Social media wedding etiquette – the dos and don’ts

Love it or hate it, social media is everywhere. It stalks us on our holidays, distracts us at work and too often it even follows us to bed – we are almost married to our devices!

As much as we love sharing every Insta-worthy cocktail, holiday selfie and cute puppy photo; when it comes to weddings, it’s definitely time to slow down and follow some simple social media rules.

For the bride and groom

Always remember: your wedding, your rules. You decide how you want to manage social media before, during and after the big day. Here are some simple hints and tips:

-        Inform your family – Too many friendships have been lost over awkward social media gaffs.

It’s best to personally inform immediate family and closest friends of any big news; especially before your best friend exposes your brand new engagement ring in one of her Insta stories.

-        Set some rules – Let your guests know if social media is invited to your big day.

Think about which platform you love most? Do you want filters or go al-naturale? Do you prefer a blanket social media ban? Is there a specific hashtag that everyone should use for your #happilyeverafter?

-        Don’t over-share – Basically it’s the same rule as with holiday snaps; your social circle will enjoy a select few snaps of your big day, but will quickly get bored of being bombarded with every small detail.

-        Don’t miss your own wedding There’s nothing worse than a bride and groom who spend the entire reception scrolling through Instagram and replying to digital well-wishers. If your mobile unintentionally ‘slips’ into your hands, don’t forget that there’s cake to devour, a dress to show off and a whole lot of guests to enjoy!

-        Make the most of it Compile a Pinterest board to explain your chosen dress code. Choose an awesome hashtag and use it like an online guest book, where everyone can easily, search, re-visit, comment and like content that was captured on the day. Get a social media board instead of the old photo booth to add a bit of fun. Choose a dedicated chief Tweeter to capture your whole love story in 140 character tweets – best of luck to them!

Rules for the guests

Luckily for guests the rules are quite simple; do as you’re told. Otherwise you might find yourself in a situation where…

VIDEO CREDIT: Motion Art Photography

If no rules have been set, there are still a few things to keep in mind:

-        Don’t jump the gun – don’t be that person who posts spoilers. There’s nothing worse than a photo of the bride or dress (or even worse…both) exposed to the big, wide world of social media before the groom has even had a chance to lay eyes on her.

-        Don’t get in the way – The official wedding photographer, videographer and celebrant have important jobs to do. It’s probably best not to block their view, path or access points. Just imagine the happy couple re-watching their wedding video, only to discover your thumb and a mobile screen popping up all over their TV.

-        Don’t capitalise on disasters Be it a stumbling groom, a flower girl tantrum, a flustered mother in law, an unflattering angle of the bride’s dress, or a drunken relative; as tempting as it sounds, do yourself a favour and keep the evidence safely locked away for your private viewing pleasure.

-        Don’t live-stream the wedding – Unless the bride and groom have specifically asked for someone to share the event with the entire world, a wedding is intended to be a private and personal celebration.

-        Snap, filter, caption, post Post on the bride and groom’s preferred platforms, use dedicated hashtags (because it makes your content easily accessible via a simple hashtag search), tag advised locations, caption complimentary and most of all actually celebrate and have fun! 

All there’s left to do is to enjoy, celebrate and get social!

Jo Hurley