Social Media and Your Wedding: How to Lean In but Not Too Far
Social media is a big aspect of our daily lives, so of course couples utilize it to document their wedding day. But it’s important to approach it with balance. Learn how to lean in, but not too far.
What is the first thing you do in the morning? For many of us, we reach for our phones and do an initial social media scroll. There’s an innate curiosity to see what happened overnight, especially if you follow multiple accounts posting on West Coast time, and social networks often serve as a news source for many. Though there are plenty of positives about social networking (it can be relaxing, creative, and a way to connect), there’s also plenty of negatives — the biggest among them is a propensity to compare. And that definitely extends to weddings.
When we spotted this article, which delves into some of the ways social media impacts wedding planning and celebrations, we knew we wanted to dive a little deeper and share our own thoughts. It’s next to impossible to have a social media-free wedding, and there are plenty of benefits to using apps to both plan and share your day. But there are definitely ways to lean into Instagram, Facebook, TikTok, and more that will feel positive rather than a dip into negativity. Below, we’re sharing how and why.
Scroll Then Stop:
Social platforms have become deeply integrated into the process of modern wedding planning– and since they are free tools, savvy couples should utilize them in safe and positive ways. Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest all represent excellent resources to research wedding styles, ideas, and wedding professionals (if you plan to work with them). Instagram and Pinterest, especially, are visual platforms that can act as virtual portfolios, making them a big part of wedding planning research.
All three social platforms definitely have major value! But it’s important to know when and where to draw the line in scrolling for ideas. The more you scroll for ideas and inspiration, the more likely you are to compare. If you have already made decisions that match your values, personality, style, and ideals for your wedding, it’s time to switch your intention when scrolling. In short, trust your gut and move on– revert back to scrolling to appreciate content instead!
There’s Reality, Then There’s Social Media “Reality”:
We hear and even say often that social posts and shares do not represent reality — it’s a version, likely a happy, shiny one, rather than what’s really happening in real-time. Social media pertaining to weddings is the same. Couples and wedding vendors are all posting their best shots, whether it’s portraits or details. But you don’t know what’s happening behind the scenes. The flowers a couple opted for might have sent their budget over the edge, or the sky might have been a deep shade of stormy just out of frame. Just as you would in “real life”, don’t forget to question what you see, and remember: perfection does not exist.
Sharing is Not (Always) Caring:
Sometimes wedding professionals will fill their Instagram Story with behind-the-scenes captures and videos from a wedding day. It’s a fun way to allow a couple to be the “stars” of the show for the day, and that can feel even more exciting if the professional has a large following. But give pause to a lot of photo posting and sharing, whether it’s your photographer, wedding planner, or even your florist.
While some wedding vendors are incredible and fast at social media, there is the fact that social media takes time. An Instagram Story feed filled with post after post might mean the vendor was not as focused on the couple in real-time and instead chose to spend time uploading content. Though it’s fun to be famous for a day on social media, that’s definitely not the same as feeling special, valued, and completely cared for in real life and in real-time.
Skip the Hashtag:
For years, one of the first or final tasks couples look to complete is to choose their wedding hashtag. It can be a fun way to “brand” a wedding day, and hashtags do act as a great way to find guests’ photos that have been shared. But the flip side to that is guests actually rarely use the hashtag, even though it’s a popular trend. It’s also common for photos to be uploaded to a private account that cannot be viewed even if the hashtag was used. Guests can also accidentally misspell the hashtag, which means their shared photos won’t populate.
Rather than spending time coming up with a hashtag, simply ask guests to tag you in their photos. Better yet, ask guests not to post on social media on the day of your wedding and instead wait until the following day. That way everyone is enjoying the moment rather than popping online to check for likes, comments, and “approval.”
Wedding guest etiquette when it comes to social posting is also important as well. If you’re not interested in having your wedding photos shared online, it’s important to be clear with your guests about your preferences and expectations. Instead of posting a wedding hashtag sign at your wedding venue, you may opt for a “No photos” sign instead.
Be Present Physically
As the happy couple and guests of honor on your big day, don’t let documenting your day for consumption online take away from the feelings and being truly present for your wedding festivities! You’ll want to really soak up every special moment with your wedding party and loved ones, and ideally not from behind the lens of your iPhone. Remember, you’re hiring professionals for a reason, so leave it to the pros to capture your big day. You’ll get to enjoy your wedding photos and wedding video for years to come after it’s all over.
Remember Your “Why”:
It’s highly unlikely that you’re excited to walk down the aisle because you’re eagerly awaiting the likes and comments you will receive on social media. Instead, it’s far more likely that you’re excited to spend time with friends and family and provide them with an inside look into your relationship with your partner. You’re hosting a wedding to celebrate your marriage, not social media! So rather than spending time wondering if your choices are “good enough” (they are), lean into the many, MANY reasons why they felt and still feel right for you.
How are you using social media while you plan and celebrate your wedding? Let’s keep the conversation going in our community (a great positive of social media)!