Announcing a wedding was once very simple. The couple told family, who spread it around to neighbors. Eventually, formal invitations were added to the tradition, inviting guests near and far in a written format. This was the norm for a long time. Even today, wedding invitations and announcements are used to tell everyone the joyous news.
The introduction of social media has changed the rules, however. We are more connected to one another than ever before. Using status posts and pictures, we can inform everyone connected to us about everything we are doing at every moment. So how much of the wedding and the planning is appropriate for social media?
A lot of couples are using hashtags on social media for various aspects of their weddings. This can be a great help in organizing the wedding beforehand and in gathering the pictures afterward. Choose a hashtag that is unique to you and your future spouse, and include it in all of your posts, on the invitations, and any other correspondence with friends and family about the wedding. If you are a guest, use the hashtag provided by the couple. This can be a great way to celebrate together as the couple prepares for the wedding, especially for long-distance friends and family who might not be able to make it.
It’s the Couple’s Day
The wedding is about the bride and groom, so all decisions regarding the event will be decided between you, and no one else. Even if you do decide to use social media, it is always a good idea to send paper invitations anyway, especially for older or less tech-savvy guests and family. You and your future spouse need to decide together how you want to handle social media with regards to your wedding, and set guidelines for your guests to follow. Guests should remember to respect the wishes of the bride and groom and follow any guidelines they request. Even if the couple is permissive about social media, it’s still bad manners to do things like post a picture of the bride before the wedding or post the vows, kiss, or cake-cutting right away.
What photos you share and when is totally up to you and your partner-to-be. It’s usually a good idea to keep a few surprises for the wedding, so don’t give away all of your planning before the big event! If it is okay with the couple that guests share photos immediately, you are safe as a wedding guest, but still wait until after the big events to share your pictures. Also, whether it is your wedding or your are a guest, don’t spend your whole day taking pictures on your phone. There are photographers at the wedding whose job it is to take them. Your job is to celebrate! Keep in mind, too, that everyone there is celebrating, so some embarrassing or unflattering moments might be caught on camera. Never, ever share a picture like that on social media.
Social Media Designee
To ensure none of the guests miss any of the important parts of the wedding, some couples choose or hire a designated social media poster to make posts for the during the wedding and reception. If you choose to go this route, make sure all of your guests know beforehand. Guests should be respectful of the bride and groom’s wishes regarding making their own posts if there is a social media designee, especially if the couple wants the designee to be the only one posting. There are actually services couples can hire for posting on social media during the wedding.
Respect the Disconnect
Couples do not have to choose to use social media. There is no shame in opting out. Many couples choose to go this route because they want their wedding to be a special affair, so they don’t post anything before, during, or after. Even more couples ban social media and cell phones at weddings. There are many different ways this might be implemented: couples might have a cell phone table, where guests leave their phones. They might make announcements in the invitations or during the wedding. The choice is up to the bride and groom, so don’t feel pressured to include social media in your wedding. If you are a guest at the wedding, do not use social media, if that is what the bride and groom want.
Social media has altered the landscape of social interaction in many different areas, including weddings. It can be a fun addition to your wedding depending on you, your partner, your families, and your friends. Whatever you choose, your wedding should be the best ever, because it is your day!
One thought on “Wedding Etiquette in the Age of Social Media”
Couldn’t agree more, Social media changed all the rules!