From custom wedding hashtags to guests posting photos on Facebook, “checking in” or sharing their fun on Twitter, the digital world has definitely changed how weddings are documented. Some couples are even replacing a traditional printed piece of paper with digital versions of their save the date, RSVP, and even full wedding invitations.
Regardless of where you stand in regards to the digital world and your wedding, it is ok to set some boundaries. While it is unlikely that all your guests would be willing to leave their smartphones at home, I’m offering some guidelines that you may be able to use to guide your guests on the etiquette you’d like them to follow in regards to your wedding day.
Device Free Ceremony
The actual wedding ceremony, is viewed by many couples as being the most private part of the day. While there is generally a photographer capturing these special moments, if there is one part of the day couples may not want shared all over Facebook, it is the ceremony. If you aren’t sure how to communicate this to your guests you can include a note in your program reminding guests to turn off their mobile devices. You could also ask one of your groomsmen to make an announcement just before your parents are seated. Another alternative would be to place a sign at the entrance of the ceremony or near the guestbook that says “please turn off all mobile devices”.
Some couples are even doing an unplugged wedding. This is one of those polarizing topics that people typically have either a strong opinion for or against. Regardless of where you stand on this, this article provides a very compelling reason why it may be a good idea.
Smartphones at the Reception
When asked, most of your guests will comply with not taking photos during the ceremony. Fewer will agree to keep their phones away during the reception. Most guests will check their phones once they arrive at the reception and are waiting for the festivities to begin. They will also want to take their own photos of their family, friends and most likely key points of the reception such as the cutting of the cake or even first dances.
The last thing you want to be doing at your own reception is policing people that are using their phone, posting photos, etc. Instead of fighting this, use it to your advantage. Assign a custom hashtag and put signs at your reception for guests to share their photos. It’s a great way to see moments you may have missed and a great way to tide you over until your photos come back from the photographer.
Create Private Pinterest Boards
Often times couples that are getting married also have several friends that are planning their own weddings around the same time. While it may be fun to share and get opinions from those friends through the planning process, I highly recommend keeping a private board for some details to avoid copy cats.
Wedding Paper Divas, a large online stationery shop conducted a survey to determine how prevalent social media has become with sharing wedding details. Simple answer: VERY PREVALENT
Whether it’s using Foursquare to check into venues, posting to Instagram, live-tweeting or sharing Facebook Live videos, wedding guests today are taking a very active part in documenting their wedding experience online.
The survey of 1,005 adults, age 18 to 54, who attended at least one wedding in the past 12 months was conducted online April 3-6, 2013.
So now we want to know what you think? If you were recently married or are getting married soon, what do you think about guests taking photos during the ceremony, reception, or are you sharing your wedding planning on social media?