Your wedding website is paramount when it comes to getting information out to your wedding guests. Whether it’s the details for the day-of or some background on the wedding party, it’s a central hub for all the invited. So, it’s not technically part of a traditional invitation suite, but we like to think of it as a necessary component. Plus, with Zola, it’s free and you can seamlessly integrate your wedding gift registry into it, too. So why not make one? Your friends, family, and other wedding guests will thank you. With all that information to share you want to make sure you do it right. There are some crucial dos and don’ts of wedding websites. Here’s what to definitely hit and what to definitely skip.

What Is A Wedding Website?

A wedding website is a website created and shared by an engaged couple. Its primary purpose is to act as a touchpoint for your guests to access information about your wedding day or weekend. Typically, your website will include details such as your wedding date, location, and travel accommodations. Usually, couples will also add information about how they met and introduce their wedding party via their site.

Dos And Donts Of Wedding Websites

Keep these guidelines top of mind to get the most out of your wedding website as you’re wedding planning.

Do: Password Protect

If you’re worried about publishing your wedding details online for everyone to see, don’t be. With Zola, you can password protect your wedding website. This way only your wedding guests can access it via a code, which you can conveniently share on your save the dates and invitations.

Of course, you don’t have to password protect your site, but doing so secures your personal information and eliminates the possibility of wedding crashers.

Zola Inline 1080x720 Photo Credit // Zola

Do: Include All Necessary Information

As mentioned, the point of your website is to deliver all the necessary wedding need-to-knows to your guests. Think of it this way: Consider all the things your guests may text you to ask about and then add that information to your site. You should include the basics: the date, location, travel and lodging logistics, directions, and points of contact. Then, add in more: a weekend itinerary, links to your registry, your couple story, and wedding party introductions.

If you’re having a wedding with a set dress code (beyond standard seasonal wedding attire), be sure to add that to your site, too. We recommend including details of expected weather around your wedding date, too, if possible. Also, let guests know if there are any other outdoor wedding conditions to prepare for. This may include suggesting a shawl for cooler nights or certain footwear if you’re ceremony or reception are taking place on sandy or grassy terrain.

Do: Share Lodging And Food Recommendations

Whether you have out-of-town guests or are planning a destination wedding, lodging and dining recommendations are always a welcome addition. When recommending hotels, your website should make it clear which ones in the area you reserved room blocks with—and provide all relevant information (directions, address, etc.). Feel free to also offer suggestions for other lodging accommodations in the area, too. Additionally, share some recommendations for popular local attractions, restaurants, and any other fun activities.

Do: Outline Any Social Media Restrictions

Want everyone posting up a storm during your ceremony? Prefer an entirely unplugged wedding? Let your guests know upfront. Use some space to describe your phone usage guidelines—and be specific. If you’re totally fine with phones out at the reception, but don’t want any being used during the ceremony, write that out. Likewise, if you’ve created a wedding hashtag that you want people to use, list it. Pro tip: Make your wedding website URL and hashtag the same.

Do: Attach Or Link To Your Registry

This is a no-brainer—it's convenient for both you and your guests. Don’t make guests visit a bunch of different webpages. Instead, consolidate. To easily attach your Zola registry to your wedding website, look for the “Add Existing Registry” option when you’re creating your site. Don’t worry. If you don’t have an existing registry yet, you can always add it to the site once you do. And, yes, your website can (and should) also link to your honeymoon fund or other Zola cash registry.

You can also note your wedding registry on your RSVP response card. This is particularly valuable real estate if you’d prefer that your wedding guests RSVP via your website and not with the physical response card.

Zola Inline2 1080x720 Photo Credit // Zola

Do: Let Guests RSVP Via Your Site

Online RSVPs are a modern addition to wedding websites that can be a lifesaver—for you and your guests. This makes it easy for guests to let you know if they can make it or not as soon as they can. When a guest RSVPs via your Zola wedding website, that information is stored in your guest list so you can easily track RSVPs once it’s time to make that wedding seating chart.

Plus, then you’re not waiting weeks for a response or worrying about lost mail. Let guests know they can digitally RSVP on your invitation or an enclosure card. Use wording along the lines of, “Kindly RSVP by [RSVP deadline] by mail or at [URL]”

Don’t: Make Your Website The Only Way To RSVP

That said, don’t skip paper response cards altogether. It may be easiest and most convenient for some guests to RSVP online, but not everyone is tech-savvy. Send out RSVP cards with your invitations to give everyone the option to respond in their preferred way.

Don’t: List Events That Aren’t Open to All Guests

Exclusive events you have planned leading up to or after the wedding should be left off of your website. We’re referring to those that only involve family and the wedding party, like your rehearsal dinner and bachelor or bachelorette party. Instead, this information should be communicated directly to those involved. Having it on your website may lead to confusion and unexpected arrivals. Although, if you’ve planned other wedding events that are open to all guests, like a day-after brunch, provide that information and include it in your itinerary.

Don’t: Be Inappropriate

One of the many pros of a wedding website is that you get to write it yourself as a couple. Many people choose to include their couple story and bios about their wedding party members. If you do this, be mindful of the information you share and consider which details can—and should—be left out. If a story is embarrassing or inappropriate, leave it out. This isn’t the place for inside jokes.

Don’t: Be Too Long-Winded

With that in mind, don’t feel pressured to fill pages with relationship backlog. Your website is meant to be a fun and efficient means of gathering information, not an autobiography. Focus mainly on including necessary information—keep everything else short and sweet.

Don’t: Use Language People May Not Know

Avoid using abbreviations, acronyms, and other language that all guests might not understand. For example, write out maid of honor and skip the MOH abbreviation. Similarly, avoid any nicknames or shortened location names when providing critical directions or addresses.

Overall, your website should be informative and fun. Keep these dos and don’ts top of mind in order to avoid confusion and keep guests in the loop. Ready to create your free wedding website? Start now by clicking below.