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What to Include in Your Wedding Website


Short answer: anything that you don't want to be asked on the day of the wedding

by Maddie Eisenhart, Digital Director & Style Editor

What to Include in Your Wedding Website | A Practical Wedding

What to Include in Your Wedding Website | A Practical Wedding

For all that we’ve talked about how to make your wedding website pretty (hint: Squarespace makes super pretty ones), the truth is, your wedding website is really about conveying information to your guests in order to help them have a good time. Because the number one rule for having a fun wedding is making sure people know what to expect. Sometimes when you’re in the middle of a big project (like, say a wedding), it’s easy to fall into the familiar trap of thinking ALL the information is important. Which leads to glassy eyes glazed over your wedding website, missing all the good stuff. So before you fall down the rabbit hole, think of your wedding website like this:

1. It’s All For You, Self

When Meg and I were consulting for this post, she mentioned to me that she’d signed up for analytics on her own wedding website (girlfriend’s been tracking website data since… forever). You know what she found out? Basically the only section anyone visited was the registries page. So while your wedding website is about conveying information to your guests, emotionally it’s really for you and your partner. Which means that before you go crazy trying to design the world’s most interesting wedding website, make sure you actually care about having the world’s most interesting wedding website in the first place. If you want a creative outlet and a cool project that combines your witty writing style and mad design skills, go for it. If it’s just another chore to cross off the list, well, you can still have a wedding website, but give yourself permission to try just a little less hard on it.

What to Include in Your Wedding Website | A Practical Wedding

2. Inform, Don’t Instruct

A wedding website is a quick way to let your guests know the important details about your wedding, like where it is, and when, so that they don’t come and bug you for directions to the reception when they lose the invitation (cough, me). But don’t confuse informing with instructing. Informing means giving people all the important details they need to make an informed decision about how to approach your wedding (e.g., the grass is going to be like quicksand, so it might not be friendly for stilettos and other high heeled shoes). Instructing is telling people how they should approach your wedding (e.g., we’re getting married outdoors, so no fancy shoes allowed). No matter how nicely you phrase it, or how helpful your intentions are, no one likes to be told what to do, especially older guests who have been going to weddings for longer than you’ve been alive. So consider your wedding website the one place where we support #BanBossy, and encourage helpful information instead.

3. Let People Know What To Expect

While you don’t need to tell people how to wedding, you do want to let your guests know if anything at your wedding is going to be out of the ordinary. Will your ceremony be an hour of standing room only? Let people know. Will the reception feature a cash bar? Let ’em know. There’s nothing worse than showing up to a party and feeling you missed an important memo/left your cash at home. If there are aspects of your wedding that require a little more explanation, this is the place to elaborate. Beyond that, some information is more useful than other information (read on to find out exactly what).

What to Include in Your Wedding Website | A Practical Wedding

4. Your Bio and “How We Met” are Actually Helpful

I used to think that the “About” pages on wedding websites were a waste of time. Then I went to a family wedding where I only knew the groom, and desperately wished I knew more about the woman he was marrying, because now I really want to be her friend. Over the course of the wedding, I found out that their “How We Met” story was particularly sweet, and I wished I’d taken the time to learn more about them as a couple before going to the wedding. So while it probably feels redundant to tell your guests about yourselves (especially if you’re not having a lot or any plus ones), even the people who know you personally will be coming to the wedding with differing levels of knowledge about your relationship. So feel free to get everyone up to speed. If the idea of writing about yourselves feels particularly torturous, you have our permission to take a page from Meg’s handbook and have someone else write your bio for you. Your partner is a good place to start.

5. Your Wedding Party Doesn’t Really Need Their Own Page

While it can be nice to honor your wedding party on your wedding website, as a guest, these pages sometimes leave me with that same feeling that “Hot Or Not” lists left me with in middle school. Which is to say, left out. So feel free to ditch this page and instead honor your wedding party in real time at the wedding itself. The same goes for including wedding party exclusive events on the wedding website. If you need a place to convey information to about showers and other invite-only events to your wedding party (or any other special guests for that matter), keep those pages password protected to avoid any hurt feelings.

What to Include in Your Wedding Website | A Practical Wedding

6. When It Comes to Registries, Less is More

Registries blur the line between informing and instructing. If Meg’s analytics prove true, most people are coming to your wedding website exclusively for your registry information, and etiquette says that a wedding website is one of the few official modes of wedding communication where it’s okay to include registry information. (Well, kinda. Formal etiquette says you can’t tell people about your registry ever, but that’s no longer realistic. But inside the invitations, for example, is still generally still discouraged. Do with that what you will.) Your guests will thank you if you just embed a link to your registry right in the page (which you can do with Squarespace, in case you were wondering). That said, if you’ve opted against a wedding registry, or are hoping for cash (it’s okay, you can say it here), less may be more when it comes to telling people. (Know your crowd. But the direct ask online might not always actually be the most effective way to… get cash.)

