My niece is getting married and during the wedding planning the big question come up. How can the soon-to-be-married-couple handle the social media sharing from their guests. The couple is at their late 20s and both side families have a strong opinion about privacy.

The couple wants to share everything through their social media accounts & their wedding website, but both side families are against the idea. Having high profile guests and family members, could raise a question of what to share. You see, young people find it only natural to use their social media interaction before, during and after their wedding. But not everyone agrees with that practice!

Sorry guys, it’s your big happy day but you have to respect that privacy is an important factor. The best way to handle this delicate issue is to control what and who is sharing pictures in an open wedding.

Social Media Wedding Etiquette

Share with Extra Care

Define from your first official announcement what kind of publicity you wish to have. If you are open to create a wedding website and your own wedding hashtag, then you are open to let everyone take as many pictures as they want from any angle they may think.

Bride and groom are the only ones that can set the wedding social media tone from the day one of the wedding planning. Agree as a couple what is the desired protocol for posting wedding pictures. When you are sure, then inform your guests if they can or can not take pictures of the wedding ceremony. Make sure that if you don’t want pictures posted in social media until after the ceremony, that all your guests will get the message ahead of the big day.

I would suggest to let your guests know if they can let their creativity wild or not in the wedding invitation. Of course you can create your personal wedding website and hashtags, but you can also add some specific (and polite) guidelines of what is expected from guests photo-journalist behavior.

You can even ask not to take any photographs and kindly remind them that you will have a professional photography team capturing everything. In high profile weddings, it is common to hire professional social media managers to control the quality of visuals and texts of a wedding.

Social media professionals know how to feed your guests desire for photos without harming your bridal digital look. That will give your guests the opportunity to share real time moments but only those that are pre-approved as “good social media” wedding material.

You may find this odd, but let’s break it down.

Social Media Wedding Etiquette

Social Media Wedding Material

We live in a digital & social media world, where everyone is always connected. All life events are captured and shared within seconds. Especially the generations born after 2000, have grown up in a 100% digital & tech friendly environment. As they say, if it’s not in social media then it’s not happening for real.

Weddings are some of the big happy events that people want to share with everyone in the world. And in the digital world, too.

But when you have invest a tremendous amount of energy, time and money to plan and organize all the details for your wedding, why should you leave it up to good luck what is shared from your wedding day? Ask the professional opinion of a wedding planner if you are not sure what to do.

Make it crystal clear to your wedding planner how you wish to handle this matter. If you want to have only perfect pictures that declare your love for style & design, then add into your contract and a pro social media management service.

In my experience, luxury wedding planning agencies tend to be extra cautious with all the details and visuals assets of a wedding. They screen everything like well trained hawks and share with the public only the top photographs of a wedding.

When the number of your quest list is beyond a narrow family circle, then it would be wise to add a top social media management service for the digital PR of the event.

Include a kind note of clear instructions of how much you will appreciate from your guests, to respect your family’s wish not to use their mobile cameras throughout the wedding. Stress out that plenty of photos will be available via the photography team during the wedding celebration, under the hashtag of #yourwedding.

In other words, this means that the people attending your wedding should use only the selection of photographs that your organizing team has approved. This happens, when the bride and groom, intend to use their wedding visual material for official press releases.

Sometimes, when guests or families are VIPs they want to avoid extra publicity and exploitation of their personal lives. It is very important for all guests to respect the given guidelines, if they don’t want to have an awkward moment of giving their mobile phones to the security.

Believe me, this happens a lot!

Social Media Wedding Etiquette

Wedding Vendors Social Media

Most of the times all wedding vendors are posting backstage moments in their social media accounts. In case, you wish to avoid that, clarify with your wedding planner what is permitted and what is not.

Be open minded, because vendors like to post the process of making and you are not included in these photos. Let them enjoy this creative and happy process. But remind them to use your wedding’s hashtag!

For future submissions to wedding blogs or magazines, most wedding planners will ask for your permission. Have in mind that when a photo album is rolling into the digital world, there is no way you can control it. The only thing you can do is to add into your contract that all future uses of your wedding photographs, must have your wedding’s hashtag.

In the rare case, where both families in a wedding are happy to share everything, then go for it and use it as part of your wedding design. Add a social media corner, have dozens of stories, post live videos and invite your friends to share the magic. Hey, don’t ask your grandmother to share… most probably she will think that you are crazy.

Be aware that in some traditional and religious ceremonies all mobile devices may be forbidden. Check it and inform your guests in written form, for example in the invitation.

I have seen wedding ceremonies to get interrupted by an angry priest who was furious from the guests mobile use. Respect the couple’s wishes and you all gonna have a wonderful wedding celebration.

Do you want to learn more about wedding social media management? Feel free to contact us for more information!


All photographs credits: Sarah Pflug

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