You've probably already received (read: tuned out) a fair share of unsolicited advice when it comes to your big day preparation, but we at Riley & Grey find that when it comes to wedding websites, it's pretty new frontier for everyone. We've seen a lot of wedding website examples in our day, so we've got a running list of what "works" and what doesn't. Here are the ones that top our list.
DO ham it up.
A wedding website is a great way to get some mileage out of your engagement shoot (and a nice excuse to have one in the first place). Your site's gallery page is the perfect platform for showcasing otherwise wasted "outtakes," and gets you more bang for your buck. Consider using a photo-based design that allows you to upload your own image as your homepage background.
Don't worry, no one can one-up Kimye anyway, so don't fret over "oversharing." If you're one of those couples who dreads flooding your friends' social media feeds before and after your event then your site's your new BFF. Big day details are all conveniently confined to one place that guests can choose to visit as often (or little) as they like.
...Just DON'T hog the spotlight
Sure, your wedding website allows you to share all sorts logistics, but why not get a jumpstart on guest intros as well? A wedding party page briefly profiling your bridesmaids and groomsmen makes for a nice treat.
You can keep things casual. No need for professional head shots, unless you had the foresight to invite your VIPs to your engagement shoot (also an option). Source social media for cute, funny, and even embarrassing #tbt childhood snaps of your crew instead.
And you don't have to tell your maid of honor's whole life story to make a proper introduction either. Just ask your pal to complete a quirky sentence (i.e. If I could have any super power it would be...) to include as the copy. Better yet, roll with the throwback theme and assign yearbook superlatives to family and friends. Have fun with it -- you don't want this section looking like a LinkedIn profile anyway.
DO keep your domain simple.
Prioritize making your domain memorable. Even though a unique URL often makes a strong impression, you don't want things to get too complicated. Keep domain length at a minimum so it will be easy for guests to recall. Remember that domain names don't have spaces. Consider re-arranging names or substituting words to avoid back-to-back, repeating letters (i.e. annaplusandy.com NOT annaandandy.com).
Keep in mind that even though your mom is good (maybe even too good) at Facebook, your other older or less tech-savvy relatives will appreciate simplicity. A wedding website should make things easier on everyone. Death to the never-ending email chain!
Bonus 2-for-1 deal: If you have a wedding hashtag, you've got a domain name. And if you've got a domain name, you have a wedding hashtag. Piece of cake.
DON'T bombard your guests with recs
Whether you're getting married abroad or in your hometown, non-locals will appreciate a page of suggested restaurants, shops, and other to-dos. When sourcing recommendations, turn to travel sites such as Fathom that concisely pack this info into short and sweet weekend guides.
Just remember, if out-of-town guests wanted to vet dozens of hotels, they could just scour Google. While activities can abound, try limiting accommodation recs to three options total: one budget, one splurge and one in-between. This also allows you to more easily set your guests up with rooms in discounted blocks!
DO optimize your online RSVP
More than just a pretty interface or guest resource, the right wedding website makes a mean planning sidekick. Use your RSVP to tally more than just plus-ones and meal selections. For example, collecting reception song requests eliminates guesswork and builds excitement. Better yet, many Riley & Grey users capitalize on custom questions to collect marital advice or well-wishes normally scribbled in a guestbook. This way ensures you'll receive coherent words of wisdom leading up to your big day, instead of those barely legible, tipsy "tips" at the reception ;)