It’s easy to over-explain your registry choice, but you don’t have to. This isn’t your wedding guests’ first time at the rodeo. They’ll be able to fill in any gaps just fine, and if they can’t, they’ll get on the party line to find out how to proceed. So give everyone the minimum information required to make a decision about what to get you, and trust that it’ll get sorted out. Sample language might include:

We are so happy that you’ll be able to join us for our wedding. As many of you know, this is a second wedding for both of us, and our house is already filled with all the things we could ever need to make it a home. While the presence of your company is the only gift we could ever ask for, an alternative registry has been set up here for those who have expressed an interest in offering a gift to mark the occasion.

What to Include in Your Wedding Website | A Practical Wedding

7. répondez s’il vous plaît

Most wedding websites come with RSVP software. (Squarespace is one of them.) Use. It. Tracking down RSVPs is a pain in the ass, so help your guests help you by giving them multiple points of entry to the RSVP. The one wedding I responded to on time this year was the one with an online RSVP option. You can still do traditional paper RSVPs and use the online RSVP as a backup for your slacker friends who can’t ever seem to get to a mailbox (a.k.a. me). And you’ll thank yourself later when you’re only making a handful of “Are you definitely coming?” phone calls the month of the wedding, instead of a few dozen.

8. Don’t Forget About Logistics

Remember what I said above about making sure that you’re creating your wedding website because it’s something you want to do? Well that’s because, for the most part, people are really just going to use your wedding website to figure out:

  • How to get to the ceremony
  • What time it starts
  • What gift to get you
  • A rough idea of what to wear
  • If it’s a cash bar

So make sure to include the above information in a clear, easy-to-identify place so that you don’t end up fielding phone calls from guests with boundary issues the day before the wedding, asking where and when the ceremony is going to be and what they should wear.

Of course it goes without saying that you can do all of the above with Squarespace (in addition to other things like having your own URL and being able to customize really clean, minimal designs). For more information about how to build a wedding website using Squarespace, check out our tutorials: How To Build a Wedding Website and What To Do With All Those Engagement Photos.

Now we kick it to you, APW. What kind of information did you include in your wedding website? What kind of information do you look for as a guest?

What to Include in Your Wedding Website | A Practical Wedding

THIS POST WAS SPONSORED BY SQUARESPACE. THANKS SQUARESPACE FOR HELPING MAKE THE APW MISSION POSSIBLE! SQUARESPACE IS OFFERING 10% OFF YEARLY SUBSCRIPTIONS TO ALL APW READERS. JUST USE THE CODE APW14 AT CHECKOUT! CLICK HERE TO START YOUR 14-DAY FREE TRIAL.

Maddie Eisenhart

Maddie is the Managing Editor of A Practical Wedding. She’s been writing stories about boys and crushes since she was old enough to form shapes into words, but received her formal training (and a BS) in the art of talking from NYU in 2008. In her spare time, she takes pictures of people in love. Maddie lives on a pony farm in the Bay Area with her husband Michael, her Mastiff named Juno, and her roommate named Joe.

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  • M.

    It was important to us to have an unplugged ceremony, so we had the first link be “Unplugged?” On that page we briefly explained what we were hoping for and promised to share professional pics later. We also linked to the Unplugged page from the FAQ. It worked *so* well. We did digital save the dates/invites and clicking them took everyone through to the site. We didn’t have to explain to one single person about the no cameras/phones. Maybe partly just lucky, but putting it prominently on the site was the real kicker.

    • Another Meg

      We had this, too. It was really effective. We aren’t on Facebook and ended up asking that our event be off social media altogether (the post on that here was instrumental in navigating that).
      Everyone respected it, and if people are pissed they haven’t said anything to us. Which is really the best you can expect with big wedding decisions.

      • Jules

        Always wanted an unplugged wedding, and I love the idea of not being on social media too! What kind of wording did you use?

        • http://www.therewm.com/ Rachel W. Miller

          I can’t remember if we put this on our website, but this is what we put in our programs, and what our officiant also announced: “The bride and groom request that you refrain from taking any sort of photos or videos during the entire ceremony. If you take photos after the recessional or at the reception, we ask that you do not share any photos of the newlyweds on social media.”

          • Amy March

            I think the distinction btwn any reception photos and photos of the newlyweds is really important to getting buy in. You don’t want me posting pics of you? Sure. You don’t want me posting a snapshot of my group of friends that happen to all be at your wedding? Starting to feel less welcoming.

          • Alyssa M

            Yeah, we haven’t figured out wording, but we’re planning on asking people to be sure to get approval before posting pictures of PEOPLE, not just the bride abd groom. I have NO idea how to do this while informing, not instructing, but his family is super private about online pictures. I really can’t let my friends post pictures of them, but don’t want to tell them they can’t post their own pictures.

