A personal destination wedding website is the best way to communicate information to guests who may be spread out all over the globe. It’s a great way to provide travel details, collect RSVP’s and so much more. Are you wondering which is the best destination wedding website or app? How to even customize one? Or what wording to put on it that will inform and excite your guests? Keep reading to find the answers to all these questions and more.
This post got long so here’s a table of contents so you can jump to each topic.
Table of Contents
- A review of my favorite destination & beach themed websites
- Why you should create a personal website
- How to create your own destination wedding website
- A list of the information you should include in your personal wedding website
Why launch a destination wedding website?
As you already know, planning a destination wedding requires a lot of organization and coordination with your friends and family. The last thing you want is to let them fend for themselves – a sure recipe for disaster! Below are just some of the reasons why you should have a personal destination wedding website.
To keep your guests updated
A destination wedding website is the best way to keep everyone updated with all the travel and wedding information. All you have to do is find a template you like, plug in some info and update it anytime you have new info to share. It’s very easy, in some cases free, and your guests will appreciate the easy access to ongoing updates and communication.
To Collect RSVP’s
A personal wedding website is also the most efficient way to collect RSVP’s because you’ll receive a notification every time someone replies. You can manage your list online (or in an app) and track RSVP’s 24/7. No postage, no extra paper to keep track of. It’s that simple!
To build excitement about the trip
Your destination wedding website is also a fantastic (and probably the best way) to create excitement about the trip and introduce your guests to each other so that they won’t feel like complete strangers when they reach the destination. Some of the websites I’ll review even have apps that allow your guests to chat with each other.
Check out this post for 8 other ways a wedding website can help you plan your destination wedding.
How do I customize a destination wedding website?
There are many applications available online that are very easy to use. They come with templates, and you just need to plug in your destination wedding details and photos. You can have a complete site in just minutes. You can edit and preview your site before it goes live on the web. When done, you’ll get a custom URL which will link directly to your page. You can even make your site private so only people with a password can access it.
What is the best destination wedding website?
Although there aren’t many dedicated destination wedding websites, there are some general websites that have destination wedding themes. And others with features that are just better suited for a destination wedding. Below are my favorites.
Appy Couple Website & App
Appy Couple is one of my favorite destination wedding website builders because it boasts a ton of unique features that are ideal for destination wedding planning. This entire website is designed to help you and your guests breeze through the planning process, the celebration process, and the aftermath. Creating your own custom destination wedding website is EASY PEASY. All you gotta do is follow the demo, plug in your info, and you’re in business! Here’s a rundown of the best features:
Segment Your Guest List for Multiple Events
Most destination weddings are a multi-event affair and Appy Couple has a GREAT feature that lets you segment your guest list accordingly. Their site lets you hide events from certain people! Maybe you’re inviting 60 people to your wedding, but only 30 of them to the rehearsal dinner. You can set it so that only those 30 people can see information pertaining to the rehearsal dinner.
Are you having a hometown reception after the destination wedding but don’t want everyone to see everything? No problem! You can create one guest list for the destination wedding and only share details of the destination wedding with that private group. Create another list for the hometown reception and those guests will not see anything about the destination wedding — unless you want them to!
Since you have control, it’s up to you WHO sees WHAT within the site– to avoid having anyone feel left out, or confused. This my friend, is a game-changer!
Advanced RSVP Manager
- You can create family or group lists that allow one “spokesperson” to RSVP for the entire group. Also, you can add blank “plus ones” for guests to fill in themselves… once they find a date to bring!
- Get each RSVP response in real-time, no waiting! Also, RSVPs aren’t just a yes or no question. You can get answers about food choices, travel arrangements, and even song requests. And the best part is that you can then export this info to provide to vendors.
Destination Wedding Website? There’s an app for that!
- One of my favorite parts of Appy Couple is that you and your guests can easily download an app from Itunes or Google Play. Your custom designed app syncs all your website’s info for an instantaneous resource right at your guests’ fingertips… anywhere, anytime! Oh, and the app is FREE for your guests!
