With the rise of the digital age, social media and online presence, the art of the wedding invitation may seem to be fading to some.

It's true, you can't beat a beautiful invitation suite with raw edges, letterpress details all bound with a raw silk ribbon, but the creation of the wedding website has undeniably allowed couples the luxury of informing their guests in the most convenient way, all with the click of a mouse and a stroke of the 'enter' key on your keyboard. Here are some tips and tricks on how to dazzle your guests with the perfect wedding website.

Add some basic computer skills and a wedding website creator and you have the building blocks to your own private portal for your guests. Including everything from engagement photos, the wedding day schedule, pre-wedding events, accommodation and travel details, registry information and bridal party introductions, a wedding website is an easy way to pack in a lot of information for your guests that will eliminate questions or uncertainty. They’re also a wonderful way to build anticipation and hype up your bridal party and guests leading up to the big day!

Image from The Knot.

As important as wedding websites are, they also may be intimidating and daunting. How do you even go about making a website? Where do you start, and what do you include? My computer coding knowledge hasn’t advanced past a 200 level class in university, so don’t think you have to be a computer genius to create a beautiful site that is bespoke, personal and informative. All you need is the following tips and tricks and a few hours ahead of you.

Here are our tips and tricks to create a chic, informative and fun website that will get your guests amped, and prepared for the biggest day of your life!

Where to Start:

  1. Pick Your Theme:
    • Colours, formality, fonts… Creating a cohesive design for your wedding website sets the tone and gives your guests a aesthetic glimpse of what the day will be like. This is a great way to introduce the formality of your event through language, fonts, photography style and overall design. Don’t go overboard though- maintain the same fonts and colours that you’ve settled on for invitations and colours. When in doubt, stick to black & white, a elegant (but legible) cursive and Minion Pro or Didot fonts.
  2. Choose your wedding website creator: Each website creator varies in level of complexity and design flexibility. Wanting to choose from a set of templates and call it a day, or do you want a completely unique site built from scratch? If it’s the former, choose a specialized website like The Knot, Minted, Bliss & Bone or Riley & Grey. With beautiful templates that cater to dozens of tastes, the designs are timeless and unique, and they’re super easy to customize and manage. Not your style and wanting the creative flexibility of a website no one else has? Wix.com and SquareSpace is where you’ll want to head!
  3. Adding photos: Showcasing your engagement photos on your wedding website adds personalization and lets your guests see you together in a formal way before the wedding! Engagement sessions also break the ice between you and your photographer, so show them off and give your guests a glimpse of what your wedding day pictures will look like. A great website is filled with striking graphics, so having pictures of the two of you is a necessity.

What to Include:

  1. Password Protection: No, it’s not mandatory, but it is a good idea. Maintaining a password-protected wedding website ensures privacy and keeps the details known only amongst your invited guests. You don’t want casual internet surfers peering at your wedding day itinerary.
  2. A fun and simple URL: Also not mandatory, but a personalized url is a great way for guests to easily remember how to return back to your site. If a simple “Samantha & Stephen [dot] com” isn’t your thing, use your wedding hashtag- it’ll make your guests grin before they even visit the website.
  3. Your Story:
    • How you met vs. TMI: I’ve seen wedding websites that have a 3-paragraph story on how the couple met. Sure, they’re fun to write, and it’s great to reminisce on that magical moment, but knowing when to draw the line between a concise introduction and a short story with no detail spared, is important. Not a writer? Ask someone for help, or include some of your favourite quotes you share as a couple. This page is for your guests to get to know you, so have fun with it. Not into sharing your story? Have a set of columns with your mutual likes/dislikes, or what you both have learned from each other. It’s a great way to make your individuality and uniqueness as a couple shine through.
  4. The More Information the Better
    • Dates, Times, Directions, Dress code, Cash bar, Hashtags, Weather: Eliminate any uncertainty by having all the wedding day details in one spot. Include the day, times, directions and maps. Don’t forget tips like dress codes, whether to bring cash to the reception or not, inform your guests of any wedding day hashtags they can use to share photos, and including the weather forecast if it’s a summer outdoor wedding is a good idea! Sure, they may be looking up this stuff before hand on their own, but it’s a consideration to think of everything they’ll need to know before they do, so it’s easier for them. Make your site a one stop shop, and update along the way.
    • Inform Out-of-Town Guests with Travel/Accommodation Information and Hotspots: traveling for a wedding can be daunting, and there are a lot of details that need to be considered to ensure their journey is a smooth one. Organizing a discount code with a few local hotels that are situated close by your venues is vital and making a list of your favourite restaurants, shops and daily activities that highlight the beauty of the city give your out-of-town guests ideas on what to do! Things like local museums, food festivals, markets and theatre productions are all great and unique ways they can spend their time.
    • Timelines: Include the wedding day timeline, and inform guests if there will be breaks in between the ceremony and reception. If they have time to kill, let them know what kinds of things they can do in the interim. Organizing a group shot after your ceremony? Letting your guests know beforehand helps the day stay organized, and makes sure everyone knows where to be and when.
    • Don’t be Exclusive: Refrain from including exclusive wedding events on your website, like the ceremony rehearsal and rehearsal dinner. Instead, contact the people directly that are invited, to eliminate ill feelings or making people feel left out. Only include pre-wedding events everyone is invited to.
  5. Include Information about your Venues: Why did you choose the venues you’re getting married in? Do they hold significance to you as a couple? Are they historic in any way or do they have an interesting back-story? Including details like this in your website adds to the personalization and uniqueness of you as a couple.
  6. Who’s Who in the Bridal Party:
    • Be Brief: Introducing your bridal party to your guests is a great way to inform who’s who at the alter and why they are up there standing with you. As important as that is, less really is more. A simple sentence on how you met, a brief funny story, why you look up to them or why you both are friends will suffice.
  7. Wedding Registry
    • In terms of etiquette, it is a definite no-no to include any registry information on your wedding invitations. So, your website is a great place to have this information. Include a short blurb acknowledging that gifts are no necessary, but if they choose to provide you with a present, having this page direct them directly to your registry ensures ease and a hassle-free shopping experience.
  8. Répondez S’il Vous Plaît:
    • Convenience is Key: having the option to RSVP online or using mailed cards caters to both types of wedding guest. Those who like the art of mail, and those who prefer the convenience of clicking a “Attending” button.
  9. Add a Message Form: adding a form on your website not only for RSVP’s, but for guests to make song requests, insert wedding advice or anniversary ideas is a fun way to interact, and their super enjoyable to read not only leading up to your wedding, but in the months post-wedding.

At the end of the day, your wedding website is a digital wedding invitation. It’s an outlet for your creativity, and an homage to you and your fiancé. Have fun with it, make it informative and interact with your guests. It’ll be a great and exciting pre-wedding cursor to your big day and will ensure your guests are prepared, informed and ready to celebrate the biggest day of your life with you!

XOs Samantha

Featured Image: via The Everyday Girl