When you get down to brass tacks on a wedding website, the question to ask yourself is, “What should I put on this damn thing?” In 2020, this obviously goes double. It’s easy these days to focus your anxiety into obsessing over pretty website ideas, but forget that information is what you really need to include in a wedding website. Ideally, it’s about passing on important details 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.
But sometimes when you’re in the middle of a big project (like, say a wedding, during a crisis), it can be hard to remember what information your guests really need to know. (Let’s talk about a friend who almost sent out her Save The Dates without a location.) Or, mid-planning you might end up thinking people want to read a long story about all the times your wedding was rescheduled, but forget to include your registry information. So before you make any of those mistakes, we’ve partnered with Squarespace on what to include in a wedding website to make it actually useful, with way less stress. It’s 2020, so we’ve also got tips and tricks for how to communicate your safety plans, and if you need help knowing how to communicate changes to your plans, we’ve got that right here for you. too.
The Fun Stuff you include in your wedding website is Really For you
Here’s a fun fact: back when I created her own wedding website (ages ago, pre-Squarespace, when wedding website creation was like walking uphill both ways in the snow), I signed up for analytics to track the visitor data. And do you know what I found out? Basically the only section anyone visited was the registry page. This year, the other page people are going to hit up right away is the one letting folks know how you’re going to handle COVID safety (and we’ve got plenty of details on that below).
TL;DR: your wedding website’s primary purpose is to convey information your guests need. Anything beyond that is really for you and your partner.
There are already so many parts of the wedding that people will want to give you their (unsolicited) opinions about. But a wedding website generally ain’t one of them. This means you’ve got a golden opportunity to take all those wedding website ideas and channel them into a creative outlet, or tell the story of what planning **during all this** felt like… or you can just give the basic information and move on. Whatever you decide to do, Squarespace makes it easy, and will make the whole project look super stylish too.
So if you’re the kind of go-getter who thinks things like, “I wonder how I could add a GIF to my wedding website?” Squarespace has got you with this GIF situation, as well as other fun new features like interactive charts and video backgrounds.
That said, their designer templates are also beautiful straight out of the box, and they come with built-in features like RSVP and registry pages. So if creating your wedding website is just another chore to cross off the list, well, you also have our permission to try just a little less hard on it.
Bonus: If you’re feeling stressed about not having any pictures of you and your partner to put on your wedding website, we’ve got great smartphone engagement photo hacks right here, which seem extra useful right about now.
wedding website as A help desk
Think about your wedding website like your wedding help desk. It’s a quick way to let your guests know the important details about your wedding, so that they don’t come and bug you for directions to the reception when they lose the invitation (look, we’ve all done it). But it’s important to know when you should inform, and when you should instruct.
In general, wedding websites are there to inform. 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).
But in 2020, you need to use your wedding website to instruct folks on safety protocol, because “you might want to consider wearing a mask” is not going to cut it. Be clear about what your rules are, and that following them is not optional. If you feel like people might need extra prodding, feel free to mention that you have guests with health issues that you cannot put at risk. (If the “health issue” is just “being human”, nobody needs to know.)
logistics, logistics, logistics
Once upon a time (last year), we would have told you that it’s important to tell your guests IF parts of your wedding were going to beoutside the norm. Now, the game is really about telling your guests HOW parts of your wedding are going to be outside the norm. Because, as well all know, the old normal is long gone.
We all know that you’ve had to make a million modifications to make your wedding work, and your wedding website is the place to include all of those logistics. This may include having super detailed information about how your Zoom call is going to function. You may need to explain how seating will work in family units, or outline the logistics of sharing food without sharing germs. Regardless, your wedding website is the place to tell people what to expect. Tell them if they’ll need to stand for the ceremony, if they’ll need cash for a cash bar, or if you’re planning a big party when this is all over. You name it. Squarespace lets you add unlimited pages to your wedding website for free, so this is the place to elaborate.
Logistics You Need To Include On Your Wedding Website
In our current world, this is the information people absolutely need from your wedding website:
- What your safety precautions are, for guests attending physically
- Zoom information if you have it, for guests who are joining virtually
- General plans for scheduling / rescheduling / guest list modifications / when people should consider making travel plans / if they should expect a large celebration later
- How to get to the ceremony (online, or in-person)
- What time the events begin, and when to arrive orlog-in
- What gift to get you (regardless if they are invited to the smaller ceremony or not, people will want to give you gifts)
- A rough idea of what to wear (virtually, or not)
- If it’s a cash bar (or BYOB if joining from home)
- If there is a hotel block reservation, and what that hotels safety protocols are
Putting this information in a clear, easy-to-identify place means that you significantly reduce your chances of fielding phone calls from guests with boundary issues the day before the wedding, asking where and when the ceremony is going to be, what they should wear and how Zoom works. (Pro tip: If you’re struggling with how to convey the above information on your website, we’ve got copy-and-paste scripts for a whole bunch of different wedding scenarios right here.)
When It Comes to THE REGISTRY PAGE, Less is More
If my 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. With Squarespace, you can choose to link out to your registry from one of their pre-designed registry pages. Or if you’re worried your guests might get lost once they leave your wedding website, you can easily embed your registry directly into your Squarespace website like the tech goddess you are. (I know, right?) The products show up right on the page, so there aren’t any extra steps to trip people up. And if you’ve opted against a wedding registry, or are hoping for cash you can even embed a custom cash registry using donation blocks. Last year, we still probably would have told you that asking for cash on your wedding website might make some guests feel uncomfortable, but it’s a brave new world and all the rules are out the window. So if you need cash: ask for it. Folks will understand.
And make sure you register for enough stuff that loved ones not included in your small 2020 guests list can buy for you. Trust me: they want nothing more than to celebrate with you. And if they can’t do it in person, many of them will want to do it with a gift.