For many newly engaged couples, the wedding website is an important part of the wedding planning process. It’s where guests go to find wedding details like directions and hotel accommodations, information about the reception and ceremony, and the gift registry. It acts as a resource and a countdown to the big day, plus helps minimize the number of questions you have to field from inquiring wedding guests.
The trouble? Putting a cohesive wedding website together can be overwhelming. The good news: Our comprehensive step-by-step guide can help.
Most websites will give you the option to buy a custom domain name that’s easy for wedding guests to find. You don't need to overthink this part. Make your custom URL something simple and memorable, such as “zola.com/maryandmattswedding” or “zola.com/mrandmrsjohnson.”
Yes, wedding crashers are still a thing. And since nobody outside of a fictional movie wants that happening to them in real life, a good way to protect your information is by putting a password on your website and sending it only to guests. You can include your password-protected wedding website on your save the date or the invitation.
This also shouldn’t require too much brainwork and can even be made easier by staying on theme with your actual wedding. Boho chic or modern and sleek, your wedding website should follow suit. Thankfully, websites have different templates to pick and choose from, so you’re not stuck building anything from scratch (unless you want to).
The homepage is the first thing your guests will see when they visit your site. Make it clear that they’ve landed in the right place. Include basics like the couple’s names, the wedding date, the wedding hashtag, a sweet welcome message, and photos of the couple (if you have engagement pictures, this is a great place to show them off). Guests shouldn’t be bombarded with too much information right off the bat, so keep this part minimal and straightforward.
The different sections of your website are where the details should live. The wedding date, time, and location should be displayed in the events tab. You can also include a breakdown of what your wedding day will include—from pre-wedding happenings to planned after-parties. If you’re having events that are exclusive to the wedding party or close friends and family (like a rehearsal dinner or post-wedding brunch), leave them off the site and reach out to those individuals separately.
Here is where information regarding hotel room blocks, airports, car rental details, discount codes, and directions to the venue should appear.
If you want to cater to your guests even further (especially those traveling from out of town), you can make a quick and fun list of things to do in the area—from restaurants to local parks. Chances are your guests will be staying more than one day, so suggestions for keeping busy are always a nice, thoughtful touch.
This is more of a modern add-on. If you have older guests who might have trouble with technology, you should probably go with the traditional mail-in RSVPs as opposed to wedding website RSVPs. If not, digitizing your RSVPs will make your life a lot easier and help you keep track of all of the cancellations plus ones.
Including registry information on invitations is considered a no-no, so your website is the best place to include a link to your online registry to make sure your guests know all of your gift requests. If you’re accepting money or donations in place of presents, you can also add those details here.
This is another optional add-on, but also a good way of personalizing your site. Include a short-but-sweet section detailing your love story, how you met, and how you got engaged along with some of your favorite pictures together. Some couples also choose to include brief bios of their wedding party (from bridesmaids to parents).
Here’s where you can list out all of the logistics that might not fit on the wedding invitation. Think the dress code, whether there’s parking at the venue, if the wedding is indoors or outdoors, any rules surrounding social media, whether or not children are allowed, etc.
It’s almost inevitable that, even with all of the love and detail you pour into your website, some guests will still have questions. For those individuals, make sure to include a personal email where they can reach out with any additional questions. You can also change and update the wedding site as the date creeps closer (just make sure to notify guests) or even add pictures from your big day and honeymoon after the fact.
While the steps to creating an informative wedding website are fairly straightforward, there are plenty of quick tips that can help you take it to the next level. The following will aid in taking your own from just okay to helpful, beautiful, and easy to understand.
Set a custom URL. While we did mention this above, it’s a step that’s often skipped and bears repeating. Setting a custom URL not only makes getting to your website easier, but makes your URL look neater when included on wedding stationary or posted in a private group. Not to mention, it makes it far easier to remember.
Keep information short and to the point. Your website is an excellent place to display important information. That being said, guests won’t want to read through extensive paragraphs. When writing things out, try to keep things concise and easy to understand. The goal is for guests to be able to easily navigate from page to page and quickly scan for what they’re looking for.
Be true to your personalities. While it’s important to keep things clear and concise, it’s equally important for your website to sound like you. The goal is to strike a balance between informative and familiar. Try not to force a very formal or gushing tone if that isn’t who you are as a couple.
