Social media for weddings – yay or nay?

On the past few years, photographers gained a new competitor in terms of keeping the memories of a wedding: the mobile phones. Nowadays, most guests like to take their own photos of the wedding and share it on social media channels. Some couples even create a hashtag for the event, in order to keep all the images together. On the other hand, some couples are also choosing to ask the guests to keep their phones turned off in order to enjoy the party. But, is there a limit to share infos and photos about the weddings on social media?

The wedding planner Zoraida Cuevas believes that we are living at the greatest time in history and social media is indeed a huge advancement when used wisely. “It is shaping our future, the way we do life, business, relationships, the way we see and react to things is an understatement. As with anything in life, it is possible to go overboard with it and it is also possible for couples to share ‘too much’ about their pre-wedding process and wedding day. There should definitely be a social media etiquette when it comes to sharing weddings -and other important life events- on social media. Think about this: sharing a smokin’ hot budoir (half naked) session meant to be for you husband’s eyes can be too much when shared in social media. Sharing  “vulnerable” moments via pictures or videos of your guests can also be a little too much, especially if the image or moment is open for interpretation or doesn’t translate right when posted (it may have been a funny moment, but the people seeing the image may not get it!)”, says Zoraida. .

The traditions that will be followed on the wedding day should also be taken into consideration when sharing moments on social media. “Posting a picture of the bride all set and ready to go prior the ceremony can be a bummer for a groom waiting for his bride at the end of the aisle if he happens to take a peek at his Instagram or Facebook account, and nobody should spoil that moment. Although these are real life cases, luckily, this is not often the case and most couples are mindful about what they share -and usually request the same from vendors. Sharing your wedding via social media can often prove to be a positive thing for friends or family members that couldn’t make it to your wedding, but it wouldn’t hurt to have a healthy limit or rules”, explains Zoraida.

In Samantha Cooley’s opinion, it’s okay when the couple wants to share their moment of happiness, or when they are satisfied with a specific vendor and they want to recommend that vendor, or even to show to their friends and family a little about the organization of the wedding or the wedding itself. “But the moment the couple starts to share everything before the wedding, there will be no surprises for the guests. I think couples can share a little, so people and the guests look forward to attend the wedding, but really just a little, so the wedding can be a great moment, full of surprises and innovation”, comments Samantha.

For the wedding planner Gabriela Cobian, all of this content can be used as an inspiration for other events but people don’t need to know every single detail of their wedding.

When sharing is a problem

social-media-weddingPhoto: Foca Foto e Video

Zoraida believes that sometimes guests sharing the wedding -especially before it begins- can be a problem and a headache. “Just because they have a cameraphone ready and available to capture the moment, does not mean that it is wise to do so. Guests can sometimes spoil surprises (like the bride’s best friend flying in as a surprise!) and their urge to obtain a picture or video can pose an obstacle for wedding professionals.  To avoid situations like this it is important, to be clear with the guests from the beginning. It is ok to have a ‘camera free ceremony’, these will also keep the moment intimate between the couple and the guests (afterall there is a reason why you didn’t invite the entire neighborhood). It is also smart to wait after the ceremony is over and after the bride and groom join the  reception to start sharing pictures, videos and reactions about the wedding on social media. After the social media sharing has begun, it’s always a good idea to have an official hashtag for the wedding. In this wonderful time in history, it is important to be reminded that the best memory you will take with you is the one you lived, breathed, laughed and fully enjoyed. Make sure you live the moment rather than ‘share’ the moment for everyone else’s enjoyment”, suggests Zoraida.

Samantha also sees two main problems about sharing the wedding on social media: “First, the guests start to take a lot of photos (for exemple during the ceremony), and doing that they are disturbing  the professionals who are working there, especially the photographers. Second, they are not really paying attention to the wedding, they are just worried about posting and will loose the moment! I don’t think there’s a good solution for that. One thing that can be done is to tell the guest on their entry to the wedding to not use the phone, especially on the ceremony”.

Gabriela considers very hard to control it. “A lot of couples are chosing to request their guests to turn off their phones during the ceremony which I think is great. But during the reception we are all about posting and sharing. Our society is now used to that and it would take a great effort to keep people from doing it.  I think it would take away all the fun” she states.

Social media impacts on wedding planners’ work

Zoraida likes to remain optimistic about the impacts of social media on wedding planners’ work. “Although social media can sometimes be a little too ‘social’, ‘oversharing’ the right weddings and content, whether it be from the guests or the couples, can increase awareness of a Wedding Planner’s work and style. In some cases, maybe a photographer or videographer’s work may be compromised by guests wanting to take pictures or video (mind you, not the guests with the professional cameras), but from my experience it is not something we, as wedding professionals, can’t politely handle”, Zoraida says.

Gabriela believes that with social media, people get ideas that sometimes are difficult to achieve due to budget, space, venue, concept restrictions and that gives places to a lot of disappointments but other times, it can be a great contribution to developing a wedding concept.

Samantha doesn’t see any problems about oversharing for the wedding planner. “I even think it’s a good thing, so people can see a little more about your work. One interesting wedding I planned this month was all about posting on social media. The bride is a well-known blogger here in Brazil, she has a lot of followers on Instagram, and she ‘hired’ the vendors by posting about them on her blog and instagram. She did not pay for the vendors, instead of that, she made some posts about that vendor. And during the wedding, all the vendors were taking a lot of photos to post on social media, because she is kind of popular here”, she mentions.

What about you? Will you be sharing everything about your wedding on social media? What’s your opinion about that? 

*Credits for the first photo: Foca Foto e Video

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