If you are looking to create a personalized website for your upcoming wedding in the Washington DC area, then read on my friend! In today’s digital world, a website is a convenient and paper-free go-to for the all the details of your day. We’re talking everything from engagement photos and travel accommodations to gift registries and venue details! But where do you begin? Lucky for us, our girl Margo from Bright Occasions is here to share her advice for the essentials of what to include on your website!

Photo Credit: Kristin Gardner Photography from Equestrian Themed Wedding

The wedding website is not only a great tool for sharing wedding information with guests; it’s also a fun way to share your personal story, engagement photos and journey to the big day with family and friends. It really is a must for every couple and will be where your guests go to for wedding (and wedding weekend!) event details, venue address, travel/accommodation and registry information and more.

If you are just getting started, I recommend using Wedding Wire for pre-existing wedding website templates. Wedding Wire tools make the process really easy and there are a lot of design options to pick from.  If you wish to build your own site, I like Wordpress; I find WordPress to be user-friendly and the templates are easily customizable. Here’s the rundown for creating a great wedding website…

Create a Simple URL 

The first step is checking availability for your URL, especially if you are purchasing a domain. You may want to create a few domain names and test them out to see if they are taken. The best website domains are short combinations with your name(s) and possibly year.  Such as: ryanandjohn2014.com or margoanddavewed.com.

Use a Consistent Style

Think of your website and one of the first wedding impressions your guests will have. It’s a good idea to keep the look of your website in line with your wedding style. If you are planning an outdoor wedding, then go with a rustic style for the site, and/or earthy colors. For classic ballroom weddings, something more traditional would be perfect.

Start With the Basics

…where, when and how! Remember to give as much information as possible for the venue location, time, etc. so that your guests can easily find your venue and arrive on time. There can never be too much information where the wedding is concerned! Here is what should be listed:

  • Wedding date and location(s) for ceremony and reception
  • Venue(s) address, phone number and website
  • Ceremony start time, or list when guests should arrive
  • A map and directions to the venue
  • Depending on where the wedding is taking place, include walking directions from the hotel, driving directions for local guests, and/or parking information for the venue
  • Transportation information; i.e. if you are providing shuttles to/from the ceremony or reception and the pick-up/drop-off time
  • Taxi information if you are not planning to provide a shuttle
  • Any other special instructions or information

Hotel Accommodations 

Chances are many guests will be traveling for your wedding, so you will want to have a dedicated page for hotel block information.  If you aren’t planning to set aside rooms at a specific hotel, then list hotel options near the venue.  For the hotel block information include the following:

  • Hotel name, address, phone number and website
  • Room rate(s) and room type(s)
  • Dates available for the block
  • A cut-off date or deadline for reserving a room
  • Parking information (if applicable)
  • Nearby Metro locations (if the wedding/hotel is in the district)

Travel Details

As with any big city, travelling to and from the Washington DC area may be totally foreign for out of town guests. They won’t know which airport to choose and how the DC Metro system works. Make sure to have a page with instructions on traveling in and out of DC. Depending on where your wedding is taking place in the DC area include the following:

  • Suggested airport(s) closest to wedding location
  • Shuttle service, metro information and/or taxi information
  • Information for how to get around town via metro or bus (if wedding/hotel is in the district)

Fun Local Activities + Spots

If your wedding is in our nation’s capital, your guests may want to plan a long weekend to the district and take advantage of the sights while in town for your wedding.  The following should be included:

  • Your favorite restaurants, you can restrict the list to restaurants near the hotel/wedding location or go with your favorite places in the area to dine
  • Information for Smithsonian, other museums and the National Zoo
  • Noteworthy monuments on the National Mall and suggested times to sightsee
  • Weekend events happening in DC; especially if wedding is held on a holiday weekend
  • Other – areas to shop, walking/running/biking trails, and concert/theater venues

Wedding Registry Information

Be sure to include registry information via your website. Guests will want to know this information prior to wedding events.  Most stores will provide direct links for your website, which is super easy for family and friends.

Your Love Story

While many friends may already know your story, there is a good chance that not all of your guests will know the exact story of how you met and/or got engaged.   You can also include brief bios since some family members/friends may not have met your fiancé.

Favorite Engagement Photos

Your website is the perfect place to display engagement photos.  After the wedding you can also share wedding and/or honeymoon photos.

All About the Wedding Party

Couples may wish to honor those family and friends by listing them on their website.  Many will share stories of how they met and a brief bio of each attendant.

More Ideas

Your wedding website is mainly a place for guests to get wedding information, but it is also a way to personalize your wedding. Couples can always pick and choose what they feel is most important.  For example, if you are planning to donate on your guests behalf (instead of traditional favors), then include that information on your website! Or if you are planning a wedding with customs and traditions that some may not know, have a page that describes what guests can look forward to seeing at your wedding. Additional website items include:

  • Electronic RSVP form — Paper is still the preferred method, but some are going digital and asking guests to RSVP online.
  • Vendors — If you are especially proud of your vendors and want to share this information with you guests, include a list with links to their sites and a short description of how they made your day so great.
  • Guest book— You may wish to have a place for guests to leave comments and well wishes for your day.

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Thank you so much, Margo for your ideas for wedding website! I hope you’re feeling inspired and ready to create your wedding website. If you’re looking for a local wedding planner, be sure to check Margo out at Bright Occasions!

Are you looking for more local wedding ideas? Be sure to look through our DC area wedding idea galleries and find wedding advice from local DC area pros. If that isn’t enough, check out our collection of local DMV weddings from the real world and the best DC area wedding vendors who make it all happen.

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