Within the wedding industry and our social society as a whole, posting moment-by-moment information and photos is absolutely the norm. We fully stand behind the positivity of sharing lovely notes from brides and grooms on Facebook, new forecasted trends on Pinterest, and behind-the-scenes photos of weddings on Instagram. However, as much as we love to share as much as possible, there’s also a point both as planners and as guests when we press pause and let the couple take the lead.
When we saw the “6 Commandments of Social Media at Weddings” on Real Simple, we knew right away we wanted to share the article with you. The Real Simple article shares ideas to keep in mind for couples getting married and guests attending. We thought we would weigh in with three of the commandments that stood out the most to us…
1. Couples: Maintain some element of surprise. Although we may post a photo after attending a meeting with a vendor, we tend to shy away from posting exactly which flowers will be included in a bouquet or the exact meal guests will enjoy at the wedding. We love watching couples see their reception space for the first time, and guests enjoy being surprised too. Try to keep as much under wraps as possible!
2. Couples & Guests: Think before you speak (or Tweet or Facebook or Instagram): Real Simple notes that sarcasm about a wedding is never the way to go, and we agree. However, we think it’s important to add that there are likely guests the bride and groom may have been forced to remove from their guest list. While they may not be in attendance, that doesn’t mean the couple is not friends with them on social media. In order to prevent others from feeling left out, take precautions with what (and how much!) you share on social media.
3. Couples: It’s ok to go tech-free politely. We completely agree with how etiquette expert Lizzie Post recommends relaying a tech-free request to guests: make a polite note on your invitations, and then include a reminder in your program. In our opinion, the most important time to ask guests to keep their phones off and away is during your ceremony. It will allow them to be fully present, just as the article notes, and it will also allow your photographer to avoid capturing shots of your aisle with guests on either side capturing the moment on their phones.
…and we’re adding a few social media commandments of our own:
1. Couples & Guests: Create and promote a unique hashtag. While we support those who would like to go tech-free, we also love when couples choose to use a hashtag. WeddingWire released a hashtag generator, and we recommend using it if you’re having a creative block determining a unique idea on your own (the site will create one for you after you input details, like your names, wedding date, and location). As a note, start using the hashtag early so guests can take note. Also, include your hashtag on your wedding website, and think about having a sign created to display at your wedding as a reminder. Guests, make sure to use the hashtag!
2. Guests: Wait to post. Real Simple notes waiting until after the ceremony to post any news or photos, and we agree. However, if the couple is not using a hashtag, we think it’s an even better idea to wait until after the wedding to post any photos. Staying off of social media will allow you to enjoy the event and be present. Also, photos of the couple with family members tend to be more personal. Rather than sharing them on social media, plan to send those in an email after the wedding. Allowing the bride and groom to control what is posted of their family is always appreciated.
3. Guests: Respect the wishes of the couple and their vendor team. If a couple has asked that photos not be snapped and shared, shy away from doing so. Most often, photographers are open to couples sharing their professional photos on Facebook and tagging guests as long as the photographer’s logo is not removed from the photo. Further, as a general rule, never block the view of the photographer or videographer. The couple is paying for their expertise, and the team is always hard at work to capture the best moments from the best vantage points.