Amid the venue picking, dress and tux shopping, and cake tasting, we’re thrilled you’ve come to WordPress.com to create a site for your wedding — and to celebrate your relationship. We know you’re busy planning the details of your event, so we created this step-by-step guide so you can launch your site quickly.
By the end of this guide, you’ll have a wedding website you can share with your guests — and start documenting your memories! Read on, or dive into a section to see what we’ll cover:
- Sign up for your free site.
- Pick a theme for your wedding website.
- Personalize your site with custom features.
- Create pages and posts.
- Insert images on your website.
Custom features include:
- A custom header: image or graphic at the top of your site.
- A custom background: color/pattern to match your palette.
- A featured post slider: slideshow of images on your front page.
- Special theme options: link colors, different layouts, and more.
- An RSVP form: form to collect guest RSVPs.
- A guestbook: page where guests can leave messages.
- A milestone widget: display counting down to your date.
- Map: ability to embed a map to venue.
- Email notifications: tool for guests to subscribe to updates.
- Private site: Grant access to only those you wish.
Sign up for your free site
Register with WordPress.com
First things first! Before we get to all the fun, from choosing your site’s theme (or design) to adding pages for your wedding party and venue information, let’s get set up with an account. Keep this page open, so you can refer to it as you go.
In another window, go to wordpress.com/weddings and click on the blue Get Started button on the top right.
On the next page, you’ll be asked to fill out some information. First, you’ll choose a web address for your site. This is where you’ll tell your friends and family to go to read all about the big day. There are two types of web addresses to choose from on WordPress.com. You can pick a free default address ending in
wordpress.com. But some folks prefer an address without the
Your other option is choosing a custom address, such as
kateandvincent.com, which you can purchase and register for $18/year:
You’ll be notified if your desired custom address is already in use — and with millions of websites out there, and lots of lovebirds tying the knot, some of you may find that your custom address isn’t available. Luckily, you can register a custom address with a number of extensions: .co, .me, .com, .net, or .org. (Note: .co and .me registrations cost $25 per year.)
Of course, you can stick with the free default address for now, but if you want to change it later, don’t worry — you can upgrade whenever you want. These days, many people planning their weddings include their wedding site’s web address on invitations and similar materials sent to guests. So, keep this in mind if you decide to change it!
But even if you upgrade to a custom address, guests who visit your default address will be redirected to your new custom one — convenient, huh? (Still, a custom address looks nifty in print, so consider finalizing your address early on.)
In the next step, you’ll be offered to choose a plan for your site. The basic plan comes with great features, but you might consider looking at our Premium and Business plans especially if you’d like to be able to do more, such as add video or more than 3GB in photos, you may want to check out some upgrades you can add:
Here’s a sampling of how you could use the upgrades in the $99 WordPress.com Premium bundle on your wedding website:
Domain Name & Mapping: You can register a custom address, which we talked about above, or map a domain you already own.
10 GB Space Upgrade: If you plan to upload many images from your wedding (from your professional photographer, your guests, or own albums), or are interested in uploading your own audio files, the extra storage may be handy.
No Ads: We occasionally display advertisements hosted on WordPress.com sites. This upgrade removes all ads on your site, so your guests can focus on you!
Custom Design: Our themes, especially our wedding themes, are elegant and ready to go out of the box. But if you’re interested in personalizing your site with custom colors, fonts, and even custom CSS — to create a specific mood and match your own wedding’s color scheme — this design upgrade allows you to add those special touches.
VideoPress: If you’ve got your own videos you’d like to upload to your site — a recorded welcome message for your guests on the home page, or introductions of the bridesmaids and groomsmen on the “Wedding Party” page — the VideoPress upgrade may be a fun addition. And if you plan to capture the big day on video, which many people do, the upgrade would allow you to upload and play HD video files on your site’s pages, which you can share with your guests after the wedding. (If you’ve got some smartphone-happy guests, you can get uber-creative and invite them to upload their own videos from the wedding, right to your site. Check out our VideoPress for Weddings tutorial for more.)
If the upgrades sound right for you, click the blue Upgrade Now button and follow the steps to complete the purchase — your site will then be supercharged once payment is confirmed. If you don’t need ’em, go ahead and click Select Free Plan. (And, for the record, you can certainly create an elegant, fun, and fabulous site with the free plan!)
