way of getting details out to your invitees was to send a huge wedding invitation suite containing a multitude of inserts (such as a reception card and an accommodation card). Wedding invitation suites are still used today, but they can be expensive to print and post. And if you change your plans, you’ll have to contact each guest directly to tell them - or send out a correction, such as a change the date card.
Creating a wedding website is the modern solution to these problems. You can easily share information with your guests, and add and edit details whenever you like. Your guests can find out whatever they need to know about your big day instantly, and even send their RSVP electronically.
How Do You Make a Wedding Website?
Wedding websites usually consist of a homepage and a navigational menu, pointing wedding guests to the various details they might need to access. For example, you might have a page for your gift list, and another page containing travel details (such as local bus routes and car parks).
There are four main ways to make a wedding website. Let’s take a look at each one.
1. Use a Wedding Website Service
The easiest and most popular way of creating a wedding website is to use a wedding website service. You sign up, input all of your details, and they’ll guide you through creating a wedding website. You’ll get to pick from various design templates, so you can choose the way the site looks.
Because these services are specifically for wedding websites, many of them include features such as guest list integration (so you can keep track of your RSVPs). Some of them allow you to buy wedding stationery that matches with your site theme, too.
Many wedding website services are completely free, while others charge a one-time or subscription fee to use. Some of the best wedding website services include With Joy, Minted, Gettin’ Hitched and Zankyou.
2. Use a Website Builder
You can alternatively use a generic website builder, such as Wix or SquareSpace, to make a wedding website. As with a wedding website service, you can customise the way your site looks using templates, and you’ll be guided through the process of making your site. But you’ll have a little more freedom than you would with a dedicated wedding website builder.
Again, some website builders are free, whereas some charge a fee to use. Others offer both free and subscription services depending on your needs.
3. Make Your Own Site from Scratch
If you are an advanced tech user, you might prefer to forego website builders and instead create a site from scratch. To build your own site, you’ll need to:
● Buy a domain name (website address)
● Hire a web hosting service (the company that stores your site’s information on its servers)
● Design your website using a platform like WordPress or code it yourself using HTML
Building a site from scratch costs money, and takes a lot of time and effort. As you’ll be busy with wedding planning, we’d always recommend using a website builder unless you’re already experienced with building websites.
4. Hire a Web Developer
Provided you have a large enough wedding budget, another option is to hire a web developer to build a site for you. They’ll take care of absolutely everything, from hosting the site and buying the domain name, to designing the site and filling it with content.
Of course, this is the most expensive option. You’ll usually have to pay the designer by the hour, and the hourly rate can vary from £20 - £75. However, it requires very little effort from you, and you’ll have a completely bespoke and unique site. If you’ve hired a wedding planner, they can even liaise with the web designer so you don’t have to.
Why Do You Need a Wedding Website?
Wedding websites are one of the most useful and innovative wedding inventions of the 21st century. They’re an easy, cheap and intuitive way of getting large amounts of important information across to your guests.
Instead of forking out for half a dozen different pieces of stationery in a traditional invitation suite, you can instead rely on the magic of the internet. You can use your site to inform your guests about the dress code, your gift registry information, travel and accommodation details, directions to the venue, and much more.
There are five main benefits to having a wedding website.
1. It Can Save You Money
There’s a lot of information that goes into a traditional wedding invitation suite. Your guests will need an itinerary for the day, directions to the venue, as well as miscellaneous bits and pieces like accommodation details and the dress code.
Having a wedding website means that you can put all of that information online, instead of on paper. You can simply send your guests a standard flat or folded wedding invitation containing a link to your website. This will save you money - not only on having hundreds of inserts printed, but also on postage (invitation suites are usually quite thick, and require ‘large letter’ stamps).
2. You’ll Have More Time
A wedding website can hold much more data than a standard wedding invitation. This means that your guests won’t need to contact you to find something out, as they usually would.
For example, wedding etiquette dictates that you’re never supposed to put your gift list on the invitation itself. Normally, guests would have to approach you directly to ask for this information. Having a wedding website will save you time, as your guests can simply go there instead of badgering you with calls and texts.
3. Your Guests Will Be Better Prepared
Weddings can be stressful for guests, as well as for the bride and groom. A wedding website is enormously helpful for guests who like to be organised and well prepared for big events. If they have any questions about your big day, they’ll have a place they can go to instantly find the information they need.
For example: “I wonder what the dress code is? Will the bar accept credit cards, or is it cash only? Is there on-site parking? How long will the evening reception go on for?” You can include all this information (and more) on your site. It’s a bit like giving your guests a cheat sheet. And if they need to get in touch with you, all of your contact info will be on the site, too.
4. Guests Have an Easy Way to RSVP
You’ll need your wedding guests to RSVP at least a few weeks before your big day, in order to give your caterer and venue the final head-count. When you send your wedding invitations, you’ll include a response card along with a deadline by which to reply.
You can guarantee that some guests won’t send their reply card back in time. It happens with every single wedding. Some guests forget to post the response card, others lose it, and some simply fail to find the time.
But if you have a wedding website, you can embed a RSVP form into the site which guests can fill out and send electronically. Giving your guests multiple ways to RSVP will make it less likely that they’ll neglect to do it on time.
5. You Can Add Last-Minute Information
In the lead up to your wedding, you might need to inform your guests of new details about the big day. For example, you might need to recommend some alternative hotels if the ones closest to your venue become fully booked. You might need to adjust the start times of the ceremony or reception. You might even realise you’ve forgotten to include some details on your wedding invitations (such as info about parking).
If you had just sent postal invitations, you’d have to call each and every one of your guests to update them with this new info. But if you have a wedding website, you can update it at any time right up until your big day. This will keep all of your guests in the loop and give you an easy way to communicate with them.
What About Less Tech-Savvy Guests?
At this point, you might be thinking: “a wedding website sounds great, but what about my older and less tech-savvy guests?” If your granddad or great aunt hasn’t got a computer and won’t be able to access your website, what do you do?
Wedding websites are fantastically useful, but they’re really best suited for younger and more technologically able guests. That means that if the majority of your guests are comfortable using PCs and smartphones, they’re a great idea. But if you have a high number of older guests (or younger guests that don’t use technology, for whatever reason), they might not feel the benefit.
The best solution is to set up a wedding website but to post paper invitations as well, just in case. Send basic invitations (with a link to your website) to the majority of your invitees. But for those that you know don’t use the internet, you can pad out their invitations with wedding note cards containing all the extra details. This way, you’ll still save money, because you won’t have to include these inserts for every single guest.