What should you put on your wedsite's FAQ? #Invitation advice#Wedding 101#dress code#guests#invitations#wedding websites March 20 2012 | Megan Finley Horowitz meggyfin Wedsites are awesome, aren't they? I think they're pretty much the best thing to happen to weddings since Offbeat Bride. How else 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 you should include on your FAQ, here is a huge master list of the things your guests are dying to know. How do I get to the venue(s)? What time should I arrive? Where should I park? Will I have to pay for parking? 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? I am coming from out of town. Where should I stay? When is the RSVP deadline? Are the ceremony and reception locations wheelchair accessible? What is a handfasting/commitment ceremony/collaring ceremony/etc? What should/could I do between the ceremony and the reception? Will food be served? What kind of food will be served? What if I have a dietary restriction? Will there be dancing? Will there be any activities happening that I need to know about? What time will the reception end? Can I take pictures? (Perfect if you're planning an unplugged wedding) Is there a gifts registry? What if I want to donate my services to the cause instead of give a gift? Is there transportation being provided between reception and hotels? Will last names be changing after the wedding? I have a question not answered here; how do I contact you? What did you put on YOUR wedding website? 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 Megan Finley Horowitz When Megan's not writing, traveling, and sleeping, she's eating like the fate of the world depends on it. (You're welcome, world!) You can snoop into her personal life over on her website The Dash and Dine! @meggyfin @thedashanddine @meggyfin PREVIOUS Linda & Dave's pseudo-rustic super stylin' wedding NEXT Themed boutonnieres and funky corsage pins from I Do Novelty Show/Hide comments [ 67 ] Will I get to witness the Face-Cake Smash?! Is on my list. I'm adding some from your list, even though I have the menu posted on another part of the site. 2 agree Reply CakeSmash is a perfect topic. Or if there's ANYTHING "traditional" that you don't plan on doing that people will expect, I might toss it in. 3 agree Reply I dont have a FAQ to add however I must say Im liking the idea of a wedding website more and more! In fact were about 95% sure were just sending out a postcard (a nice one) directing people to a website, as our actual invitation and response card. If you think about it there are so many places to get free websites that you can 100% customize to your needs AND you save some trees, whats not to love? 7 agree Reply That's exactly what we've done and it's working brilliantly so far. The few non online types can text their RSVPs and view the site on our mobiles for "ooh these modern things, you're so clever!" purposes 🙂 Reply I added a QR code to the back of our invites…turned out to be genius, we got many faster responses than I ever could have imagined. We wanted to save the money on RSVP postage and have everyone RSVP on the website which digitizes everything so I can easily make a seating chart, etc. The QR code and the website spelled out seemed enough for all of our guests to get it. 🙂 9 agree Reply Where do I get or generate the QR code? I love this idea! Thx! 2 agree Reply You can generate qr codes here! http://www.qrstuff.com/ 1 agrees I don't have any of the good informative ones, but I do have: -"Why does [the invitation] say to bring my bathing suit?" -"I don't want to swim. Can I still come?" -"[Can I] throw my friend/mom/kid brother/grandma in the pool?" 9 agree Reply If the answer to the last one is "yes," I hope you've lined up a videographer, pro or not…my family has some pretty epic video of a female cousin throwing an elderly uncle in a pool, then the two of them teaming up to throw another cousin in. An above ground pool collapsed and flooded the yard. And, even though this happened in 1987, it still leaps to mind and is a frequent topic at family events. Your wedding sounds super fun!!! =) 5 agree Reply Um, OMG, where is your wedding and can I please come!?! I was MOH for my best friend's wedding — which included a midnight hotel pool party — and it was pretty much the best thing ever. You are clearly awesome and wonderful and deserve every happiness in the future! 1 agrees Reply this is my wedding website (using one of your offbeat templates!!) ive had some great feeback off it so far! http://www.mywedding.com/rothwell/ 6 agree Reply your website is adorable! Reply awww thank-you so much! Im so glad you took the time to read it 🙂 xxx 1 agrees Reply oh mann, I want to go to your wedding, sounds like a BLAST!! 