Weddings and social media - a marriage made in heaven?

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If you want to share the love, excitement and fun of your wedding far and wide then social media is a blessing.  You may, however, worry that everyone will be so busy with their phones that it will take over your big day.  Whatever your attitude there are some things you need to consider well ahead of time.

Online or unplugged – it’s your choice

Do you want to go wild on social media, sharing everything from the engagement party to your honeymoon, and giving all your family and friends full licence to do the same?  Or do you want to restrict the use of any device that takes photos or records videos (and relying on the official photographer and videographer to capture the memories)?  Then again, you might want to steer a middle way – unplugging the wedding ceremony but letting everyone loose to record and share the reception, for instance?

Whatever you decide there are some important considerations to bear in mind.

If you decide to go unplugged

Most couples, it has to said, have a positive attitude to the sharing of their big day across the social media channels.  A recent survey by a US bridal magazine revealed that 11% of brides are opting for an unplugged wedding.  33% of those who responded want to keep the ceremony itself phone-free.  41% were pretty relaxed about social media and had no wish to restrict the way guests used their phones or posted stuff.

However, if you are one of those who do want to place a total or partial block on phone use and social media, then there are some things you need to consider.

Let people know in advance

Make your expectations clear well ahead of time.  Gently advise guests of your intentions in your invitation package or on your wedding website (if you have one).  This will ensure that they are not shocked to discover they are entering a smartphone-free zone!

How to handle it on the day

Even if you make your wishes clear well before the big day some people are sure to forget.   It’s a good idea have someone make a brief announcement on the day of your wedding to remind people not to use their smartphones during the ceremony and/or celebration (whatever you decide).  Also, if you feel it necessary, you could appoint a member of your wedding party to help encourage other guests (nicely, of course) to refrain if they are using their devices at times you have asked to be phone-free.

Don’t get bent out of shape

No matter how many times you ask, people will still forget, or be unable to resist taking a cheeky shot or two.  With that in mind, it helps to be realistic about an unplugged wedding and be relaxed about the fact that photos could still very well appear on social media networks or elsewhere.

Share your own photos after the wedding

After the big day make sure you share a few images of your wedding with your guests. You can include a photo on your thank you card or make the wedding photos available to guests online.

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If you decide to make it a social media free for all

Most couples are more than happy to embrace social media and let their guests record, post and tweet to their heart’s content.  If you are in this camp then here are some tips worth following.

Create a unique hashtag

To keep track of all the photos and posts created at and around your wedding you must establish a suitable hashtag.  It’s a good idea to include both your names, as this is relevant and easy for everyone to remember - something like #JohnandSarah Of course, remember to do some research beforehand to check that your chosen hashtag isn’t being used already.  If it is, you’ll need to add some other details, like #JohnBandSarahY, or add the date of the wedding (#JohnandSarah1-7-2018)

Make sure Wi-Fi is provided

Pick a venue with Wi-Fi and make it easy for everyone to access by notifying guests of the password.  Print the info on small cards and place these around the venue, or have a larger board encouraging people to share.

Appoint a ‘Tweeter of honour’

You want to be focusing on this most special day, and totally in the moment – not glued to your mobile phone.  Ask someone, well before the big day, to take over responsibility for updating your social media accounts, posting picture and doing any other urgent social media tasks.

Create a digital archive of your day

People are going to be posting and sharing their photos of your big day across a wide variety of social media platforms.  Keeping track of your favourite shots can be a nightmare.  However, there are some great tools and apps to help you – Wakelet, Scripin, GuestShots, Wedding party, Wedpics being just a few you might like to check out.  Once you’ve set up a page it will make it easier for everyone to share and reminisce before your official wedding photos are available.

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Finally – some digital do’s and don’ts

  • DO create a private Pinterest board to help you plan your wedding (research suggests 70% of women start Pinterest wedding boards before getting engaged!)
  • DON’T send your invitations via email – hard to believe, but some older guests may still not be regulars online, spam filters may block your message, or busy people may just miss it in their inbox.
  • DO mark the ceremony or reception location on Google Maps for easy sharing
  • DON’T vent on social media about wedding plans or the wedding party
  • DO ask guests to use a special hashtag for wedding posts, tweets and pictures
  • DON’T spend your wedding day trying to master the perfect selfie
  • DO prepare your speech on a tablet or an iPhone
  • DON’T update your Facebook status at the altar

Clevedon Hall – we have the technology

If you want a wedding venue that makes it easy for you and your guests to share the big day on social media then Clevedon Hall certainly has everything you need.  Our commercial grade wi-fi network operates at 80Mbps and will support 600 users simultaneously, providing secure, seamless internet.  No matter how busily everyone is tweeting and posting you can be confident the system can more than cope.

Jim O'ConnorComment