Now, create a username. You can use anything you like, as long as it isn’t already in use.
Create a password. Be sure to choose a unique password, one that you don’t use anywhere else. Great passwords use a combination of upper and lower case characters, numbers, and symbols such as
!”£$%^&(. Not-great passwords are things like your phone number, the word “
password,” or “
12345.” Here’s a great one:
If your password is something that may be easier for the bad guys to guess, we’ll let you know; we’re looking out for you:
Finally, we’ll need a valid email address, which we’ll use to send you an email to activate this account. Be sure it’s typed correctly!
At the bottom of this page, you’ll see a final button to create your account and site. Click it, sit tight, and voilà! You now have a wedding website. You’ll receive an email to confirm your email address, make sure you confirm it before customizing your site.
Edit your new wedding site's basic settings
Before we let you loose, we’ll walk you through a few basic setup steps from My Site → Customizer:
- Setting your site’s title and tagline. You’d named your site when you registered, so you can double-check this. Your tagline is a phrase that further describes your site — perhaps the date of your wedding, or a message to your guests?
- Picking a theme. Your theme controls the layout of your site. There are over 300 themes to choose from, including themes appropriate for a wedding, like Toujours, Affinity, Wedding, Button and Blissful Blog. You can switch themes at any time, so feel free to pick one now that looks good to you — and don’t worry about its features just yet, as we’ll talk more about picking and customizing a theme later.
- Customizing your theme. You can play with this now, but all these options are always available. You can return to this later, especially if you’re still not sure which theme to choose.
Once these steps are done, you’ll notice your wedding site is empty. Before starting to publish content, you probably want to get other features on your site in place, like basic design touches and static pages for pertinent information about your wedding, right? Go ahead and skip posting, and head to the next section of this tutorial.
(Of course, if you want to write a post, don’t let us stop you!)
Pick a theme for your wedding website
A theme is a template for your site: it creates the layout, and when you customize it and start adding pages and posts, you create the personality — and there are details you can tweak to match your site to your event — and transform it into a space that celebrates this special journey. You can switch themes whenever you’d like, so you’re not stuck with the theme you chose during signup. Below, we’ll cover what some of our popular wedding themes offer and share our tips for picking the one that’s best for you.
There are over 300 themes to choose from on WordPress.com, from minimal and versatile to playful and festive. You can check them all out and see demo versions either in the Theme Showcase or by going to My Site → Themes in your homepage. In the Theme Showcase, click on the blue … More button and use the filters to specify what you’re looking for. A whimsical style? A theme with shades of pink? A template with just one column? Each theme page has a description of features and quick how-tos, and a list of features it supports on the right side.
If you want to use one of our tried-and-true wedding themes, one of the following may work for you:
With these wedding themes (as well as our other ones), you can build pages with your venue and event information and details about your wedding party; publish posts to update your guests on your event planning adventures; and personalize your site with features like an RSVP form, guestbook page template, and a milestone countdown widget.
We’ll show you how to add and activate key features for your site in the next section. But first, here are popular wedding themes at a glance:
Toujours is a great out-of-the-box wedding theme: elegant and minimal, with a white and silver/light gray background that lets you focus on your wedding details and photographs. The design offers lots of room for large, colorful photos of the happy couple — that’s you! — in posts and pages, as well as an optional featured post slider and your four latest posts in a grid. You can also customize Toujours with simple tweaks, including a custom header image, background, and link color. (Check out Toujours’ live demo.)
Wedding is an elegant WordPress theme to build a beautiful wedding website easily. You can share your wedding photos, galleries, videos and memorable moments with family & friends by using the wedding WordPress theme. Wedding theme is also perfect for photography, travel, or any sort of portfolio site. Sidebars can be set to the left, right, or removed entirely. (Take a peek at Wedding’s demo to see it in action.)
Button is a theme that’s as cute as its name. With detailed accents, featured images, and a soft color palette, Button is perfect for crafters and designers alike, as well as for wedding sites. (Poke around Button’s live demo site to see if it’s right for you.)
Affinity is a classic one-page theme designed with weddings and family announcements in mind. Keep your loved ones in the loop with a blog, and collect their messages and wishes for you in your guestbook. (Check out Affinity’s demo site.)