😀 Reply ha ha thank-you!!! 1 agrees Reply Best! Wedding! Ever!!! If only I knew you and was invited!!! I love zoos! Reply Your wedding looks amazing! Now I want to pet goats and to watch otters play. Reply Don't know if you still read or not but I would have LOVED your wedding sounds like the best time ever. I hope it was as awesome as it sounds like it would have been. 1 agrees Reply Since we're Germanic pagans, we've included a page on 'What is Heathenry?' which covers the basics of what it needs, the gods which will figure a prominent part in our ceremony and terms/objects which some of our attendees will not know what they stand for. It will be put in our program as well. 13 agree Reply I'm planning to do something similar. We haven't set ours up yet but we're atheist-leaning agnostics who are not very comfortable with a lot of religion. I want to use the FAQs to explain that I would rather no-one prayed at me but that there will be a moment for quiet prayer and reflection. 4 agree Reply Hi! Fellow Heathen here. Would you mind sharing your wedding website here, or shooting me an email? Thank you. (firstname.lastname@example.org) 1 agrees Reply Under the "parking" question, I would also let people know whether or not parking is free or how much your venue's garage/lot costs. No one wants to be slapped with a $14 fee or have to park in a metered space when they don't have quarters unexpectedly. And if parking is validated by the venue, tell the folks how. 4 agree Reply Totally agreed! Giving parking info (or shuttle and/or carpool info) is definitely key. 1 agrees Reply Ooh, good call. I'm adding that one! Reply Yes, and also info about public transit if it's available. 2 agree Reply We covered a lot of these on our FAQ. I also included "Can I bring my dog?" (the venue is technically a garden – but a botanical garden, so the answer's no, leave the furry kids at home) which was followed by the kids question, which I phrased as "What if my kids are, well, human?" I also included "What if I have food allergies?," which was a nice way to way to move into the announcement it's a vegan wedding which luckily, our guests are very excited about (soy-free gluten-free options on request. This also gives anyone who is wary an out to quietly eat their burger ahead of time.) As I'd added the human-kids question after a few hit my inbox, I was thinking I might continue adding as more as questions came in. After seeing the great guides folks made here, we decided to use Pinterest to create visual cues on what to wear and what not to wear, since it's a dressy-casual affair that involves walking on unpaved paths. I wish someone had done that for me before I arrived UNDER dressed at my friend's wedding! One thing that I've gotten positive feedback on was that the FAQ we did have a good sense of humor and that, like STD postcards (teehee,) helps set the feel of the whole thing! 4 agree Reply "we decided to use Pinterest to create visual cues on what to wear and what not to wear" What an interesting idea!!! 6 agree Reply I just googled for images I like and also found a few humorous 'what not to wear'photos. Pinterest is a great idea too. 1 agrees Reply We are having a fantasy themed wedding and are also using Pinterest in our FAQ for visual cues. 2 agree Reply We included a "Handfasting FAQ" which was the following four questions: What is a handfasting? Why are you doing one? Do I need to know/wear/do anything special? What if I cannot attend, or am unsure about participating in the ceremony? The answers were pretty comprehensive, but also written to be as concise as possible . For example, we didn't talk extensively about Wicca or Paganism, but instead provided a link to a very comprehensive article for anyone who was interested. This let us tell people what they needed to know to be comfortable and evaluate whether or not the ceremony was for them – and direct them to information we feel is accurate if they were interested in more – without putting anyone on the defensive (as is possible to do whenever talking a lot about religion, we're just trying to be super sensitive). We also wanted to convey that if you come to the ceremony, you will be in circle with us, which we did with our last question and answer. 5 agree Reply What site did you use? I would love to put something like that on mine. We are doing a handfasting. I'm pagan and the Mr. is agnostic, and we both have Irish background, but I'm still not sure our families will understand! Thanks!! 1 agrees Reply This is nice, but my guests all prefer to email/text me individually to ask me the things that have been helpfully posted on our website since January. Um, I mean, I love how interested and involved everybody is! No, seriously, I do . . . 