          • MC

            I dunno, I think asking people not to post any pictures on social media is fine if that’s what you/his family want – we’re asking people not to post pictures on social media and I don’t feel like that’s overstepping any boundaries. Our wedding is a private event, just like museum exhibits or any other private events where photos aren’t allowed. People can have experiences and even take photos without sharing them online, and hopefully your guests would respect that wish.

          • KEA1

            If you’re being sensitive to the privacy concerns of specific people, perhaps you could say something like, “We have requested an unplugged wedding not only out of respect for our own privacy, but also out of respect for our families’ requests for privacy.” It might not register with everyone, but it might have a better shot because it makes clear that you and your intended are not the only ones with an interest in privacy…

        • M.

          We (I) wrote something like, “Our privacy is important to us. Please do not post any photos of the wedding on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, MySpace, Friendster, Xanga, Geocities, Angelfire, or any other social media platform or website that may begin or cease to exist in the coming months.” :)

        • Another Meg

          Here is our wording from our website:
          “Social Media Policy

          For those who have noticed the Meg and Ben-shaped holes in their Facebook lives, it won’t be surprising to hear that Meg and Ben are fairly private people. As such, they request that no photos are taken of their ceremony. They’ve brought in a pretty fantastic photographer named Gary [this linked to his site] who will be documenting it to ensure that our guests can enjoy the moment.

          If you have reception photos and would like to share them, Meg and Ben will be adding a page to this site for that. Email the photos to [email] and they’ll put them all up by the end of July.

          Meg and Ben request that this event remain off social media.”

          I hope that helps!

    • Lawyerette510

      I really wish we had done an unplugged/ camera free ceremony and right-after the ceremony. We had everyone circle around us, and husband’s aunt is in the background of multiple photos with her big camera up on her face, then during the family photos, especially of his family, they had handed off their phones and cameras to other people and were asking them to take photos. The result, there is not one professional shot where all 10 people from his family are looking at the camera. I recall at one point yelling “We’re paying money for Jim to be here; I swear I will send the photos on as soon as he gives them to me. But I’ve got about 30 seconds of this left in me, and then I don’t care if we’ve got the shot.”

      The most frustrating part of his family’s camera obsession: there were no good pics from any of their cameras/ phones etc, or if there were, they haven’t shared them with us. We got a handful of blurry shots from during the ceremony from his aunt and some pics from the group shots where there are even fewer people looking at the camera than the professional shots, but overall, the only thing gained from not discouraging people from taking pics during the ceremony was his aunt feeling happy to be using the camera during the ceremony.

      My point: if anyone reading this is thinking about going unplugged/ camera free: DO IT! I regret not politely asking people to put the camera down during the ceremony and professional photos.

      • ElisabethJoanne

        Not being a photo person myself, I was surprised by the people who stayed after the ceremony to watch us take formal photos, when there was food and drinks waiting for them at the reception. Thankfully, they weren’t directly disruptive, but it did add a layer of nervousness/feeling-on-display to a part of the day that wasn’t my favorite. If they were people I was really close to, maybe I’d have felt differently, but they were the parents’-coworkers-type guests.

        Maybe 4 years ago now, Slate had a debate about unplugged weddings. This was before the piece featured on CNN about key shots ruined by amateur guest photographers. The tech-y debater insisted that taking photos and live tweeting is how some people experience events now; it’s how they’re “present.” Whereas the manners & morals columnist just found it rude to be so obviously interested in people who aren’t in attendance or a future time of reminisence.

        • Lawyerette510

          I mean, I don’t think people are actually present when they are taking photos and live tweeting, and that’s fine if that’s how they enjoy living life, but it’s also ok for people to set boundaries about really important life experiences.

    • EF

      I love this because we’re doing exactly opposite, and are able to say up front: ‘big instagrammers? so are we! please use this hashtag so we can track down all those pics!’

      having either way stated on the website just clears up any confusion so easily.

      • Meg Keene

        Love this too. Also, I’ve been giving a few interviews on this recently and incessantly pointing out you can have a unplugged ceremony (WHICH HELLO, you can’t use your cellphone in church, this is a religious or secular equivalent, asking for this has precedent.) And have a hashtagged reception and that makes total sense. AKA, it’s really not a all nor nothing issue.

    • Meg Keene

      Love this, so smart.

  • kcaudad

    any advise for future bride on how to actually get people to look at the wedding website? I got married almost 2 years ago. I spent a ton of time on the wedding website – included most of the above and more (available hotel for reservations, maps, location details, etc). I put the website info on the save-the-dates and invites and emailed it to select people. However, I think only 5-10 people actually looked at the wedding website! It was such a let down to have to answer frantic questions from people by saying, “did you check the wedding website?” “it’s on our wedding website…”

    • Maddie Eisenhart

      You know, I think it’s possible that the landscape was just different two years ago. It doesn’t seem like a long time, but two years ago, my grandmother wasn’t on Facebook. Now she is. I mean, there are always going to be people who won’t understand that all the information they could ever need is on the website. But for the most part, I think the tide is changing and it’s going to be less of an issue as time carries on. (And as guest lists are predominantly made up of people who grew up with computers vs. people who didn’t.)

