Rachel Bentick, Bridal Coach from Inlighten wedding photography, explains how to navigate the murky waters of social media and weddings
With the wedding season truly upon us, an emerging new trend is showing that social media is fast becoming the greatest wedding crasher of all time. In earlier days, a wedding crasher was easy enough to spot, but thanks to social media, a single compulsive sharer can make a wedding privy to thousands of uninvited guests as they watch the event unfold in real time.
To put it into perspective, more people own a cell phone than a toothbrush. Combine this with the knowledge that more than 90% of all humans who have ever taken a photo have only done so on a camera phone, and you can see why this phenomena is becoming a major concern to modern day couples about to tie the knot.
As aÂ Bridal Coach from Inlighten,Â I haveÂ been involved with over 1,000 weddings and seen firsthand the damage that can be done by shutter bug guests. I know that social media can turn a joyful day into a catastrophic one with just a single Tweet. From unflattering photos to the untimely ârevealâ of the bride before the groom has even seen her, the online sharing of a coupleâs eternal and extraordinarily private moment is becoming an increasingly tricky dilemma for newlyweds.
So as a wedding guest, before you whip out your phone to tweet, post or hashtag at the next wedding, take a look at my expert advice:
1.Â Donât post wedding snaps on any social media site before you know what the deal is. To no-oneâs surprise, newlyweds often like to be the first to share their official wedding photos with the rest of the world. So, although you canât wait to share their special moment with 2,000 of your closest friends, think twice. Find out if the wedding is social media friendly and avoid being guilty of bursting the coupleâs matrimonial bubble of bliss.
2. Do think twice about what and how often you post if social media is allowed. Just because youâve been given the green light to chronicle the wedding online, doesnât make it okay to post a selfie while downing shots in the bathroom after the ceremony. If youâre unsure how the bride and groom might receive your photo then donât risk offending them. The same can be said for too many photos. Posting updates as though youâre live-streaming the wedding to a major news network is a big no-no.
3. Donât act like the paparazzi. Unless youâve been specifically instructed or paid to document the wedding, then youâre considered a guest. Youâve been invited to experience the wedding not capture itâs every moment, so donât waste the big reveal by watching it through an electronic screen.
Â 4. Do stay out of the photographerâs way. Nothing kills the romance of a wedding better than a line of glowing iPhone screens bordering the aisle. Stopping at nothing to capture the best shot not only irritates other guests; your backside certainly wonât impress the bride and groom when it features in all of their treasured wedding photos.
And for the bride and groom, I recommend:
1. Donât tell people they canât take photos of themselves at your wedding. While âunpluggedâ weddings are becoming very common, telling guests that they canât take photos of themselves is border-lining Bridezilla. Instead, ask guests to take pictures but embargo them until after the wedding.Â For ease, make this clear on your invitation.
2. Do provide guests with a hashtag. Itâs becoming increasingly popular for brides and grooms to provide guests with a âwedding day hashtagâ. Not only can it help you to monitor whatâs being put online, it also means you can crowd-source candid snaps for yourself â just make sure no-one else has used the same hashtag!
For more expert wedding advice on social media weddingÂ etiquette,Â click here.Â