Wedding Websites 101

No, you don't need to take a web design or social media class to learn how to create and share a killer site. Just use this cheat sheet.
  1. Free Can Equal Awesome

    There are lots of scenarios where you get what you pay for, but making a wedding website isn't one of them. You can create a professional-looking site absolutely free. Check out our options -- there are more than 100 different color and style combos to choose from, so we're positive you'll find one that fits your wedding perfectly. Poke around for the template design you like best, pick one, and the site will walk you through the entire creation process. It's easy -- we promise!

  2. Cover the Basics -- and Then Some

    There are two main reasons to make a wedding website. One is to give guests need-to-know info that may not be included on the invite (hint: no need to bulk up that envelope with directions and hotel suggestions). This means you'll want to cover the who, what, when and where, plus how to get there. The second reason is to add other fun stuff guests will want to know, like suggested attire and who will be in the wedding party. Think of the site as a one-stop shop guests can check whenever they have questions -- without having to call you. And, if there's something that only some guests will be invited to, leave it off or make a section that only invitees can see (yes, that's doable!).

  3. Broadcast Your Registry Details Loud and Clear

    You know you're not supposed to say where you're registered on your invite, right? Well, creating a website gives you a chance to tell everyone exactly where you're registered -- without seeming tacky! You can even put links right on your web page that will take your guests directly to your registries, where they can start shopping for you immediately. Go ahead and make those links big and bold!

  4. Add Personal Touches

    Let visitors to your site get to know you a little better by giving them a bit of background on you and your groom (which is especially helpful for guests who don't know one of you that well). Tell them the story of how you met, or you could even have video footage of the proposal with a link to it (on YouTube or elsewhere). Or share a few of your favorite couple shots (you can link to Flickr or other online albums). You might even want to put up photos of wedding party members so everyone will recognize who's who at the wedding. Just beware of going too crazy -- you can include a lot of info on your site, but it should still be to the point. Our guess is, visitors won't feel like clicking through an e-book of the story of your life together or a big album devoted to your pet (aka the ring bearer).

  5. Out-of-Towners Will Love You For This:

    Post logistical details for guests making travel plans. They'll certainly appreciate the heads-up that you've blocked rooms at a specific hotel and will love having all the info they need to book one at their fingertips. You can even create a Google map and pin important locations -- not just the hotel and venue info, but great restaurants they might want to try and cool things to do while they're in town.

  6. Take Advantage of the Bells and Whistles

    Now for the fun stuff: Create an online guest book so visitors can leave you a message telling you how much they're looking forward to celebrating with you. While you're at it, include an online RSVP option. You can also add customized pages to share just about anything, like a charity you're donating to.

  7. Know What to Leave Out

    Remember: Your grandma (and future in-laws) will see this site. So maybe you want to skip those pictures of you guys at a college keg party or wearing those double-entendre Halloween costumes. And even though the website doesn't have to be as perfect as your invitation, run your words through spell check and have a friend proofread before you post anything. Also, double-check that all the addresses and other facts are correct. You don't want to get your guests lost or confused!

  8. Spread the Word However You Want

    Brides are posting links to their wedding websites on Facebook and Twitter and sending them in email blasts. But don't forget: The link can appear in your printed materials too, like the save-the-date, shower invite and -- if it's done really neatly -- even on your wedding invitation. One cool new perk of The Knot wedding websites: You can purchase a customized domain name , so your URL looks even more polished on your printed materials.

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