An emerging new trend is showing that social media is fast becoming the greatest wedding crasher of all time. A single compulsive sharer can make a wedding privy to thousands of uninvited guests on the internet as they watch the event unfold in real time.
To put it into perspective, more people own a cell phone than a toothbrush¹. 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 phone², and you can see why this phenomena is becoming a major concern for couples about to tie the knot.
Rachael Bentick, Bridal Coach from Inlighten Photography, has been involved with over 1,000 weddings and has seen firsthand the damage that can be done by shutter bug guests.
“Social media can turn a joyful day into a catastrophic one with just a single Tweet,” says Rachael. “From unflattering photos to the untimely ‘reveal’ of the bride before the groom has even seen her, the online sharing of a couple’s eternal and extraordinarily private moment is becoming an increasingly tricky dilemma for newlyweds.”
So before you whip out your phone to tweet, post or hashtag at a wedding, take a moment to think about any potential impact on the happy couple.
To avoid upsetting the newlyweds, Rachael Bentick has this advice for wedding guests.
The Do’s and Dont’s of Social Media at Weddings
Don’t be the first to post wedding snaps on social media
To no-one’s surprise, newlyweds often like to be the first to share their official wedding photos with the rest of the world. So, although you can’t 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 couple’s matrimonial bubble of bliss.
Do think twice about what and how often you post on social media
Just because you’ve been given the green light to chronicle the wedding online, doesn’t make it okay to post a selfie while downing shots in the bathroom after the ceremony. If you’re unsure how the bride and groom might receive your photo then don’t risk offending them. The same can be said for too many photos. Posting updates as though you’re live-streaming the wedding to a major news network is a big no-no.
Don’t act like the paparazzi
Unless you’ve been specifically instructed or paid to document the wedding, then you’re considered a guest. You’ve been invited to experience the wedding not capture it’s every moment, so don’t waste the big reveal by watching it through an electronic screen.
Do stay out of the photographer’s 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 won’t impress the bride and groom when it features in all of their treasured wedding photos.
And for the bride and groom Rachael Bentick has this advice:
Don’t tell people they can’t take photos of themselves at your wedding
While ‘unplugged’ weddings are becoming very common, telling guests that they can’t take photos of themselves is border-lining Bridezilla. Instead, ask guests to take pictures but embargo them until after the wedding. For ease, make this clear on your invitation.
Do provide guests with a hashtag
It’s becoming increasingly popular for brides and grooms to provide guests with a ‘wedding day hashtag’. Not only can it help you to monitor what’s being put online, it also means you can crowd-source candid snaps for yourself – just make sure no-one else has used the same hashtag!
1. Source: Mobile Marketing Association Asia
2. Source: http://communities-dominate.blogs.com/brands/2013/03/the-annual-mobile-industry-numbers-and-stats-blog-yep-this-year-we-will-hit-the-mobile-moment.html