      Short answer: sometimes I wish we’d gotten married in 2014. :)

      • Alyssa M

        I have to say, as with anything, I really think this depends on your people. EVERYTHING is on my website; directions to the hard to find reception, RSVP with options on whose attending what events, info on how to get 50% off hotel rooms, but still even my tech savvy friends think it’s more appropriate to text me than to visit the website… /sigh and my weddings definitely in 2014.

    • MC

      Ditto to what Maddie said, and also, having our parents spread the word to our relatives that aren’t digital natives has been really helpful.

    • Kelly

      We got married two weeks ago. We used glo (which was awesome) and all of our electronic save-the-dates and invites linked right to our website (where people had to RSVP). It was STILL a struggle to get people to look at the info (the brunt of this was mostly felt by our parents, who fielded most of the questions from confused people). However, as the RSVP deadline and wedding day got closer, we sent out a few group emails with some reminders and graceful encouragement to check out the website for helpful information about the weekend. Eventually all of the info got passed on one way or another (most people definitely checked it out a couple days before hand). But I second the sentiment about “giving yourself permission to try just a little less hard” on the website.

      • swarmofbees

        yup. Same experience here. We used the much less user friendly Knot website, but I don’t think that explains why some didn’t check the website before asking me. We put it on the STDs, we sent out friendly reminders and FAQs linking to the website and yet, there were still stragglers.

    • ElisabethJoanne

      Before we were deep enough into wedding planning for a wedding website, I made a Facebook event for the wedding, basically as an alternative to save-the-dates. It had the date, addresses, and hotel recommendations.

      It wasn’t pretty. It didn’t work for all the information or all the guests, but I think it helped.

    • Amy March

      I think some people actually just prefer to talk to you. Until you’ve (recently) been the one fielding identical similar questions from 150 people, you don’t realize how hard that is. “Ohh cousin Susie’s getting married. I wonder whether they’re having a full mass. Why don’t I just give her a call/email and check in.”

    • EveRaphael

      I recently sent out about 120 invitations (to about 200 people) and my website has had about 80 visits so far. I think the trick was including nearly no useful information on the invite!

      Although I’m still anticipating at least a few annoying questions because…people.

    • http://mnnjcooks.blogspot.com/ Jessica Nelson

      We sent out electronic save-the-dates (attached a standard PDF, but sent a [slightly-]personalized email including the website link to every guest/couple/family). We also did not include RSVP cards in our invitation — just had people either RSVP online or call me (only two people called).
      Doing it that way, two days before our RSVP deadline we had 105 hits on our website in one day (we invited 315 guests total). (I had also send out a reminder e-mail that day to people who hadn’t RSVP’d yet, but there were a few other days where site traffic spiked to near 100.) Our average has been probably 30 people looking at the website every day. Most popular pages were 1) the registry, 2) “about us” and 3) the RSVP page, in that order.
      I think if you put ALL the information online, people will use the website. If it’s just a nice bonus and all the essential information conveyed on paper, people won’t remember to visit it.
      We used weebly pro as our platform. It includes a form option so that’s what we used for the RSVP. We had some couples RSVP on one form (like Mrs. and Mr. Smith rather than Mrs. Smith’s RSVP and then Mr. Smith’s) and people often didn’t RSVP “no” for the other people in their group who weren’t coming, just yes for the ones who were. But otherwise the system worked pretty well and I had a nearly finalized guest list 2-3 days after the official RSVP deadline.

  • scw

    should it be specified if you’re having an open bar? or is that information only necessary for a cash bar?

    • Another Meg

      I kind of assume open bar, as that’s been the default for our crowd. But if you are putting in an FAQ page, it couldn’t hurt.

    • Laura

      probably specific info like that (e.g. the nature of the bar) is only necessary if it means the guests will need to do/wear/bring something extra, like cash. because nothing bad will happen if guests bring cash to an open bar, but you could imagine some pouting from those who left their wallets at the hotel only to find they need to pay for booze.

      • unitofraine

        I was a bridesmaid & didn’t know it was a cash bar. SUPER AWKWARD when I ordered a drink and then had no cash on hand …

    • Jenny

      In our FAQ, we said something like in addition to dinner, beer and wine will be served.

    • ElisabethJoanne

      I knew we had at least one recovering alcoholic – no 2 – coming to our wedding, so I wanted to be open about our alcohol situation, so they could take any steps they felt appropriate. We also had a handful of guests who wouldn’t have expected alcohol at a wedding, and wanted them to have the heads-up in case of a moral objection.

      We also were dealing with a huge list of allergies, and I at least felt better having put on the website how we were handling that with our buffets. I’m sure a few people avoided dishes that were actually safe for them, but we also had no questions/requests about the food except, “Where’d you get the cake?!”

