When you first got engaged, what did you do? After saying yes, and calling your close family and friends, that is? Did you perhaps share it with 1000 of your other closest friends on Facebook? Social media permeates most every aspect of our lives. So how is it used to complement something as intimate as a wedding, and not overpower it? From the planning stages, and throughout your big day, until forever after, there are ways to use social media to enhance the experience.
The Planning Stages
When you are alone, and giddy in your bed until 2am planning your wedding, you need guidance. Your fiancé and your friends are probably not as excited as you are about the wedding this late at night (or early in the morning depending on your perspective). Our recommendation? Pinterest! Unless you've been living under a rock for the past few years, you likely have at least heard of Pinterest--if not already actively pinning! With Pinterest, you can create an inspiration board for your wedding. This will help you succinctly refine and share your vision with your wedding planner, wedding vendors and wedding party. It will also expose you to fashion, color palettes, and ideas that you had never thought of before for your big day.
We are traditionalists and still believe in sending paper invitations! But some couples may opt to send invitations via email, and/or keep their guests informed about details via a wedding website. For example, Mywedding.com is a free and user-friendly site where you can create your own website.
During the Ceremony
Don't encourage people (least of all the bride and groom) to take pictures, talk on the cell, or text during the ceremony. Having a stylish and prominent sign in the foyer before the ceremony reminding guests to turn their cell phone off during the ceremony will prevent any distraction. There will be a professional photographer there to capture the ceremony. There will be PLENTY of opportunities for your guest before the ceremony, and afterwards at the reception when your guests can text, Tweet, Instagram and Facebook. But during the ceremony, it is truly all about YOU. (Oh yeah, and your groom!)
That said...after the ceremony, it is a do to take pics and share them via social media! Why? Because many of the important people at your wedding are meeting for the first time. This is a special, shared experience. By creating something like a unique hashtag for Twitter or Instagram, your guests can share images with one another. (And you will likely be too busy to look at them until your honeymoon. Checking out the hash-tagged photos afterwards is half the fun!) Although your professional photographer will snap fabulous pictures, your best friends will get the embarrassing lovely, sweet shots that only someone whose known you since day one can capture!
For the tech savvy, adventurous bride and groom put a GoPro Video Camera in your bouquet. This will make you dizzy while watching it afterwards...but the look on your wild, single bridesmaid when she captures your bouquet? Priceless!
After the Fact...
This is the time you can let loose. It is less formal--you have already given your guests an amazing experience, and you are happily married! Share your images with one another via social media and photo sharing accounts, send thank you emails, and of course post your Honeymoon pics! (We still are going to encourage the traditional, paper "Thank You" cards sent in the mail.)
LaShawn Denise Witt, Founder of DDE
La Shawn is Founder, Head Diva and Coordinator Extraordinaire of events and weddings at DDE. Stay linked to all that fresh and luxe in the bridal industry by following DDE's blog.