5 Social Media Rules for Weddings
Photos: DC Stanley
A wedding is a unique occasion for beautiful decor, unscripted emotions and spontaneous moments of joy—which makes it the perfect occasion for candid photos, videos and comments. And if, like the rest of us, you’re living in the 21st century, you know there’s no more ubiquitous mode for sharing in-the-moment content than via social media. If you’re hooked on Instagram, Pinterest, Facebook and/or Twitter—or know that a large percentage of your guests are likely to be—but unsure of how big or how small a role you want social media to play in conjunction with your big day, this social-media advice is for you.
1. COLLECT IDEAS AND GATHER OPINIONS.
While the sheer volume of bridal and wedding inspiration on Pinterest and Instagram can be overwhelming, these photo-focused social-media sites are a treasure trove of unique ideas for the design- and fashion-minded bride. Searching by very specific keywords and hashtags can help you locate a peep-toe pump in that exact shade of Tiffany blue you love, or a DIY ombré table-runner, or the latest collection by your most coveted bridal designer.
Once you have a handful of pretty pix, share them with your friends and your wedding planner or florist, to solicit opinions and help you choose. But remember, when it comes to social media, friends are as likely to give negative opinions as positive, so take comments with a grain of salt, and don’t let yourself be talked out of something you really love.
2. SHARE YOUR JOURNEY TOWARD YOUR BIG DAY.
Start by posting a photo of your engagement ring, and perhaps sharing a short recap of your proposal story; but definitely leave out private details like carat weight and the cost of your ring, which are nobody’s business but your own and your fiancé’s. You can also post photos from your courtship, your engagement party, and, when the time is right, change your relationship status from “in a relationship” to “engaged”—and sit back and enjoy while the well wishes come in.
3. PUT IT ON PAPER.
While social media is a great tool for sharing images and thoughts before and during the wedding, such a special occasion demands a formal invite. Send your printed wedding invitations by mail rather than creating a Facebook event for the big day—this is not a Tupperware party or birthday bash, it’s the most important event of your lifetime. You can, if you wish, include a link to your wedding’s Facebook, Instagram or Pinterest page on your save-the-date card, but don’t include URLs, hashtags or other social-media-related information on your actual invitation.
4. CREATE A HASHTAG.
While some brides prefer that guests leave their cell phones at home, or turn them off for the duration of the festivities, many modern couples are opting to designate a unique ID for their weddings and invite guests to use it—especially for the reception. If you’re in the latter camp, you can give yourselves and your guests easier access to cell-snapped wedding photos by creating a hashtag for your wedding, and posting it at the guestbook or escort-card table, perhaps in an elegant frame or on a cute vintage chalkboard. Make sure the hashtag is unique and practical (“#Jess&Rob2014,” “#DelacorteIDo,” “#EricaAndMarkWedding,” etc.), and use it to locate candid photos during and after the wedding.
5. SET THE SOCIAL-MEDIA RULES.
Whether you choose to make social media a major part of your event, or you prefer that guests keep their posting, pinning and tweeting for another day, the choice is yours. Just as you disseminate details about your wedding registry by word of mouth, you can designate several attendees to spread the word about your social-media preferences from the get-go. Ask designated individuals to advise guests, upon entering the ceremony space, to kindly turn off their cell phones for the duration of the ceremony, in order to honor the sacred importance of the occasion. If you are not averse to their sharing of wedding photos, images and wishes during the reception, you can let them know that social-media documentation of the wedding is welcome, and that you look forward to getting tagged while getting hitched.