      • Laura

        To deal with this point, we made it really clear on the invites and website (and ceremony program) that “cocktails, dinner, and dancing” would immediately follow the ceremony. As a guest, I always preferred to know what was coming next.

        Also for food allergies, we actually had a spot where guests could indicate their restrictions on the RSVP card, and then worked super hard with the caterer to make sure that everyone would be able to eat well (and all of the dishes were really well marked for allergens).

    • Meg Keene

      I think it’s assumed that there will probably be booze and it will be free. If that’s NOT the case, I think mentioning it makes sense. It can be in a totally positive way “cake and punch reception” or “cake and punch reception. Want to spike the punch? Bring a flask.” Or “Cash bar.” People mostly need to know it’s a cash bar, because you don’t necessarily bring any cash to a wedding and then WHOOPSY.

  • Pingback: Best What to Include in Your Wedding Website, DJ Prices, DJ Reviews

  • Another Meg

    Our website was really important for our guests because our wedding was in the middle of nowhere. In our corner of northern Michigan, there is no such thing as a coffee shop within a thirty mile radius. That turned out to be key information for some of our guests, especially my family, who is from another state. We also had to make some of the park reservations ourselves to make sure everyone was together, so we put a simple form on the site to see who needed rooms.
    We’ve had sixteen wedding between this summer and last, so I also know couples who haven’t had a site at all. Those turned out fine. Really depends on the crowd and the wedding.

  • MC

    Most of our guests are traveling for our wedding, where we live, and we really want people to enjoy their visit outside of our wedding if they have free time! So we made a pretty extensive list of our favorite things to do and, most importantly, our favorite places to eat.

    Question about the wedding party thing: We don’t have a page for the wedding party on our website, but my MIL insists that “people will want to know” who is standing with us, so I was planning on putting photos and short bios in our wedding zine/program booklet. Will that have the same effect as making other people feel left out? Do “people” at weddings really want to know who’s in the wedding party?

    • Kelly

      I think if you want to include the info, putting it in the booklet (even sans photos) would be great. As a guest, I like to know who those people are (although I can also just ask them later on at the reception), but I wouldn’t really remember who’s who from looking at people’s college photos on a website. Glancing at a program “in the moment” would be more useful for me, personally.

    • Another Meg

      As a guest, I love reading the wedding party info in programs. It’s always interesting and gives me a better sense of who everyone is. It’s really rare that I know everyone in the wedding party, so it’s always at least some new info.

    • Shelley

      Ohhh, I always want to know! I do like, though, to leave the wedding website about the couple only (and the logistics).

      The program, though, commonly lists the wedding party and so seems to me a more appropriate place to add the detail. That, and they’re actually there that night.

  • http://www.smittenchickens.com/ Sarah Hoppes

    Our friends just got married and opted to not have a wedding website. When we lost their invite and didn’t know where or when the reception was (in another venue, in another town than the ceremony), we were left to awkwardly approach strangers on the wedding day to avoid bothering the bride and groom. It doesn’t sound like a big deal at all, but it was really stressful to be in a strange place and to not know where we were going. We might have just stressed about it more because we go to people’s weddings for a living, and we are always really organized about it, so we were worried we were terrible guests for losing their invitations.

    All that is to say, people definitely will look at your wedding website for info if you chose to have one, especially folks who worry about bothering you with a bunch of questions when you’re trying to plan your wedding.

    • Nell

      Just to add on to this – we opted for a mobile-friendly site, because I expect a lot of our friends are going to look at the website for the first time right before hopping into a taxi and trying to find our venue. And long load times are the WORST.

      • http://www.smittenchickens.com/ Sarah Hoppes

        Bless your soul.

      • http://www.therewm.com/ Rachel W. Miller

        Mobile-friendly is CLUTCH!

      • Lawyerette510

        Yep! And if your venue is somewhere that data reception is spotty, that’s another consideration and vote for mobile friendly options (and saying on your site if they shouldn’t expect data service at the hotel/ campsite/ park/ venue etc so they can screen shot before hand is helpful too).

      • Laura

        quick plug for wix.com – it auto-converts your PC site to a lovely mobile (quick-loading) site with a default format that is really easy to adjust if necessary (but the content is totally linked).

  • Megan

    Well, now, “formal etiquette” doesn’t say you can’t tell people about your registry ever. If by “formal etiquette” we mean “what Grandmama thinks is appropriate”, the accepted thing is to tell people where you’re registered, *if* they ask. But until asked “where are you registered?”, one doesn’t want to appear too eager for gift$sn$tuff.

    Having tried this experiment (aka, how it was done until 10ish years ago) with my own upcoming wedding, I can tell you that word-of-mouth is a perfectly effective way for people to find out where you’re registered; people have purchased from our registries at about the same rate as website-advertised registries. Also there are creepy aggregators that vacuum up your registry info even if it’s not on your website, so if someone googles your name + wedding they are likely to find it anyway.

