I’m in a unique position to be writing about social media at weddings. Firstly, I’m a social media addicted crazy man who will take a photo of anything and post it online. Secondly, I’m a wedding celebrant that takes no greater pleasure in telling everyone to put their phones away for at least the duration of the ceremony.
Creating a wedding social media policy
Social media, be it Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, ello, Google+, LinkedIn, or that new fang-dangled network that wasn’t even invented when this was written, is such an amazing way to share your story. After all, that’s what we’re here for, creating, telling, sharing, an awesome story. Every day is a new page and your wedding ceremony, a new chapter.
But, not everything has to go on social media. Just yesterday I ate a meal and no-one except for my wife knew about it. Revolutionary.
So I’m not going to try and sway you either way on whether to let it be a part of your wedding or not, that’s up to you and your friend group. Instead, I’ll share a few scenarios that you might like to think about on your wedding day:
My apologies for the all capital letters heading, and the hashtag, and everything about that heading. Essentially this option is about sharing every single thing from your day, putting the responsibility of documenting your wedding story into the hands of the smart phone users.
This is great if you’re a sharer.
The is not great if you don’t like the way that your cousin takes photos because he has no idea on a good angle for taking a selfie and when you open up your Facebook app the next day you’re going to be horrified at the 42 selfies he posted with you and every single one makes you look like Miley Cyrus.
Tips for winning at this: choose an easy to use, remember and type, hashtag – and ask your photographically intelligent friends to take more photos than your cousin.
2) Share some things
This is my favourite option. For the ceremony everyone can leave their cameras, smartphones, dumbphones, even the mediocre intelligence phones in their pockets and handbags and rely on the highly trained amazing photographer to take the photos.
After the ceremony however everyone can take photos, but then you get to choose when they share them. Common options are: tomorrow, after the reception, or after the bride and groom have posted their photos.
Tips on winning at this is to clearly communicate your wishes, and choosing an awesome, unique and easy to type and also say #hashtag.
3) Put the iPad down Grandma
You’ve hired the world’s best photojournalist, paid them the thousands that they, their photos, their time and their prints or albums are worth. So why sully that experience by having low-resolution, terribly filtered, blurry, awkward, iPad-taken, photos getting in the road of your photo-party?
Everyone needs to put their cameras and phones into a box like the time I went to the new Batman movie premiere and they didn’t want me to film it on my iPhone and share it on bittorrent, which was an awesome plan by the way.
So simply put, it’s a pure-unplugged wedding. No phones, no photos, we’ll share the professional photos when the sexy USB stick arrives in the mail.
Either which option you choose, or you construct your own social media policy for the day, make sure you communicate it clearly and even before the wedding day. The best way to have your expectations met is to communicate them. Or post them on someone’s Facebook page so the whole world can see.
This article first appeared in the first issue of Bula Bride magazine, a magazine all about Fiji Destination weddings, that contains this article by me! You can read the first issue online or get your print copy which is kind of cooler!