7 ways to make a wedding website guests will ACTUALLY use #Invitation advice#web tools#wedding websites January 20 2016 | Ariel offbeatbride You can get this mason jars wedding website template from mywedding.com I'm pretty sure here in 2016, we all know why wedding websites (aka "wedsites") are so awesome. Printed invitations can only hold so much information, and it makes things easier for your guests when you've got a personalized website to tell them everything they need to know … whether that's simple stuff like accommodations and venue parking, or more complex stuff like why they shouldn't wear heels because, well, there will be a bouncy castle at the reception, duh! So, how to get your guests to ACTUALLY read your wedding website? 1. Oversell your wedding website on your invitations This is the very first and most important step. Before you can make sure they read your wedding website, you have to make sure they know about it — and just printing the little URL on the invitations may not be enough. Don't just share the website address, but TELL guests they NEED to visit it to get important information. This is known by some folk as a "call to action," and it's super important! Why isn't anyone going to your wedsite? Here's a tip from an advertising pro Tribe member UltraJonda sent out her Save the Dates, but no one is going to the wedsite. Why not? Knowing the reason why just might save you from the very… Read More 2. Get FAQ-y with it Guests always have questions… maybe many, maybe frequently. Maybe on the day of the wedding! These might include: The date of the wedding (sounds obvious, but it's the detail everyone needs most) How do I get to the venue(s)? What should I wear? Is there a dress code? What kind of shoes should/shouldn't I wear? Are there any colors that guests should avoid wearing? Are kids welcome? Can I bring a date? Does your wedding have a theme? We have even more suggestions here for what to include on your FAQ. You could even include a "who to call" cheat sheet online so that anyone can access it on their smartphones in those we-need-to-know-this-NOW moments. What should you put on your wedsite's FAQ? How can you stop the constant barrage of wedding questions from wonderfully well-meaning guests? With an all-encompassing FAQ page of course! If you're sitting at your computer, wondering what exactly… Read More 3. Tell your story Related Post How I'm using my wedding website to explain my mixed-faith wedding to dubious family members Our wedsite FAQ will be how 80% of my (very Catholic) family will have the "Surprise! I've converted to a different religion!" news broken to... Read more Hopefully most of your guests will already know what you are all about, but when it comes to guests' dates, extended family, coworkers, and folks like that, some back-story may be welcome. If you're having a Star Wars theme, guests would love to know that you guys met at Comic-Con. It may feel a little me-me-me, but it might make those less close folks feel more connected with your wedding, and avoid people feeling like the pop cultural references are all inside jokes they don't get. 4. Encourage online RSVP Most wedding website tools have an RSVP tool, so use it! 20somethings may be totally phone- and snail mail-phobic (trust us, we're right there with you), so an online RSVP is great for when you want to collect and track the headcount without having to track down web nerds like us. 5. Add a map of the area with key points of interest This is one of those so-useful-it-hurts additions for anyone from out-of-town. Most guests can Google nearby sites, but if it's your town, you probably know the really great places to see, to eat at, or in which to get sloshed. 6. Share registry information If you are planning to register for gifties, it is pretty efficient to find that information on your wedsite. This is especially true if you're going to use a wedding registry where guests can browse and buy. 7. Write updates This one is so not required (is anything on Offbeat Bride ever REALLY required?!), but if you're planning to remember key elements of planning or DIYing (or want to submit to a certain website), a blog updating your planning progress can be super helpful and even cathartic at times. Start designing your forever-free wedding website today, with our favorite wedsite provider, mywedding.com: Reporter Name * Reporter Email * Original text Enter the original text here. Edited text* Enter your suggested copyedit here. Notes You can add a note for the editor here. * Required information. Fix Typo Ariel Author of Offbeat Bride: Creative Alternatives for Independent Brides, Ariel acts as the publisher of all the Offbeat Empire websites. She lives in Seattle with her son, and if she's not reading or writing, chances are good that she's dancing and happy-crying. PREVIOUS OPEN THREAD: How do you deal with wedding dress regret? NEXT A fabulously unexpected journey at this Lord of The Rings-themed wedding Show/Hide comments [ 3 ] My partner and I are using Glosite after seeing it on OBB, and we are SO GLAD. Our wedding is a giant 4-ish day event over Labor Day weekend at a summer camp. It will include lake time, arts and crafts, and a vows tournament (I am super duper excited about that!). Long story short, there are so many details for the weekend, so there was absolutely no way we could do all of that without a website! Ours has an awesome electronic invite feature, so we were able to email the invites to most people on our list. And clicking that invite will take them directly to the site, which definitely helps promote traffic. For the very few people who do not use computers, we turned the website into a cute little booklet (OfficeMax printing was surprisingly cheap for the booklet and a few invites printed on card stock), and that has worked well. We were nervous that people would find the electronic invites weird, but we have gotten a really great response so far! And I am really glad it makes it so easy for everyone to go to the website to see the details and RSVP! If your website comes with this feature (or even if you just want to send an email from your normal email address), directly sending them the link to the website is hands-down the best way we got people to use the site! 1 agrees Reply Wow, printing into a booklet for the non-computer savvy is a great idea! 3 agree Reply This is all great advice! We chose not to have a wedsite for three reasons. A. My husband doesn't like them and finds them unnecessary, B. I'd read way too many stories of couples who spent hours creating a wonderful wedsite only to end up with less than half the guests actually visiting it, C. Our guest list consisted of a pretty even split between young computer savvy people and older relatives who don't even own one so we felt it pointless to create something that only half the guests would have access to in the first place. What we did instead was create a pamphlet/brochure that we included with our invitations. It had information on dress code (costumes required!), kids (not welcome!), parking, directions, registry information, the RSVP deadline, and we even included a list of movies to watch that "may enhance your understanding and enjoyment of our ceremony". Including them did make the cost of postage rise as it added to the weight of our invitation packages but we received a lot of positive feedback on them from all of our guests. The thing guests seemed to like most about them was having a physical copy of the directions to bring along in case GPS or cell service was shoddy. I think knowing your crowd is the biggest key to creating a successful wedsite. I wish we had the type of crowd that would have used one because it would have saved us a lot of paper, ink, and postage (which is damn expensive!) 3 agree Reply Join the conversation Cancel Reply Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *Comment Notify me of follow-up comments by email. Sign me up for your offbeat awesomeness newsletter! No-drama comment policy Part of what makes the Offbeat Empire different is our commitment to civil, constructive commenting. Make sure you're familiar with our no-drama comment policy. Biz owners & wedding bloggers Please just use your real name in your comment, not your business name or blog title. Our comments are not the place to pimp your website. 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