Personalize your site with custom features
Picking a theme for your wedding website is just the first step — now, you can start customizing and making it your own. If you enjoy wedding planning — from picking colors to selecting decorative details — you’re really going to enjoy this part! You decide how much (or little) you want to do, and we’ll help you do it. Below, we’ll cover key steps to personalize your site — and perhaps match the palette and mood of the event itself!
Upload a custom header
Many of our themes allow you to upload your own header image, background, or both! Your header image may be a favorite photograph of you and your beloved or a graphically designed banner that matches your wedding invitation; your background could be a tiled pattern that complements your header image, or a simple solid color that’s part of your wedding palette. (In both cases, you can also stick with the default design, if that’s what attracted you to your theme in the first place.)
Headers first. Not sure what we mean by “header”? Check out this site example using the Wedding theme:
Above, the header image is the picture of these two lovebirds, which was uploaded in the dashboard. You can add your own custom header to your wedding site by going to your Customizer → Header Image. (As you’re probably realizing, each theme is different; if the theme you’ve picked doesn’t allow a header, this option won’t be available to you. If it’s something you want to try, it’s pretty simple to switch themes.)
In your Customizer → Header Image, you may see a recommended header size specified next to the uploader tool (depending on your theme). For example, the suggested width and height for a header image on the Wedding theme is 1920×750 pixels. In many cases, the measurements of a theme’s major features — header image, column width, featured images, etc. — are listed at the bottom of a theme page in the Theme Showcase. If you don’t have an image with exact dimensions, don’t worry — you can crop images in the dashboard after you’ve uploaded them. Some themes also have flexible headers, which means you can use an image that’s wider or taller than your theme’s standard header.
So, let’s walk through uploading a custom header. Go to your Customizer → Header Image and click Add new image to find the image you’d like to use on your computer.
If your image isn’t the right size or dimension, you can crop it by dragging the dotted box around until the section of the image you want to use is highlighted:
When you’re happy with it, click Crop and Publish. (If your theme has a flexible header, click Skip cropping, publish as is to bypass this step.) Wait a few seconds until you get a “Header updated” message at the top, then take a look at the new image on your wedding site. Hooray! You’ve added a header.
If you want to adjust your header or upload a new image in the future, you can re-crop what you have or upload a new one. To try something new, head back to your Customizer → Header Image and replace the picture.
Customize your site's background
A custom background can seriously change the look of a blog, letting you take a plain white canvas and transform it into anything you want (or simply choosing another color). A bit of blogging advice: avoid getting too busy with your background — a tiled background of repeated floral centerpieces, a bridesmaid ensemble shot, or bright bold pattern may be too much. Test different background images, patterns, or colors, but be critical about your final choice: Is it distracting? Does it complement your wedding palette?
As with custom headers, your dashboard will tell you if custom backgrounds are an option for you. Go to My Site → Customizer and if you see Colors & Background as an option, you’re good to go. Click it to access the custom background settings.
This settings page has three parts: a preview of what your current background looks like, a section to upload a background image or pattern, and a tool to select the background color.
If you have a background image or pattern to upload, click Change → Select Image to find the file on your computer and upload it to get it into your Media Library, where you’ll store all of your images for your website. There are a number of websites that allow you to download patterns for free. The example above uses this light decorative pattern:
And if you want to use an image file you’ve already uploaded, just browse your Media Library to find it. Select your image from your library, and then set it as your background.
Once you select or upload a background, more settings under Options will appear, which look a bit like the settings for a desktop image on your computer:
Here, you can:
One: Position your uploaded image on the left, center, or right of the page.
Two: Set your image so it repeats (in a “tiled” look) or doesn’t repeat — you can tile the image vertically and horizontally throughout the entire page, tile horizontally only, or tile vertically only. Here’s an example of a tiled background:
Looks rather busy, doesn’t it? Again, we recommend avoiding backgrounds that may be too distracting.
Three: You can set your background to “scroll” with your content, or stay “fixed” in place when a viewer scrolls down the page.
Four: If you don’t want to display an image or pattern but still want to transform your background, give the color wheel a whirl. Pick a shade from your wedding invitation or floral palette, for example. If you know the exact hexadecimal value of the color you want to use, enter it directly into the color field:
If you prefer to select a color from the color wheel, click on the Underlying color link beside the box, which opens up the color wheel. When you have found the color you want, click Save Changes. If you’re not satisfied, you can always upload or adjust your background image or select a new color that better fits your big day.
