Do's & Don'ts For Wedding GuestsTuesday, April 20, 2021
A wedding is an intimate event at which the couple's nearest and dearest have been invited to be a part of the union. Wedding etiquette is always a major topic of discussion, especially if you're a guest. Modern weddings have brought up new etiquette rules, including ones relating to social media.
In the age of social media ( Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter) wedding photos and videos can be shared in real time; gone are the days of waiting to see photos. However, having a camera on your phone doesn't give you free rein to post anything and everything!
Just because cousin Michelle got an invitation to the wedding, doesn't mean all her insta-followers are invited too. Sharing wedding highlights on social media can be fun, but it's important to know what elements are appropriate to share, and when.
Here are some tips:
1. Follow the newlyweds' lead and respect their wishes
The wedding couple may give you all the direction you need when it comes to social media, so as a guest; follow any rules that you're given.
It may be that they don't want any social media exposure at all — in which case, please respect their privacy. Alternatively, they may have created a custom hashtag for their special day. Either way, once the bride and groom have made their social media expectations clear, ensure you do what they wish.
2. Hashtags: Be sure to check if there is a custom wedding hashtag and stick to it. Wedding hashtags are such a fun way to easily search pictures from the wedding and a great way to compile all the entertaining and special moments that the couple might have missed.
3. No live streaming unless you were specially assigned to do so by the couple. A wedding is still a private event — live streaming without permission is not acceptable.
4. Wait! Don't be the first to post
You should never take and post photos during the ceremony. At least wait until the reception has started or even the next day.
If the couple hasn't shared any special rules for posting, wait until a very close friend or family member breaks the ice. Some couples want the first photos of their wedding that hit the Internet to be a fabulous, professional photo from their photographer. Who can blame the newlyweds for wanting to be the first to share their official photos with the world.
5. Consider the photographer
The bride and groom have carefully selected a professional photographer to capture the wedding. There's nothing worse than a wide ceremony shot with dozens of cellphones in the air trying to capture a snap. Getting in the photographer's way is definitely bad wedding guest etiquette. Sometimes without forethought, well-meaning guests can easily get in the way of a good shot.
6. Be present in the moment
Put your phone away during major milestones — the vows, the kiss, the toasts and any instance that requires your full attention. Allow the couple and other guests to enjoy the moment without being distracted by you taking photos. Remember you were invited to share in the special moments. You're there to witness and celebrate the marriage, not capture every moment.
Couples: It's OK to go unplugged and tech-free
For couples looking to keep their wedding day private, I suggest politely conveying this information on your wedding website and then again at the ceremony. You may also ask the officiant to make a quick announcement before the ceremony begins. In this digital age, there is absolutely nothing wrong with couples opting for unplugged ceremonies. Just pocket your phone if asked.
Think of the bride and groom: Don't post anything on social media until you're certain what their wishes are. If social media is allowed, be careful not to overdo it by providing the world with an ongoing commentary. Use tact and common sense when you post. When in doubt, stay on the side of caution and stick to selfies or group shots of people in your circle; and avoid photos of the bride and groom, the wedding decor, and even random guests.
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