You can assume that everyone’s bringing a smart phone as their +1 to your wedding. Even before you toss the bouquet and make your grand exit, your weddding will be splashed across social media. You’ll be sure to see shots from the dance floor on Facebook, a plate from the reception (#foodporn) on Twitter, and even a few flicks of you and your new hubby’s first dance on Instagram. Everyone’s a wedding photographer furiously updating their time line with your special moments.
Here are a few suggestions for how to keep social media from stealing the focus from your wedding.
DO Allow Yourself To Share Some Snaps From Pre-Wedding Events
From the moment you announce your engagement on social media, people are going to be keeping an eye on your journey to the altar–even if it is unwittingly. Don’t be afraid to share snaps from your bridal shower and the bridal shower (as long as they’re social media–appropriate).
DON’T Share Absolutely Everything
Planning your own wedding is a magical experience that you want to share with the world. Trust us, though, all 1,000+ of your online friends and followers really don’t need a play-by-play of the process. You can share some of the big moments like picking out a dress, setting a date, introducing your bridal party–things along those lines. Speaking of your bridal party…
DO Get Everyone Connected
In many cases, the people a bride or groom picks to stand up with them at the altar don’t live in the same area. Help everyone stay on the same page by creating some sort of social media hub that everyone can check at their leisure to keep everyone up-to-date on their responsibilities. It also wouldn’t hurt to have them friend or follow each other if they haven’t already.
DON’T Use Your Phone During The Ceremony
If people are expected to turn their phones off–or at least put on silent–during a movie, your wedding should be no different. This is a once-in-a-lifetime event, and nothing will spoil the mood like someone’s Fetty Wap ringtone. Taking pictures from your seat is okay for eager guests, but texting during the vows is kind of tacky. Similarly, the happy couple might want to hand off their own phones to the Maid of Honor and Best Man if they hadn’t managed to put them before walking down the aisle. That’s said, the bride and groom shouldn’t be afraid to snap a “Just Married” selfie at the altar once they’ve said “I Do.”
DO Create A Hashtag
A 2013 study published by Sharing pics from the wedding is going to happen, but you can make everyone’s posting a bit more cohesive with the use of a hashtag (think #TheWadeUnion). This will allow other guests (and internet lurkers) to get a more complete view of the festivities. In effect, your guests are creating a wedding-album in real time! You can inform guests of the appropriate hashtag on table cards or even using the menu.
DO Get Your Guests Involved
You might even consider incorporating your friends’ posts into the reception by sharing their pics and well-wishes on a big screen. Wedding Wall is a service that does exactly this, and it allows your to pick something that compliments your theme as a backdrop for all the pictures and well wishes. Think of it like an interactive guest book (though you should probably still have one of those anyway).
DON’T Be Glued To Your Phone The Entire Night
It’s tempting to share an endless stream of snapshots from the night, but that ironically prevents your from enjoying the experience. If you’re on the phone the entire night, you’ll actually miss the event–and this goes for guests and the newlyweds! Take a few pics and then put the phone down. It will be there in another 30 or so minutes when you pick it up again to get a few more shots.
DO Broadcast Your Wedding
Everyone that you send an invitation to may not be able to make it out for your big day. This could be for any number of reasons, but Mashable suggests that there is still a way that they can witness the blessed event: streaming. With websites like UStream, it’s possible for newlyweds to share their ceremony and reception online for anyone that cares to tune in. If couples are able to pull off sharing their wedding in a Google Hangout, this presents the opportunity to hop into a quick conversation with anyone that logged in to thank them for sharing your special day even if it is remotely.