These days, it seems like every wedding has its own site. It makes sense — if you have a website, guests can find all the information they need in one place. However, weddings are stressful enough without having to worry about creating a site.
That’s where WordPress comes in. You can easily use the platform to create a gorgeous wedding website. It even enables you to add some key features such as wish registries, guestbooks, and more. The customization options are endless!
In this article, we’ll discuss why you should use WordPress for your wedding site, and teach you how to make one in four steps (no wedding planner required). We have a lot of information to cover, so let’s dig in!
Why You Should Use WordPress for Your Wedding Website
WordPress isn’t the first platform that comes to mind when people think of a wedding website. However, the Content Management System (CMS) is perfect for more than just blogging. To give you an idea, right now WordPress powers over 30 percent of the web, so you know it’s doing something right.
For wedding websites, you need a platform that’s easy to customize with the details of your special day. It also doesn’t hurt to have access to features that will take a load off your shoulders when it comes to planning. That includes keeping track of RSVPs, guest accommodations, gift registries, and more. You’ll also want a tool that makes responsive design easy.
WordPress can easily handle these necessities. On top of that, the platform itself is free. So your upfront costs for setting up a website can be pretty cheap, particularly if you do it yourself.
Related: How Much Does It Actually Cost to Set Up a WordPress Website?
How to Make a Wedding Website With WordPress (In 4 Steps)
Building a wedding site with WordPress may not require many steps, but some of them may take you a while. If your wedding is on the horizon, now would be a great moment to start working on its website!
Step 1: Choose a Web Host and Install WordPress
The first step of creating any website is to register a domain name and choose a web host.
Registering a domain name is pretty simple, so we won’t take up much of your time with it. Likewise, choosing which name to use shouldn’t take long. If your name is Jack and you’re marrying Susan, give jackandsusanaregettinghitched.com a go.
Choosing a web host, on the other hand, can get tricky. Since you’re probably looking to build a website on a budget, you’ll want to stick to shared plans. Whichever provider you choose should offer good performance and an excellent support system. It should also play nicely with WordPress.
With that in mind, we’re going to throw our hat into the ring with our own WordPress shared hosting plans. The basic tier starts at just $2.59 per month, and it’s more than powerful enough for a wedding website.
Once you sign up for a hosting plan, you’ll want to install WordPress. If you choose one of our plans, WordPress should be up and running already, so you can get started right away.
Love at First Site
Wedding planning just got simpler — build your website with WordPress and DreamHost.
Step 2: Pick the Perfect WordPress Wedding Event Theme
The foundation of any great WordPress site is the perfect theme. WordPress themes are essentially a template for the layout of your website, complete with everything you need to design a beautiful site — think fonts, menu structure, etc. As far as wedding websites go, you need a responsive WordPress theme that enables photographs to shine. After all, most wedding websites are filled to the brim with photos of the bride and groom.
On top of that, any theme you choose should meet these three criteria:
- It gets constant updates.
- It has good ratings.
- The developers answer support queries.
You’ll also want a theme that’s easy to customize. There are thousands of theme options to choose from, including free and premium themes, but we recommend you go with something that was built with weddings in mind.
Take Jack & Rose, for example.
This premium WordPress theme ($50) enables you to put photographs and videos front and center, which is perfect. It also makes excellent use of pastel colors and elegant design — which are perfect for a wedding website — and includes a countdown timer (we’ll let you guess to which date).
Another great option would be the Moments premium theme ($59). This one isn’t just for weddings — it also works well for other types of events.
The wedding templates this theme includes are gorgeous. They all feature a minimalist design that’s perfect if you want to put together a simple, understated wedding website.
Keep in mind — these aren’t the only choices out there. A quick Google search for ‘wordpress wedding themes’ will reveal hundreds of options, including free wedding themes on the WordPress directory. Take your time to find the perfect one, and then install it on your site.
Related: How This DreamHost Customer Grew a Photography Business with a Vibrant Website
Step 3: Add Advanced Features to Your Website Using Plugins
If you want to take your wedding website to the next level, you’ll want to use WordPress plugins. In this section, we’ll explore different features you might like to include, and introduce you to plugins you can use to implement them.
A digital contact form enables visitors to your website to send their best wishes, ask questions without blowing up your phone, and more. We recommend trying out the Gwolle Guestbook plugin.
