Set up your own wedding website (no computer science degree required)

With the increasing availability of easy webpage-building sites, wedding websites (sometimes called "wed-sites") have become the one-stop shop for gathering RSVPs, answering questions, running wedding party inspiration boards, sharing photos, and even registry lists. The one drawback of having so many options is that it's hard to know where to get started, what to include, or even what services fit your style.

Do I need a wedsite?

Wedding websites are something of a new trend in the slow-to-change wedding industry, but they can be a powerful tool. If most of your guests are the traditional sort or don't feel very comfortable looking things up online, then you might want to think twice about creating a website for your wedding. However, if a majority of your guests would find it easier to boookmark a webpage rather than try to keep track of that invitation card you mailed them a few months ago, you may want to consider a wedsite.

What will my great-aunt think about RSVP-ing online?

The wonderful thing about wedsites is that you can make it whatever you want it to be. Want to send out paper invitations? You can go ahead and do that. Want to save some money by sending out evites? You can do that too! (With maybe a paper card or two to the older family members).

If you do opt for paper invitations as well as the ability to RSVP online, consider adding a line to your response card like "You may also reply by way of our wedding web site: www.happycouple.com:." Refrain from putting your website on your invitation itself, though. Though it may be tempting, some people may dislike it.

What should our wedsite include?

You can include anything you think your guests would like to know about your wedding. The wonderful thing about wedsites is that you have more room to answer those frequent questions of guests and head them off from the start.

Some of the basics you may want to consider:

  • Your names (and your parents' names)
  • A photo of the two of you
  • The date, time, and location of the wedding
  • Registry information
  • Hotel information

Other non-essentials that you might consider adding:

  • Your story of how you met and your engagement
  • Photo albums of you and your significant other
  • RSVP form
  • Map and timeline for the wedding (printable is great!)
  • Information on the wedding party
  • Planning blog (can be used to document your honeymoon, too!)
  • Dress code information
  • Guest book
  • Frequently asked questions (Can I bring a date? Are kids invited?)
  • Theme information

How to I get started?

Here are some basic steps to help you as you get ready to build your wedsite:

  1. Find the right website host that fits your budget and style
  2. Start personalizing the site, including the URL and style choices
  3. Make a home page with the basic information for guests
  4. Figure our what content you want on the site and organize it into categories
  5. Build all the pages you want (and don't forget to add photos!). Start with the most important information and continue adding pages as you can
  6. Make any pages with personal information (like information on the bridesmaid's dresses) password-protected or hidden
  7. Announce it in style. Use a free email builder (like MailChimp), make your own e-vites, or include the URL on your beautiful paper invitations. Just make sure you have all the important information on any paper invitations for your unwired guests.

What website builders are best?

MyWedding.com

Join mywedding.com to make a free wedding website. Browse over 600 templates that allow you to manage your guest list , RSVPs, and registry. Upload your personal playlist and allow guests to suggest songs at the reception. Send group emails, like save-the-dates or last-minute reminders.

TheKnot.com

A free tool with over 80 modern templates that are all mobile-friendly Enjoy Facebook and Instagram integration for photo streams, online RSVPs, guest list manager, integration with registries in big-name stores, and password protection.

WeddingWire.com

A free service with over 400 mobile- and tablet-friendly templates that let you choose your own background photo. Use the WedSocial app to crowd-source wedding photos in real time, and other widgets to manage guests and RSVPs, registries, travel, and hotels. Personalize your URL at no cost.

Squarespace.com

Starting at $8/month, Squarespace isn't free like some services, but allows you total control of your site. If you're not familiar with website design, Squarespace's beautiful interface is super simple to understand and manipulate. If you're more comfortable with advanced features, Squarespace allows for CSS code injections all across the site. With incredibly modern, photo-centric templates, free custom URLs, social media integration and 24/7 customer support, this powerhouse is worth the investment.