5 Mistakes You Should Never Make on Your Wedding Website


Help me, help you, help me get to your wedding

by Maddie Eisenhart, Chief Revenue Officer

APW + Squarespace logoSlideshow of Rebekah and Jevan's wedding website on computer monitor

Even though there is plenty to complain about when you’re planning a wedding in 2017, we have one thing to be grateful for. We’ve reached the point of total acceptance of the wedding website. Wedding websites have so totally hit the mainstream, that instead of complaining that it’s tacky, your grandmother is going to complain if you don’t have one. Which is a great thing. Because a wedding website is your first line of defense against people with too many questions. Plus they are excellent for people like me who can’t ever seem to keep their shit together long enough to remember exactly what time the ceremony starts. Aka, put in a lazy Sunday afternoon of work, and you’ll have one centralized place to point every person in your life with an annoying question, from here till your wedding day.

But since wedding websites are still a relatively new phenomenon, there isn’t a whole lot of standardization about what should go on said wedding website. Just the basics? Or a living testimony to the history you and partner share together?

Like wedding invitations, wedding websites are primarily functional. I mean, thanks to the Universe (and Squarespace), we no longer have to suffer through the wedding website that looks like it was made in 1998, and instead we can have something super beautiful for not much work. But still, at the end of the day, your wedding website needs to convey information in a really clear way. And because I keep seeing people make the same mistakes over and over (sorry for throwing you under the bus, friends that are getting married), we’ve partnered up with Squarespace today to share some of our best tips, learned from real life scenarios, for not screwing up your wedding website.

Wedding website: Woman in red shirt jumping with joy, man in cap doing a wide-legged handstand on the beach near the water with text overlay that reads "going down for real" on computer monitor

1. Don’t overthink it.

As a procrastinator, I know how it goes. You sign up for a wedding website, start designing it, and then realize you don’t quite know what you want to say. And you can’t find that perfect picture of you and your partner from last summer where you both look super hot and are actually looking at the camera. So you give up and Netflix binge instead.

Stop that, and get to work. First of all, Squarespace has already done the hard part for you by offering hundreds of beautifully designed website templates to choose from that a) look like they actually belong in the 21st century, and b) can be easily customized to fit your wedding vibe (and for the #lazygirls in the room, that also includes wedding-specific website templates that come pre-programmed with all the important pages your wedding website needs.) Which means you don’t have to spend hours trying to make it look beautiful (because it already is.) And bonus: Squarespace has a built-in logo maker that makes it easy to design a coordinating monogram that goes with your wedding website (you can see some we created ourselves right here). Not to mention, most people are coming to your wedding website for a few key details, namely:

  • What time the wedding starts
  • Where you’re registered
  • How to RSVP
  • If it’s a cash bar

So repeat this mantra back to yourself: done is better than perfect. And spoiler alert: it probably already looks way better than you think anyway.

Wedding website "rules" page with image of lighthouse and path on computer monitor

2. Don’t MAKE DEMANDS.

The purpose of a wedding website is to provide information to your guests, not proclamations. (Proclamations are for your wedding ceremony and should generally be ones of love, obvi.) Why? Because your great aunt has been going to weddings since before you were a twinkle in someone’s eye. This is not her first rodeo.

But maybe she’s never been to a wedding with two brides before. Or maybe she doesn’t know what to expect from an interfaith vegan wedding. Or maybe you just want to make sure she doesn’t show up to your camp wedding in four-inch stilettos, or at least that it’s a conscious decision if she does. So what do you do? Give your guests all the relevant information they need to make smart choices about your wedding, and then let them be grown ups. For example, if you really don’t want people buying you a gift, avoid things like, “Do not buy us gifts. We have everything we need.” Instead, try something like:

We are so happy that you’ll be able to join us for our wedding. As many of you know, we’ve been together nearly a decade, 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.

That’s it! The bare minimum is all anyone needs to make an educated decision. You know why? Because stubborn people are going to do what they want to do anyway. At least this way, the people on the fence will be more inclined to do what you want them to do, without feeling like you just yelled at them for their good intentions.

Eric & Lauren's wedding website with picture of woman in bright red off the shoulder lace dress and man wearing a grey sweater with toggle buttons and black pants in front of a craggy grey rock with text overlay that reads "our story" on a computer monitor

3. Don’t do the cafeteria lunch table thing.

There’s nothing worse than going to a wedding website and realizing that you haven’t been invited to half the weekend festivities, handily listed out for you to obsess over and feel bad about.

Are you guys even real friends? Are you not cool enough to go to the wedding picnic? What does it mean?! Do not Regina George your guests. Instead, if there are events where only some of the guests are invited, keep those details separate (digital invites are a great way to coordinate that). No one wants to feel like a second-class wedding guest, you feel me?

Nate + Sheena's wedding website with black and white photo of smiling couple with their heads together with text overlay "we're getting married" on a computer monitor

4. Don’t forget to tell people you have a wedding website.

If you do the work to make yourself a wedding website, don’t screw yourself over by forgetting to actually tell people that your website exists. (I know this seems obvious, but I swear it happens all the time.) In our modern times, people kinda prefer if you give them the URL on their save the date (even if there isn’t much on it yet), and it is totally acceptable to include your wedding website URL somewhere on your invitation or on an insert that you slip in the envelope. (Hot tip: when you buy a Squarespace wedding website, you’ll get a URL that can actually fit on your invite. Win.)

