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By Lydia Martin
Navigating wedding etiquette is difficult enough as it is, but when you throw technology and social media into the mix it seems almost impossible to know what is and isn’t appropriate. But don’t worry! We have the answers. By following our 8 do's and don’ts of social media, you'll be able to keep everyone happy while planning your wedding and won’t risk offending anyone, from your great aunt to your highschool bestie!
1. Wedding & Engagement Invites
Emailing wedding invitations to even your closet friends or relatives is generally not appropriate. Since the wedding invite sets the tone for the ceremony and reception to come, you don’t want to create the wrong impression by skipping beautiful physical invites. Pinned on refrigerators and tucked on the mantelpiece, invites also act as reminders and help build anticipation for the big day. And for many guests, like your grandparents, they are precious keepsakes. The only exception is in the case of extremely rushed circumstances – if, for instance, you and your fiancé are moving suddenly and you decide to get married at the last minute before you leave – in that case, you could send an email invite.
Creating a Facebook event for your wedding is also a huge ‘no-no.’ Although you may not intend to make people feel unimportant, Facebook invites are extremely impersonal and can imply that you don't really care if those people come or not. The same advice goes for engagement party invites – think carefully about the tone you want to set for your engagement party. If it’s just a casual affair, such as a drop-in afternoon tea, it may be acceptable to email an invite, but otherwise you should make the effort to post a proper invitation.
2. Asking people to do things for you
Friends and family are often very happy and willing to do things for you to help create your dream wedding. But rather than asking for a favour over Facebook or text message, always take the time to phone or make your request in person. Yes, your wedding day is all about you and your fiancé, but your friends and family will also be there to support you as you go through both the good and the bad in life. So don’t plant any seeds of future resentment by accidently coming across as a demanding bridezilla! Making a personal request is also a much nicer way to express your appreciation and show people you aren't going to take them for granted during the wedding planning process.
3. Sorting out difficult issues
With the busyness and stress of planning a wedding, conflict invariably arises! It’s easy for communication over text, Facebook, or email to be misinterpreted, which can make sorting out compromises or resolving emotional conflicts challenging to say the least. Without being able to hear other people’s tone of voice or body language, it can become difficult to interpret or smooth over differences in opinion. Communicating over social media is also a lot less personal than direct conversation. So if a tricky issue comes up, pick up the phone and call to talk it over, or even better, arrange to meet face-to-face with those involved. You will get back on the right track much more quickly and avoid a communication disaster by making just that little bit of extra effort!
4. Thank you notes
We really can’t stress this one enough! For each and every engagement or wedding gift you receive, always send a handwritten note or card to the giver. This is also true for thanking the people who were involved in helping with your wedding (i.e. your friend’s mother who made the cake, your uncle who drove the bridal car, etc…). No exceptions! Unless you’ve been shipwrecked on a desert island you really have no excuse not to be polite and thank people properly.
If you’ve fallen behind on your note writing, or know you can’t write a card straight away, you can send an email or private message on Facebook to let the gift giver know that you’ve received his or her gift, that you love it, and you’ll be sending a formal thank you very soon. i.e. “It was so wonderful to see you at our wedding (or engagement party)! We love the dinnerware set. Card and wedding photo to follow soon.” But remember, a quick message doesn’t replace the physical thank-you note.
1. “Save the Date” notices
Once you’ve decided on your wedding date, many couples send out an early informal note to alert friends and family to save the date. This is especially a good idea if you have lots of family coming from overseas and they need to book flights and accommodation. It’s perfectly fine to email this note or even create a Facebook invite. But keep in mind that you may readjust your guest list during the planning process and if you’ve sent a ‘save the date’ to someone, you also need to send a physical invite!
2. Wedding RSVPs
On your wedding invites, it’s acceptable to give your guests the option of emailing their RSVPs to you. Simply add a line to the bottom of your printed response card or the invite with the email address you are using to collect RSVPs. This method of collecting responses is especially appropriate if you have a short turnaround time, if you’re planning a relatively informal wedding, or if you know the majority of your wedding guests use email.
3. Bridal Showers, Hen’s Parties & Informal Celebrations
While more informal, these occasions are still important, and most couples and families will want to honour this fact by sending printed invitations. However, emailed invitations or e-invitations are an acceptable alternative, particularly if everyone you’re inviting is computer-literate. This may not be the time to create a Facebook event though – it’s still nice and thoughtful to send an invitation to each intended recipient.
4. Extra Information on destinations & lodging
Often there is lots of extra information your guests need to know about your wedding, such as directions to the venues, maps, accommodation and restaurant suggestions, and even points of local interest for overseas guests. To avoid detracting from the aesthetic beauty of your wedding invites, it’s useful to send out a group email, or even create your own wedding website, to communicate this additional info. Your guests will be grateful they don’t have to try and find out all these things by themselves!
Are there any other social media & email dos and don’ts you would add to this list? Let us know in the comment section below!