Social Media Guide for Weddings

social media guide for weddings

Social media use at weddings is somewhat controversial. Some couples encourage guests to share updates via social media networks such as Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram, but others would prefer a more traditional wedding free of the distractions of technology. 

Making Social Media a Key Part of Your Nuptials

If you're a tech-savvy couple who regularly incorporates social media into your daily lives, using these tools to document your special day is only natural.

The most common way couples encourage the use of social media at their wedding is to pick a hashtag for guests to use when sharing photos and updates. Here are some tips for picking the perfect hashtag:

  • Keep it short and sweet. Combining your first names or initials and a phrase like love, hitched, weds, or 4ever is the most popular strategy. You could also add the date, if needed.
  • Do your homework. It's vital that you choose a hashtag that's specific to your wedding, so you're not filtering out details from another couple's special day. Research your hashtag a few days before your wedding, then double check again the morning of your nuptials.
  • Get the word out. Hashtags are only useful when guests actually use them. Include a note about your hashtag in your wedding program. You can also make signs instructing guests which hashtag to use for their photos. Chalkboard style signs work well for this purpose, since they'll let you easily change the hashtag at the last minute if you discover it's been adopted by another couple. If you decide to make your own sign using wedding clip art that matches your invitations, keep the file readily available on your computer so you can make any necessary last minute corrections.
social media hashtag board

Live streaming your wedding is another trend that's gaining traction with social media savvy couples. In addition to offering a unique way for guests to experience your special day, streaming updates can be helpful when certain friends and family can't attend in person because of poor health, work commitments, or an inability to make the needed travel arrangements.

Google Hangouts On Air is widely considered the most user-friendly way to live stream your ceremony and parts of your reception. This free service lets nine people join your hangout via computer, tablet, or smartphone, then your video is automatically streamed to YouTube Live. You can either make your event public or edit the privacy settings so only guests with an invitation can see your video.

UStream, Livestream, and are also popular options for couples looking to incorporate streaming video into their special day. Skype and Apple FaceTime can be used if you only need to provide streaming access to a very small number of people.

Social Media Etiquette Tips for Wedding Guests

If you're attending a wedding as a guest, here are some key social media etiquette tips to remember:

  • If the bride and groom have asked guests to refrain from using their phones at the wedding, honor their request. You might find you enjoy the moment more when you're not glued to your tech.
  • Don't make jokes about the wedding via social media, especially if you're known for a slightly sarcastic sense of humor. It's too easy for your tone to be misinterpreted.
  • Don't post unflattering photos of the wedding party, even if they're great photos of you. If needed, crop the other person out of the image before you post.
  • If the couple has requested you use a specific hashtag, double check to make sure you’ve typed it correctly before posting your photos.
  • Wait until after the ceremony to post your images, especially if you have pictures of the bride in her dress.
  • Keep a low profile when you're trying to snap your photos, so you're not getting in the way of the photographer or videographer.

Going Tech Free for Your Wedding

At the opposite end of the spectrum, an unplugged wedding is another option to consider. Even if you're a regular social media user, there are some valid reasons you might want to ask guests to forgo posting about your big day. For example:

  • You won't have to worry about guests posting unflattering photos or information you don't want to become public knowledge.
  • If you had to limit the size of your wedding for budget reasons, friends and family who weren't invited won't have their feelings hurt by a barrage of social media updates from your guests.
  • Guests won't be interfering with your professional photographer and videographer while they are busy documenting your ceremony and reception.
  • Encouraging everyone to unplug will force them to slow down and be truly present for the day. Even if it feels awkward at first, this is a reminder we all need sometimes.

If you decide an unplugged wedding is right for you, make signs that remind guests of your decision and place them in visible locations throughout your ceremony and reception hall. For example, the guest book table, gift table, and coat room would all be good places to remind guests of your tech-free policy. You can also add a note to your wedding program requesting guests forgo the cameras and phones.

Making Memories Your Own Way

When it comes to social media and weddings, there's no one-size-fits all approach. It's entirely up to the bride and groom how much of a role they want social media sites to play in their special day.

Written by: The Printable Wedding Team