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Now that you have picked a date, put down your deposit and chosen your “make your friends jealous” wedding location, let’s spread the word! My latest bride got my wheels turning when she asked me recently, what wedding website should I use? Knowing she was new to the process got me thinking… maybe you need help and are wondering the same thing too!
In the hopes of making the process easy for you to put together a wedding website, I have highlighted a few sites I think will help you do just that.
There's a lot of information you'll want to remember to tell your guests — whether it's on your wedding website or in your welcome letter. So we've made it easy for you! Check out our full Guest Information Checklist:
Why Do You Need a Destination Wedding Website?
Coordinating any event takes a lot of time, but YOUR dream-wedding should take even more. What is the easiest way to organize all the information for every guest—even ones who may live around the world? A website! This is the most efficient way to keep everyone updated on all things travel and wedding related.
A wedding website also gives you an opportunity to get people excited, and if you are planning an engagement party, they will have information on where you are registered as a newly engaged couple.
They are very easy to use, and there are tons of options out there for you to choose from. You can even track RSVP's and manage timelines/budgets etc.… on the website, itself. Just remember, you are a destination bride so not all of the functions and features may apply to you. Now you must choose a website and design.
So to recap, Destination Wedding Websites are great for keeping your guests updated, building excitement and collecting all of those RSVP’s and special requests.
PAID Vs. Free Options
Most sites are FREE, but the ones with advanced features often have a minimal cost. It all depends on your preference. Most sites that offer free accounts usually stick to basic designs with a few colors, and you might see ads on the page. Some also let you create custom URLs for your wedding and come with a password so you can share with only the people you want to see it.
Most brides use The Knot and find they have no trouble making it work.
Paid Option: The saying is true, you get what you pay for, so when you pay for a site you are indeed getting better designs, customizable options, and settings that are more personalized to work for you and yours. The things I like the most is no ANNOYING ads. On the other hand, it all depends on what is the most important part of your wedding and what feature you are actually looking for. Remember, the wedding planning has just begun so before you drop $100 on a site think about all the costs related to your weekend and then decide: is it worth it?
What is the Best Website for a Destination Wedding?
There are not any websites specifically dedicated to destination weddings unless you are using supplier sites (suppliers are resort & hotels, like Sandals, who have sites for their brides—Karisma has Memorable Moments), but there are some general websites that have destination wedding themes that will work. They’re mostly built for non-traditional weddings, and you can customize them. Here are a few of my favorites.
I love this site because it gives you more—and because we are always on the go, guests can download the app to use it on their phone! The coolest feature is you can add other activities outside of the wedding, as well as send emails and instant messages to all. Appy Couple is definitely a TravelBash favorite, and even some celebrities have used this app. They have the most unique features of them all. Creating your own custom website is very easy. Some of the cool features that we love are the guest list for multiple events, the advanced guest manager and custom emails that can be sent out through the app. If that’s not enough to win you over, there is a chat feature that will allow your guests to communicate with each other. This is especially handy for those guests sharing rooms, transportation, and other rentals. Lastly, I must say the travel concierge feature is amazing. Can you believe that they have partnered with a handfull of hotels and resorts that make it easy for you to reserve room blocks. They have literally thought of everything. You can look at local dining options and points of interest for planning things to do on the ground.
The Knot is the go-to traditional, most everyone has heard of the site. I know I hate traditional but there’s something about the Knot that does it right. Simple, easy to use and tons of helpful information even for destination wedding brides. What I really loved when testing it out was the budget planner. It does a great job of keeping you in check! I also like the all-in-1 registry that allows you to pick a charity The Knot will donate to with each registry gift purchase.
Yet another one of TravelBash's favorites. Stylish, yet affordable, and sourced from independent artists around the world. This is nice to know, especially if you plan to get your invites from there. They will match your website! It will also integrate with your RSVP list. Not really much customization, but it gives your guest what they need. You can sign up for premium accounts to get added pages and a custom URL link, which I happen to like. If you choose the basic plan, you can get away with everything you need for free. One unique feature is that for every wedding website design they have matching invitations, say what?!!!
We think Joy takes capturing your special weekend to a whole new level. It is an excellent way to display all the aspects of your wedding. And, give your guests a look at how everything comes together with LiveShow and timelines.
For all my luxe brides, this site is the Ritz Carlton of them all; if you are looking for upscale, then this site definitely gives you a level of sophistication you want. Riley & Grey is customizable from front to back. You can add so much information you might need a cocktail. You can segment different events with the different guests without anyone knowing—so if your 80-year-old grandma is not supposed to be at the hangover brunch, she will never know.
This one is very simple and is a good option if you want to match all of your wedding materials. They have some beach designs, and you can upload posts for friends and family to read. There are tons of designs and it’s suitable for those brides that are not as tech-savvy. There is a ton of info on your special day, the honeymoon etc... It acts as a full wedding guide that can help with inspiration too.
What Layout Should My Destination Wedding Website Have?
Now that you’ve picked a wedding website, what goes on it? Just think of all the information you would want to know as a guest of someone else’s wedding. Don't forget to upload photos. Everyone loves to see engagement pics. If you did not take them, no worries, a cute selfie will work. Now let’s get to the destination wedding website wording.
Some items I would recommend:
Your Story: Bios of you and your partner, how you met / any stories related to the engagement, why you chose to have a destination wedding
Thoughtful Note: A quick thank you and welcome message to all loved ones taking the trip with you—tell them how much that means to you
Photos—of you together, during your engagement, out and about—people love photos
Travel Info: Give specific destination information. Share with them where any info that your travel agent can give you—tourism website, info on your hotel/resort ( You might want to think about creating a welcome bag with this same info and special goodies as well. )
Destination Information: List of things to do in the area—excursions, and must-sees . ( include these items in your special welcome newsletter too!)
Itinerary—people love knowing what you have planned. Ceremony and Reception details are a must.
Any pre-wedding information such as rehearsal dinner, welcome brunch info
Music: Have them upload a song they would love to hear at the reception
RSVP—find out who’s coming, and if they have any food allergies/special needs
Guestbook—give them a chance to send you wishes
Dress code—sometimes it is hard to determine with a destination wedding, so provide them with an idea
Wedding Party: Information about your wedding party! Include a pic of each member or a brief description of how you met.
RSVP Collection- you can collect emails and phone numbers directly from the site
Registry info—this is the best place to put it (NOT ON THE INVITES) This will be helpful for those who cannot attend your wedding buy still wish to purchase a gift. Need help choosing your honeymoon registry, check out my post about them here.
Wedding websites are just as important and useful for destination weddings as they are for traditional weddings. Fortunately, there are plenty of wedding websites out there for you to choose from, and they all tend to make your life so much EASIER.
Try a couple out (the FREE ones, of course—don’t go paying for multiple websites), and find the ones that work best for your situation. If none of the free options feel right, you might be ready to just go for the paid—don’t worry, if it feels necessary, it’s worth it. You might also want to check out some of these other wedding planning tools.
If you need any help figuring out what all needs to go on your site—or if you need help planning your wedding, in general—hit me up!
P.S. A little bonus, "How To Be A Good Destination Wedding Guest", read it, laugh and pray you do not have to send it to anyone! LOL!