To Plug In or Unplug at Your Wedding

Living in the digital age provides the opportunity for every bride, groom and guest to have immediate access to social media such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Snapchat. Wedding plans can be shared via your wedding website during the months leading up to the day itself and keep guests up to date on essential details. Some couples will revel in the idea of sharing this precious event through social media and cherish every Tweet, Instagram photo and Facebook post. However, there are others that may prefer not to have their plans unfold online.

For couples who embrace social media as a priceless tool in sharing the news and events of their wedding plans, social media can play a helpful role in wedding-day preparation. We have laid out some tips to easily navigate the role that social media will (or won’t) play in your big day.

THE ENGAGEMENT
Your beloved has popped the question and you have accepted the marriage proposal – Congratulations! Before rushing forward with getting the word out, be certain to take a few moments to soak in the moment and truly enjoy this special time with your new fiancé. While you are certainly excited to share your boundless joy and good news, remember to pause and embrace the joy you are both feeling before announcing the engagement to your family and friends.

After you have taken in the moment as a couple, take a deep breath and consider how best to communicate the news. You don’t want your parents, siblings, grandparents and closest friends to find out this special news through social media. Make a list of those that you need to talk with before releasing your social media announcement. Those closest to you will appreciate hearing the big news from you and your fiancé personally.

Once the news has been shared with loved ones, consider how you’d like to announce your engagement on social media. Posting a creative photo of you and your fiancé posed with the beautiful engagement ring on your left hand is one way to go. Remember that your Facebook and Instagram friends want to share this amazing occasion with YOU, so make the social media announcement about this special moment in your life and not just about your ring.

After the well wishes start coming in, take the time to individually respond and thank those who are sharing in the excitement. It is important to write a personal response to each message. The response does not need to be lengthy, but the personal touch goes a long way toward making them feel included during this special time.

PLANNING
The emergence of social media and online inspiration boards has changed the wedding planning process for many couples. After the engagement, some brides turn to Pinterest and wedding inspiration blogs in search of ideas for their own special day. Clearly, it is important to develop a wedding style that truly represents the personality and taste of you as a couple. Wedding blogs and inspiration boards are a great starting point for brides to begin sorting out different elements of their personal style. The internet offers an endless array of ideas for wedding-day details, so it may sometimes seem overwhelming. Obviously no two couples are alike, so in the early stages of the planning process it is best to simply absorb the information you favor and later sort through what is truly the best fit. Some brides enjoy using social media as a helpful tool to share ideas with the wedding party, family members and wedding vendors so they can weigh in on different options.

Visit neweddingday.com for the latest wedding inspiration and information on local wedding professionals. As a registered member on our website, you can save your favorites to revisit as you continue planning.

When done in moderation, sharing information on social media during your wedding-planning process is a wonderful way to keep your friends and relatives feeling included and in touch with this momentous occasion. You might consider posting progress updates, registry information or the occasional photo of you and your partner enjoying this special time together.

THE WEDDING DAY
Some couples use social media throughout their wedding day to document the joyous event and engage wedding guests. Creating a unique wedding hashtag for your guests to tag with their online postings is the first step. Share your hashtag via appropriate signage or even the invitation to notify your guests. Creating a hashtag that is singular to your event will allow you to go back after your wedding and look at your big day from the perspective of your guests. Using social media during your wedding will also allow you to share your special day with those who could not attend.

UNPLUGGED WEDDING
A wedding using social media may not be the best fit for all couples. You may prefer to see the faces of your guests during the ceremony instead of the back of their smart phones. An unplugged wedding also limits the chances of your guests interfering with the photographer capturing must have photos. Restricting the use of social media during the ceremony and reception may be the best option for couples who want their guests to remove themselves from technology and simply live in each moment of the special day.

If you do choose to have an unplugged wedding, you must ask yourself what exactly that means to you. Do you want to have an unplugged ceremony in which your guests tuck away their phones for the vows? Or, do you prefer to be unplugged all day and ask guests not to take photos with their phones for the duration of the festivities?

Once you decide, find the best way to communicate your wishes to your guests. You can consider implementing the following rules: include the announcement discreetly on the wedding program, create signage to place at the entrance to the ceremony, have your wedding party spread the word or ask your officiant to make an announcement at the ceremony when everyone has been seated.

Whether you decide to have a full-blown social media wedding or a discreet unplugged ceremony, the key is to communicate with your guests, so they aren’t left guessing whether or not they may share their photos online. Be clear about announcing special moments guests must observe while in attendance. Regardless, they will be happy to follow your request and enjoy your wedding day with or without social media.

Photo by Sam Areman