4 agree Reply Word. We even went so far as to list almost nothing on the invite except see the website where all your questions will be answered. Literally. We sent a card along with the invite that said "see our website for all wedding related inquires including a FAQ". And yet every few days I get an email or a phone call about something that is spelled out on the website. I love our families but oy vey! 9 agree Reply I put the q and a "What about gifts not on the registry?" and explained we loved getting homemade/thrifted/secondhand stuff! We actually got some really cool "extra" gifts because of that, and some people commented they felt more freedom to get us something "not just on our list" (like an experience, etc.) Also "How can I help?" with specific tasks and contact info listed in the answer. 4 agree Reply Our location can only hold 75 people so this is a great way of telling people no you can't have a +1 and this is why. 8 agree Reply While some of the logistical Where do I stay? Where do I park? How do you get there? questions will be addressed separately, our current FAQ (linked) touched on some of the overarching questions people (attending or not) might have about our tiny, queer, interracial, secular, informal, nontraditional wedding. Like: Is it legal? and What do we call you? We also took the FAQ opportunity to broach slightly sensitive topics like our decisions to keep it very small (immediate family and a few close friends only), serve no alcohol, and refrain from dancing. Putting that stuff out in front early on has done a lot to acclimate folks to the strangeness. 3 agree Reply From a web designer point of view, it's long been considered best practices to work so that you don't have to have a FAQ at all. Try making your pages hold the explanations an FAQ would cover. An FAQ should only be the catch-all place for questions that truly don't fit anywhere else. I mean, if these questions are so frequently asked, shouldn't they fit somewhere on a regular page so that people don't have to ask them? For example: These could be covered by an, "about the venue" page: How do I get to the venue(s)? Where should I park? Will I have to pay for parking? Are the ceremony and reception locations wheelchair accessible? Is there transportation being provided between reception and hotels? These could be covered by an "about the ceremony/reception" page: What time should I arrive? What is a handfasting/commitment ceremony/collaring ceremony/etc? Can I take pictures? (Perfect if you're planning an unplugged wedding) Does your wedding have a theme? Will food be served? What kind of food will be served? What if I have a dietary restriction? Will there be dancing? What should/could I do between the ceremony and the reception? These could be covered by a "dress code and attire" page: 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? 24 agree Reply That's the approach we took for most of our website; however, we chose to do a "Handfasting FAQ" as a conscious discursive choice to imply that this is new for most of our guests and that questions and unfamiliarity are OK. This might not be the right approach for everyone, but for us it seems to flow better than trying to write it in another format and we've received good feedback on that section in particular. (Four questions total, each question has a one paragraph answer.) As a research question – how do other people use FAQs on websites as readings/guests? When I'm looking for specific information, I often click on a FAQ before reading the rest of a website (I'm thinking more generally here, including sites of businesses, organizations, etc.), and often I find it there. This could be symptomatic of reading a lot of poorly designed sites – but I think feeling like people don't want to read much also contributed to our decision to make the most unfamiliar aspect of our wedding in an FAQ form. Thoughts? (I mean, not on our site – it took a lot of work and editing, and it's not being changed now for anything short of an emergency, but more in general) 4 agree Reply I think very few of the sites I've designed have FAQ. I ask them to start out with the things that they think people will be searching for to find them and then we create a structure from there, which usually eliminates most of the things that would end up in FAQ because they're put where they would make sense as someone would be looking for that information. I think the only sites I've made that include FAQ sections that are significantly read (meaning, read nearly as much as all the other pages) are personality sites. Like, sites for celebrities or fame-based stuff, like a wrestling organization. Reply Ok, so let's talk web development here. Erin, while your feedback is TOTALLY solid for most web properties, I feel like informational wedding websites are a slightly different game. FAQs are standard on wedding sites, and even more so on nontraditional wedding websites when guests know it's a "weird wedding," but have no idea what to expect. I'd estimate that 80% of the thousands of wedding websites we provide designs for have a page for FAQs. I'm not certainly not arguing that FAQs are a best practice for many commercial websites, but wedding websites are definitely a very specific web usage scenario… and many folks have found FAQs helpful. 