Social media remains an integral part of daily life for younger generations. For couples who grew up in the age of popular social sharing sites like Twitter, Facebook and Instagram, bringing the online world into their wedding planning is a natural reaction to their constant social media connectivity. When small events in the day are worthy of an update, a milestone as large as a wedding serves as the magnum opus of social media relevancy.
Social sharing and wedding planning, however, don’t always mix well. Wedding planning and the details of the big day often remain subject to certain rules of etiquette. The rules become blurred when sharing online, but there still remains a proper protocol especially as it replies to taking the wedding into the social media realm.
There are lines online that should not and cannot be crossed via social media. While many rules apply to the wedding party, guests are subject to their own set of social guidelines. There are rules of conduct that must not be breached online or in person, and then there are guidelines that apply only to the social media realm.
Follow these simple rules of etiquette when incorporating social media into wedding planning:
For the Bride & Groom:
Request permission from professional photographers before posting any professional pictures online. Most photographers own the copyrights to their photos. Respect the copyright.
Do not share details about wedding registries via social media. Etiquette dictates that word of mouth is the best way to share registry details. Guests should inquire about registries, they should not be told.
Like gift registries, money requests in lieu of gifts should not be promoted via social media. Word of mouth, again, is the proper method to ensure guests know that gifts of cash would be preferred. Also, do not promote sites that solicit funds for a Honeymoon through any social media platform. Links to such sites may be listed on a wedding web site instead.
Thank you notes should be hand written, not emailed.
If guests are encouraged to snap shots of the ceremony, set up an online photo sharing site where all snapshots may be uploaded. Candid shots by guests capture the best memories…be sure to save them.
For the Wedding Party:
Bridesmaids and groomsmen should not post wedding day selfies or pictures online without consent of the bride and/or groom. Imagine the bride’s dress being photographed and posted online before walking down the aisle…and having the groom see it on social media first. All members of the wedding party should discuss any picture posting rules before the wedding date.
Posting pictures of debauchery at bachelor and/or bachelorette parties are unnecessary and embarrassing. They might even cost someone a job. Think twice before posting any questionable photographs…no matter how humorous.
Sending updates on the wedding day about any wedding mishap. Small details that go awry can lead into huge meltdowns. Don’t post anything about problems…no matter how miniscule.
Refrain from posting updates about the wedding details. Again, all details should be shared only by the bride and/or groom.
Check with the wedding hosts to inquire about snapping photos during the ceremony or the reception. Some couples prefer that guests not take photos.
Do not request the bride and/or groom to pose for photos. The day is long and overwhelming for them. Respect the boundaries.
Like the wedding party, guests should not upload photos or post any updates regarding wedding details, preparations, etc. Some details should remain private.
Unsure where the couple is registered? Ask! Word of mouth is the best way to find out about registries. Also inquire about a wedding web site, which usually has a host of other information for guests.
Turn off or silence phones during the ceremony and the reception.
Social media has provided a new avenue to share wedding photos, special details and other memories from the ceremony and the reception. However, there are rules and proper etiquette to follow when incorporating social media into wedding planning. Remember: just because something can be posted online, doesn’t mean it SHOULD be posted online…otherwise, the something blue might just be the entire mood of the wedding day.