free wedding website templateOkay, I’ll admit it: sometimes I creep on strangers’ wedding websites in search of awesomely good wedding websites. (Hey, I’m just looking for a little inspiration!)

Unfortunately, a lot of brides simply don’t take advantage of their free wedding website template and end up with, shall we say, less than good wedding websites.

So, don’t miss out! Good wedding websites can make wedding planning so much more efficient, which makes life a whole lot easier for you and your guests. Here’s how to make it happen for you (even on a free wedding website template):

1. Include pics on every page.

They don’t have to be snapshots of you, although guests do like seeing the two of you all lovey-dovey. Let people know there are pics on every page and they’ll be more likely to actually look at all the details you’ve posted.

2. Use your online RSVP.

Don’t even bother with sites that don’t offer this feature. All good wedding websites have online RSVP because it’s an easy, cheap, practical way to get people’s acceptances or regrets quickly.

3. Post addresses for all major wedding events.

This will save you a lot of last-minute phone calls from relatives who have no idea where your ceremony is. Many sites let you include maps (or just do it yourself with Google Maps) so your guests won’t have any excuse for not knowing where they’re going.

4. Post info for out-of-towners.

Got hotels rooms blocked off? Include the details. Lots of cool things to do in your city? Post info and links so guests can plan fun stuff for their downtime – even a free wedding website template will let you do this. People will appreciate you putting in the effort to help make their trip as easy and special as possible.

5. Include your registry information.

Wedding websites are the way to notify people of the prezzies you’d like in honor of your marriage. If you can, include links to your registries so that people can go directly from your site to your wishlist.

Add items from any website on the internet onto one universal gift registry

6. Send out newsletters regularly.

Many providers allow you to mass mail your wedding guests to let them know what’s new on your site. Send out newsletters regularly (perhaps once a season and more frequently as it gets closer to the day). Tell people about what’s new on your site and let them know how the planning’s coming along.

7. Update your pics often.

Changing content is the best way to keep people coming back for more. Before you send out your newsletters, change some pics on the site. It’s a great way to entice people to go re-look at pages they may have visited previously. Consider adding shots of your venues for the big day as well as pre- and post-wedding events.

8. Don’t put the RSVP link up before mailing the invites.

Most website builders let you disable any pages you don’t want shown yet, so keep the RSVP option under wraps until you’re ready. Some websites will let people RSVP who aren’t actually on your guest list (just in case you’d forgotten them or mistyped their email address or something). Make it clear on your site that the RSVP link will go up once invites are in the mail – they’ll get the hint.

9. Don’t forward your link to everyone.

Tempting as it is, only forward your website URL to people that you know that you are for sure inviting to the wedding. If non-invited friends ask to see it, you can feel free to show them, but showing people under any other circumstances may be misleading… which can mean trouble down the road.

10. Save your site for future use.

Hey, you could have a big move to look forward to, a romantic honeymoon on the horizon, the pitter-patter of little feet in the near future… why not save your site to keep loved ones up to date on how your new life is panning out? This is especially good for sites that let you pick a custom URL that’s uniquely you.

Can you share more tips? Write your comments below.

Want advanced tips for truly good wedding websites? See our top 5 sneaky tips for advanced brides.

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