Hex color codes are handy — if you have the code of a color you like, you can use it elsewhere on your site. (If you buy the Premium upgrade, you can do more advanced tweaks on your wedding website, to accent colors, fonts, and the site’s CSS, if you have some CSS knowledge.)
Dress up your home page with a featured post slider
When we were talking about picking a theme, we mentioned that our popular wedding themes, such as Toujours, have a featured post slider option. (Here’s a complete list of themes that support the feature.) But what’s a post slider, you ask? Take a look at the live demo of Toujours. See that gorgeous slideshow of rotating images at the top of the home page? That’s a post slider — it highlights your site’s recent posts and the featured images attached to them:
The slider feature is optional. If you don’t activate it, don’t worry — your site will function fine. It’ll just look a bit different — you’ll see the header image at the top, and then a standard blog layout for the rest of the page. But if you want to use the post slider, you’ll need to create and publish, well, posts. We haven’t talked about that just yet — and you can skip to the Create pages and posts section below for a sneak peek — but in order for the post slider to work, you must create and publish a few posts, mark them as “sticky” so they’ll stick to the front page, and set featured images to each. (For your first several posts, you could consider a welcome message to your guests, preliminary notes about your wedding venue and reception, or a candid update on event planning thus far.)
Once you’ve got a handful of published posts on your site, follow these steps to activate the slider:
Step 1: Open up a post you’d like to feature in the slider and give it the “
featured” tag To do this, find the Categories & Tags module on the left and enter “
featured” then save this setting:
Repeat this process for other posts you’d like to feature in the slider. The maximum number of posts you can select depends on your theme.
Step 2: Set featured images for your featured posts. Before being able to display a post in the slider, you need to do a few more steps: when you’re editing a post, head to the Featured Image module on the left, click Set Featured Image, and select an image for the post, which will appear in the slider. Be sure to do this for all of your featured posts.
Step 3: Activate the slider. To activate your slider, there’s one more step. To do so, head to your Customizer → Featured Content, and enter your “
featured” tag in as shown in this example. Make sure you save your changes when you’re done!
Activate special options, from link colors to layouts
Some of our themes have special options — extra tweaks to customize your wedding site. You can see these options in your homepage under your Customizer → Theme Options. (If you don’t see these settings, your theme doesn’t have these options.)
On Toujours, you display your three most recent posts, which is a quick and easy way to get your visitors to the most important information about your big day.
You’ll see the option to activate this grid in your Customizer → Theme Options. Just check the box next to “Display the three most recent posts in a special area above your other posts”:
Again, we’ve yet to talk about publishing posts, and different types of Post Formats, which include quote and status posts. You’ll learn more about publishing posts in the Create pages and posts section below.
On the premium theme Wedding you’ve got a number of settings in your Customizer → Theme Options. You may want to add a counter to your big day:
On this page, you can also select the layout of your site, and even add a logo and direct links to your social media pages:
Set up an RSVP form
In addition to, or in lieu of, paper RSVPs, you can set up an RSVP form to gather your event’s guest count. You can modify the contact form feature in your dashboard to create a custom RSVP form on a static page, accessible from your menu (or alternatively within a post). Here’s how:
Click the @ icon, located under the title of your page or post:
You’re taken to a screen on which you can customize the form and its fields:
You’ll see several fields already filled in. The Name, Email, and Comment fields will work well for an RSVP form, though the Website field is probably unnecessary. You can delete a field by clicking on the trash can symbol located to the right of the field:
You can add fields to the form by clicking on the Add New Field button at the bottom of the screen. It may be helpful to know, for example, if the guest will bring a date, or if children are included in a particular RSVP. You can set up a new field and use a variety of options — drop-down menu, checkbox, simple text field, etc. — to collect this information from your guests.
Here’s an additional field using a drop-down of options, which you can customize:
You can also edit your new field to allow guests to specify more information about their party:
You can check the box next to Required to make sure your guests answer any or all of your new fields.