30 agree Reply I know this was posted years ago, but since I recently found this, I thought I'd respond anyway. As a marketer who's worked with websites, I understand where Erin is coming from. However, as a bride I agree with Ariel. For my own wedsite, I'm doing a hybrid. I'm creating various pages, much like Erin recommends. However, I'm also doing an FAQ page. If the answer is answered elsewhere, I'm able to link to that spot directly. That way if they want to find something quickly, they can scan the list of FAQs and know exactly where to go within the site. I realize that I have a ton of information on my site (we're expecting a large number of out-of-towners, so we're doing some additional events in addition to the wedding, so that we can spend quality time with people we don't see much.) The FAQ is a good place to direct people on where they should go for more information on what they're wondering about. I hope that my site is well organized and it's obvious, but what's obvious to me (Parking information on the venue is on the "Transportation" page of the site), may not be clear to everyone who visits. 5 agree awesome, this is so informative, thanks so much. i think i will be adding in something about our ring warming just so those who will need the extra time to think about things will have it…if they read the website of course. 1 agrees Reply Thanks to this list and all the comments, I added a shit ton to our Fab FAQs page. We had one already but it didn't cover enough. Reply I think 'Do we have to pay for drinks?' or 'How much are drinks?' are useful! I can't remember whether we had it as it's own thing or as an FAQ, but i made sure to put it on there so that people knew that the bar was pay for yourself, and also what the prices were so that there wasn't a big shock! I have found that although buying your own drinks isn't that suprising now adays (and obviously this is what we had) people still get caught out by not bringing cash and finding that some venues don't accept cards etc. 5 agree Reply Totally! I love this, we are providing wine, but so many people don't drink it. I know the feeling of shock when you are told "oh you want a drink? It's a cash bar" and you have nothing on you, worst ever. 1 agrees Reply We're getting married on a farm so: Q. Can I pet the animals? A. yes, but be careful and stay away from the donkey. 10 agree Reply THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU! I'm missing much of this information. This helps out a lot! 1 agrees Reply Related, but unrelated- in your opinion what's the best way to tell folks that they are not able to bring a plus 1? 1 agrees Reply Hey Amelia, So I know it was like a million years ago (22 March 2012)-ha!- but have you checked out this great OBB post on dealing with the +1 factor…? http://offbeatbride.com/2010/07/wedding-invite-no-plus-1 Reply @amelia This is my answer for the +1 question: Well… see… here's the thing… because we have large, close families and we've made so many wonderful friends, we've had to be creative in making sure that we can fit everyone in our venue, and there really is no room for unexpected extras. So please only the people whose names appear on the invite envelope are asked to RSVP. Sorry. But as just mentioned, we have wonderful friends and families – we're certain you'll to have a great time without a date! 9 agree Reply I just added this verbatim. Thanks for such polite and friendly wording! 4 agree Reply Here's my answer for that one: If your invitation says "and guest," then yes. If it's addressed solely to you, then no. Sorry! We want it to be a fairly cozy event full of the people we know and love. Invites will go out in late summer—we haven't sent any yet. Just a few save the dates to some folks we really wanted to make sure would be there. We'll be sending out more invites than we did save the dates. Reply I imagine that since it's August, this probably worked for you, but I'd be hesitant to deliniate between guests who got a "and guest" on their invite and those who didn't. If you're not allowing extra guests, then saying "only those named in the invitation are asked to RSVP" keeps this from occuring: hey, wait, that means other people can invite a random guest / short term SO / and _I_ can't? Why not? Etc, Etc, Etc… 2 agree Reply Thanks for this! Reply Awesome post. I just made a FAQ page on our wedding website at http://www.natplusd.ca. Thank you!! Reply People thought our "do not stay" list was thoughtful. It was just a few places in the area that we knew would be bad to stay at. 4 agree Reply We're using a mywedding.com wedsite. I loved the designs I found, and I liked how the one I'm using is slightly creepy/gothic because we're having a Halloween wedding. 