With this plugin, you can add a dedicated guest book section to any of your pages. Visitors won’t need to sign up to use it, and you get the chance to review comments before they go public.
The best part of any wedding — aside from marrying the person you love, of course — is that you get lots of presents. These days, online shops have made it easier to set up wedding registries. With a wedding website of your own, you can dedicate a whole page just to the gift registry, so everyone knows what to buy for the happy couple.
For this particular purpose, we recommend the WPGiftRegistry plugin.
Using WPGiftRegistry, you can set up lists of all the items you want and include images, URLs, descriptions, and prices. Best of all, it works for almost any item you want, as long as you can find a URL to buy it.
Including a map on your wedding website is a smart move to make sure no bridesmaids and groomsmen get left behind. Just adding the location in plain text also works, but why settle when you can showcase a fancy map as well?
There are plenty of online map services you can use to integrate maps on your website. However, we’re big fans of Google Maps, which means we’ll focus on plugins that work with it.
First off, we recommend the WP Google Maps plugin, which enables you to ‘create’ multiple maps and add them anywhere on your site by pasting in a shortcode.
If you’re more of a widgets person, you might prefer using the Google Maps Widget. This plugin enables you to add a map to your sidebar or footer.
Regardless of which plugin you use, you’ll end up with a smart-looking Google map on your website.
One hallmark of wedding websites is a countdown timer that ticks the seconds away until you get to the altar. It’s easy to implement and adds a bit of fun to your website.
There are plenty of plugins you can use to add countdown timers to WordPress. One of our favorites is Countdown Timer Ultimate, which enables you to add timers with fun designs.
If you want something a little more classy, T(-) Countdown features some more toned-down styles, and it’s just as easy to use.
In any case, you want to make sure your countdown timer is placed near the top of your home page. That way it’s easy to see, and everyone can keep track of the date.
Last but not least, we have a photo album. Every wedding website needs a place where you can show off all your pictures in a convenient gallery format.
WordPress supports image galleries out of the box. However, if you want to have a little fun with yours, we recommend using a plugin such as Photo Gallery by 10web.
You might also want to give Image Gallery by Robo a chance. This plugin also supports multiple gallery formats and enables you to add social media sharing options.
As far as WordPress plugins go, photo galleries are one of the most popular subjects. That means you have dozens of options to choose from, so feel free to look around at some more if you want to!
Step 4: Customize Your Wedding Website’s Pages
Now comes the hard part, which is putting together all the pages you want your wedding website to include. You should now have all the tools you need to make that happen.
To get you started, we’ll go over some of the most common pages wedding websites include, talk about their elements, and show you some examples. That way, you can narrow down what you want and get to work on it.
No wedding website is complete without a little backstory on the couple. An Our Story page is the perfect place to share how you met, how long you’ve been together for, and other details about your relationship.
Earlier, we talked about how to add a map to your wedding website. A Venue or Location page is the perfect place to include that map, as well as the full address for the location, and what time guests should arrive.
A lot of people choose to get married in out-of-the-way spots. If you’re one of them, your guests will need someplace to stay. Usually, it’s your job to point them to the most convenient hotels.
An Accommodations page is where you put all that information, including any special rates hotels are willing to give members of your wedding party.
We also showed you how to add a guestbook to your wedding website. Ideally, that guestbook should have its own page, so visitors can browse through the comments at their leisure.
Something as fun as your wish list deserves its own little corner on your website. A Gift Registry page should include all the items you want and where to buy them. You can also enable guests to purchase items online from your site, using the plugin we showed you earlier.
One of the most important parts of any wedding is the guest list. With an RSVP page, people can fill out a form to let you know if they’re going to attend and if they’re bringing a guest.
Photo galleries are so versatile, yours doesn’t need its own page — it can go anywhere you want!
Some great places to include a photo gallery include your site’s home page, and your Our Story page.
If you want your site’s visitors to accompany you through your entire journey, you can provide updates on a blog. Luckily for you, WordPress is the best blogging platform around. You’ll have no problem writing and formatting posts using its editor.
Tie The Knot
If you want to create a wedding website on a budget, WordPress is a great choice. It’s is easy to pick up, and combined with the right theme and plugins, it makes building (and customizing!) a beautiful wedding website much simpler.
Do you have any questions about how to make a website using WordPress for your wedding day? Follow us on Twitter and let’s talk!