Weddings are loaded with written and unwritten traditions and etiquette rules that we all follow. These timeless guidelines have been around for years, decades, and even centuries. Today, however, our weddings are meeting unchartered territory with the influx of technology and social media. And, we all know how social media is changing our relationships and social interactions. Suddenly, we are finding ourselves in an unnavigated territory as we are trying to figure out proper wedding etiquette in the age of social media.
To help understand the role this new technology is playing in our vows, please scroll through the following rules of wedding etiquette in the age of social media:
Newly engaged couples should reach out to immediate family and close friends BEFORE announcing the big news on social media. This is a common courtesy to parents, grandparents, siblings, and your besties. Trust us, they don’t want to read about your engagement online. They want and deserve to hear the happy news from you first. Afterward, you can make a big post on social media.
Do send traditional invitations in the mail. While social media is a great way to spread the word to friends about a barbecue or RSVP to a birthday party, paper invitations are still the preferred way to invite people to a wedding. This will prevent hurt feelings and miscommunication. Mailed invitations are special and will keep people who aren’t on social media from being overlooked, missing the e-invite, or left feeling unimportant.
Don’t ditch the photographer. It might be tempting to save a few dollars, but professional photographers have the knowledge, experience, and skills to document the big day for prosperity. This will prevent regret later when the only photos left to display from your walk down the aisle are selfies or the blurry images you were tagged in on social media.
Guests should avoid taking photos or recordings during the ceremony. It is impolite for people to interfere with the vows or the professional photographer. Instead, guests should power down during the main event so everyone can be truly present and enjoy the moment.
Avoid sharing spoilers. The couple, wedding party, close family, and friends need to challenge themselves to keep surprises and details off social media until after the wedding. It’s only polite to keep the element of surprise for guests or the couple. Some good topics to avoid posting about are photos of the bride’s dress, wedding cake, rings, decorations, and more!
Designate one hashtag for the wedding. Social media can be an amazing tool to document a wedding and reception through pictures and well wishes. Choose a unique hashtag to share so everyone can snap or share photos, videos, and comments throughout the day to create an amazing resource for the couple.
Be mindful of what you post. Weddings are notoriously stressful and can stir up a lot of negative emotions. When using social media, no matter who you are, a good rule of thumb is to be positive and avoid sharing angry rants, rude jokes, or venting publicly about the wedding, family members, vendors, and the bridal party. Bad posts will make you look bad, escalate the situation, and possibly harm others. Instead, privately address the issue to limit drama and keep the wedding a happy event.
Balance your social media usage. Weddings are special events that deserve to be documented and enjoyed. Give yourself permission to snap a few photos and check in, but don’t let your device and social media rob you from enjoying the celebration. Make sure to silence or power down your phone so you can savor the moment and be present.
How do you manage wedding etiquette in the age of social media?
Author: Uma Campbell