    So. If you didn’t love the idea of the internet at large knowing your china pattern, and/or you don’t really love the idea of a present wish list, pick one or two places to register, tell your mom and partner’s mom about it, receive presents and approval of Grandmama, the end.

  • Nina

    This could probably be a topic for its own thread, but throwing it out here – any thoughts on website privacy? Unfortunately there is someone I am quite nervous about finding out details of our wedding, but about half our guests are traveling from out of state (and more than that traveling enough to need a hotel), and so I think we really need a website. I hear passwords are hated by guests, but I need to balance our guests’ convenience with our privacy and everyone’s safety (I hope I am overblowing this, but you just never know). Would love to hear any thoughts on this.

    • KitBee

      I don’t have a problem with website passwords. Just include the password on your save-the-dates (or communicate them in some way to your guests), and you’re good to go. I mean, yes, it is a slight inconvenience to have to type in (and remember!) the password. But weighing that slight inconvenience against your privacy concerns, I think it’s totally reasonable!

    • Violet

      We didn’t have a wedding website, and privacy was one factor. I agree with KitBee- guests can either make note of the password, or they can make their own hotel arrangements by, I dunno, using Google. Wedding websites are still a rather new phenomenon- before they existed, people seemed to manage to get themselves to weddings. I think they’re a nice feature to offer your guests, but as it’s a favor you’re doing for them, I think you’re entitled to handle it in a way that makes you feel comfortable.

      • Megan

        A+++ and much this to: “before they existed, people seemed to manage to get themselves to weddings.”

      • Jenny

        I agree that they aren’t necessary, but also before that many wedding were local and/or hosted and organized by parents. Our wedding website was to save my sanity, I was finishing my first year of me PhD, and neither of our parents wanted to be the point people for questions. I love wedding websites because I feel like I can get the information I want for my planner self, without annoying the people getting married.

        • Violet

          Definitely. In the original question, she stated security as a concern. So I’m assuming she’d rank security over convenience. It sounds like that wasn’t a call you needed to make. But even if you had, I think a password is a legit option. Guests can not harass the couple getting married or their families by availing themselves of one of two viable options: log in via password, or figure things out on their own!

          • Jenny

            I agree. We actually used Glo, so it had a password that people could make themselves. But I agree, if privacy is your top concern, and you know that means you might be fielding a ton of questions, a website is foregoable.

          • Violet

            I guess I worded my original comment really poorly. Let clarify: I was trying to assuage her concerns that “passwords are hated by guests,” by saying that for her website (because it sounds like she wants one, which is enough reason in and of itself, but also as I said I think they’re a nice favor for your guests AND as you added, helpful for the couple as well), her guests can either manage the password situation or fend for themselves. At no point did I suggest not having a website. That wouldn’t be helpful advice, as this post is about how to have a wedding website, and not how to forgo a wedding website. She wanted to know how to have one, but safely. I was just pointing out that if any of her guests really hated the idea of a password, then they can forgo the convenience of using her site, rather than sacrifice her security.

            (I hope that was more clear; I clearly botched the first comment because you were not alone in reading it the way you did!)

      • meleyna

        Yes, people have managed to get to weddings before websites, but the overall nature of weddings has changed so much. If I was having a hometown wedding where both of us were locals, all the guests were locals, then no, no site necessary. But with so much of our guest list coming in from out of town (many of whom have never even been out of their hometowns), the website has been really helpful. Plus, I just really love my city and want everyone to know my favorite highlights.

        • Violet

          I get ya! My comment was in the context of the original question, which was weighing security versus convenience. I think wedding websites have a lot of merit, otherwise I wouldn’t have read the post, let alone commented…

    • SoontobeNatalieN

      We’re using Glosite, and it’s really quite awesome – guests get to create their own password, but only if they’re on our guest list. We chose to make our site private just for our own sakes (we put our phone numbers on the site for our guests, and didn’t want anyone who googled our names to find them!)

      • Nina

        Ooh, this is a great feature – I will look into it. Thanks!

      • Lawyerette510

        Yep, Appy Couple had this feature too. I think it’s a really great aspect to some of the sites.

    • Nell

      I agree that privacy is very, very good when it comes to posting information about yourself on the internet. I’m also often quite surprised to see people’s wedding websites are STILL active after 2 or more years. I plan to take down a lot of information when the wedding is over. I don’t need future employers, past significant others, or anyone who wasn’t invited to the wedding to see what hotel room blocks we booked.

      • M.

        Yes. We took screen caps of all our pages right after the wedding, for posterity as we didn’t have paper invites or anything, and then deleted it (Even tho it was password protected and not searchable online). Can’t be too careful!

        • http://www.smittenchickens.com/ Sarah Hoppes

          We really should have taken screen caps. I LOVED our wedding website, and it expired after a year, and now it’s gone.

