How to be social media savvy when wedding planning
15 May 2017
It infiltrates our everyday lives, so why not use social media to help plan your wedding? Here's how...
A decade ago, social media was well and truly on our radar but had barely scratched the surface. Fast forward to the present day and the ways in which we use social media are vast: we use it to interact with friends and family on a daily (even hourly) basis; we share photos and videos with our contacts from all over the world; we can even meet new people via pages and groups which share a common interest.
The benefits of embracing social media are undeniably profound, so how can you incorporate it into the planning and execution of your special day? Here are some handy hints and tips to help you get started.
Decide on a social media rule for your wedding day
First and foremost, decide on a rule for your wedding day, which either allows social media posting on personal social media accounts during the day or politely requests that your guests refrain from posting until the following day or after the ceremony. Your rule could be printed as a graphic and given out with the orders of service before the ceremony to make sure your message is received. Wedding guests now expect a rule to be given, rather than wondering whether they are allowed to post or not - so don't be afraid to deliver your rule, loud and clear, from the outset.
Create a hashtag
More and more couples are hashtagging their wedding in order to compile posts pre- and post-wedding. By using a hashtag you can see who's talking about your wedding and come the big day, if you're allowing social media, who's posting about your wedding.
You can also use a hashtag system to collate content for a social media wall - to be projected on to a screen or blank wall during the wedding reception. There are even companies which create photo books generated from the pictures posted with your hashtag or, if you're a social media whizz, you can even create your own hashtag album.
Just make sure you use a unique hashtag that is unlikely to have been used by anyone else so that only your photos will feature in the hashtag feed. Use this wedding hashtag generator to find a unique hashtag for your wedding and display it with pride on your invitations and wedding stationery.
Set up an event page
By creating an event page on Facebook, this will offer a central place for you to post updates about your wedding and guests to find information quickly and easily. The page also invites guests to post topics and ask questions, while building excitement and anticipation for the big day. You can even share updates from your own personal wedding website here, post RSVP reminders, and include announcements of the weather forecast as the big day gets closer so your guests can plan ahead. Ensure you set the group's privacy to 'private' and invite only those on the guest-list.
Set up a closed group for the bridal party
If there are members of the bridal party who are situated further afield, or if it's proving difficult to pin everyone down, set up a closed Facebook group where you can discuss dress ideas and general wedding planning subjects. Ensure the privacy is set to 'secret' so only those invited can see and access the group. Keep on top of notifications or agree set times for all of you to log on.
Use Twitter polls
Stuck for wedding catering ideas? Don't know how many bottles of red or white wine to order? Set up a poll on your personal Twitter account to easily gauge your guests' opinions.
Be concious of your personal accounts
While Twitter polls can be opened up to the wider public as they don't give too much information away, think twice before sharing something about your wedding to your personal profile. You don't want to divulge all the details of your big day with all your followers - unless you undergo a mass cleanse of your audience beforehand. Check the privacy of all your social media accounts and make more use of closed groups and a dedicated event page for the finer details.
Participate in bridal forums
Join closed groups on Facebook, such as the Enjoy Weddings More group, and share stories and advice with fellow brides-to-be. Your bridal boutique and other wedding suppliers may be able to make suggestions of which groups to join.
Awash with ideas and inspiration, Pinterest is a bride-to-be's best friend when wedding planning. Create moodboards and share them with friends and family for their input. You can also show them to suppliers to help you better communicate your ideas.
Use Instagram hashtags for inspiration
Scour Instagram for the most fashion forward wedding dress styles and industry trends using popular hashtags such as #weddingplanning #weddingideas and #weddinginspo and keep a record of your favourite posts.
Create a dedicated wedding Instagram page
Many of your guests will be using Instagram on your big day so tap into this resource and create a dedicated Instagram page for your wedding day that they can share to. If you are asking for no social media posts on personal accounts during the day, you could give your guests the login to the page so that they can privately share pictures from your day. Alternatively, if you are allowing social media throughout the wedding, you can task someone with reposting any pictures that use your hashtag to the page. This is a great way of complementing your official wedding photos, offering fond memories from the day that are captured from your guests' perspective.
How did you use social media to plan your wedding? Share your top tips with firstname.lastname@example.org.