Here you are several months into planning your wedding and you’ve suddenly realized just how many details go into this one BIG DAY (or in some cases two or three days). This is very typical and should not be cause for alarm. There’s no way around all the details…just embrace it. When you start thinking about your invitations something will occur to you. How in the world are we supposed to convey all of these tiny details to our guests? There are only so many tiny cards you can stuff into one envelope! So how are the ladies supposed to know that they’ll need to wear wedges, not stilettos to your outdoor ceremony and how is Grandma supposed to know that the cocktail hour is up a flight of stairs? Sure you could call, email and text everyone but let’s face it, there just simply are not enough hours in the day. There is, however, a simple solution to this dilemma and it doesn’t include including killing trees and paying for extra postage. I’ve got two words for you: Wedding Website.
Ok, take a deep breath. We’re not expecting you to start building your own website and figuring out how the heck to code it all. There are several sites out there that provide you with a super easy template to create a custom wedding website with all the little details you’ll want everyone to know. (Side note: many of these sites also provide you with other helpful tools like vendor recommendations and budget tools) Now you might be wondering if you really have enough detail to fill up a wedding website. The answer is yes. You can include as much or as little detail as you want. At the end of the day, it is FREE and super helpful so why not take a little time to make things easier on your guests and, ultimately, you?
Me, I’m a details person. I live for logistics so I have an annoying amount of information on our wedding website. I also have the advantage of fielding questions from hosts, guests and vendors every single week so I’ve basically heard any question that might come up. Therefore, I’ve tried to implement all of those things into our wedding website www.kathandbharat.com . You certainly don’t have to be as thorough as I’ve been but below are 5 things that I would recommend including on your website.
- Travel & Accommodations. With many weddings, you’ll have guests traveling from another city, state or even country. The fact that someone is traveling for your big day is a gift in and of itself so why not make it as easy as possible for them? Many sites that offer templates have a built in flight search tool. Something you could add to that is the closest or most affordable airport to which they could fly. Sometimes there are things you’ll know that an out of town guest may not. The same goes for accommodations. Give your guests options for where to stay and remember that everyone has a different budget. Recommend hotels but also think outside the box. I.e. rental homes, Airbnb, Bed & Breakfasts. Don’t be afraid to tell guests where NOT to stay. They’ll thank you in the end!
- Attire. I can’t tell you how many times my fiancé has been invited to a wedding and as his guest I haven’t a clue what to wear. I’ll be honest, relying on him to get this information for me is always a risky game. I’m forever asking him if the couple has a wedding website! You could keep things as simple as saying Black Tie, Cocktail Attire or Casual Attire. However, be thoughtful and let your guests know if they will be outside, walking on grass, rock, sand or having to walk a ways from one part of the celebration to another. This gives them the opportunity to dress appropriately and as a result enjoy themselves more. How many times have you been freezing or sweltering because you assumed you’d be inside for the ceremony and reception but were surprised with an outdoor cocktail hour? And how many times have you ruined a great pair of stilettos and nearly broken your neck because you had to walk across a field of grass? *These details should especially be included when cultural attire may be required or appreciated.
- Things to do. Some of your guests from out of town may decide to make an entire weekend or week out of your wedding. It is always nice if you give them suggestions on things to do, places to visit or dine. You can let them know your personal favorites or simply include a link to a site that may already have that information. An example of this would be a tourism or visitor’s guide website. Remember to include activities for guests of all ages, including family friendly spots. If you’re planning a wedding in the Upstate, check out visitgreenvillesc.com!
- Timing and Locations. If your ceremony and reception are in different locations, let your guests know. For some people, this may influence their decision to fly, drive or rent a vehicle. A wedding website allows you to be very thorough and let guests know what time each event will begin and end. We are having a ceremony that will last roughly an hour and a half. Since this is not the norm for most of my family and friends I want to make sure they know that ahead of time and can plan accordingly. You should include driving directions or use a template that gives you a built-in map. You’ll also want to let your guests know about parking. Will there be any on-site or close by? Is it paid or unpaid? If your venue has any policies that your guests should know about, include them on your site. Is smoking prohibited? Will your guests need to bring their ID to present at the bar? Is there wheelchair access? Is there more than one wedding or event taking place at the same venue?
- Registry. You and your fiancé may or may not be planning to register for gifts. Like I said before, sometimes the fact that someone traveled just to be a part of your big day is gift enough. However, if you would like to register for gifts it is another helpful tool to put on your wedding website. Often you can link your gift registry directly to your website. This can certainly make for some stress-free and convenient shopping for your guests! If you are asking for something else in lieu of traditional gifts like a donation to your favorite charities you can also put that information on your site.
I could go on and on but I’ve already done that…on my wedding website. In my experience hosting weddings, I’ve seen that guests like to know what to expect. They like to know when things are going to happen and where. You wouldn’t believe how people react when they don’t know when they’re going to eat! Let them know. It’s that simple. When people are given more details and an idea of what to expect they tend to be more at ease and will enjoy your wedding that much more. Oh and keep in mind, the more information you give them up front, the fewer texts, emails and phone calls you’ll get with question after question. With all that time you’re saving, you and your love can spend an extra day on your honeymoon!