6 tips for an extra-useful wedding website #Sponsors#web tools#wedding websites August 15 2014 | Catherine Clark bijouxandbits This business paid a fee to be listed on Offbeat Bride because they feel their products and services are a great fit with offbeat philosophies… and we agree. Learn more about our ads. I love seeing a wedding website URL in a save-the-date envelope. "Head to this website for our whole story." YES: I want to see photos, I want to see cute anecdotes, I want to see if you're planning any cultural traditions that I can read up on, and maybe I even want to RSVP there. Some guests may not get into them (and we have suggestions for that!), but a lot of the time, your wedding website is your key to telling all there is to know about your wedding. Not everyone chooses to have a wedsite, but since many offbeat weddings are themed, costumed, outdoors, interfaith, or just plain need a little 'splainin', a wedding website is often perfect for making sure you give everyone a heads up. Here are six tips for giving your wedsite some extra zing. 1. Include an FAQ Guests will 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 LOTS 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. 2. 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 Most guests will already know what you are all about, but when it comes to guests' dates, extended family, coworkers, and the like, a little romantic/cultural/interest-y background may be welcome. If you're having a Star Trek 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 aligned with your luuuurve. Plus, warm fuzzies are always welcome, amirite? 3. Let guests RSVP online If your wedsite of choice has an RSVP tool, take advantage! Those younger folks may be totally phone- and snail mail-phobic (trust us, we're right there with you), so an online RSVP is perfect for when you want to collect and track the headcount without having to track down those glued to web like we are. RSVPing in my underwear? Yes, please. 4. Include 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. Don't leave your guests hanging — dish, baby! 5. Include your 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 an online registry where guests can browse and buy. 6. Make blog-style updates This one is so not required (as are all of these tips, really), 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. Thanks to MyWedding for being awesome. Take a peek at their many super sleek, uber pretty, and very easy-to-setup totally free wedding website templates. And then let us know which template you picked in the comments! 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 Catherine Clark Catherine Clark is Offbeat Bride's Senior Editor. In her spare time she loiters at her local library, makes art, watches movies en masse, plays video and tabletop games, poorly cooks healthy things, cuddles with her feline fur baby, and blogs at BijouxandBits.com. @enidjcoleslaw @bijouxandbits @bijouxandbits PREVIOUS Betsey Johnson's wedding shoes just SOMETHING BLUE me away (har har har) NEXT Lara & Hunter's tea party wedding with feathers and hats Show/Hide comments [ 9 ] FAQs and online RSVP are 2 of my top suggestions. Adding as much information as possible to your website will keep guests from repeatedly contacting you. Plus, giving guests some idea of what to wear, shoes, outside, etc keeps guests from being embarrassed or uncomfortable. 4 agree Reply AGREED! I went to a wedding once where, despite the invitation indicating we would be at a particular BUILDING, we were actually in the park outside it. Lots of guests wore spike heels. For a wedding in the grass, in october in the Pacific Northwest, while it was raining. I mean, just drizzling, but wet dirt + spike heels + 60 degrees in dress clothes = COLD, UNCOMFORTABLE GUESTS. And there wasn't even any good beer to warm us up inside. Thankfully I just RANDOMLY had a spare pair of chunkier-heeled dress shoes and a wrap in the car, but there were a lot of ladies who simply planted at their seats with suit coats on and had their flat-shoed buddies grabbing plates of food & drinks, and no one really danced. Like seriously, just a note of "we may be outside depending on weather" would have made all of us reconsider our outfits. 2 agree Reply Just don't be too specific on clothing to not seem controlling or condescending. Traditionally, stating a dress code is considered to imply that you think your guests are too stupid to figure out what to wear based off of the tone/details of the invitation, the setting and time of the ceremony and reception, and the fact that it's a wedding. Reply For those who have thoughts on this, we've got a LOT of posts with advice about guest dress code, including posts like "Encourage, don't enforce: 5 clever ways to tell guests what to wear" and "How to ensure no one shows up to your halloween wedding wearing a kitty bikini." More here: http://offbeatbride.com/tag/dress-code 2 agree Reply The depressing thing is we had our site chock full of helpful info, and guests were still asking our parents. 2 agree Reply For a tasteful alternative to a registry, you could host an online spreadsheet on which guests can post what gifts they're planning on getting and already got, and thereby tip off other guests on what has already been "taken," thus eliminating redundant gifts. Bonus points for figuring out an additional setup through which guests can pool money for larger gifts. Another nice touch would be a forum, as I'm sure guests would like to discuss what to do while everyone's in town, where to stay if traveling, what to wear, how to meet up for independent functions, and what gifts to buy 1 agrees Reply And please, put the date, location, and time on first page. Chances are really high that I lost the invitation and that I am trying desperately to find where to go and when so that I don't have to call you on the day of your wedding to ask where it is. 7 agree Reply Cannot agree with this enough!!! I don't know if it's the default theme for some of these wedsites, but I swear I've gotten urls for 3 of 'em recently where I *could not find* the date of the wedding. I was at work & didn't have the invite & just wanted to confirm when the wedding was, but the date was NOWHERE to be found on these wedsites. What up??? Reply Agreed! I've added this to the post to reflect the obvious, but somehow missed, bite of info! 🙂 Reply Leave a Reply to sara g 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. If you want to promote your stuff on Offbeat Bride, join us as an advertiser instead.