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Recently, I was a bridesmaid for one of my best friend’s wedding and being up in front allowed me to glance at the entire audience. I was a little disheartened to see that a good majority of guests (both young and old…er) were constantly taking pictures then staring down into their laps (which I can only assume they are picking out the perfect filter for their post or thinking of the catchiest caption) and I couldn’t help but think of all the small memories that they were missing out on during the ceremony. I’m not going to lie, I am guilty of this as well but seeing it firsthand lead me to list these 5 rules that every social media user should abide by in order to avoid being that person at a wedding.

1)   Keep it to a minimum and use discretion– try to take as many pictures as you can before the ceremony and after the dinner program. This allows you to actually enjoy the important events of the night that the bride and groom spent countless hours of planning on. It’s always nice to reminisce on the moment through pictures (maybe even a #tbt post in a few weeks!) but why not live in the moment!? As with anything on social media, use discretion! All 432 of your friends do not care to see the drunk madness that the open bar has caused – keep it classy.

2)   If the couple has come up with a special hashtag for their big day – use it! It allows everyone at the wedding (more importantly, the bride and groom) to view all of the shameless wedding selfies from their guests as well as the different perspectives. Please do not make your own outrageous and long hashtag because with all of the hustle and bustle of running a wedding, the bride and groom are most likely not going to see it. #saveyouroutragoueshashtagsforyourfoodpictures

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Photo Credit: Amy Rizzuto Photography

3)   Don’t be the unofficial “fauxtographer” for the event. Every social media fauxtographer wants the “perfect shot” of the happy couple on their big day – in hopes of generating the most likes or comments. But please keep in mind that this is the reason why they hired a professional photographer. There is nothing worse than your friend standing in the middle of what would have been the perfect photo. Not to mention, your flash may ruin the lighting for the actual photographer. See example below. Don’t worry, if something funny happens, the HIRED photographer will capture it.

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Photo credit: Corey Ann Photography

4)   Try not to post every. Single. Detail. A photo or two from the actual day isn’t going to hurt anybody but I’m sure if you start tweeting/instagraming every second of the wedding, it takes away from the beauty of it. Not to mention, I’m sure the bride would like to be the one to reveal the details her big day to her friends that were not able to attend.

5)   Just enjoy the wedding! Don’t worry about how many likes you’re getting or who comments on what photo. Be in the moment and enjoy the activities that were planned with you in mind. As previously mentioned, they hired someone to capture all the memories on film so don’t feel obligated to take it upon yourself.

Following these simple rules allows everyone to be relish the wedding, enjoy the company around them and become disconnected from the world for a few hours (this is a good thing). Trust me, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, etc. will all be there for your social media addiction once the event is over. Here’s my bottom line – if majority of guests lived by these simple rules then less brides will opt for Unplugged Weddings (meaning NO social media activity whatsoever- some even require that you turn your phone and camera off). I know some of you cringe at the thought of this!