Wedding Etiquette in Age of Social Media – { Guest post by Naomi Shaw }

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Social media thrives on big news. While the definition of big news might vary per the individual, everyone can agree that an engagement merits a HUGE following on social media. The proposal, of course, is everything. So is the announcement that officially cements the event’s prominence.

Today’s couples have grown up with social media in their lives. Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, Twitter have become the outlets that keep friends connected. Sometimes friends aren’t really friends, but a follower is a follower, and followers and friends increase influence.

While taking a wedding social is the trend, be smart about what is published and decide early on what announcements, posts and pictures are meant for public consumption. The internet is forever, and nothing is really completely private once a post publishes.

Follow these simple guidelines when going social with wedding planning, and enjoy the popularity from the posts while also ensuring a bit of privacy:

Check privacy settings on accounts. Rule number one when promoting any major life event on social media is to check settings. Before you post out details, decide who should see those details. Not everyone wants to read every wedding plan or cake tasting detail. Consider the audience, and adjust settings accordingly.

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Keep big details under lock and key. Guests look forward to the wedding, so be sure to give them a few surprises. Don’t post pictures of the cake design, and never post pictures of the wedding dress. Update with useful information that guests need to know like Save the Date info on the date and venues for the ceremony and reception. Link to the couple’s wedding web site to allow guests to view more details. Post funny anecdotes about dress shopping—like the insane lingerie-inspired dress that looked straight out of Frederick’s.

Communicate photo requests to guests. Don’t want hundreds of camera phones snapping away at the ceremony? Make sure to clearly express the ‘phone-free’ policy to guests early. Prepare them. Encourage snapshots and creative photo ops during the reception, though. Also, set up a site where guests can upload candid photos and send the link via email or message.  Guests from the wedding will enjoy browsing the photo gallery.

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Refrain from uploading compromising photos. Great Aunt Ethel had too much champagne and began dancing the Hustle. Oh, was it ever hilarious! Do NOT record it. Do not upload video of it. Do not photograph the dance in action. Everyone has moments of sheer stupidity. Before the age of camera phones and social media, those moments died never to be spoken of again. Never post pictures or video of a guest, friend or family member in a compromising way. For extra kindness points, be sure to delete those videos and photos.

Mind copyright law. Never post photos taken by a professional photographer without written consent. Professional photos are protected by copyrights, and the owner of the copyright is the photographer…not the owner of the photograph. Be sure to always ask before publishing any photos taken by a professional.

Don’t email or text a Thank You. The etiquette of a proper thank you note requires the note to be written. On paper or note card. Do not email a thank you note. Definitely do not text a thank you note. Hand-write a personal note, making certain to acknowledge the gift and the giver.

The age of social media gives couples a unique outlet to update friends and followers about the engagement, wedding planning and the ceremony. A little information can go a long way in the virtual world. Couples need to use restraint and common sense when deciding how much information to throw out into cyberspace. Check settings and remember that the internet is forever.

Naomi is a freelance writer from Southern California. She loves writing about home decor and education. When she’s not writing, she loves to spend time with her husband and three children.@NaomiJShaw
Images in this article are purchased from stock.

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