Ask the Expert

Your Guide to Social Media Etiquette

Whether you’re the bride or the guest, navigating wedding day social media conundrums can be confusing. (To selfie or not to selfie?). Heather Wiese-Alexander, etiquette expert and owner of Bell’Invito, weighs in on the dos and the don’ts.

Unplugged Is the New Black

It’s super chic to have a wedding where guests are encouraged to be in an intimate moment with you. It also usually means you have a stellar photographer, or you’re so cool that the whirl of the social media after-party doesn’t faze you one bit. Whatever the reason, if you indicate the event is “unplugged” it means that everything with a battery is a no-go. For guests, this means no talking on it, snapping with it—and certainly no posting on social media.

Always Ask Permission

Always be sure you know if it’s OK to post an image of someone whether they are tagged or not. Never assume that someone in a photo is OK with it being posted to social media. Certainly, never post children without the consent of their parents. Once you get an OK to post, you don’t have to keep asking. And, mind the golden rule of posting: Post pics of others only as flattering as you would have them post of you.

Be Present 

Never snapchat during the ceremony. Regardless of what else is going on or who else might be snapping away, pay attention to the ceremony. In a world where little is still sacred, the etiquette is to be respectful and present. Additionally, the ceremony isn’t about you or your willingness to paparazzi the occasion, even if you think that’s what the bride and groom want. Hold on. Your chance to snap is coming.

Think Twice About the Selfie Stick

I won’t go so far as to say leave it at home, but let’s put it into perspective. Selfie sticks are the DIY photography du jour. If the hosts are trying to keep it elegant, you don’t want to go in mucking up their professional photos—or the air of sophistication—by waving your stick in the background. If you’re the guest, it’s best to let the bride and groom be the first to introduce anything that is nontraditional. Selfie sticks are fun and tongue-in-cheek. They aren’t by any stretch an elegant item, so if you don’t see the leads with one, don’t use it.

The Proper Etiquette for a Wedding Hashtag

Sure, use a hashtag. It lets guests know that you’re in for letting them snap pics and post them. Here are the three dos for hashtag etiquette:

Keep It Delicate

Rather than plastering hashtags around everywhere, less is more. Be deliberate yet coy about using your wedding-day hashtag. It should be obvious to those looking and not in the face of those not interested in social media. Place it either on the lower left corner of an info card or on your wedding website.

Use It First

The guests should follow your lead. If you want guests to engage in posting during the reception, go ahead and post a pre-ceremony shot or two and get the hashtag chatter rolling so your guests are completely comfortable to follow suit. Never post during the ceremony.

Do Your Research

A simple hashtag check before using it as your own is a good idea.

Hashtag Hall of Fame

Keep your wedding-day hashtag playful and fun. These couples show us how.

#FinallyaDJ   Devin Cowan & Matt Johnson

#SeaofSamms   Samantha Hammel  & Sam Lawrence

#HappilyEverGrim   Rachel Kakures & Andrew Grim

#DoTheDangThang   Dang Pham & Jimmy Thang

#HeadOverPeels   Amanda Steward & Matt Peeler

#CaitSellsOut   Caitlin Michael & Spencer Sell

#MrAndMrsSmith   David Smith & Haley Wilson

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