Social Media and Weddings

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.)

Invitation replies

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 for help planning your event (see photo).

Engagements 100 years ago

I recently came across a lovely, very quaint book published by A & C Black called “Don’ts for Weddings”. You can find plenty of advice on the web about weddings, but what makes this little book stand out is that it is actually a reprint of a manual from 1904.

Some things have remained the same, but, predictably, much has changed over 109 years. I thought it might be entertaining to quote a few paragraphs from the book, to give a flavour of what it contains. You can judge for yourself whether things have changed for the better!

The Engaged Couple

“Don’t make vulgar exhibition of your love: a close clasp of the hand or silent greeting of the eyes will suffice.

“Don’t tyrannise your fiancé. If you order him about and take his submission as your due, rest assured that one day the worm will surely turn.”

“Don’t consider the cosy corners, shady walks, and secluded nooks your monopoly at a house-party. Exercise a little healthful self-control.

“Don’t neglect to go about together as much as possible in tete-a-tete intercourse. Lovers must learn to pass their lives together.”

Texting, e-mails and social media?

“Don’t make a rule of writing to each other at bedtime with all you had not time to say, having parted at only 7 p.m. It may become a tax, and breaking it on either side may cause pain and friction.

“Don’t belittle love-letters when daily or frequent meetings are impossible. They have an important part to play in the course of true love.”

Marry in haste; repent at leisure

“Don’t rush an engagement. Let it be long enough for your love to settle into a more normal state, where you can gain a clearer estimate of your mutual fitness.

“Don’t risk criticism by urging a hasty marriage if you are a lady. Let that come from your fiancé.”

There are some 70 pages of advice. I may offer some more in a future blog, but you might consider obtaining this little guide yourself. Included within it is some excellent counsel – and also some earnest suggestions that now seem very amusing!

If you want rather more modern advice on planning or conducting a wedding, then please contact me.

Michael Gordon can help prepare and conduct a tailor-made civil ceremony in or around London or, indeed, in Europe.