Love it or hate it, social media are here to stay. But how much of a role should they play in a wedding and in the build-up?
OK, so I’m an ageing civil celebrant, not some tech-savvy teenager! However, I do have a few thoughts on this subject that might be useful.
However tempting it may be, resist posting the good news of your engagement or wedding date on Facebook (or wherever) until you’ve told all your family and close friends first. It’s a common-sense, tactful thing. If you ignore that, you may end up causing a lot of offence.
There’s nothing wrong with using social media for your invitations (e-vites) – it’s a lot cheaper than printed invitations and can still look good. (If you have a teenager in tow, they may design a fabulous invitation for you !) (You can always send printed invitations to your more conservative friends/relatives, if you choose.)
You need to be able to track the replies, so you have to be consistent and clear. It may be best not to use social media here (not [quite] everyone has a Facebook account, for example). E-mail is probably safe, but technological problems are not unknown! What if your computer dies? Thus snail mail may be the best bet. So, ensure your address is on the invitation, even if the invitation is sent via social media.
The big event
It pays to communicate with your guests. Especially if you have special wishes.
You may well be happy with a photography free-for-all. That’s fine. If you want no photography during the ceremony, however, you can put a note in the programme or post this fact on the wedding website. Most – if not all – people will respect your wishes. ‘Unplugged’ weddings are becoming increasingly common nowadays.
Hopefully, guests who do take shots regardless will, at least, not post these for a few days. (It’s best to go with the flow, if people disregard your request – it’s not worth letting their lack of consideration spoil your big day.)
Of course, people should be welcome to take photos of themselves, if they want. You may set up photo opportunities for guests at the end of the ceremony (eg signing the register).
Do send out ‘thank you cards’ – but not by e-mail or social media. They’ve got to be hand-written.
So use social media to help you, by all means, but be tactful and considerate about it.
And if you’re looking for a non-tech-savvy person of more mature years to put together and conduct a truly magnificent ceremony, I think we know somebody who might fit the bill!
Visit www.shawprograms.co.uk for help planning your event (see photo).