With weddings rarely ever taking place in a hometown and most often are a destination for most if not all guests, wedding websites have become a must-have, no matter what kind of wedding you’re having. They can also be daunting, confusing, and time-consuming in the midst of all your other wedding planning. The following are things that should be on your wedding website listed from most to least important along with some suggested wording. As with all things wedding advice, pick and choose what is relevant to your wedding and/or what you like. It’s YOUR wedding and you know your guest list best.
Here's our list of what to include on your wedding website, click to jump directly to that section.
2. Travel, Logistics, and Transportation
3. When children are not invited
7. Your Story
8. Local Activities, Food, and Recommendations
9. Shortened website URL
10. Website privacy
Only include events to which ALL guests are invited. This means if you’re having a Rehearsal Dinner or Bridal Luncheon for only some guests, don’t include them on the wedding website. It’s rude at worst and confusing at best to include limited guest list events.
If you have some events that youknow you will be having but don’t have the exact time or location narrowed down, include them here with “location and time TBD”. Often things like Welcome Parties or Day After Send-Offs are sorted out well after the wedding was booked (and sometimes well after save the dates were sent), but you need to give your guests the heads up that these events will be happening as early as possible because they impact travel. For instance, just letting guests know there’s going to be a Friday Welcome Party (even if you don’t include the time and/or location) may help them choose a 1pm arrival flight versus a 6pm one. They otherwise may not have chosen that 8am departure time. If people are taking time out of their lives to travel to celebrate you guys, they typically want to partake in all of the celebrations.
Unless all your guests are from the area, make things easy on your guests and provide as much guidance and helpful tips as possible.
If your wedding is in a popular destination during a peak travel month or takes place the same time as a big local event, mention this and encourage guests to book travel and accommodations early. We recommend our clients include this wording on the actual save the date. But if you did not or even if you did, it cannot hurt to repeat it on the wedding website.
Suggested wording:Charleston is a popular destination year-round and our wedding takes place during the College of Charleston’s graduation weekend. We strongly recommend booking travel and accommodations as soon as possible.
Most destinations have a clear airport choice. If your wedding destination has multiple airports that are reasonably within the area, provide a little information to help them choose. If guests are just looking at flight options, they may just choose the cheapest option without realizing the traffic from that airport can be insane, it may have high Uber/Lyft/taxi rates, airport construction, or other issues that may make travel confusing or difficult. If your destination is in an area that has public transportation, give your guests some direction on how to use it, what to expect, etc. The DC area comes to mind as an area with three different airports with different advantages/disadvantages along with public transportation options.
If you intend to provide transportation for your guests, add it to your wedding website as soon as arrangements have been made. This may guests if they rent a car and which hotel they choose. If your transportation is a boat or ferry, be super specific about timing, parking, and any other details guests need to know to not miss the boat.
If your wedding is in a location where Uber or Lyft is difficult or nonexistent, let guests know and provide some local transportation service numbers.
If you are not going to have kids at your wedding and want to make sure you are extra clear about it, the wedding website is a wonderful place to add some wording about it and not worry about breaking etiquette rules!
Suggested wording:While we love your little ones, all of our wedding events will be adult occasions. or simply, All of our wedding events will be adult occasions.
Don’t apologize, having a kid-free wedding is not something for which anyone should apologize. If you are going to provide childcare at your wedding or have recommendations for local childcare, let parents know.
If you feel very strongly about this particular issue, you can go as far as writing “adults only” with the information for each event but that may be viewed as a bit on the aggressive side and typically not necessary.
Always include any room blocks you’ve arranged! If you don’t have room blocks, list out a few recommended accommodations to give guests a little direction.
Something I rarely see included but is incredibly helpful to guests is the date the room block rates expire. It’s also helpful to mention that the rates are only available if the hotel doesn’t sell out through normal bookings. Many guests don’t understand that room blocks don’t *usually* mean that a room is ready and waiting for them whenever they book. Save them the frustration and disappointment by stating this clearly.
Suggested wording:Mention the Parker/Smith wedding to receive a negotiated rate. This rate expires on April 22nd or if the hotel sells out.
We like to use the wording “negotiated rate” with our clients because negotiated sounds more formal than discounted and also helps clarify that this is just a rate, not a block of rooms being held back for your guests to book at their leisure.
If you want to be super nice, include the distance these hotels are from your ceremony and reception. Include both distances if ceremony and reception are in different locations. If there’s anything significant about the hotel’s location that may be appealing for guests other than proximity to your events, mention that. Remember that your guests likely don't know much about your wedding destination, what areas are safe and/or fun, and will make their travel arrangements faster if you can give them a head start on their research. We know a lot of transportation decisions end up being last minute but if you already know a hotel will be a pick-up/drop-off location, include that!