    • ElisabethJoanne

      I’d read horror stories about homes being broken into because robbers learned the owners would be gone from their wedding websites, so I gave ours a really easy password, and it displayed the hint: “This is the only State in the United States that the bride and groom have been in together. [case sensitive]” We weren’t long distance or anything, so it let anyone who actually knew us enter the password, while making us a slightly tougher (but admittedly not impossible) mark for thieves.

      We did have one person half-complain that she couldn’t get onto the website, but when we pointed out that there was the hint, she admitted she felt foolish.

      Obviously, that formula won’t work for someone who knows you, though.

      • Alex

        That’s a great idea! I hadn’t password protected mine because as a guest, I’ve totally lost passwords before, so I just made sure not to have any addresses anywhere, BUT this is much nicer because now I CAN put the reception address on there! Hopefully people will click on the hint as well ;)

        • M.

          We had friends use their oldest dog’s name as the password, which worked perfectly. A personal detail like that is fun AND easy AND secure :)

    • rel_redhead

      I don’t think your overblowing it, just being reasonable about what it means to put a lot of details about yourself and an important event in your life onto the internet. We put a password on ours because both fiancé and I work in fields where we have a lot of contact with members of the public who are (a) likely to know our full names and (b) more likely than average to have boundary issues. We included the password on invites and save the dates, and it’s something that would be fairly intuitive to folks that know us, so I hope not too easy to forget.

    • Kris

      Google sites, which are free, can be set to be unsearchable so that only people who know the URL can visit. I think you can also restrict it to specific people (or rather their gmail addresses) but that might not work for a longer guest list.

    • http://www.aprilbooth.com/ April

      I would be nervous about this too. Passwords might be hated by guests but that will probably be what I’d be comfortable with. I’d probably choose a fun password or maybe make it a puzzle game? People love puzzle games. Probably.

      Having my privacy protected is more important to me than a guest’s annoyance at having to spend an extra two seconds putting in a password.

  • disqus_BHO3Egs9TP

    Another option for the techy DIY-crowd, if you want more freedom than what the standard wedding websites will give you: we are using Google Sites for our wedding website. It’s free, and my fiance purchased a domain name for $13 for a year and set it to redirect to our site, which was surprisingly easy to do.

    We selected a simple template with a white background (I think it’s actually called “Simple Theme”) and I designed a header image that matches our invitations. I added a map with directions and we set up an RSVP page with a Google Form for the RSVPs. I think the hardest part was turning off the “Comments” section on each page.

  • ktmarie

    I will say that I think the website becomes much more important for if you have a lot of out of town guests and/or you’re doing a destination wedding. The majority of our guests were flying across the country from the northeast to AZ for our wedding. so we included a lot of our favorite restaurants and things to do on our website which many people told us they used and enjoyed (we included a lot of goofy commentary and ‘insider tips’). We also included an FAQ on the weather, the vibe of the wedding, and some funny questions (How do I deal with all the rattlesnakes?).

    We got a lot of compliments on our RSVP system and it worked really well for us. In the invitation guests were instructed to RSVP online by following a link on our website to a survey through SurveyMonkey. There we had an easy survey asking about alcohol preferences, which events people might attend, and of course, their RSVP answer.

    • meleyna

      “The majority of our guests were flying across the country from the northeast to AZ for our wedding.” Yeahhhhh, us too! Thumbs up for underrepresented AZ weddings!

      • Alyssa M

        Yay more thumbs for AZ weddings!

      • swarmofbees

        Yay AZ! i warned our guests about all sorts of desert friends they may encounter and really got one person worried about Gila monsters. Clearly he wasn’t paying attention because those are the least of your worries. But, at least he read the website!

  • Shelley

    …What if you dislike your “how you met” story? I mean, I guess we could be super vague and say we met while working in the same city, but really it was through an ex. Is it weird to leave it out?

    • Lauren from NH

      Our story not exactly classy…in a nutshell is that basically we were a pair of horny virgins who thought to ourselves,”Well this is probably a bad idea….SCREW IT!” And then everything worked out and we found each other to be rather high quality and compatible human beings. Maybe we will rewrite it as a spoof or maybe skip it. I would’t find it at all weird if you left it out.

      You could even sub in some info about things you have in common if you like. Shelley and super awesome partner both love doing pizza and movie night or mountain biking or attending outdoor concerts. Or other things you like about your self as a couple, Shelley is mortally afraid of spiders, lucky she has awesome partner, who is even more deathly afraid of them and they freak out together when encountering these demons. On the mode of humorous and endearing if you know what I mean.

      • Shelley

        Ha! That’s a good laugh. High-quality humans get horny too.

        I like the idea of focusing more on “about” the couple. I bet a lot of my friends would even learn something new!

    • Maddie Eisenhart

      I think just an “about us” section would work fine! Your relationship is interesting, your lives are interesting, etc. I just want to get to know you!