Create a guestbook
Some of our wedding-specific themes like Toujours and Wedding have a built-in guestbook template page, which you can set when you’re editing a page. With this option, your guests’ wishes and messages will be displayed on the page. This is what the guestbook template looks like on the Toujours theme:
To create a guestbook page on your wedding site:
One: Create a new page and title it “Guestbook” (or whatever you’d like to call it).
Two: Write a personalized message in the body of the page, if you’d like.
Three: Under the Page Options module on the left, open the drop-down menu under Template and select Guestbook.
Enable a milestone countdown widget
On WordPress.com, you can add and arrange a variety of widgets, or tools and features, on your website. We know you and your guests can’t wait for this special event, so we created a Milestone widget that displays a countdown to a given date. Here’s the widget on the Toujours theme:
To enable it on your site, go to your Customizer → Widgets and search for the widget. You’ll see several settings to adjust:
Title: This optional text will show at the top — see “Counting Down!” in the example above — and will be styled like the titles on other widgets in your sidebar.
Event: Text entered here will display immediately above the date. It’s also optional, so leave it blank if you’d like.
Date and Time: In the widget settings, the fields are listed in the following order: month, day, year, hour, minute. Dates may not be later than December 31st, 2037, and hours should be entered in the 24-hour format.
Message: This optional message will be shown after the countdown has ended.
Embed a map to your venue
- Visit Google Maps.
- Type in the street address of your venue (or another geographic location) and click the search button.
- Once your map is fully loaded, click on the Share button at the bottom right corner of the box:
- A pop-up will appear. Select the Embed map tab as below and copy the code from the box. The code will begin with
- You’ll then paste this code where you’d like the map to appear on your site. Since we’ve yet to dive into publishing a new page or post, you can bookmark this section for now, or go ahead and jump to the publishing section below to get your map up, likely on a page for your venue information.
- Paste the code directly into your HTML editor. (You can switch between the Visual and HTML editors using the tab at the top-right of the editing box.)
- Click Publish (or Save Draft if you’re not finished building the page). You’ll see the code has changed — WordPress has converted this code so it’ll display correctly on your site!
Here’s an example of what your map will look like on the page:
Set up email notifications for updates
Many of your guests will likely want to receive updates on your journey, planning, and the event itself. The Follow Blog widget allows guests to subscribe to your wedding website and receive email notifications each time you publish a new post. Here it is in action on the Toujours theme:
To activate it, head into your Customizer → Widgets and search for this widget. You’ll see these settings:
Widget title for non-followers: Text displayed for site visitors who haven’t yet subscribed to your site.
Widget title for followers: Text shown to a site visitor who is already subscribed to your site.
WordPress.com message: This text is displayed to guests who have WordPress.com accounts (and are logged in). The visitor will see this message followed by a follow button.
Non-WordPress.com message: This message is shown to visitors who aren’t logged in to WordPress.com. Your visitor will see this message followed by an email field and follow button.
Follow button text: A short message displayed in the subscription button.
Show total number of followers: If this box is checked, the widget will display the total number of guests following your site. This feature may not be important to you for your wedding site, so you can leave it unchecked if you prefer.
Make your website private
For those of you who want to keep your wedding website an intimate affair, consider making it invite-only and accessible to your guests — rather than a public site.
To make your wedding site private, change your settings at My Site → Settings. Scroll down a bit and you’ll see a Visibility section:
To make your site private, check the box next to “I would like my site to be private, visible only to users I choose.” Be sure to click Save Settings. Then, you can invite your guests (via email address or WordPress.com username) to view your site.
Create pages and posts
Pages versus posts
On your wedding site, you can create pages and posts. On pages, you can publish important information for your special day, from bridal party bios, to venue information and directions, to an About page that tells the tale of how you and your beloved met. Pages are generally unchanging — but you can update any of the content at any time, of course — and are easily accessible on your site, usually at the top in a menu or along your sidebar in a Pages Widget or Custom Menu Widget, if you choose.
Some people want a static wedding website, with all the necessary event information in place for their guests. If that’s the type of website you’d like, you’ll want to publish pages.
Posts are a bit different. If you plan to keep your guests updated on pre-event details — sharing stories about finding your dress, food and cake tasting, design and palette ideas, and more — you can publish posts. Posts make up what you generally think of when you think of a “blog.” They’re dated, and they appear in reverse chronological order. So, as you publish new posts, older posts get pushed down the front page.
