Using Social Media for Your Big Day
Quick updates. Vendor and venue check ins. Taste testing. Dress shopping. And of course, the engagement party, bachelor and bachelorette parties, rehearsal dinner and the big day. If ever there was a perfect moment meant to be captured on social media, it is your wedding.
Here’s how to add social media to your wedding mix, and more importantly, how to keep photos, hashtags and updates light, fun and memorable.
If you’re going to have a wedding hashtag, come up with one early. Like when you set the date early. Include it with your Save the Date cards, wedding invitations and all other correspondence that your wedding party and guests receive. Have signs around the reception area asking guests to hashtag photos to help you capture the moments and ask your DJ to announce your hashtag in between songs.
A hashtag shouldn’t be overly complicated. Usually your first idea is your best. Keep it simple, easy to remember and personalized to the two of you. Otherwise, you run the risk of people incorrectly tagging your photos or not tagging them at all. The best photo of the wedding could be lost in the social media abyss simply because Aunt Betty couldn’t remember #Marryingmysoulmateonseptember242018.
Your hashtag should be unique or at least have very few pictures tagged with it. If it is already heavily used, your wedding photos will fight against the others using the same hashtag. If only a few photos use it, your tagged wedding photos should easily overtake them.
But what if someone tags a photo that is unflattering or inappropriate? There are two types of people. Those who post everything without a thought (or a discerning eye) and those who get permission of those in the photo. It’s your day. You have the right to ask for a photo to be removed.
Organizing and Sharing Your Wedding Photos: There are Apps for That
With all the social media platforms out there today, your wedding photos could end up posted across several sites. Here’s how to wrangle them all so you can see your wedding through your guests’ eyes, share the event with those who didn’t attend and see candid photos that just may become your absolute favorite.
Guests using Snapchat can include photos from your wedding in their “stories” or share with friends. Snapchat photos disappear after a set amount of time, so this isn’t an app to save images. However, you can create a personalized Snapchat filter that your guests can use and save the image to their phones to share on other social media.
Instagram is social media designed for photos. Period. Like first impressions, the first photo you share is the most likely to get the most attention in likes and comments, and has the best chance of going viral. No, it may not be a staged photo or professional in any way, but a photo on Instagram that catches the mood and shows the emotion of the moment is what Instagram is all about, and why it is so popular.
Aunt Betty might post a photo of your wedding on Facebook that day but most of your guests probably post to Facebook after the fact, which means it can act like an archive of your wedding photos. Facebook has a Live function, that streams an event in real time, which could make those unable to attend feel included in your big day.
Facebook did spawn the rise of the term selfie, even though it is now used for all social media photo posts, tags, tweets, etc. Consider setting up a “selfie station” instead of a photo booth. Selfie stations are not only fun, but way more budget friendly than renting a photo booth. Stock your selfie station with fun and unique props and lay a few selfie sticks on the table. Let your guests take it from there.
Instead of a traditional guest book, think about setting up a video booth along with your selfie station. Guests can video their well wishes and offer advice for a happily ever after instead of merely signing their names. Later, the video clips can be turned into a montage that you can share on social media with everyone.
Once the flurry of wedding photo posting, tagging and sharing has died down, there are online photo services you can use to collect or connect all the photos and bring them into reality in a printed photo album, which you can keep forever or send as a thank you.
It’s Your Day, You Call the Shots
If you’re spending money on a professional photographer, you certainly don’t want guests crowding in with their cell phones and ruining a shot. Maybe you want an intimate ceremony and cell phones recording every word isn’t your idea of intimate. If so, ask your officiant to request cell phones be turned off and put away during the ceremony. Another option is placing a sign by the venue’s entrance.
No bride and groom can invite everyone to their wedding and/or reception, but you can make uninvited friends and loved ones a part of the occasion by posting a photo and an inclusive sentiment.
Even though social media is part of everyday life, this is still your big day. There is a time and place for snapping photos and posting on social media, and you can decide when that is for your wedding day.
Over the years, we’ve hosted big and small weddings and receptions. We’ve worked with couples to include social media in their weddings and have lots of tips to help you make sure it’s used in a way that reflects your style. Just contact us if you need some helpful advice.