Social media is huge in this day and age, and it’s important that when it comes to your wedding day, you set some rules. Do you want your wedding to all over your family and friends’ Facebook pages, do you want for people to wait until the official ones have gone online for people to see, or do you want to make it totally unplugged and not see anyone’s phone pictures of your wedding online at all?
We’ve got the facts, figures and considerations of social media and unplugged weddings, thanks to Peter Edwards Photography, to help you make your decision…
Did you know?
An ‘unplugged wedding’ is a wedding that restricts the use of any device that takes photos or records videos. It can be as limited as ‘unplugging’ the ceremony to completely ‘unplugging’ the entire wedding.
Based on a survey conducted by Mashable and TheKnot.com, more than half of couples (55%) used a wedding hashtag, and 20% encouraged their guests to use their hashtag by sharing it on ceremony programs.
Within hours of saying ‘yes’, 28% of brides-to-be update their social media statuses, while 24% do so the next day.
70% of women start Pinterest wedding boards before getting engaged.
27 years old is the peak age that relationship statuses on Facebook are changed to ‘engaged’.
The social media wedding
If you want a social media wedding then first and foremost you’ll have to ensure that guests have access to Wi-Fi in the venue. This is especially important for out-of-town guests visiting that could incur roaming charges. Also, be sure to notify guests of the Wi-Fi password if required; you can simply print the info on small cards and place them around the venue.
Create a unique hashtag
In order to keep track of all the photos and posts related to your wedding, it is vital to establish a hashtag. A good choice of hashtag that guests will find easy to remember is something like #JohnandSarah – where you include both of your first names. Of course, remember to do research beforehand to check that your chosen hashtag isn’t being used already.
Designate a ‘Tweeter of honour’ for the day
Your wedding day is one of the most important days of your life, and you won’t want to spend the whole day on your mobile phone. Relieve some pressure and designate a ‘Tweeter of honour’. Give them the important job of updating your social media accounts and posting pictures so you won’t have to.
Create a digital archive of your day
With so many different social media networks out there, it can be hard to keep track of all your favourite wedding photos. There are a selection of tools available online which will allow you to gather all your wedding photos across social media channels and put them in one place. Storify is just one example. This will make it easier to reminisce on your special day before you receive your official wedding photos.
The unplugged wedding
Let people know in advance
Letting your guests know ahead of time what your expectations are of them will ensure your unplugged wedding gets off to a good start. Gently advising them of your intentions in your invitation package or on your wedding website (if you have one) will ensure that they are prepared for the reality of a smartphone-free zone.
How to enforce it
To further drive the message home, ask the officiant to make a brief announcement on the day of your wedding to remind people not to use their smartphones during the celebration. Also, if you feel it necessary, you could appoint a member of your wedding party to help encourage other guests to put down their devices at the wedding.
Accept that there are no 100% guarantees
Be aware that no matter how many times you ask, people will always forget or fail to consider your requests. With that in mind, it helps to be realistic about an unplugged wedding and conscious of the fact that photos of your wedding could still very well appear on social media networks or elsewhere.
Share your photos after the wedding
Make sure you share a few images of your wedding with your guests after the big day. You can include a photo on your thank you card or make the wedding photos available to guests online.
The digital dos and don’ts
- DO create a private Pinterest board to help you plan your wedding
- DON’T send your invitations via email
- DO mark the ceremony or reception location on Google Maps for easy sharing
- DON’T vent on social media about wedding plans or the wedding party
- DO ask guests to use a special hashtag for wedding posts, tweets and pictures
- DON’T spend your wedding day trying to master the perfect selfie
- DO prepare your speech on a tablet or an iPhone
- DON’T update your Facebook status at the altar