Guests can chat among themselves
- The app has a chat feature that will allow your guests to communicate with each other. This can come in handy if your guests want to connect to share a room, a villa, a house or car rental for your destination wedding. There are even multiple language settings to choose from, should you have some guests joining you from overseas!
Send Custom Emails
- The app allows for you to send custom emails out for everything from save-the-dates, to invitations, reminders, thank yous and more. If you decide you want to send out hard copies of invites or save the dates, Appy Couple not only makes collecting addresses super easy – but it has print partners who can create invites and more to match your website’s custom design.
- Also, you can appoint multiple administrators so you can share control over the app. You, your honey, your bridesmaids or your most tech-savvy cousin can share responsibilities of creating, updating, tracking and sharing.
- Something that really sets Appy Couple apart from the competition is that they have a travel concierge feature. What does that mean? They’ve partnered with a bunch of hotels and resorts to allow you to reserve room blocks. You can also select a local salon, book transportation and browse local dining options via the website/app.
Photo Streaming & Other Cool Features
- Appy Couple has a great photo streaming feature that allows guests to upload photos and videos all in one place. Plus, those who couldn’t make it to the wedding can enjoy each photo in real-time so they’re not missing out as much!
- We can’t fail to mention, guests can browse your registry, or even offer a cash gift right in the app itself!
- You can enable a countdown clock to let them know they’re running out of time to book their trip.
- There is also a virtual guestbook and a feature that enables virtual toasts! Each attendee can share marriage advice, a favorite memory, or simply wish you well. Keep in mind, when you create this site/app, there is no expiration date or monthly membership. You can revisit your guestbook and photo albums forever. It’s the ultimate wedding keepsake!
Joy Website & App
Joy is another favorite of ours because it has a ton of features to help make your destination wedding planning a breeze. And the best part? It is totally and 100% free. Say what?! Yep, for the amazing price of zero dollars, you’ll get all of the following:
Thousands of design options
Joy has some beautiful templates that you can use right out of the box without much designing on your part. They even have 8 destination wedding website themes and 18 Nautical/Botanical themed designs. But if you want to make any of them your own, you can very easily mix and match layouts, themes, fonts, colors and photos in just minutes. And if you change your mind later on? No biggie! You can change any part of your website’s design at any time.
All the details in one place
Unlike some other website builders, Joy was designed to accommodate all types of weddings, regardless of size. They have some cool built in templates that you can use to share your wedding schedule, engagement photos, hotel info, and much more. But you can very easily remove any section that doesn’t apply to your wedding.
Matching e-card or print invites
You can match the style of your destination wedding website with free matching digital save-the-dates. And if you want a totally a coordinated wedding look, you’ll be happy to know that most of their themes have matching print stationery, including save the dates, invitations, menus, RSVP cards, thank-you notes and more. I’m all about the details and coordinated looks, so I love that you can match everything to your website.
Fully integrated App
This website also has an app that your guests can download for free. With the app they can see all of your wedding details on-the-go. They’ll be able to RSVP, get notified when you send an announcement via the app, upload photos from the wedding, and much more.
Segmented and Custom RSVPs
Managing RSVPs has never been easier. You can get an accurate guest count, track meal choices, and anything else you can think of! Want to know which hotel each guest is staying in? Just add a custom question and boom! Now you know where everyone is staying. Joy also lets you control who sees which questions.
Guest List Manager
Joy’s guest list manager is pretty amazing. If you’re having multiple events, you can add all of your guests into a master guest list, and create sub-lists with specific labels such as “Rehearsal Dinner” or “Wedding Party” to organize your guests. If you’re having a rehearsal dinner, or any other event for a select group, just hide it from those who are not invited and they’ll never see it. You can also assign (or restrict) plus ones, and then as digital RSVPs are received, they will automatically update within the sub-lists and master guest list.
