Weddings and social media

Today’s modern bride and groom have to consider more than just the wedding venue, celebrant and canapés. Now, it’s wise to have a ‘social media policy’ in the lead-up to your big day.

Are you happy with Auntie Glenis posting that precious photo of your first married kiss on Facebook? Or would you rather wait to share a professional pic? And, of course, you may not want your maid of honour giving a play-by-play account of the festivities on Twitter. Whether you’re a new media junkie or don’t even have an email address, the reality is that most of your guests will be connected to some form of social media. To ensure your big day isn’t ‘shared’ in ways you’re unhappy with, you’ll need to set some ground rules.

To post or not to post?

Your officiant or MC can convey your wishes in regards to social media as your guests take their seats before the ceremony. You may want them to refrain from posting any photos at all. If that’s the case, request that they ask your permission first, or even hold off until you have shared your professional photos.

On the other hand, if you’re a serious social media devotee, you may like to enlist a ‘tweeter of honour’ to post real-time photos and updates to your account – you could even cement your love in cyberspace and update your Facebook status to ‘married’ as soon as you’ve signed the wedding register.

When it comes to the reception speeches, however, your MC could suggest a ‘circle of trust’ pact where ‘what’s said in this room, stays in this room’ – particularly regarding that hilarious bestman’s speech!

Hash it out

Sometimes great candid photos are captured by your guests. To ensure you have access to these gems, get your guests to hashtag them. Set up a sign at the ceremony or reception venue with your chosen hashtag – eg #KimandBensWedding – and ask them to include this when posting wedding photos online.

Social media expert Celia Crosbie of Scope Media says hashtagging is a fun, easily accessible way to share photos and information with your guests. ‘By selecting a personalised wedding hashtag, you’re reaching your identified audience,’ she says. ‘If you want to add “#Love” for example, this brings you into lines of communication with people you don’t know. This may or may not appeal to you of course, but it’s something to consider.’

Share the love

Want all your guests’ photos but don’t fancy them plastered on mainstream social media? Ask them to download WedPics. It’s a free photo-sharing app that lets you create a private wedding ID for attendees to post photos and videos to. There’s the option to share content with Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest, but you can also block your guests from doing so.

Web etiquette

If you’re a guest at a wedding, it goes without saying that social media networking should be kept to a minimum, and it’s important to respect the bride and groom’s wishes on how much of their wedding is made public. However, if these haven’t been communicated, it’s courtesy to ask their permission before revealing any details of their day online. Plus, make sure you don’t get in the way of the professional photographer as you take your snaps!