Part of a series of articles, written in partnership with Wedding Paper Divas. Today, we’re discussing the use of social media in weddings.
In the not so distant past, planning a wedding involved collating magazine clippings, handwritten phone numbers and addresses in dog-eared folders, going through the Yellow Pages to find local vendors and getting quotes, and calling up married friends for advice and maybe, a bit of venting.
Most of what we are doing now is essentially the same, but how it is being done is markedly different. Like any other medium, how you use social media also determines whether it is “good” or “bad”. Admittedly, in the Internet age, social media do’s and don’ts can change at the speed of a tweet. With that in mind, this post is meant to reflect the social media norms of today rather than hard and fast rules that you need to follow!
Using Social Media for Wedding Planning
We think using social media to help plan a wedding is one of the best things since sliced cake (and we do love our cakes!). On the technology front, there are numerous wedding apps to help with all aspects of the planning process, from shopping to checklists, but today, we are zooming in on social media.
Doing one of these might just get you “unfriended”:
Social network first, family later. Posting your engaged status online before your inner circle of family and friends gets the news from you first-hand might leave some feeling snubbed. Let your nearest and dearest be the first to know, and then tell your 5000 “friends” on Facebook.
First, let me take a (ring) selfie. We personally love engagement ring photos! But there’s always that fine line between sharing your happiness — “I said yes!” — and showing off — “my $7.5 million, 10-carat little rock #fingersalittleheavy #hatersgonnahate #dealwithit”– and you may be putting some of your friends off with that not so subtle #ringfie!
Airing your unfiltered thoughts publicly. We get that this is one of the most stressful times of your life but try to keep it classy. Deal with issues with your vendors or bridesmaids privately, either face-to-face, or via a phone call or personal email, and confine meltdowns to the offline world.
For members of the bridal party, posting the bride’s wedding dress before she walks down the aisle in it will guarantee you some gasps, but not of the positive kind.
E-invitations. This is a biggie! You might get away with sending an e-invites for bridal shower parties, engagement parties and rehearsals, but for the actual wedding, most of your invitees would still expect traditional printed stationery. Your choice of stationery sets the tone for the wedding, and it’s also a great platform to let your taste and personality shine:
Great ways to use social media during the wedding planning process:
Pinspiration. Pinterest is such a godsend for wedding planning! Browse through hundreds of pages of beautiful and inspiring weddings and pin the ones you love. Organize your ideas by creating separate boards for “Wedding Dress”, “Bridesmaids Gowns”, “Wedding Invitations”, “Wedding Theme” and “Registry”, etc. TIP: Don’t want the whole world to see your theme and wedding dress before the actual wedding? Create a secret board and invite only those you want to share it with through email.
Follow vendors on their social media pages. Strong social media presence and positive customer interactions point to good street cred. Vendors like Wedding Paper Divas also actively dish out inspiration, tips and discount codes through their Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest pages.
There are also smaller but equally worthy setups that may not have the resource to dedicate to growing their online presence. You can still use the social networks to your advantage – by connecting with those who have been through the process. Not sure if a vendor is a good fit? Kindred spirits on forums dedicated to weddings, like WeddingBee can help you weigh your options.
#theweddinghashtag Wedding hashtags are a great way to round-up all posts related to your wedding. If you want to be able to conveniently view your entire wedding from the planning to the big day, start tagging all your social media posts as early in the planning stages as possible. Wedding hashtags are widely adopted now, so common names like #willandkate may already be taken. Discuss with your S.O. about creating something unique.
Whether you’re having an “unplugged” wedding or having a full social media-driven fest, included this information on your wedding website and enclosure cards:
Incorporating Social Media on the Day of the Wedding
On the day of the wedding, display your wedding hashtag prominently at the venue. Conversely, if you are having a social media ban, have a nicely worded reminder of your wish for them to be fully “present” on this special occasion.
Live Now. Live-streaming is a wonderful way to share a wedding with families and friends who can’t make it to the event personally. Live-tweeting every detail of your own wedding as it unfolds, however, is a no-no. It’s your wedding, so enjoy this special day to the fullest, as The Bride or The Groom, and not as a breaking news reporter. Instagramming a couple of photos now and then is perfectly fine, but don’t be glued to your phone. If you feel the need to document every second of the wedding, assign the job to a member of your bridal party (one hotel is even offering a social media concierge service).
As a guest, only share photos after asking for permission. If the couple invites you to share photos, stick to the official wedding hashtag. Also remember that the couple have spent weeks looking for the perfect photographer and paid good money to have their wedding captured beautifully. Allow the professional to do his/her job properly. If you feel compelled to use your camera phones, be as discreet as possible (don’t stand in the way, and no flash, please), especially during key moments of the ceremony.
Sharing on Your Social Network After the Wedding
It’s Not Official Until It’s Facebook Official, they say. Announcing your married status online is perfectly acceptable and almost the norm, especially for Millennials. When to do it totally depends on you. Note that many will still appreciate printed marriage announcements, especially those who can’t make it to your wedding and folks not familiar with using the Internet.
Share This: Your wedding was the culmination of months of careful planning. Sharing the best parts of the nuptials online — both the professionally captured photos and videos, and all those hashtagged photos from everyone! — is a great way to spread the joy.
After all that’s been done, say thank you! They helped with the planning, they shared your joy, and they even bought you that cool kitchen mixer in pink, just as you have indicated on your registry wish list. You may text a quick “thank you for today!!!” right after the event, but to express your sincerest gratitude, a handwritten thank you note is to follow. Here’s a great list on how to write the perfect thank you.
Want more etiquette advice and inspiration?
Wedding Paper Divas has an entire section on its website dedicated to wedding etiquette. If you’re shopping for invites, make your way to the wedding invitation page or visit to the blog for more inspiration!