And if you’re worried about your wedding website getting into the wrong hands (like, say, a prospective employer), Squarespace gives you the option to hide your URL from Google searches or to make it password protected. (But guys, make the password easy enough that your guests have a chance of remembering it in the car on the way to the ceremony.)

Two happy men in suits with their foreheads together overlooking a city skyline with text overlay that reads "he said yes" on a computer monitor

5. Don’t screw up the URL.

Approximately four months ago, I got a frantic text from one of my BFFs. She’d accidentally printed the wrong URL on her invitations. Whoopsy! So this tip is pretty straightforward: don’t do that. Make sure you double and then triple check your wedding website URL before you order your invitations. Thankfully my friend was able to contact Squarespace support, who helped her purchase the extra URL she’d accidentally printed, and direct it to the website she’d made, but you’d probably rather not do that.

And if all else fails, just ask yourself these questions: Is the essential information there? Can my guests find it? DID I GIVE THEM THE RIGHT URL? Ta-da! You officially just didn’t screw up your wedding website.

For more wedding website etiquette tips, check out 5 Things No One Wants to See on Your Wedding Website and What to Include in a Wedding Website to Make It Actually Useful.

CLICK HERE TO START A FREE 14-DAY SQUARESPACE TRIAL AND MAKE YOUR WEDDING WEBSITE TODAY. APW READERS GET 10% OFF YOUR FIRST SQUARESPACE PURCHASE WHEN YOU USE THE CODE APW17 AT CHECKOUT.

Squarespace logo

This post was sponsored by Squarespace. Squarespace makes beautiful wedding websites happen in a matter of minutes, thanks to their user-friendly software and modern, minimal template designs. Click here to start a free 14-day trial and make your wedding website today. APW readers get 10% off your first Squarespace purchase when you use the code APW17 at checkout.


The Info:

Wedding Websites Images: “Rebekah and Javin” by Lauren Cowart Photo | “Going Down for Real” by Lauren Cowart Photo | “Our Story” by Meredith Bacon | “He Said Yes” by Yuliya Skya for Cosmopolitan Photo & Films

Maddie Eisenhart

Maddie is APW’s Chief Revenue Officer. She’s been writing stories about boys, crushes, and relationships since she was old enough to form shapes into words, but received her formal training (and a BS) from NYU in Entertainment and Mass Media in 2008. She now spends a significant amount of time thinking about trends on the internet and whether flower crowns will be out next year. A Maine native, Maddie currently lives on a pony farm in the Bay Area with her husband, Michael and their mastiff puppy. Current hair color: Purple(ish).

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  • My fiance is in his best friend’s wedding and assumed that the whole itinerary for the weekend would be on the wedding website. I’m so glad I bugged him to double check the details, or we would have arrived in town after the rehearsal dinner!

    • PAJane aka Awesome Tits

      Details are important! We attended a wedding over the weekend, on September 2, 5 to 10pm. PADude read the invite too quickly, and I didn’t read it at all, and we were there for a 2pm start. Better too early than too late, right? We found ourselves a nice pub to pass the time.

  • sofar

    A few other things we included (based on questions we were getting from our guests):

    -Weather to expect. We got married in the northern midwest and many of our guests were from TX. These people would never think to bring a jacket to a July wedding. Our wedding website told them a jacket was a must.

    -Where guests can park. We rented a parking lot, so our website was very specific about telling guests to use it. I’d have hated it if we’d forked over the money only to have people hunting for street parking.

    -Things to do in town. This was one of those things I thought would be a waste of time and largely ignored, but we got SO MANY questions from out-of-towners about what bars and restaurants to go to that we finally just put a list on our site.

    -Where to stay if the room blocks are booked up. Our room blocks started booking up quickly, so we added a handful of other places near the venue that we recommended (but didn’t have blocks at). Younger folks have no problem going to Airbnb, but older folks will panic panic panic if the room blocks book up and be helpless in finding a place to stay.

    Also: My family is SUPER touchy about registries, so we left any mention of registries off our website completely. And, surprisingly, we got very few questions about where we were registered. Older folks asked our moms. Younger folks Googled our names.

    • NolaJael

      “Things to do in town.” This makes me crazy, because Google exists and I don’t know if you’d prefer karaoke or the WWII museum. But yes, it’s worth the time, because people want recommendations.

      • sofar

        Exactly. And even if they don’t like your suggestions, you can at least say, “Just check out our wedding website!”

        We had a lot of families asking this because they wanted to know what fun kid-friendly stuff was available walking distance from the room blocks. So we kept our suggestions within a 5-block radius and that seemed to make people happy.

      • PAJane aka Awesome Tits

        If there’s any significant gap between your ceremony and reception, I think it’s a nice gesture and signals to your guests that you’re aware you’ve left them with some time to burn. It could also be a nice opportunity to share parts of your city that you love with your people, even though you won’t have the time to personally show them around.