😀 And thanks to this post I added an FAQ yesterday. http://www.mywedding.com/stevanandleslie Reply Yes! Yay! My partner laughed at me when I said we needed a FAQ, but we've got one anyway. It's mostly empty as we have most of the info listed throughout the website but might add them into the FAQ too, knowing how lazy people can be… Thanky for this list! 1 agrees Reply Bumping this up Just wanted to say this is a fantastic help there were several questions on here I'd not considered and I'm now so adding a FAQ page. Reply I just finished my wedding website last week – http://www.compilationdesign.com/wedding/ (not sure if links are allowed, but other people are doing it, but remove if needed). I had a look at sites like mywedding.com, Google Weddings and a few others, but I hated the fact that I couldn't customize the design much other than a couple of photos, fonts and colors. While this is great for most people (especially those who aren't design-savvy), I'm a web-designer, so non-customizable templates annoy me to no end! I wanted a theme that matched my 'Save the Dates' (which I also designed) and I couldn't do this with the limitations of those sites. So after a bit of research, I opted for a WordPress based site, there's a few "wedding" friendly plug-ins available including one that allows people to RSVP and another that you can use to set up a registry (I'll be activating these closer to the date) and a countdown timer (I didn't add that one as it's not very customizable visually). I did include a FAQ page as I'd seen them elsewhere, but this list now makes me think mine is incomplete, so I need to add more to it! 🙂 Reply The church and it's Family Center (where the reception will be held) are alcohol and smoke free zones. We used our FAQ page to address these questions by saying "Leave that flask at home! There is no alcohol allowed on church property. Also all the buildings at the church are non-smoking." 1 agrees Reply This list is definitely helpful, since we'll be setting up a website soon. One of the suggestions on there is "Are kids welcome," and I was just wondering if anyone had some helpful and courteous ways to phrase the answer "no." We aren't interested in having any young kids or babies attend, and I know some people on the guest list have tots. 1 agrees Reply I phrased mine as "We love the children of our friends and family but due to the late and alcoholic nature of this event we have decided to have a child free wedding. You will notice the small (pun kind of intended) exception of the bride's sister's kids participating in the ceremony but they will be swept directly off to sleepy land shortly after! Any guests under the age of 21 are the responsibility of the 21+ adults in their party. I just finished my faqs thanks to this list at http://www.weddingwire.com/weddingcon2015 and chose that wording carefully haha 2 agree Reply Ooh! That sounds really good, and hopefully wouldn't insult any of our guests. Thanks so much for the help! Our wedding isn't exactly late (it's on a Sunday so the ceremony's at 2 p.m., reception ends around 8), but we will have an open bar so I think the reason of alcohol should still explain it well enough. Reply How about information about events that all wedding guests are not necessarily invited to…mostly I mean the rehearsal dinner. We are limiting our rehearsal dinner to our 30 closest family who will be attending our small private ceremony (that's an entirely different story) and our out of town guests who, due to distance, have to come in for the wedding a day early. We're doing that for a variety of reasons but cost is a big one. I can see the benefit of having the info out there but I can also see how it may grate on the nerves of some local folks who aren't invited. Should that information go on the wedsite even if it doesn't pertain to everyone using the site? 1 agrees Reply My personal opinion is that events with a much smaller guest list, like a rehearsal dinner or shower, should be left off your main wedding website. There are other means of sending out electronic invites (or, even the old fashioned card-in-mail route), and you could even put together a private Facebook event if you'd like. My belief is that the wedding website is for general information that all wedding guests would need to be privy to. Hope this helps, and it is just my personal opinion. Reply Nowadays lots of wedding websites let you set the privacy for each event individually. So..only ~20 people can see the rehearsal + rehearsal dinner invite, ~10 people can see the 'arrive early for family photos' invite, and ~100 people can see the wedding ceremony/reception invite. No mention of the rehearsal, rehearsal dinner, or other exclusive events should be mentioned anywhere in public where non-invited people can see. 1 agrees Reply Leave a Reply to Bree 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. 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