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Instagram Is Invited to Your Wedding, Whether You Like It or Not

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You Instagram your breakfast, Facebook the latest Buzzfeed post on cats in the afternoon, and tweet your final thoughts before bedtime. As social media encompasses pretty much all aspects of life these days, it's inevitable that it would creep into your wedding day

We chatted with wedding planner Sarah Pease of Brilliant Event Planning about how she's preparing her clients for a social media invasion on their big day, using a dedicated hashtag, and encouraging guests to tone down on the sharing.

What has your experience been with helping couples incorporate social media on their wedding day?

The key thing I tell my clients is that you have to be okay with it if you're going to be doing that. You have to be okay with ugly photos with you on your wedding day because it is inevitable. Even if you are Gisele Bündchen, there will be an ugly photo and you probably won't like it, and you probably won't have the control to take it down.

The second thing that you have to be very conscious of is your privacy. When it comes to things like Instagram, although you may have a privately protected Instagram feed, your friends don't necessarily have that. I've had clients in the past who have been stalked because people saw their [wedding].

Is there any way to prepare against guests sharing on social media?

It's kind of inevitable. These days, if they don't want any social media at their wedding, the best thing you can do is inform people. Inform them early and inform them often. If you don't want any social media at your wedding, you should put it on your wedding website.

You can confiscate phones at the beginning of the wedding, although I think that's pretty intense. Quite frankly, I'd be annoyed if someone took my phone off me when I arrived. It's a pretty extreme position to take.

Another softer approach is to put it in the ceremony program. When people are arriving for the wedding, have ushers gently remind them to turn off the cell phone. Right before the ceremony begins, have them make a tasteful announcement over the speaker. People want to make the bride and groom happy, so if you make obvious and unignorable requests, it will be achievable.


Photo by Tyree Judd, via Bridal Guide

Have you ever had to work with couples where one is into sharing every single detail and the other is a pretty private person?

I've never been in the middle of it because if one person is really against it there is usually a legit reason. [In general], they're pretty like-minded. They, as a couple, are really on Instagram, really on Facebook, really on Twitter, whatever it may be. Their personalities really mesh because they're both into or not into it.

Has using social media caused any problems at the weddings you've organized?

It can drive a professional videographer or photographer absolutely up the wall when this happens. Imagine at the start of the ceremony, the bride is walking down the aisle and she's so beautiful and she has a train with a veil trailing behind her. Before, you'd get this incredible view, and a wide shot from the back. Now, that shot of her walking down the aisle is ruined because you have 25 [guests] sticking their iPads out in the aisle.

Are there any norms about social media etiquette at weddings already developing? Should the bride be the first ones to post a picture from the ceremony?

I think that most brides would prefer that. But do I think that that's realistic? Not a chance. You're the bride—you're not going to be on your phone. You don't have pockets. You don't have your purse with you. Literally, as you are getting married, your friends are posting pictures of you on Facebook or Instagram.


Image via My Little Bridal Blog

Are there any instances of too much social media sharing when it comes to weddings?

One thing I think is such a no-no is when guests share the save-the-date or the invitations. What happens if there's somebody on your feed who didn't get invited that expected to? There's a ruffle as a result. I think that the guests should be really sensitive to that issue.

Do people place hashtags on their save-the-date cards now?

I have not seen it done on their save-the-date cards or the invitation, but I don't think that's out of the question. People who are more likely to have a less formal invitation, like a little bit more casual, I don't see why they wouldn't do that.

So it's coming up, but we're not fully there yet?

It's coming up, definitely. I would say where it's really hot right now is having a sign at the bar or a sign at the ceremony for people with a hashtag.

Have you ever worked with a dedicated coordinator for social media at weddings?

Those exist? I had no idea.

A couple months ago, the W Hotel introduced a social media concierge that you could get for your wedding for $3,000, and he would be in charge of putting up Facebook photos and live tweeting and such, all with a dedicated hashtag.

I feel like you could hire an intern, or ask a friend to do that. That might be better—they might know your pace better versus a stranger for $3,000. But hey, if you have $3,000 to burn and it's truly important to you, then why not?

Assistance from Paula Ya-Jen Ho
· Brilliant Event Planning [Official website]
· All Weddings Week 2014 Posts [Racked NY]