Technology and social media have changed the way we preserve memories, how we communicate, and how we live. We share our joys online, our frustrations and our happiest and most life-changing milestones. Weddings—which were once limited to a strict and enforced guest list—now live online, showcased to friends both real and virtual. And sometimes even the entire world is lucky enough to secure an invite.
Taking a wedding virtual has advantages…and a dark side. Technology opens a window to the world…and a wedding. Out-of-town loved ones who might not be able to travel to the ceremony can watch the event unfold via livestreaming services. Pictures documenting everything from the bride’s preparations to the couple’s whimsical and hilarious exit from the reception can be instantly uploaded to a personal website and shared with friends and relatives. However, while technology can provide an open window to your wedding, sometimes it’s difficult to control who might peek through that virtual pane.
Sharing and documenting an event online allows easy access to the otherwise inaccessible moments. But couples may find that they don’t have as much control over who is sharing what information…and with whom. When taking a day as personal and as intimate as a wedding online, exercise caution. And also keep in mind that the rules of etiquette might very well be the guiding light that saves trouble, embarrassment and frustration. Here are the tricks of the trade—and the rules of etiquette—when taking a wedding to the virtual level:
Check Privacy Settings
Keep guests updated with Facebook posts or Twitter. Take pictures of cakes, share silly snapshots or just update guests on dates, times and plans. However, make sure that the details you’re shouting out are going to the right ears. Check privacy settings on all social media accounts and adjust accordingly. If you don’t want a particular announcement being sent to an ex, make sure you pull them from receiving updates or certain posts. But if you want to go completely public, by all means have a blast! Just remember, that if you start sending virtual invites to everyone…you may end up with more guests than you can handle at the ceremony!
Don’t Share Registries on Social Media
Wedding registries should be shared only by word of mouth. Sharing wedding registries on invites or posts on social media is tacky and in poor taste. Yes, you may post a link to your registries on a wedding web site, but do not start tweeting or posting registry purchases or links. If a guest asks where you are registered, it is perfectly acceptable to direct them to your registry. But the guest should always inquire before they are sent registry details.
Take Control of the Message
Couples are in charge of what is published regarding their wedding…and what isn’t posted. This rule is especially important for the ceremony. Everyone has a camera phone…well, almost everyone. And guests will want to snap photos with their phones. Communicate to guests before the ceremony any rules regarding photo opportunities. If you don’t want hundreds of flashes going off throughout the wedding, be very direct with guests about your photography preferences.
An Embarrassing Snap is Immortal
The internet is forever, and, sometimes even adults tend to conveniently forget this important reality. If you post a picture of a drunken bachelor/bachelorette moment, the photo may come back to haunt you. Maybe your boss will see it. Or your fiancé. Think before posting.
The Devil is in the Details
Some couples are so excited about their upcoming nuptials that the share every single detail. They share the engagement story, the trip to the caterer, the cake tasting, the tux fitting…you get the point. Even your closest friends don’t want to know every detail. Not only is it tedious, but you also may spoil some great surprises for your guests. Decide to keep some details private.
The virtual world is a natural part of wedding planning in today’s e-centric world. Taking your wedding to social media is a great way to keep guests in the loop and involved. Just be sure you know who is receiving and sharing your details. Be safe and be savvy when taking your wedding social. Remember, this is your day. So protect the details…and protect yourself!