Ladies and gentlemen, we are gathered here today to discuss the sensitive subject of social media etiquette at your wedding. In an age where nothing is sacred, with half the population glued to their smart phone tweeting, creating an Instagram story or Facebook live video, the chances are your wedding will receive coverage from all corners of the room. This may not necessarily be unwelcome, as most brides can satisfy their photo fix from friends and relatives while you painstakingly wait for your professional photos and video to be lovingly edited and perfected. The chances are, if you are a regular user of the big players of the social sphere (Facebook and Instagram), you probably aren’t a stranger to sharing a cute picture of your pet or updating your friends and followers with your latest day trip/date night/purchase. However, just because you’re comfortable sharing your updates on your own terms, does not give your wedding guests carte blanche to share your intimate wedding images as flippantly as you would a selfie or a snap of your #outfitoftheday. It’s not just guests who should abide by social media rules for weddings either, as couples can be just as guilty (and annoying) oversharing wedding details. And without further ado, Full Focus Weddings has created a list of ‘dos and don’ts’ for a perfect, social media friendly wedding:
Don’t (for couples)
Announce your engagement on social media before you’ve told your family
This is a big no-no, it not only unnecessarily upsets your nearest and dearest, it could quash your chances of receiving a generous donation to the wedding / honeymoon fund. After he (or she) pops the big question, make sure you’ve told your immediate family and close friends before posting the all-important ring shot.
Share every single detail of the wedding
Snapping artistic angles of your would-be wedding canapes at your menu tasting is going to urge your friends to hit the unfollow button, the same applies to wedding dress details and flower arrangements. Your friends do share your wedding excitement but you do want to keep an element of surprise for your guests, otherwise the day will not be the magical soiree you are hoping for.
Do (for couples)
Set a personalised hashtag for the big day
Wedding hashtags are a fun way to easily find your wedding pictures on Instagram. You can choose an amalgamation of your names or go for something tongue in cheek or cheesy. Just be careful your names don’t inadvertently spell something rude or embarrassing, don’t repeat this Susan Boyle faux pas.
Do (for guests)
Be present and enjoy the day
Leave your phone in your clutch bag and enjoy the day with your own eyes, not through your phone screen. Wedding photographers and videographers are there for a reason and they will have the access to capture the best shots. If you can’t resist, snap the bride and groom at the reception, not during intimate times like sharing vows.
Don’t (for guests)
Post unflattering images of the bride (or anyone for that matter)
Beauty is in the eye of the beholder but if you’re about post an image of the bride, think twice before you press ‘share’. If the bride is stood in an unflattering light or if she is captured with her eyes half closed, DON’T post the image. You won’t receive a thank you card and you may be struck off her Facebook friends list (gasp!). Practice discretion when it comes to “drunken uncle” pictures as it may be funny to snap at the time but it may cause offence or embarrassment by families if you were to post images of inebriated guests publicly.
Post images on the day of the wedding
Some couples may not want any images from their wedding published, and that’s completely within their rights to say. However, if they are comfortable for you to share, wait until the next day to post all important images like the kiss and the cutting of the cake. Let the wedding party enjoy the day in its entirety and then sift through your pictures the following day (while nursing a hangover) and post online, using their hashtag, if appropriate. Only post moments that the couple would want in their photo album and under no circumstances should you post an image of the bride in her dress before she’s even walked down the aisle (#weddingfail).