These days having a custom wedding website is as popular as having a photo both at the reception.

A website is a phenomenal tool to help you connect with your guests and make sure everyone has the same information about your wedding day.

If you want your guests to RSVP online or know about wedding weekend events, you can do that on your site. Design it yourself from scratch or use a template, like Minted or the Knot, that lets you customize everything. Here’s what you should include:

The Basics

• Your name and the groom’s. When you design the home page, make sure your names are prominent so everyone knows whose website it is. Include a fun photo of the two of you.

• A friendly greeting. Welcome all to your website, expressing how excited you and the groom are about celebrating your wedding with everyone.

• The wedding date. Include the year.

• The ceremony and reception start times and addresses. Add photos, if you want.

• The wedding itinerary. If you’re planning a destination wedding, let guests know the schedule of events for the weekend. Include any group outings you’ve arranged, like a winery tour or golfing, as well as any group meals, such as a day-after brunch.

• Your contact info. List your cell number and email address so guests can get in touch with you in case they have questions.

Travel Details

• Airlines. Play travel agent and list the carriers that fly to the wedding destination and be sure to include websites.

• Airport transportation. List car rental companies at the airport, plus info about airport shuttles and taxis.

• Guest accommodations. List at least three hotel options for guests; they should be at different price points, from budget to luxury. But before suggesting any hotels, make sure they have ample rooms available during your wedding weekend.

• Directions. Tell how to get from the airport to the hotel, and from the hotel to the ceremony and reception, plus links to maps.

• Prearranged transportation. Maybe parking is really difficult, so you’ll have shuttles running from certain hotels or from a parking lot in town. If so, let guests know what time they can catch the shuttle, and what time the return trips are.

Guest Guidance

• Local restaurants suggestions. If they’ll be eating out on their own, suggest a few of your favorite places to eat.

• Nearby activities and attractions. Pinpoint where to find local fun, from zoos to walking trails.

• Typical weather at that time of year. Packing will be easier if they know the highs and lows, temperature wise.

• Dress codes. Let guests know what to wear by listing each event’s dress code, which you’ve translated for them. An invitation might say semi-formal attire, but not all guests know what that means.

Also give them a heads up for any unusual situations, like the ceremony will take place on a lawn (avoid sky-high heels) or the temperatures dips significantly at night (be prepared with shawls).

Fun Stuff

• Timeline of your relationship. Tell how you met and fell in love

• Photos of the two of you. Think graduations, vacations, holidays, etc.

• The bridal party. Give a brief rundown of who they are and how you know them.

• Registry links. Your website is the best place for this, not your wedding invitation.

Your wedding hashtag. That way, everyone can share their photos of the big day.

• Online RSVPS. Having guests RSVP from your website not only saves you money on printing, paper and stamps, but also time. You won’t have to sort through paper RSVPs and guest meal selections since your computer will do it for you.

What to Avoid

• Exclusive event mentions. To avoid hurt feelings, don’t mention any event, like the rehearsal dinner, if every guest isn’t invited. Websites like Appy Couple and GLO have privacy settings that allow you to selectively choose which guests can see which event information.

• Lengthy descriptions. Don’t write a novel-length ‘About Us’ bio and bridal party descriptions.

©CTW Features