I’m a dinosaur. I’m not entirely proud of the fact, and occasionally do manage to move with the times a bit. But I am gradually coming to terms with the fact that social media in the wedding world are here to stay.
Certainly, seeing photos online the day after the wedding is very desirable.
However, I feel that the occasion is diminished by legions of smartphone-users raising arms every moment to capture yet another picture. It detracts from the atmosphere, spoils the view of other guests and can ruin the shots of the photographer whom the couple may have paid to be there.
Some weddings are now being referred to as “insta-weddings” because of the social media frenzy they generate.
Couples will have their own opinions. A British study of brides’ expectations shows that nearly half believe it is important to enforce digital rules on wedding guests, with one in seven wishing mobile phones could be banned.
It’s something for you to consider, and here are a few thoughts that may help you make up your mind.
Before the event
Make sure you inform your family and close friends before posting the news online.
E-vites are an acceptable use of social media.
Probably safer to ask people to use Royal Mail. You need to track the replies, and this may work out more reliable than FaceBook and the like.
At the event
In my experience, most couples feel that there should be rules about social media. These rules vary, of course, but many believe that it should be the couple who are the first to post wedding photos on a social media site. A lot also feel that bridesmaids should not be allowed to upload photos of brides before the ceremony.
Whatever you decide, you need to inform your guests clearly. It pays to communicate with your guests.
Of course, people should be welcome to take photos of themselves, if they want.
Do send out ‘thank you cards’ – but not by e-mail or social media. They ought to be hand-written.
Social Media Ideas
In certain cases, friends of the pair may create a hashtag handle for tweeting and photo-sharing. This also ensures that each wedding is distinctive. Useful, if you happen to be invited to a whole lot of weddings in one season.
A bride can nowadays designate a “Tweeter of Honour”, if she has too much to occupy herself with.
Instagrams can show natural, unforced moments. Nonetheless, it’s very rare that such photos beat the professional photographer’s shots.
Advantages of photo-sharing are that guests can contribute to a designated wedding album and, of course, those unable to attend, may be able to see photos or even live streams.
Beware of overkill, by the way. Thousands of posts before the wedding will be a turn-off.
Whether or not you opt for social media, moderation is advisable – and do make sure you communicate your wishes to your guests.