I’ve been invited to a lot of weddings, which means I’ve seen a lot of wedding websites. And here’s the thing about them: They are super helpful when you want to inform your guests about your wedding, and you don’t want to field questions from each one of them individually. They can even be a creative outlet if you want an excuse to make something pretty. (Hint: For a beautiful wedding website that takes less than an hour to put together, our longtime partner Squarespace has you covered, and we’ve even got the cheat codes right here.) But they can sometimes devolve into a forum for people’s worst, most demanding, and greediest instincts. Because hi, Internet, sometimes you make people awful. Meaning, I’ve also seen some terrible things on wedding websites, things that made me clutch my pearls and think: just no.
And while we’ve talked about what’s helpful to include on your wedding website, but we also need to discuss some of the less… awesome things I’ve seen on wedding websites for real-life weddings I’ve been invited to. Because yes. It’s your life and you can do whatever you want. But that doesn’t mean your guests are going to think it’s cute. So if one of these things is threatening to end up on your wedding website, do yourself (and me) a favor and… don’t.
1.ANY TYPE OF GIFT DEMAND: When you’re spending the equivalent of a brand-new car on one day’s celebration, you might think of your wedding gifts as a chance to recoup some of the money spent on your wedding. I get that you may be shelling out $100 per plate, but that’s not an excuse to tell me what I owe you. So no, you can’t write that gifts need to be at least $100 in value (seen it). No, you can’t write that you just want cash or a check (seen it). And no, you can’t require me to submit a gift with my RSVP (yup, seen it). If I give you something nice, say thank you, like your mama taught you. But please, just leave the gift rules and demands off the website. Your wedding isn’t Coachella, and you can’t charge an entry fee.
And hey, if COVID has forced you to reschedule or cancel that dream wedding, and instead invite folks to join you on Zoom or put off your celebration for a few years, you might find yourself feeling like some wedding gifts will be the one joy you’ve got left in this hot mess. Guess what? You still need to follow some basic etiquette. Share your registry info on your website, but don’t go expecting folks to redecorate your house for you or pay for that venue that you can’t use anymore. Gifts are still gifts, y’all… they’re not mandatory.
2.INCLUDING INFORMATION ON EVENTS THAT ALL GUESTS AREN’T INVITED TO: Yes, it’s easier to include information about your other wedding events (bachelor/bachelorette parties, bridal shower, rehearsal dinner) on your website rather than doing all that work to inform people individually. In fact, it’s a great idea… until you get a bunch of people showing up at your bridal shower who were never invited—whoops! Or you find out your cousin was crying in the hotel because she found out she didn’t make the cut on the (really nice) rehearsal dinner you’re throwing, even after flying across the country for you. Don’t be the person who thinks everyone wants to know about events they aren’t invited to. I guarantee they don’t.
Pro-tip: Utilize Squarespace’s super simple password protection options, and then shoot your bachelorette team the top-secret password, and you’ll be all set.
3.OVERLY DETAILED WARDROBE DEMANDS FOR GUESTS: It’s totally fine and expected to let your guests know the dress code is casual or black tie. If you want guests to wear a certain color, folks will gripe, but most will comply with your request. But attempting to dictate fabric choices or specific clothing from your guests? Nope. Cause it’s rude (and expensive) to tell grown folks how to dress. Skip it.
4.A GOFUNDME OR OTHER FUNDRAISING LINK TO PAY FOR YOUR WEDDING: I get it—weddings are hella expensive. But a GoFundMe link on your website ain’t the way to do it. Trust me. GoFundMe is for injuries, unexpected illnesses, and funeral expenses (in the US at least). Use it like God intended. Invite me to your cake and punch wedding? We’re cool. Invite me to pay for your $50K wedding? We are distinctly not cool.
Pro-tip: Cash registries are becoming more and more normal, common, and accepted. So don’t let me leave you feeling like that’s not an option. But instead of a GoFundMe or just telling people to send you checks (eek!), instead just set up a custom cash registry (donations) option right on your Squarespace website.
5.MORAL JUDGMENTS ON SPECIFIC WEDDING TRADITIONS: You might be having a feminist wedding and ditching some traditional elements: wearing white, giving away the bride, mentions of “man and wife” in the vows, etc. Totally cool to feel strongly about ditching those traditions—vent away with your friends. But writing a long diatribe about how morally horrible these traditions are will alienate and possibly offend your guests, especially those who, you know, actually did those things at their weddings. So go ahead and ditch it, but save that judgmental attitude for snarking with your friends.
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