You may have even reached this article from a link on social media, and chances are, you’re reading this on your phone. As millennials, it is such a big part of our lives, but what is the etiquette when it comes to wedding social media. Should you have an unplugged wedding, or how can you incorporate and personalise social media into your wedding in a thoughtful way?
Consider these wedding social media ideas as well as etiquette and wording, or if you’re deciding to have no social media at your wedding, head to the end of this article for tips on having an unplugged wedding. Each photo links through to an Etsy store, so feel free to explore wedding social media signs and ideas there.
Wedding Social Media Ideas
It’s a divisive subject – social media at weddings. The prevalence of social media can unfortunately result in guests resorting to their devices instead of mixing and mingling with others, not to mention the danger of your precious wedding details being shared before you’re ready. While social media has its negative potentials, many couples still don’t want to have an unplugged wedding, or are afraid of telling their friends not to use social media. Whatever social media you choose to allow or encourage at your wedding, it’s all about finding the right balance.
Here are the do’s and don’t’s of social media at your wedding and how to incorporate and personalise yours.
No, we’re not just talking #wedding #bride #newlywed – creating a personalised wedding hashtag can be really useful for both the wedding guests and the bride and groom.
Creating a wedding hashtag means you can easily find, share and and save pictures from your special day, as you and your wedding guests can browse your personal hashtag (or hashtags) to see what everyone else has posted.
Being able to browse your wedding hashtag is also a nice way to interact with your guests after the wedding and to show how grateful you are for their attendance, as well as for your guests to connect after the wedding (i.e. help your single friends find your hot cousin on instagram).
How to create a Wedding Hashtag
There are so many options when designing a wedding hashtag, a common one being as simple as combine your first names. For Blair and I this would have been #Blegan, which to be honest, sucks. Instead we created a play on words with Blair’s last name and opted for the hashtags #HutchGetsHitched and #MegGetsHutched. Our friends Wilhelmina Shrimpton and Mike Sanders created #SandshrimpGetsHitched for their Waiheke wedding last year.
Of course, whether you can create a word-play wedding hashtag will depend on your names, but you could choose something more simple like #HutchWedding or #MegAnd BlairSayIDo. If you have a popular name, there is a large possibility that your hashtag is ‘taken’ – i.e. has been used by another couple – but you could share it with them if their wedding was a long time ago.
If you want a unique wedding hashtag, let your creativity kick in (wine helps) – and don’t be afraid of using a pun or two.
If you can’t think of anything, why not try a wedding hashtag generator such as the one on e-wedding.com. Once you’ve designed your wedding hashtag, include it on the wedding invitations, signage and on tables at the reception so that everyone is aware of it and encouraged to get social.
Wedding Social Media Sites
You may also have heard of a ‘social wedding wall’ which is a website set up specifically for the sharing of your wedding images. For instance, Walls.io displays all social media content for your wedding to showcase photos, posts & videos from 15 social media platforms.
Personal Snapchat Wedding Filters
Is it just me, or is one of the first things you do at a fabulous event is take a little snapchat (and instagram story). Well, thanks to snapchat, you and your guests can actually do so from your wedding… with your own personal wedding filter!
How to create a Snapchat Wedding Filter
For a small cost, you can create a geofilter for a specific geographical area – and also for a chosen amount of time, i.e. your wedding weekend. If you are not design-savvy or technologically advanced to create your own design, snapchat has templates that you can choose from, or there are websites that you can use to custom design your filter such as Geofilter Studio.
Benefits of a Snapchat Wedding Filter
Having a personalised wedding filter on snapchat means that guests can take photos and save them with the filter and be able to remember when a specific photo was taken. You can also create an Event Story on Snapchat. You can add your guests to this group and people can add to the story for the evening. This means that the bride and groom and other guests can rewatch memories the next day and see things that they may have missed on the night.
Of course, you can keep it as tasteful and simple as you like – even just a small name and date stamp in the corner.
Instagram Frame Cut Out/ Photobooth
Here is an idea that turns your online world, offline, also being perfect for an unplugged wedding too.
Custom Instagram frame prop
Various creative Etsy shops allow you to create a cardboard cut out of an Instagram post, where you and your guests hold up the frame to take a photo. The caption is already printed on the frame and can include your wedding hashtag. You could create it like a photobooth so that a professional photographer is responsible so guests do not have to ask someone else to take a photo; no need for an instagram boyfriend ;).