My absolute favorite feature is the ability to import or export spreadsheets. If you’re already keeping track of guests on a spreadsheet like Excel or Google sheets, you can quickly import it to make the setup easier. Do you need to send data such as headcount or guest names to a vendor? Just export it and send. You won’t really understand how much of a game changer this is until you’re in the trenches of wedding planning. Trust me on this one. This is such a helpful feature!
You can let your guests book travel for your destination wedding, right from your wedding website with Joy’s Booking Assistant. This cool feature will help your guests find the best deals on accommodations near your venue. You can pre-set the date and location so that all your guests have to do is book, whether it’s at a hotel where you blocked off rooms or even at an Airbnb.
- Mobile App – You have the option of downloading their free mobile app so that you can keep track of wedding details, guest list, and photos on the go. You can even send push notifications so your guests get important announcements instantly.
- Registry – You can link your existing registry —whether it’s from major retailers, honeymoon funds or even cash registries. Don’t have a registry? You can create a fully-integrated wedding registry powered by Bed Bath & Beyond right within your website.
- Multiple Admins – Want to put your future spouse or maid of honor to work? You can add multiple admins to your account so that they can manage RSVP’s, make announcements, or any other task they want to take off your plate.
- Shared Albums – This cool feature lets your guests upload all the fun and candid photos from the wedding day/week so that you can relive the day from different perspectives.
- Support – From importing guests to designing your site and everything in between, Joy has your back. They have a ton of step-by-step guides and ideas to help you if you’re stuck. But if you still need help, you can email or chat and their team of engineers, designers and user advocates will help guide you towards building the wedding website of your dreams.
Check out more of Joy’s website features here.
Minted.com has a good assortment of destination wedding templates designed by a community of independent artists. The best part? Their basic plan, which has everything you need, is free. You can upgrade to their premium package for some extra features like a photo gallery, custom URL (i.e. couplesname.com) and a password-protected site. Each of Minted’s destination wedding website designs has matching invitation suites. You can purchase save the dates, invitations, RSVP cards, thank you cards, programs, table number, menu, and even seating cards all with the same design as your website for a cohesive look.
Paid or Free?
Whether you choose to get a free site or pay a fee depends on your preferences. Free sites usually come with all the basic designs and features you’ll need to communicate with your guests.
A paid site is a much better option if you’re the type of person who prefers more elaborate designs/backgrounds that you can personalize and customize (with photo galleries, your monogram or something more creative.) When I got married I chose to pay for a more premium design because I wanted to personalize it in a way you can’t with free sites.
Destination Wedding Website Wording
The sky is really the limit when it comes to the content you can put on your destination wedding website. Just think of any information that would help everyone get to your destination wedding, and would make them want to go.
Here are some ideas…
- Your stories: Write a short paragraph about how you met, why you decided to tie the knot abroad and why having your loved ones travel the distance to witness your love will mean so much to you.
- Travel Info: Include links for booking group travel, information on how to obtain passports, airline or hotel discount promo codes/links.
- Lots and lots of PHOTOS: Don’t just include photos of each other. Go further by uploading pics of the country/city, your resort. You can also do a slideshow of all your guests — they will be flattered and the other faces will be familiar when they all finally meet.
- About your Locale: Go to the location’s tourism site and put some of that info on your personal destination wedding website. Include photos, things to do, attractions, and anything else that will make this trip appealing to your friends/family.
- Itinerary: Include info about when and where the ceremony and reception will take place.
- Pre-wedding event invitations: Include details of the welcome reception, rehearsal dinner, excursions or any other pre/post-wedding event.
- Music: Upload a song that is meaningful to you so that it can play in the background. You can also ask guests to make song suggestions for the reception.
- RSVP Collection: Add an option to collect rsvp’s directly through the website but also include your email address and phone number.
- Guestbook: This is a page for your loved ones to share their thoughts and well-wishes.
- Dress Code: People are usually confused or unsure of what to wear to a destination wedding. This website is your opportunity to communicate your preference.
- Registry Info: This is optional and completely up to your discretion but if you have a registry, your personal destination wedding website (not invitations) is the best place to include a link.
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