Write a short welcome message. Aside from your banner, this will be the first thing guests see when they come to your website. Welcome them with a brief greeting, followed by an introduction to your website, including what you’re celebrating or what information can be found throughout. Keep it short, since more detailed information can be located on your other pages.
Share your wedding hashtag. Whether it’s at the top of bottom of your template or included on a couple pages, remember to share your wedding hashtag. That way, when guests share photos from your wedding day, you can easily locate them.
Dedicate a page to your wedding party. If you’re choosing to have a wedding party, consider using a page to introduce them to your guests. Guests of larger weddings—and even smaller ones—won’t often all know each-other. Provide a small photo, name, and brief introduction (your relationship to each-other or how you met) of each party member for guests to get acquainted.
Match the look to your wedding. Ideally, your website design should reflect the look and feel of your wedding. This can be achieved with wedding website templates, fonts, images, and a color palette. This keeps things like wedding stationary and an overall aesthetic cohesive, while also giving guests a hint at all the fun to come.
Incorporate photographs. If you have engagement photos, this is the perfect spot to highlight your favorites. Use one as your banner and sprinkle a few more throughout your pages. You can also choose to share a few photos from throughout your relationship that are special to you. Just don’t overwhelm your beautiful wedding website with images, since doing so can make it difficult to navigate and read.
Don’t include/mention invite-only wedding events. If you’re hosting a rehearsal dinner, bridal party only brunch, or other event that are limited to specific wedding guests, refrain from mentioning them on your website. Share that information via private group chats or similar to avoid making other guests feel left out.
Recommend local activities. Sure, you’ll be plenty busy the morning of your wedding, but many of your guests will probably have a few hours to kill before arriving. Dedicate a page (or event just a list/paragraph) to things guests can do near your venue. A guide with a few of your favorite spots (coffee, breakfast, sight-seeing, first date location, etc.) is helpful and a great opportunity to share some stories.
You put a lot of work into building and filling out your wedding website. Not only that, but it’s the primary hub of information regarding your wedding day (or weekend) for all of your guests. That being said, it’s crucial that you successfully share your website with everyone you’re inviting to your big day. Luckily, there are several ways you can do this. Follow each of the steps below to ensure that your guests are fully aware of your website, what it contains, and how to get to it.
Step 1: Include it on your save the dates. This will likely be your first opportunity to share your website. Simply place the URL in small or otherwise easy-on-the-eyes text somewhere under your main message. This ca be directly under or at the bottom of the card.
Step 2: Include it on engagement party and/or bach party invitations. Like save the dates, you can include your website’s URL on the invitations of any wedding-related events and celebrations leading up to your wedding day.
Step 3: Share it on an enclosure card in your invitation suite. If your website wasn’t published before now, this is the time to do so and share it. Guests are likely to hold onto and refer back to your invitation suite, making it an ideal place to include your URL. Have it printed on an enclosure card—which is used to highlight important details—alongside a note that emphasizes your website’s importance (or the presence of your wedding registry).
Step 4: Post it in a private group. As your wedding draws nearer, you may find it convenient to also create a private group (Facebook page, Messenger, text group, or otherwise). This will allow you to immediately communicate any news to your wedding party or guests. If this sounds beneficial to you, make sure to use this is a space to also share your wedding website. Post the link in a post of its own, then pin it to the top of the page or message thread if possible.
Step 5: Alter via email or text message. If you’re using Zola to manage your guest list, odds are you have everyone’s contact information (email, phone number, or both) already filled in. With that already done, it’s incredibly easy to share your Zola wedding website URL with everyone as a clickable link. Not to mention, it’s easier for guests to manage (compared to typing in a URL) and allows guests to save the link to their computer or phone.
To share your personalized link, navigate to “Guest List” from the Zola Weddings dashboard. If you haven’t already filled in your guests’ phone numbers or emails, do so now. After, select certain guests or click “Select All.” Then, click “Bulk Actions” from the dropdown menu. Choose “Send Message,” write a brief message including your link (and website password, if applicable), and send.
Wedding websites may be a relatively new staple as far as wedding planning goes, but they’ve proven to be incredibly important. By making your own, you’re given guests a place to refer back to for all of the information they require about your wedding day—from basics, to dress code, to accommodations, and more. If you’ve yet to make your free wedding website, allow us to point you in the right direction.