Article by Uma Campbell
We all know that there are a lot of etiquette rules when it comes to weddings. Many of these guidelines were established years and decades ago, but today many of us are facing some new challenges when it comes to planning and hosting our weddings in the age of social media. Suddenly, we are navigating new territory and problems that didn’t even exist 10 or 20 years ago.
So, what is a bride or groom to do?
Thankfully, we have compiled the following guide on wedding etiquette in the age of social media so your big day is a success:
Personally tell your immediate family and close friends of your engagement BEFORE posting the announcement on social media. Trust us. Your parents, grandparents, siblings, and besties don’t want to read about the happy news, they want to hear it from you first. Afterwards, use social media to spread the word.
Do mail traditional invitations. It might seem wasteful when everyone is on social media, but actual paper invitations are still the best way to go. This will prevent people from overlooking an email, missing an event invite, or feeling unimportant. You don’t have to break the bank with fancy invitations, but you do need to make sure you send out invitations to prevent miscommunications and hurt feelings.
Be positive. Weddings are stressful and can cause a wide range of emotions and conflicts to rise to the surface. When using social media, either while planning or on the actual day, please avoid posting rants, off-color jokes, or venting publicly. It might be tempting, but negative posts only make you look bad and hurt others in the process. If you have a problem, confide to a friend or address the issue privately. This will save the drama and keep your wedding on track to be a happy event.
Keep the professional photographer. They have the experience, knowledge, and editing skills to capture your wedding day in the perfect light for years to come. You don’t want to miss out on professional pictures or regret it later when all you have are blurry images or selfies to display and show your grandchildren.
Spread the word that you would like to avoid people photographing or recording the ceremony. Put a polite announcement in your program and post signs telling others you want cell phones powered down during the ceremony. This will avoid cellphones, cameras, flashes, and even pushy amateur photographers from interfering with your hired photographer’s efforts or distracting from your vows.
Give your guests a hashtag. Social media is a great way to swap and share pictures from the wedding. Designate a hashtag to use for your special day and share it with your guests by posting it in common areas, such as: near the guest book, on tables, and at the front of the buffet lines. During the reception, people can post selfies, videos, and comments to create a wonderful resource. Think of this as an updated version of those disposable cameras that used to decorate tables at receptions.
No spoilers, please. Part of the fun of a wedding celebration is surprising your guests. Try to keep anything special under wraps by keeping it off social media until AFTER the ceremony. Brides and grooms (even family and bridal party members) shouldn’t post ahead of time of what is going to happen, especially about vows, entertainment, cakes, flowers, and ensembles. We want that element of surprise and it should be respected. Also, be careful not to post photos of the dress, the bride before her groom has seen her, and more! We want this day to be memorable!
Go ahead and snap a selfie or two! A walk down the aisle is all about you and your future spouse. So go ahead and document it with a few selfies here and there. Don’t be bashful, enjoy the moment and celebrate your happiness. Just remember to include your significant other in the pics because they are also a big part of the day. You don’t have to share all of them publicly, just make sure you get a few to treasure in the years to come.
Give yourself permission to step away from social media for the day. We all know that social media is going to be a big part of your wedding, but you can make a conscious choice to avoid letting it overtake the day. Take a few selfies and post an obligatory comment here and there, but don’t be consumed by social media. Ask a friend to take photos for you or to hold your phone so you can be in the moment, enjoying and savoring this special day.
What tips can you share about wedding etiquette in the age of social media?
The Dress Matters Blog
Blog of the elegant bridal boutique located in Media, Pennsylvania (Suburban Philadelphia). The owner of the boutique was selected 2017 Entrepreneur of the Year by the Delaware County Chamber of Commerce. We carry bridal, bridesmaid and prom dresses. Special services include Girls Night Out, Bridal Assistant and On-Site Alterations.