Share, Like, and Comment - Social Media @ Your Wedding
— By Brieonie Jenkins
04 March 2019
With the exception of your grandparents, you’d be hard pressed to find someone without at least one social media profile.
Your own social media personality will dictate how much sharing takes place on your wedding day. Do you embrace it and create a wedding hashtag for your guests to update their social media all night with pictures and posts of your celebration? Or do you stay traditional and ask your guests to keep their phones out of sight and enjoy the moment instead? Navigate the minefield with these social media etiquette tips for the bride and groom (and for the guests too) below.
For the Bride and Groom
Image by Nicole Ryan Photography
Spread the word
Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter are great ways to get the news out, and it’s super exciting seeing all those likes and well wishes pile up. But pause before you post; your family and close friends deserve to hear your news directly from you.
Weddings are exciting times and it’s easy to get carried away by posting about all the details online. Don’t go overboard or you’ll have nothing to surprise your guests with when the big day arrives! It can also lead to hurt feelings for those who aren’t invited.
Posting on the day
It’s likely that the people most interested in seeing your updates are already there. If you do want to post during the day, delegate the task to a trustworthy friend, let them know what you’d like them to update, then forget about it! Your day will fly by, so you won’t want to worry about where your phone is.
Image by Kari Dawson Weddings
Wedding hashtags are increasing in popularity and it’s easy to see why. It’s a great way to keep all of your guests’ photos in one place. Your photographer can’t be everywhere at once and it’s possible that your guests will get some great candid shots that your photographer might have missed.
A wedding hashtag is only useful if people know about it! Pick something easy to remember but not too common. Decide on it early so you can include it on the invitation and prepare your guests. You can also place little reminders around the reception on the tables, by the bar, and in the bathrooms.
Make your wishes clear
Keep in mind that you won’t be able to control which pictures are posted – once they’re out, it’s hard to take them back. If there are things you don’t want to see online (like pictures of the bride and groom) have your MC give everyone a friendly reminder at the beginning of your reception.
For the Guests
Image by Jake & Dannie Photography
Keep it private
It’s important to respect the couple’s social media silence. Don’t post anything wedding related until the couple has made it public. There are probably a few people who the couple will want to tell personally before the news spreads. It can be awkward for the couple if people’s feelings get hurt because they found out the news from a guest’s Facebook post rather than a face-to-face chat with the couple.
If you’re involved in the planning, keep the details private. Remember that not all of the couple’s friends on Facebook will be invited, so they won’t want to be overwhelmed with wedding details. For the friends who are invited, most couples want to surprise their guests, so don’t spoil it!
To share or not to share?
Different couples will have different views on social media. You may attend one wedding with a hashtag and relationship status change at the altar while another might discourage any social media sharing.
It’s generally fine to post personal photos, like group shots and selfies, but don’t post any pictures of the bride and groom, bridal party, or decorations without permission. Remember that it’s not your day; the bride and groom should be allowed to choose who they want to share their day with.
You're not the wedding photographer
Try to avoid the path of the photographer. The couple has spent time (and money!) prepping the professionals about the special moments they want to be captured. Don’t make it difficult for the pros by trying to do their job for them.
As a rule, you should not use your phone during the ceremony. You’re there to witness this once-in-a-lifetime moment with your friends. Don’t take pictures (or reply to text messages); keep your phone out of reach until the reception. Let the professionals capture those perfect moments like the first kiss - you just enjoy being present.
Use the #weddinghashtag
If the couple has a wedding hashtag, use it! Despite best intentions, often the photos that guests take never make it back to the bride and groom. It’s great fun for the couple to look back the next day and see all the fun their guests were having during the night.
If the couple has a wedding hashtag, it’s fine to upload images during the day (but mention nothing of the dress before the groom has seen the bride!). If the couple isn’t using a hashtag, avoid uploading anything before you get the all clear.