#Etiquette: Navigating the new rules of social media for weddings

Rule #1 A tweet does not an announcement make.

Not when it comes to your parents, siblings, close family members and best friends. Twitter and Facebook might be the most efficient but they’re definitely not personal and you know Grandma is not going to appreciate it. Of course there is also the chance (increasingly small as it were) that grandma and other older family members don’t have Facebook or Snapchat, so they might miss the announcement altogether.

Whatever you do, don’t include the link to your registry in your announcement tweet. Definitely not a classy move.

Rule #2 Don’t get bullied to change your relationship status or your last name.

It’s just social media. No matter what anyone says, it’s not legally binding (I’m looking at you, couples changing your status while you’re at the altar/mandap/mosque/synagogue). Once you’ve tied the knot it’s entirely up to you when to hit that edit button. For some, it’s a momentous occasion, for others not so much. There’s no wrong or right timeline for this so don’t let anyone tell you otherwise.

Rule #3 Create a hashtag.

Picking a hashtag for your wedding can be tricky. Too convoluted and no one will remember it, too generic and it’s probably already taken. I know you like the sound of #Shaadi2016 but you should probably try again. The great thing about hashtags is, for those who know how to use them, you can keep track of everyone else’s photographs and it’s a great way to stay connected for friends and family members who aren’t able to attend. Of course the not so great thing about hashtags is not being able to control which images of the wedding are released first. My advice: just untag yourself from that unflattering series of you stuffing your face with delicious wedding cake, (maybe unfriend the person who uploaded them in the first place) and move on.

Rule #4 Keep the posts positive. But not too positive.

Wedding planning can be stressful at times. Okay fine, most of the time. But before you post that rant about the wedding planner that’s driving you insane, “certain relatives” who won’t keep their opinions to themselves, or “friends” who don’t understand how stressful this time is for you, take a second and breathe. Then follow this rule: if you wouldn’t scream something out loud in a room full of people (or say a room full of all your wedding guests) you probably shouldn’t be posting it on social media.

On the flipside, don’t be the person who does a daily countdown to their wedding. Trust me, no one likes that person.

Of course if the over-sharer in you really can’t help it, consider starting a blog or a twitter account dedicated to your wedding woes and woohoos. There really is a place for everyone on the wondrous interweb. #oversharersunite

Rule #5: Crowdsource ideas for your wedding.

Use LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter for reliable wedding vendors and deals. Check out the profiles of wedding planners on Instagram for references, and scope out your friends’ advice and expertise for recommendations on wedding professionals in your area.

Rule #6 Create a webpage for the wedding and a private page for the bridal party.

You can include all sorts of useful information for your guests on your wedding page, such as dress code and directions. You can also add descriptions and details about the various ceremonies for guests who aren’t familiar with them. On the bridal party page, you can have pictures, ideas, updates, schedules; it’ll also allow the members of your bridal party to communicate with each other and get to know one another before the wedding.

Rule #7: It’s OK to want a tech-free wedding. As long as you’re polite about it.

There’s no guarantee on this one folks, but you can definitely try. The best way to start the conversation of wanting a tech free wedding is politely conveying the information on your wedding website and then again with a note on the ceremony programs (so that less tech-savvy guests get the memo too). Explain to your guests that you want to everyone to focus on being in the moment and you’d like to request everyone to leave their phones off. Make sure to let them know that you will be sharing the professional photographs with everyone soon enough. And have the officiant or MC make a quick announcement before the ceremony just as a reminder, but don’t get too upset if you see that stray uncle or aunt sneaking in a selfie with you in the background. Smile—it is your day after all.