Whether you’re a graphic design expert or you have a much more basic understanding of design and the internet, wedding websites are a popular way to give your guests all the information they need for your big day.
There are plenty of helpful sources on the web that make creating your personalized site easy and fun, so it's no wonder couples from all over the world are logging on and completing this new item on a to-do list. However, there’s an etiquette to follow if you’re going to partake in this 21st century bridal tradition, so read the tips below!
While you know yourselves and your guest list the best, we've put together a list of four common faux pas that you may want to avoid:
Website analytics show that most people don’t do too much exploring on a wedding website: most of the time, they head straight for the wedding registry page. Making the perfect website shouldn’t take priority over, say, arranging the seating chart or selecting your cake.
The purpose of the site is to inform – and slightly entertain – but, luckily, it’s also for you and your betrothed. Let’s face it; you spend hours picking the perfect snapshots because the site is a celebration of your love. But be careful – if you’re not keeping track of time, it could turn out to be more thoughtful and precise than your vows. Enjoy the sweet process, but don’t neglect your other wedding duties!
After many stress-filled months, it’s easy to fall into the “I know best” mindset as a bride or groom. Maybe after a few dozen trips to your venue, you know all too well that local bees are attracted to the color yellow and that parking lot A is much farther away than parking lot B. When writing information for your friends and family on your website, resist the urge to type “DO NOT WEAR YELLOW OR PARK IN PARKING LOT A” or something with a similar tone.
As strongly as you may feel about bees stings and sore feet, there is a better way to word your warnings: “A word of caution: local bees seem to love the color yellow, so we suggest sticking with different colors;” “Against common sense, parking lot B is much closer to the venue than parking lot A: if you’re not keen on the extra work out, park in B!” Your guests will appreciate the pleasantly conveyed information.
Opening photo courtesy of Minted
Pre-wedding events can include bridal showers, bachelor/bachelorette parties, or any other pre-nuptial event that has a limited guest list – like a rehearsal dinner, for example. The website is for all of your guests invited to the nuptials, and though it may be convenient to put all wedding-related celebrations in one place, giving information about your Palm Springs bachelorette party to the masses may not sit well with those who were not invited but would have liked to be. Send separate emails to your bridal party in regards to special fêtes; they’ll be excited about receiving multiple invitations and your other guests won’t feel like they’re being left out.
For the case of any pre-wedding events over the wedding weekend like a beach-day welcome party or a rehearsal dinner, check to see if your wedding website provider will only show the event to certain guests. If not and these aren't events for every single guest, it's best to avoid putting anything on a public website and leave that information for special invitations sent via the mail, text, email, or phone.
While many modern brides and grooms choose to have their wedding guests RSVP online, don’t use it exclusively for RSVPs. While the mail system isn’t perfect, neither is the internet, and there is a chance something may go wrong. The larger the event, the more difficult it will be to contact every guest to double check if their online RSVP is correct.
Additionally, older attendees may not have access or feel comfortable using a wedding website, so it’s always a good idea to send out invitations in the mail that include response cards with a stamped return envelope; this way, the only people you may have to contact are the ones who forget to send their response back.
For more wedding-related tips and advice, find out which wedding website builders offer free websites, discover etiquette rules for managing your wedding guest list, find out how to use your wedding website after the wedding, and get ideas for what to include on your wedding website.
Opening photo by Callaway Gable; Planning & Design by Alyson Fox, Levine Fox Events, Inc.; From Real Event: A Poolside Proposal & Outdoor Engagement Luncheon in California