When it comes to saying ‘I Do’ in our modern world, it’s hard to ignore the influence of social media. Whether you’re someone who tags themselves in at every location on Facebook or couldn’t tell their Instagram from their Twitter, you’ll likely need to address this digital form of communication one way or another. There are two main ways to go about managing social media on your wedding day – complete shutdown or embracing technology. Neither way is wrong or right. It comes down to your personal preference. But, either way, it pays to have an understanding of how to best manage social media and the rules to enforce on your big day.

How Does Social Media Integrate Itself Into a Wedding

Nowadays, social media goes much further than simply untagging yourself from that awful night-before photo. 83% of wedding planning is now done online. Many wedding suppliers – think florists, musicians, caterers etc – promote their services best on platforms like Instagram and Pinterest. Statistics for Pinterest show that 85% of ‘pinners’ are planning a life event – such as a wedding. The term ‘wedding dresses’ appeared at number 9 on the Top 100 search keywords on the platform in 2019. And on Instagram, this highly visual platform provides the perfect host for photographs that showcase services and products in action – making it easier for us to visualise how they’d look on our big day.

Moving on to the actual day, many modern couples choose to utilise social media as a means of capturing everyone’s photos together. Replacing disposable cameras nestled on tables, an Instagram photo uploaded with a specified hashtag or tag is easily collated into an online ‘folder’. The couple gets to see their big day through the eyes of their guests. They get to see those moments originally missed during the celebration. And, they don’t have the added cost of photo processing or the time needed to contact every single guest.

Let’s not forget those of us who aren’t as enamoured with the world of social media. For some, it is a traditional and intimate wedding that has always been their dream. And, having their photograph plastered across Facebook where it can be viewed by anyone can take away the magic of a brand new union. It pays to understand how you can manage social media, regardless of what side of the field you sit. Read on to see our top tips.

Decide Your Opinion

Firstly, sit down and discuss your opinion on social media as a couple. This needs to be done in advance of the wedding (and preferably before you send out invitations). Do you want an entirely ‘unplugged’ day, where guests put away their phones and simply bask in the ambience? Or, perhaps you’re happy for people to take photos and videos, but you want to be the first person to post a photograph of you in your wedding dress. Or maybe, you want to embrace the technology entirely and create a hashtag that people should use when sharing their photographs. Knowing how you want to manage social media in your wedding will prevent those awkward conversations on the day.

Let People Know

Next, you need to let people know where you stand. The best, and politest, way to do this is before the big day yourself. It’s easy to slip a note into each invitation with wording that explains how you wish cameras to be used on the big day. If you’ve decided to create a wedding website, this information can also be uploaded here.

It pays to reinforce this message on the big day too. You could ask your bridal party to remind people as they greet them into your ceremony. Officiants are often happy to make a public announcement before the ceremony. Or, consider having hand-painted boards dotted around the entrances to each section, reminding people to pop their phones away or get snapping. If you’ve decided to use a wedding hashtag, make sure this is clear to everyone – especially during the moments where you expect photos to flow such as during the reception and the first dance.

Discuss This With Your Suppliers

Opting for a no social media/photo celebration is like gold to a wedding photographer. It means that they’ll have free reign during your big day to move around and get the best shots. It pays to also take into account suppliers such as caterers and the DJ. It’s not uncommon for photographs from your big day to form part of their marketing efforts. If you’ve decided on an unplugged day or simply want to eliminate any people from their photographs, discuss it with them in advance. Be aware that some supplier contacts may have clauses in them about the use of social media so make sure to read the small print before signing.

Review Your Social Media

Many of us don’t pay attention to our social media settings in the way we should do. T&C’s for these platforms change constantly and it can mean that your posts are more public than you would like. Before your wedding, regardless of whether you’ve asked for an unplugged day or not, check your settings. Make sure photographs from your special day can only be shared with those people you’re comfortable with. And, remember that advertising the fact you’re on your honeymoon (and not at home) could create more risk than it’s worth.

Whether or not you choose to embrace social media during your wedding is an entirely personal decision. But, it is something you should consider and plan for your big day. Here at South West Marquees, we have helped many couples celebrate the weddings of their dreams. If you would like support in planning your day, including advice around social media, please do get in contact with us here today.