Today, even those friends and family members who couldn’t make it to the wedding can instantly enjoy special moments by simply pulling out their smart phones and opening a few apps. It now seems customary for couples to create a wedding hashtag (ex: #joanieloveschachi or #jackandjill2014). Since guests are usually alerted, via social media, to the carefully chosen hashtag, everyone near and far can instantly enjoy images of the event. Guests can laugh over memorable moments during brunch the next morning, and newlyweds can easily peruse the organized photos together on their honeymoon.
As it is with technology and social media these days, the level of its presence at a wedding spans a wide spectrum. On one hand, some couples prefer not to look out and see all of their guests typing away on their phones all night. After all, there is something to be said for living in the moment and allowing the experts to take care of the photographing. And let’s not forget that we can’t always invite everyone we know; some uninvited guests will undoubtedly see these photos online.
On the other end of the spectrum, some couples choose to include a program like Instaprint — basically a modern photo booth, which allows guests to print photos with the chosen wedding hashtag at the actual event. With all of this in mind, couples will need to decide how much or little social media they wish to have at their wedding and alert their guests of their preferences, in some unobtrusive way. A few things to keep in mind:
* Do a little research: make sure your chosen hashtag is not already in use.
* Decide how you will share the hashtag – in the save-the-date or invitation, at the entrance to the wedding, or maybe as part of the place cards.
* For those brides and grooms who relish the many opportunities these technologies afford us, give your guests a chance to play a game of I Spy. Create a list of moments you wish to have captured. See here for ideas.
* After the wedding has passed, remind the guests of how they can share their photos.
* If you prefer to not have hashtags and social media, kindly share this message – perhaps with an insert in the save-the-date.
Liz Mathews is a Connecticut based mother, teacher, and freelance writer who blogs on children’s books and related topics at La La La. Her work has appeared in Quality Women’s Fiction, Town and Country magazine, and Literary Mama.