Mixing old and new customs for a wedding can prove incredibly tricky: you want to honor the past while celebrating the future, and those two aren’t the easiest to combine. Your nuptials will likely have an air of tradition about them – even if you’re planning a nontraditional event; however, one modern concept you’re sure to encounter is that of the social media presence of your wedding. From the moment you or your beloved gets down on one knee, all the way beyond your honeymoon, sites like Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter are likely to come into play – whether it be by your hand or that of someone else.
Many have their own ideas concerning what the appropriate use of social media is when it comes to tying the knot: plenty of online bridal communities have commentary on what constitutes “over-sharing” via the internet. After doing a bit of our own research, we’ve come up with a general guide for social media usage as it relates to your big day.
Your first instinct once the question has been popped will probably consist of smooching your sweetheart, calling your close family members and friends, and posting an update or photo online. These days, it isn’t uncommon for the proposer to arrange for a photographer to take professional shots of the moment – and who wouldn’t want to share those pictures with loves ones?
Our recommendation: this is a “one and done” kind of post. You may have an album full of shots from the proposal – these are great to share with your nearest and dearest – however, limiting you and your future spouse to one perfect picture each and two different captions that fit your specific personalities (per your main social media profiles) is ideal. This way, all of your “congratulations!” comments are in one place, and your friends’ newsfeeds aren’t bombarded with 20 different angles of the same minute or two. If people want to see more, they’ll ask!
Throughout the duration of your engagement, limiting your wedding-related updates to once a week or less is probably a good rule of thumb – though there are personal exceptions to this rule. As for Twitter, which is much quicker and more concise, you are free to post more often.
Engagement Party and Bridal Shower – Nothing public should be posted about these fêtes prior to their occurrence: hurt feelings can arise rather quickly, even if you don’t realize it, so encourage the host of the party and guests to follow this rule as well. Pictures are sure to be posted during the celebrations, and sharing snapshots of you with your attendees is a sweet way to thank them for their presence. However, avoid sharing photos or descriptions of gifts you may receive!
Bachelor/Bachelorette Parties – These are typically much less formal and require no pomp or circumstance, though you should follow the rule above and stay quiet about the party before it happens. As you already know: be careful about sharing “racy” pictures.
Rehearsal Dinner – This evening is usually one that is kept more under wraps as far as the general public is concerned. It is just before your wedding day, and you’ll likely be filled with emotion and some anxiety: it’s better to keep your focus off of social media. That being said, one post or photo about your excitement can prove to be calming.
The Big Day
Morning – Some brides and grooms take time to share some sentiments about their beloved or the happenings of the day, though we recommend this be done after the rehearsal dinner, as all of your attention should be on preparing for this important, beautiful event!
Ceremony – Unless you’re entirely fine with “tweeting down the aisle,” stay away from social media during your service.
Reception – Plenty of friends and family will be posting, ‘gramming, and hashtagging their way through your soirée, so leave them to it! Take comfort in the fact that you – likely – have a professional photographer capturing flawless photos that you’ll be able to share later.
After the Fact – Depending on how much energy you have left – and your plans for the rest of the night and days following – posting one picture isn’t a sin. Though, this may be a perfect opportunity to simply “like” and store snapshots that your guests took and posted during your nuptials.
Relax! Enjoy your newlywed status. Depending on where you are, your cell phone service may be temperamental, so saving up some pictures to share after your return is smart. This is a great chance to disconnect and bask in the glow of your new marriage with your sweetie – we recommend limiting all contact with reality for this time period, and that includes the all-powerful social media site. You’ll have plenty of time to connect with your followers when you’re back: tan, tranquil, and wed!
Opening photo by Thisbe Grace Photography