Social Media Etiquette on Your Big Day
With so many of your guests used to posting every beautiful thing they see on their social media pages, you can expect that most of your friends and family members will be sharing images of your gorgeous wedding dress, wedding cake, wedding venue, even your wedding menu items to Twitter, Instagram, Facebook and other social media platforms. Even wedding coordinators are posting images of your wedding venue decorated in its full glory onto their social media pages, and sharing the most spectacular details of their brides’ and grooms’ wedding décor online.
Recently, though, social media etiquette for weddings has become a hot topic, since wedding photographers might miss that first kiss shot when an overzealous wedding guests jumps out into the aisle to capture the moment via an iPad. And the numbers of those aisle-crowding guests started to grow, with guests noisily moving up toward the bride and groom as the wedding ceremony was occurring.
And there have also been instances where bridesmaids have Tweeted photos of the bride before she arrived at the wedding ceremony venue, and the groom got his first look at her…on Twitter. Social media sharing has ruined some very special moments in the bride and groom’s experience, so new wedding social media etiquette rules are starting to be enforced by the bride and groom.
Wedding couples who want total social media privacy are posting signs at their wedding ceremony venue and reception venue, asking guests politely to ‘unplug from social media and just enjoy our day!’ Or, they might get a little more direct, with a sign at the entrance saying, ‘No photos allowed; please leave the snapping to our photographers, relax, and have fun on our big day!’ And that sign is further enforced by a bolded line in the wedding program saying the same thing.
Or, you might decide to ask guests to just refrain from taking and posting photos during the ceremony, when it’s most important for your wedding photographers and videographers to get those all-important shots you want. Guests can then post away during the reception, which you invite them to do via the big new trend of a sign at the entrance to your reception venue, saying, “If you’ll Instagram photos of your celebration, please use the hashtag #smithjoneswedding” which tells guests it’s okay to share images of your reception on their social media pages.
Is it bad wedding etiquette to have images from your wedding showing up on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram where uninvited guests can see them? That’s just the nature of social media now. People you know have already dealt with any disappointment over not being invited to your wedding, so if they see images of your wedding venue, outdoor wedding ceremony or wedding reception online, they can simply ignore them or send their best wishes. It’s considered acceptable wedding etiquette to post wedding photos online, since they might be seen by friends and family who couldn’t attend the wedding, even though they were invited.
Simply put, today’s brides and grooms know that their guests will be posting images of their big day online, and they might do so as well during their big day, so they’ve come to accept that it’s a part of weddings today. And they’d be frustrated during their wedding day if they hoped to limit or eliminate guests’ social media posts, so they’ve grown into the new wedding etiquette rules of requesting no posts during certain portions of their day, like the ceremony, but being okay and even grateful that so many of their guests are having such a wonderful time at their wedding, and are so impressed by the wedding menu and wedding décor that they even want to show photos of them to everyone!
Before your big day, discuss with each other and with your wedding coordinator how you wish to arrange your guest social media habits, and have a plan that makes you happy and comfortable. Your planner can ask wedding guests to refrain from getting in the way during your most important wedding moments, which helps keep guests out of the way.
As for those pre-ceremony photos of you posted on social media, you might agree with your groom to just stay off your social media sites that morning so that you don’t see anything you’re not supposed to!