Wedding Etiquette – Social Media & Mobile Phones

Wedding etiquette concerning social media and mobile phones is today’s topic. Mobile phones and social media is both a blessing and a curse. It’s great for keeping in touch with people and seeing what’s going on in the world. It’s also how news (both real and fake) gets spread and things go viral.

Around 79% of adults in the UK own a smartphone. Virtually 100% of those up to the age of 24 and around 40% over 65+ own a smartphone.  Something like 60% of the UK population has at least one social media account. It stands to reason therefore that social media will play a part in your wedding. But will you choose to embrace it or ban it? Everything in life is so instantaneous these days, but should it be?

Wedding Guest with mobile phone

Mobile phone cameras are so far advanced these days and can give great quality photos. They are therefore rapidly making the small point and shoot camera redundant. That’s not to say that a professional photographer’s going to turn up to shoot your wedding with just their mobile phone. However, in day to day use, the convenience of using a mobile phone camera app far outweighs carrying around a small camera.

During Wedding Planning

with 3G and 4G connectivity and wifi hotspots available in many places people can connect to social media easily. Chances are that wedding guests could be posting photos of your special day way before the official photographs are available. So wedding etiquette regarding this needs to be established prior to and during your big day.

You spend a lot of time planning your wedding. A good photographer isn’t cheap, but is so worth it for a variety of reasons. I covered this in a previous post: Budget Wedding – How To Have One & Mistakes To Avoid.  How do you feel about your guests taking photos and posting them online? However you feel you need to let your guests know what your wedding etiquette is that they should be observing.

Do you want to make sure that your official photographs are the first to be seen? A brief note in with your wedding invitations should do the trick. Something polite along the lines of “Please relax and enjoy our wedding day. We’ve hired a fabulous photographer to capture all the special moments. We would really appreciate it if you could refrain from posting photos from the day online until after we have shown off the official photos.”

The Ceremony

You want everyone to enjoy the ceremony in person rather than through a lens. Consider putting a note on the inside cover of your Order of Service reminding guests to turn off their phones during the ceremony. Who wants to be the embarrassing guest who forgets and gets a call at a crucial moment in the service?! Maybe the vicar/priest/officiant could remind guests at the beginning of the ceremony. It could be done in a serious or funny way, depending on the style of your wedding.

Also, you’ve hired an amazing photographer who is being paid to capture all the special moments of your day. The last thing you want is for the photos of the ceremony to be marred by other people taking photos.

Mobile phone photobombing
Ok, it’s photoshopped, but you get the picture!

The Reception

Sometimes some of the best photographs are unplanned and take you by surprise. The photographer can’t be everywhere at once and during the reception could miss a beautiful candid or amusing shot. It might therefore be worth considering asking guests to upload their photos from the reception. Give them a hashtag to use for the purpose so that everyone can look at them easily.

Hashtag wedding sign

Decide on your hashtag – make sure you check that no-one else is already using it or it could be #awkward! Put it in the information for guests in the invitations and the Order of the Day or program. Maybe print signs for the reception tables. Make sure that guests know what it is or they won’t know to use it.

Whatever your views and wishes just make sure that the guests are aware of them.

General Caution

The wedding party members should also exercise caution when posting on social media before the ceremony. You might not mind the bridesmaids to take photos of you as you get ready. However, you won’t want them posting photos of you in your wedding gown before your groom has seen you!

There may also be members of your family who can’t attend your wedding for some reason. There may be someone special who you want to show photos to before they get plastered all over social media.

Your Views on Wedding Etiquette

What are your views on this? Leave me a comment below!

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