By Candie Harris Given that we are in the middle of wedding season, there’s a good chance that you will be attending a wedding in the upcoming months. Whether you're part of the happy couple, a member of the wedding party, a guest, or the groom’s mother (like me!), you may be wondering what the dos and don’ts of social media use are at weddings. Since my son’s wedding is just one month away, I did some research on the topic and found a variety of opinions: from the brides and grooms that embrace social media to those that have said, "I don't" to guests tweeting and Instagramming at their weddings. From my insights, here are 3 easy tips for using social media at weddings:
It is not a new phenomenon for wedding couples to communicate their gift wishes. Gift registries have been around for a long time as a way for couples to identify the gifts that they would find most useful. When gift-givers buy from the registry, they know that they are buying something that the couple has selected, and the couple saves time by avoiding either duplicate gifts or returning things they don’t want or need.
Additionally, many wedding invitations today include the dress code as a way to inform guests of the venue and type of wedding the couple is envisioning. Whether it is black or white tie, cocktail attire or casual dress, there is no confusion about what guests should wear.
Similarly, if you are the bride or groom, the first thing you need to do is talk to each other about how you feel about social sharing, come to an agreement, and then tell you guests your wishes. If you welcome a social component to your big day, creating a hashtag is a good way to see everyone’s pictures and have them all in one central place. You can include the hashtag on your programs, place cards, or directly on the invitations. On the other hand, if the only pictures that you want shared are ones taken by your professional photographer, you should communicate that prior to the wedding. Pick your preferred communication vehicle (email, phone, text, etc.) and be clear about your wishes.
With all the details involved in planning their big day, it is very possible that the couple has not thought about (or communicated) their social media preferences regarding their wedding. As a guest, if you are unsure, just ask the couple prior to sharing or posting any photos. If you don’t have the opportunity to check with them prior to the wedding, better to refrain from social media rather than risk the chance that you do something that offends them. Any individual shots taken can always be shared later, after getting the couple's agreement.
Regardless of whether or not you are sharing wedding moments via social media, don’t forget to enjoy the moment. A wedding is a very special occasion that shouldn’t be lost with guests so involved with their social networks that they miss the fun and joy of the live event. Even if the couple wants to see spontaneous, immediate photos of their wedding, they also want their guests to help them celebrate with them, so remember to stay present!
I would love to hear any additional wedding social media tips you may have! Share in the comments.