Suggested wording: The Francis Marion Hotel is three miles from our ceremony and reception and will be one of the transportation pick-up/drop-off locations. It is walking distance to many wonderful Charleston shops and restaurants and just across the street from our favorite Saturday morning tradition, the Charleston Farmers Market.
We typically don’t recommend including the actual dollar amount rates on your wedding website because like wedding invitations, including dollar amounts is a little icky. But more importantly, if this hotel books up or the rate expires, you don’t want guests to be unhappy about the rate they missed. It’s not your fault but you don’t want guests having negative feelings or confusion about your wedding.
If you have any hotels or other suggested accommodations that you were not able to secure a room block with, you can still include those and maybe even give a reason why you included this suggestion (close to the venue, beautiful views, walkable or near other attractions, etc).
Suggested worded:We do not have a negotiated rate for this stunning hotel but it is located in the beautiful and safe historic district and is a two block walk from one of our transportation pick-up/drop-off locations. The views from the rooftop bar cannot be beat.
From a traditional etiquette perspective, attire used to be determined by the time of the wedding with evening weddings being the most formal. These days, even very formal or black tie weddings start earlier to allow for longer wedding fun and often to accommodate longer natural light photography. Even if the traditional etiquette regarding time for attire does happen to apply for your wedding, not all guests know these traditions. With this in mind, it’s ALWAYS helpful to define the attire for every event. Even if you included it on the actual invitation, repeat it here. People don’t want to under or over dress. If you are fine with “Dressy Casual” for a Welcome Party but really don’t want jeans, say that. If your attire is “Lowcountry Winter Festive” or something else not easily Google-able, for the sake of everyone’s sanity, let people know what you mean.
You can keep attire simple and just list it with the event information but some venues may dictate providing a little extra guidance. If your ceremony and/or reception is going to be outside or specifically on a grassy area, give your guests plenty of notice.
Suggested wording:Our wedding will be Cocktail Attire. Unless it’s raining, our ceremony will be outdoors on grass so we recommend shoes that are not stilettos and you may want a light jacket depending on the weather. The reception will be indoors.
People know to look on the wedding website for your registry, give the people what they want! Just please don’t include it within your actual wedding invitation suite.
Bonus Round: Lovely but less necessary things
Wedding websites encourage you to write “your story”, add a photo gallery, and your wedding party. This can be fun and sweet but don’t feel pressured to fill out or include these sections if it’s not your thing. There are many other lovely ways to incorporate your story through sentimental details on your wedding paper and wedding day. If it is your thing, have at it! Guests are really visiting your wedding website for information so these sections should be the last priority.
Let your guests know some of your favorite things to do and places to eat. If restaurants on your list typically need reservations, it is helpful to note that.
This is not a priority but it is so wonderful to pay that extra $15-20 to have a shorter domain name for your wedding website. No guest wants to type in theknot.com/us/wedding/alex-johnson-mark-hudson-2021. Most wedding websites offer a service of a shorter domain name or you can purchase say alexandmark2021.com yourself and have it forwarded to the longer url. From a design perspective, a shorter url is going to look 1000% better on a save the date or invitation. No matter what version you use, triple check that the printed url is correct.
If you have a wedding website that is not password protected, keep in mind that it will likely end up getting indexed by search engines and people can find it by searching for your names. The concern here is less about wedding crashers and more about security. Don’t include your honeymoon dates and be careful about other details you include about yourselves such as phone numbers, email, and pet names (particularly if you use pet names for passwords as a lot of people do). Can’t hurt to be mindful of publicly accessible information! If you are particularly concerned, you can add a password to most wedding websites. The trade-off there is that it will be more cumbersome for guests to access on the go when they don't have the password handy.
If possible, have your wedding website as filled out as possible ahead of sending out your save the dates. Don’t forget to include it on your save the date!. Guests may only look at it once while they’re making their initial travel plans. Make sure you have all of the information that they need to make those booking decisions. They may look at it again at the point of receiving the invitations but for most destinations, guests need to have already made their travel arrangements before receiving their wedding invitation. If you have limited time, save some of the items toward the bottom of the list to work on after save the dates have gone out as they are not necessary for guests to know for their planning/booking purposes.
Did you include something on your own wedding website that your guests love or have you seen something on a wedding website as a guest that you thought was great that we did not address here? Shoot us an email, we'd love to add to our list!