Our Story · Our Wedding

Weddings in the Smart Phone & Social Media Age

So you’re engaged!  You’re thrilled that the person who makes you happiest in the world, wants to spend the rest of their life with you!  NOW WHAT?

This article could also be called, “Did you even READ our Wedsite?”

In the age of the internet where everyone’s on social media and and almost everyone hasa smartphone, you have a lot of different avenues to chose when sharing information about your wedding.  This easy-access often leads to information overload, and sometimes drama.  But, Smartphones and social media can be great tools for planning and sharing information about your wedding.  Here are some tips on how to manage and leverage social media and smart phones to enhance your wedding day and planning experiences.

Modern Manners Note– In the age of instant sharing, when you don’t always have full control over information once it’s on the internet, it’s important to determine just how much information about your wedding you want out there.  It’s also important to know who you want to know about your wedding, and who you don’t.  Consider your needs and preferences when using these tools.

Use Hootsuite to share Logistical Details and Deadlines

You’ve spent hours crafting a beautiful wedding website with hotel information, Travel, directions, the who, what, and where… and you still get questions about all these things.  That was my biggest pet-peeve.  Alleviate some of this by using a social media management tool that allows you to schedule posts to Facebook, Instagram and more.  RSVP Deadline coming up?  Schedule a reminder post.  Have lots of folks coming in from out of town?  Remind them to book their hotel at your block.  Even things like known construction that might cause traffic  headaches can be communicated this way.  And when planning a destination wedding as we did, where folks will be driving long distances, any advice you can give to alleviate headaches is good!

Facebook post sharing traffic advice for a destination wedding

But what does that mean, social media management tool?  They are services that allow you to plan ahead and post information when you want, instead of when the moment calls for it.  Some are free, some are paid, but my personal favorite for a single personal user is Hootsuite.  You’ll see at the top of my post, that ‘Hootsuite’ appears as the source.

Use hootsuite to share deadlines and reminders for your wedding

To best use the tool, I developed a content calendar for the year leading in to our wedding day.  That means I made a list of all the information I wanted to share, all the deadlines that were relevant to our guests, and even fun milestones.  Here’s a few examples:

  • Hotel Deadline for guests to book by
  • Construction notifications for area roads
  • Popular attractions near your wedding for out-of-town guests
  • 100 days ’til your wedding day
  • Hashtag for your Wedding

Then, plan images, gather related links, and develop the content to share.

Use Hootsuite to share information about your wedding

There are some things that I recommend you DO NOT SHARE though.  While it is possible to control who can see your Facebook posts, inevitably things do get out.

  • Wedding Time, Location & Reception info – Social Media is NOT the place to invite guests to your wedding.  Even if you’re going paperless using email or other formats, it’s just not cool to invite people to your wedding on Facebook.  And if you share those details, you risk ‘surprise guests’ and other potential Day-Of drama you just don’t need
  • Registry Information – Share this on your wedding website – and a heartfelt thank-you too – but DO NOT post this on social media.  Even if you’re sharing to be helpful, there will be folks thinking you’re just asking for presents.  Skip the drama and share this info another way.

Hashtag To Aggregate Your Friends’ Content

I know, this one is a real ‘No Duh!’ but hear me out.  Assuming you’re either the Bride or Groom, you’re gonna be really busy on the day of your wedding.  And if you’re smart, you’ll put your own phones AWAY so you can be actually in the moment on your wedding day.  But your friends will likely be snapping photos and sharing stories.  Asking them to use your hashtag, means it makes it easier for you to re-live those moments after your big day.  It also makes it easier to find photos from the day too!  Use your content calendar to remind people about the Hashtag and you’ll be sure to see folks use it.

Instagram Hashtag used to collect wedding content

WedPics – Today’s Version of the old Disposable Cameras

On the same topic of Hashtags, you can also collect all those memories with your friends’ help.  WedPics is a free app that allows guests to either take photos with the app and automatically upload them to the app, or they can upload photos from their smart phones, or they can even upload photos from their digital cameras after the wedding  is over.  Our friends and family enjoyed posting their video clips and sharing them with each other, and we gathered almost 1000 photos from the event in the end.  Moments we missed because we were with the Photographers, or moments we were in that we got to look back through.

Use WedPics to collect photos of your wedding

 

Manage Smartphone Use – Yours and Your Guests

If you’ve ever searched Pinterest for Wedding Signs, then you’ve likely seen at least one ‘Unplugged’ sign.  Basically, there’s a movement where couples are asking their guests to put down the phone and be there LIVE, not live-streaming, for their nuptials.  Bill & I did this and, while it meant we had to wait for photos of our wedding from our Photographer, it was a small price to pay to be able to walk down the aisle, seeing all our guests’ smiling faces instead of their phones.  But we knew guests would be itching to use their phones, so we set guidelines – No phones in the church, but as soon as the party started, there were even Selfie Sticks handy at the reception for guests to snap away with.

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As for you – yup, you, whether you be the Bride or Groom, you need to discuss with your future spouse what level of phone usage at your wedding is OK.  In the end, I snuck my phone out at dinner for a quick ‘First Selfie as Husband and Wife!’ and then it never left my purse afterwards.

Beth and Bill's First Selfie as Husband and Wife

On Snapchat….

I enjoy snapping with friends, and while I wouldn’t discourage it’s use, I wouldn’t encourage it either.  Not because it isn’t fun to use – I mean those live filters are hilarious, but those photos are here and gone — that’s the whole point of Snapchat.  So if your going to encourage photo sharing at your wedding so you can collect and enjoy them, Snapchat isn’t your best option.

But if you have money to spend, you can get custom Snapchat filters.  I kid you not.

So those are a few of the fun Smartphone and Social Media tricks we used when planning our wedding.

BONUS POINTS – we even made a playlist for our guests on their roadtrip to our wedding.  Check it out here on Spotify.

~ Beth

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