Publishing posts is entirely up to you, but if you don’t choose to do so, you could consider publishing at least one post to display on your front page — perhaps a welcome message to your guests, a poem or song lyrics that symbolize your relationship, or even an image you’d like to display.
Now that you know the difference between pages and posts, let’s create some!
Creating a page
Head into your homepage and make your way to Pages → Add. See the Page Screen that opens?
You’ll notice two tabs at the top of the Page Screen: Visual and HTML.
You can toggle between these two modes as you create and edit your pages, and will likely do much of your writing in the Visual editor. Here, you’ll see your content as it’ll appear when published. (In the handy and powerful HTML editor, you can write and edit your page in HTML. Don’t know what HTML is? No worries — just use the visual editor.)
There are two rows of icons in the Visual editor. You can find out what each icon does by hovering over it with your mouse. Many of them will look familiar; you’ve probably seen them before in your word processing program of choice — bold and italic text, justification options, bullets, and more. (If there’s anything you’re not sure about, you can take a comprehensive tour of all the options.)
So, go ahead and add a title to this page in the top field, and then insert your text, whether it’s the story of how you met for your “About Us” page or the directions to your ceremony and reception venues for your “Venue Details” page. When you’re finished typing, you can preview your page by clicking the Preview button at the top left. When you’re happy with what you see, click the blue Publish button.
Voilà! Your page is published. (You can always update a page later — do to so, just head to My Site → Pages in your homepage, find your page in the list, and click on the title to edit the page.
Now that you know how to create and publish a page, go ahead and create other pages for your website. (Looking for inspiration? Check out these wedding websites.)
Creating a post
As we mentioned earlier, posts are different from pages. If you plan to maintain a blog-like section on your wedding website, you can create posts. We make it easy for you — creating a post is very much like creating a page. In your dashboard, go to Blog Posts → Add, and a new Post Screen will open. Look familiar? It looks like the Page Screen, which we introduced above.
You’ll see the same icons and familiar features from the Page Screen. So, if you’d like, go ahead and insert your text for your first post in that big box on the left, and once you’re happy with it, click the blue Publish button. (If you’re looking for ideas, browse the “Wedding” topic page in the WordPress.com Reader, which is where you’ll find the latest published posts on weddings.)
After you’ve published a number of posts, don’t forget to revisit the section above on activating the featured post slider, if your theme supports the feature, so you can showcase your posts and featured images in a sleek slideshow on your front page.
Bonus! As you get more comfortable with WordPress.com, you’ll poke around and notice other features in your dashboard. Our themes support various Post Formats — such as standard, gallery, image, status, and quote — which change the way a post looks on a site based on the type of content. If you take a peek on the left of your Post Screen, you’ll see a module titled Post Format and options like this (as shown on the Toujours theme):
If you choose to publish brief status or quote posts, note that our popular wedding themes will display your latest status or quote post in the footer (or bottom) of your website’s front page:
To create a status or quote post like the one above, follow the steps to create a post as normal. Under the Post Format module, fill in the bubble next to status or quote before clicking Publish, which will ensure this post will display at the footer of your website.
Insert images on your website
Your wedding will be a very visual affair — flowers, dressed-up guests, decorated tables, food and cake, oh my! You’ll likely want to insert photographs on your pages and posts, too.
In your dashboard, you can upload, edit, and manage your images. Here’s a primer:
As you’re creating a page or post, click on the Add Media icon, just above the row of icons:
Then, select the files you want to upload from your computer (hint: click Add New) or drag and drop the files right from your computer’s desktop to the Media Library screen. You can also add an image from the web using the Add via URL option, which is handy if you already have photo living online, like on Flickr.
Once the upload process is complete, you can hover on an individual photo to edit its settings before inserting it into your page or post.
Once you’ve edited these options, click the blue Insert button on the bottom right to plunk the image into your page or post. If you’re not happy with it, you can still make changes.
We’ve cherry-picked the bits and pieces of WordPress.com wisdom that are most important for wedding websites here — there’s more to learn, but you should be ready to go with this quick guide. To see the full version of this tutorial, visit learn.wordpress.com. We’re happy you’ve joined us and wish you the best of luck on your event planning and journey toward the big day!