A lot of wedding etiquette has been figured out generations ago. Family, ethnic, and regional traditions are all weighed against the wishes of the bride, groom, and families. Everyone has an opinion which can sometimes take all the fun out of planning a wedding and reception. Creating an overall vision is complicated enough with all the items you plan for but what about something you probably haven’t thought about…social media at your wedding!
Social Media has changed everything when it comes to events. Before social media, only celebrities had to worry about dozens of photographers, pre-event “press releases, live coverage of the event, etc. Now variations of these are all available. Some are good and some can hurt the integrity of your event. Rock The House, as experts in both wedding receptions as well as social media, is in a unique place. We are represented in all major social media platforms and have thousands of followers. Let’s discuss each major platform and how it can help or hurt your wedding
Leading up to your wedding, there’s probably little else on your mind! This is the biggest day of your life and you’ve put in a lot of planning. It’s going to be hard to fight the temptation to give away details to your friends (who are going to be your guests) but it’s worth it. You lose a lot of the emotional impact if your guests know all the details of your event before they walk in the doors of your reception venue.
The day of the wedding, it’s not a bad idea to take a picture of yourself for your friends on Facebook who won’t be at the reception. This is a great way to include acquaintances on your big day. Remember if you are doing a big reveal of your dress…your soon to be husband has Facebook too! Besides that one photo on Facebook (and/or Instagram), go easy on the photos. You hired a photographer so don’t try to be your own too! The day goes really fast so you don’t want to find yourself updating statuses instead of being on the dance floor with your new husband or wife. This is probably the only day we will say this…give someone else your cellphone for the night!
After the wedding, your Facebook feed is going to be full of pictures from your wedding. While some photographers find this distasteful (their argument is that you should only see professional photos of your day), it’s going to happen. The good news is that you won’t have to wait months before you see any images from your wedding. This should take the pressure off of professional photographers to hurry a process that yields the definitive moments of your wedding day. Finding photos of your friends on Facebook is easy finding them on other platforms takes a little forethought.
Twitter, Vine, Instagram, and Hashtags
What was once a niche is now an event staple even for weddings…the hashtag. You see them in commercials, TV shows, print advertisements and almost everywhere else but do they belong at your wedding? Ultimately, the decision is up to you but there are benefits in establishing an official hashtag for your wedding. First posting the hashtag will remind your guests to take photos but the real upshot is that it becomes easy for you to find all the photos your guests took on whatever platform they prefer.
Hashtags on Twitter is where this all started by remember…Twitter is for conversations. If people are pushing their Instagram photos to Twitter, that’s one thing. If, on the other hand, your guests are constantly tweeting during your wedding…that’s a miss. With all of this, there is a balance between sharing and missing out on the fun. Promote Instagram over Twitter when you mention hashtags.
Another idea that looks really amazing is live Instagram to screen technologies. Rock The House provides different ways we can present live slide shows of photos being taken at your wedding. This REALLY gets people excited about taking photos!
Statistically speaking, if you are a bride you probably already have a Pinterest account and are actively pinning ideas for your upcoming wedding. If you’re not, you really should! Pinterest allows you to collect inspiration from all over the Internet. Make use of the three private boards you are allotted in order to plan for your wedding without giving away the surprises to your guests.
Once you receive your professional photos back, make sure to give back to the community that helped you plan your wedding. Ask for watermarked images from your photographer and add them to your Pinterest Board (including a link to their page) so other brides can be jealous of all your hard work.
Google offers a number of resources that can benefit your wedding. Did you know Google has a page dedicated to using their services to help you plan your wedding? That’s right – Google Weddings! This section will explain to you how to use Google Docs, Sites, and Picasa for weddings.
One of the oldest tricks in the book (in the past ten years) has been creating a special e-mail address just for wedding communication. Some wedding vendors send you A LOT of e-mails to try to get your business and it is a lot less complicated if you send it all to firstname.lastname@example.org instead of your regular address.
Maps can come in handy when sending out digital or print invitations. Create a link to the specific reception address and this will be of great use when you ask your guests to travel from separate ceremony and reception locations.
Google+ isn’t the most active social media platform but it does have Google+ Hangouts. With Google+ Hangouts you can stream your wedding ceremony to people who are unable to join you in person. If you have a professional videographer, you can upload the entire ceremony or a highlighted version to YouTube to share with your friends and family.
Remember it’s your day but everyone invited is part of your day too. Some professionals have suggested posting a lot of rules of what guests can and can’t do at your event. That’s obviously your call but this is not a practice that is very successful or comfortable in our experience. Some common sense rules can be enforced (if needed). Suggestion #1 – When taking photos, stay out of the professional photographers way as best you can. Suggestion #2 – Taking pictures with a flash should be discouraged as well as taking photos in the isle a the ceremony. Suggestions #3 – There is a balance between a free for all and being a dictator that can easily be met.
Still have questions or need advice on social media and your event? E-Mail our marketing director Nick Borelli with your questions. Remember to make sure that every step of your wedding is #fun.