      • I really appreciate a list of things to do in town when I go to a wedding, especially when it’s in a smaller town that doesn’t have the most comprehensive internet reviews. I have definitely gone to weddings in smaller cities/large towns that while they do have things to do, don’t have an excellent internet presence, and so we couldn’t really figure out places to eat based on the internet but the in-person recommendations were excellent and not something that we would have found on the internet.
        It’s also nice to have recommendations for things within easy walking or public transit reach, because I find that more difficult to research when I am unfamiliar with a city.

      • CMT

        This would make me less crazy than having to tell adults, who presumably have access to weather forecasts, how to dress for the weather.

      • Jan

        We side-stepped the concern about providing options by just listing our “things to do” section as our personal favorite restaurants/bars (like places we’d been on fun dates in the past) and our favorite places to take our nieces (for people traveling with families).

    • Jan

      Yeessss, parking info was important.

      The one thing I wish I’d put on ours was information on dress code. I didn’t put it up because I’m, like, hardcore against prescribing what someone should wear to a wedding. Plus, I assumed that when people saw it was in a back yard they’d just default to some form of dressy-casual. But I got so. many. freaking. questions in the week before the wedding about dress code, I wish I’d just had a line on the website like, “The wedding will be semi-formal, and women are encouraged not to wear heels as we will be on grass.” Would’ve saved me however long it takes one to write 50 text messages.

  • Lexipedia

    We’re just finishing ours, so I don’t have any guest reactions/analytics yet.

    The last wedding I went to had a “neighborhoods” section on their website that was SO helpful when I was booking an AirBnB that would be a little further from the venue. I just finished writing up the same thing. Maybe nobody reads it, but 80% of our guest list is OOT. If it helps even one person then the 20 minutes I spent cribbing language from blogs and travel sites was totally worth it.

    Also, I put in a section about transit in the city – especially coming from the airport. There is a new express train from the airport to downtown for $12, an Uber for ~$40, or a taxi for ~$70. The difference in price isn’t clear unless someone tells you, and that is a huge gap.

    Similarly, old people from the midwest, do NOT RENT A CAR. Public transit is not scary, and parking is ungodly expensive. I have seen this happen more that once.
    Again – if nobody uses it, fine with me, but at least I provided an option.

    • sofar

      Yes! Transit instructions.

      We also provided transit options from the two nearest airports because that’s something I’ve always found helpful on wedding websites. A lot of local transit websites are GARBAGE and even I, as a mass-transit fan and frequent traveler, have trouble deciphering them when I’m coming in from out of town.

      So we added instructions from the two nearest airports. And, because the closest airport to the venue is ungodly expensive to fly into, we provided instructions for how to fly into the cheap airport (1.5 hours away) and take a really affordable bus to our city. Because this bus is NOT advertised well in the airport and out-of-towners would never think to take it.

      • Lexipedia

        Haha, we explained about the two airports as well, and the pros and cons of each to consider when booking flights.

    • Yes, and we had information telling people that there is not really any comprehensive public transit where we were getting married and so they may want to consider renting cars, because a lot of our friends were coming from cities and just assumed that we were getting married in a city-ish and they would be able to find their way around using public transit which was very much not the case.

      • Lexipedia

        Good tip! I’m totally used to having public transit, and uber is available in many smaller cities. I went to Austin last year, where uber/Lyft had been just been kicked out, and wish someone had told me to rent a car so I could get around the suburbs.

        Also, I appreciated the reminder from another friend that the hotel being “10 minutes to the venue” was by car and involved freeways, which meant that it wasn’t walkable.

      • Oh, and maybe if you are giving directions and you and your spouse’s family are from different parts of the country, have them look it over. (I mean, there were also addresses, but people like my husband’s grandparents don’t trust google and also google until recently would give not-quite correct directions to my parents’ house). I gave what would have been perfectly compehensible directions to any Californian and my husband looked at them and told me no one in his family would know what that meant and so we reworded them (since the directions were mostly for his family).

    • Henri

      This is genius. I wish we’d done the neighborhoods thing. I could be avoiding so many whiny texts about being stuck in the suburbs right now.

    • Jan

      We did transit instructions as well, which I think was helpful to a lot of our OOT guests. We also made recommendations on things to do, places to eat, etc., and got a lot of thank-yous for that info.

  • penguin

    We made a pretty comprehensive website, and put it on both our Save the Dates and on our invitations – and I’m pretty sure almost no one has looked at it, based on the questions we’ve gotten. I don’t regret making it, but for some reason our people just are NOT checking it.

    • Or they are checking, but not paying attention.

      I had dropped off paperwork at a government office the other day. The woman at the front desk glanced at it, did a double take, and then called to her co-worker: “Hey, Mary! Come take a look at this! Somebody finally read the website and brought us all the documents we asked for.”

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  • Great article with perfect tips in there. We also get people putting the wrong URL in their Paper invites. Double check everyone, before printing.

    We offer the digital invites to go with the website, so you only see what you are invited too. No hurt feelings for your guests.

    Also agree, get the basics in there and add to it over time, people will visit the website more than once and finding new stuff on there to read is exciting. Happy creating one and all!