Why use an Instagram Cut Out Template?
Guests also do not have to have their phones out for photos in this case. You can also have a printer at your venue to print out photos of the instagram cut out, or alternatively hire a photobooth. Less time on social media and less time on phones… it’s a win-win!
Wedding Social Media Etiquette
At your wedding, you totally have the right to let people know what they can and cannot post on social media… but there is definitely a right way to do so. Ensure to do so politely, or you’ll be labelled ‘Bridezilla’ – let your guests know well in advance and remind them on the day. Your guests will understand that it is your special day and will be just as happy to celebrate with you sans mobile.
There’s nothing worse than having regrets about this after your wedding, so do not be afraid to set rules.
Remind people to be present in the day
Sometimes people forget to live in the moment and just want all their followers and friends to see everything they are doing. This is something a bride and groom should definitely not do, but ideally, neither should your guests.
If you think your guests may get caught up with snapchat and instagram, then having a social media aspect to your wedding may not be quite right.
Unplugged Wedding Social Media Ideas
If there is a certain part of the day or evening during your reception that you do not want people using wedding social media, there are fun ways to incorporate this, so you don’t feel like a nag, for instance you could set a consequence such as a doing a shot or making them wear an embarrassing costume if someone is using their phone or social media. This lightens the mood and creates a bit of fun for your guests, while reminding them you don’t want them on their phones.
No Phones During Wedding Ceremony
There always seem to be a couple of wedding guests who forget that there’s a professional photographer, whose sole (paid) job it is to take snaps of your day. While it may be that they just want to capture you at your most beautiful, having your guests more concerned with getting the perfect shot, than taking in your beautiful vows can actually be distracting, and detrimental. Guests risk getting in the way of the photographer, and if using flash, this could actually ruin the professional photos.
This is why you could (and IMHO should) ban the use of phones during your wedding ceremony (and minimise the risk of interruptions from ringtones, phone calls or someone accidentally playing back a video for their instastory…)
I suggest that banning phones and cameras, at least for your wedding ceremony, is a really good idea – and lots of photographers now prefer it too. Focus your guests’ attention on you and your partner, not their screens – the reason they’re there in the first place.
Why Choose an Unplugged Wedding Ceremony
Eliminating phones and cameras from your ceremony also makes it more intimate – with only you and the ones you love and not cyberspace. Remind your guests that they will be able to see and print photos from the ceremony after the wedding, and that you will be more than happy to send them some when you receive the photos from your photographer – this means you can also choose the most flattering ones, because lets be honest, your aunty may not know how to focus properly and get the right angles ;).
However you decide to rule on, or rule out, phones during your wedding ceremony, be very clear with your guests in the lead-up to your wedding, and also have your MC or celebrant remind guests prior to the ceremony.
“Please, No social media” Wedding Wording for Invitations and Signs
It is inevitable that your guests, especially your family, will share photos of your wedding, unless you tell them otherwise. You can either let your guests know before about wedding social media, or you could create cute signs around your venue – head to Pinterest or Etsy for inspiration.
There are so many different ways to let your guests know your expectations – but being direct to get your message across is the best way to go about it.
For my wedding, we decided to be straight up and simple. This is how Blair and I used “no social media” wedding wording on our invitations:
“We have decided to leave it to the professionals so please leave your phones and cameras at home”.
However, you also may want to be lighthearted and creative with signage or invitations. Some people even create a “no wedding photos on Facebook” poem.
Consider your Privacy Settings
Most of us have someone that we do not wish to share certain posts with on social media… Whether it is an ex-partner you are still ‘friends’ with because you are trying to be civil, or have work colleagues you felt rude not to follow or be friends with, consider whether you want to share your special and personal day with all of them.
Before your wedding, checking your privacy settings is important to ensure the people that are seeing your posts are the people that you want. This may mean going through your followers or friends and blocking/deleting people, or it could be changing your settings so that they can’t see what you post.
Don’t feel bad about banning social media at your wedding!
No matter your reasoning behind wanting everyone to see your posts or only wanting some, it is your big day and a reasonable request to make of people to leave their phones and cameras at home – do not feel like a bridezilla for making these decisions.