  • Pingback: Best What to Include in Your Wedding Website - Top Rated AZ DJ

  • Karlee

    Question! I want to let guests know what to wear without having a dress code. Our wedding will be essentially a backyard picnic/BBQ with lawn games and dancing. I want people to be comfortable, but not too casual (no jeans, shorts, etc.). After I tell people the venue, their first question is “what should I wear?” So I was thinking of adding this to the FAQ page on our website – but how do I word this so I am informing, not instructing?! Is it considered semi-casual? Any examples of wording is appreciated :)

    • Alyssa M

      I could not tell you etiquette, but I’m having a semi formal wedding, followed by a casual reception (with a four hour gap), and I added a dress code in with information about the weather and the bonfire and everybody seems happy with it.

      “Up at 7000 ft in October at night it can get chilly! Most guests will want long pants and jackets. We will be having a bonfire as well, so while the ceremony is daytime semi formal, the reception will be very casual! Please don’t wear anything that can’t get smoky!”

      It may cross the line into instructing, IDK, but it’s worked really well for my guests.

    • Emma

      Since we’re having a small wedding with more or less the same dress code, we’ve kind of been able to get around this by asking key people for “advice.” Basically, “we’re trying to figure out how to tell people no suits but no jeans; do you think ‘________’ would work?,” which both gives us feedback and allows us to be a bit more direct with people who might not read into less direct language. I don’t know if this will work for your people, but next time someone asks you what to wear, you might “try out” some language on them.

    • Nell

      I think that your description of the activities involved is very helpful. Maybe a couple suggestions for what you DO think people will wear would give your guests ideas without being instructive. (“Sundress? Khaki pants? Bowtie? All encouraged. Come ready to play lawn games and dance!”)

    • Meg Keene

      I did this. Here you are:

      What’s the dress code?
      Sassy semi-formal, emphasis on the sass. If you are worrying about outshining the bride, please don’t be. Have you met the bride?

    • Rachelle

      I think dress codes are so helpful as a guest! I went to a beach destination wedding and EVERYONE was asking the couple what to wear because they didn’t have anything about it on the website. The bride (wanting to be nice) said “oh, whatever you want to,” but confided in me that she still wanted it to look like a wedding. That’s fine!

      I would so much rather be told what to expect in advance than arrive over or under dressed and feel uncomfortable. I don’t know why it’s considered rude to tell people how fancy (or not) your wedding is going to be and that they should dress appropriately.

      Then you have the uncle who was told our wedding was casual by another family member and showed up in shorts! He clearly didn’t visit the wedding website :)

    • Kris

      For ours I made an silly infographic staring Mila Cunis and Matt Damon to show people what to wear. But they only saw that if they clicked a “more details” link next to the text “The ceremony will be outside on the terrace and the
      reception will be both inside and outside. Dress to look sharp and stay
      comfortable!”

      You can see mine if you want to be nosy.
      https://sites.google.com/site/beardbaldreewedding/info/what-to-wear

      For what it’s worth, no one bothered us with silly questions. But we also forced everyone to RSVP though the website which might be the only reason anyone saw the guest info.

      • http://www.aprilbooth.com/ April

        This is a really cool approach!

    • Mrs. M

      We did backyard BBQ style too, either on the invite or RSVP we said “summer casual attire – we’re talking sundresses, shorts and flip flops folks!” because we did want super casual (though most dressed up a bit), we wanted to emphasize the comfortable, informal feel of the day. I also reflected this in the invite.. BBQ, Beer and Dancing! was hugely printed on my invite. lol

  • KH_Tas

    Still going back and forward on whether I should have one; about 1/4 of the guests are out of town, so I guess maybe? Fiance hadn’t heard of them before I brought it up though.

  • Lauren

    Was I the only one who found it annoying that the nature of this post (sponsored) wasn’t disclosed before clicking through? I found the constant mentions of squarespace distracting. Just mho but sometimes with sponsored posts, less is more.

    • Sarah E

      It’s noted right at the top with logos saying Squarespace + APW.

  • ART

    Most of our guests visited our website. We know that because of the number of times people said, “Your website is so cute! What hotel should we stay at? Are you registered anywhere?” We had the simplest possible layout, with prominent links for accommodations and gift information. We didn’t even have an about us page, it was literally ALL useful info, that people somehow completely missed. I don’t even know what part they thought was cute. It was mostly a waste of time, and we were really glad we used a free one.

    • Meg Keene

      Hahahaha, truth. OH, relatives.

  • Karen

    It blows my mind that adults can’t figure out what to wear to a wedding! Dress up a little, it’s a wedding!

  • Clare Kessler

    I hope ya’ll post the typography tutorial soon! :)

  • Jane

    #BanBossy: I do not think it means what you think it means. That campaign was to get people to stop labeling girls as bossy, not to tell girls to stop being bossy.

  • Danielle Lindquist

    I wanted to find out how i should go about asking my guests to please wait to post pictures until the following monday/next week. I do not want to go throughout the reception having my phone blowing up because people are tagging me in pictures all night.