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Social Media a Big Part of the Big Day


Photo courtesy Hello Productions/The Knot

For many people, social media plays an incredibly important role in keeping their friends and family up-to-date on the biggest moments in their lives, and weddings are no exception. While couples used to just post pictures after the ceremony, today’s social media is used for everything from Save-the-Date announcements to engagement photo shoots, to sharing wedding ideas for the big day and providing on-the-spot streaming from the live event.



Vendors are getting into the scene, too; not only to advertise their wares to prospective brides and grooms, but to post photos from recent ceremonies showing their work. Instagram is growing in interest as vendors reach out to couples to share photos and ideas before the wedding, which makes some in-person meetings or emails almost obsolete.


Photo courtesy Hello Productions/The Knot

“Most couples will use social media to announce their engagements, or to post things like, ’I found the dress!’” explained Ashley Moss Kurkiewicz, president, Hello Productions, a company that helps to arrange wedding, corporate and nonprofit events in the Pittsburgh and Raleigh, NC markets. “Online platforms also make it a lot easier for couples and vendors to find each other and for couples to see reviews and examples of vendors’ work.”


Just as social media constantly evolves, so does its use by brides and grooms. Wedding hashtags—think #AlvarezAtLast—which started to trend about a decade ago, are still used by about 50 percent of Hello Productions’ clients, though newer platforms and technologies are being embraced as well.


“We’re starting to see people moving from hashtags to incorporating more interactive things at their weddings that can then be shared on social media,” said Moss Kurkiewicz. “For example, some DJs are now providing a phone number for wedding guests to text photos to that are then broadcast on a screen during the wedding.


“Couples are also using 360-degree photobooths that automatically send the photos to guests that they can then post on social media,” she added.


Pinterest, always a wedding favorite, has taken the place of the old, clunky binders that brides used to haul to vendor appointments, and vendors are also taking advantage of the ease of this platform to share ideas with clients.


“Pinterest makes it so much easier to collect ideas and pin them instead of cutting examples out of magazines,” said Moss Kurkiewicz, noting that many magazines also have an online platform where ideas can be sourced. “We use Pinterest for inspiration when creating design decks for our clients; these decks help us combine all of our ideas and our clients’ ideas for every facet of the wedding from the ceremony to the cocktail hour and more.”


Social media also makes it easier for couples to research potential vendors, and for vendors to advertise their own products as well as other vendors’ services.


“A lot of couples will post and tag their vendors in their social media so that others can see their work,” said Moss Kurkiewicz. “Vendors also tag one another in social media posts so that people planning weddings can see who did the florals, the decorating, the planning, etc.”


Vendors also use social media to collaborate with each other, using it in place of email or a phone call. For example, Moss Kurkiewicz said that vendors were communicating heavily during COVID to make sure that they were correctly navigating the changing rules of the pandemic.


She notes that vendors do need to be very cognizant of what they are putting out on social media, and that client contracts should specifically ask clients for permission to use their wedding photos and videos.


PLUGGED OR UNPLUGGED?


One of the drawbacks of using social media is that it is hard to control, which is why some couples talk to their guests about when and where it can be used, or even ban its use to have an ‘unplugged’ wedding.


“Some couples have a sign asking people to be present in the moment, and to share photos later,” said Moss Kurkiewicz. “But it’s really tough to stop people from taking photos and posting them during the reception, though couples can ask that they get to post their photos first. It’s really up to each individual couple; some don’t want everything out there, and others are completely comfortable with it.”


DO'S AND DON'TS ON SOCIAL MEDIA


While every wedding is different, there are some generally recognized etiquette rules that apply to how couples should use social media:


DO

  • Post an engagement ring picture on Instagram or Facebook, but don’t overdo it; one picture is enough. And let the photo speak for itself—no one needs to know what it cost.

  • Ask friends (or followers) for their opinions on wedding colors or themes. Asking for inspiration is fine; but be respectful of others’ choices, even if it’s not your taste.

  • Keep your wedding party in the loop about what you want to see—or not see—on social media. They may love the bridesmaids’ dresses, but you may not want your choices shared before the actual ceremony.

  • Think about the people who follow you who are not invited, or who are too far away to attend. While it’s fine to post news about the big day, try not to make those that you couldn’t physically include feel left out.

DON’T

  • Announce your engagement on social media before telling your closest family and friends. There are going to be some big issues if your mom finds out that you’re getting married when she hears it from someone else scrolling through Twitter.

  • Don’t vent your frustrations on social media. Planning a wedding is stressful, and this is not the time to complain about how much work it is, or who isn’t pulling their weight. Keep a cool head and keep your private complaints private.

  • Don’t use social media to replace a real invitation or thank you notes. It’s okay to invite guests to bachelorette or bachelor parties though evites or Facebook Events, but go with real stationery for the invitations and handwritten thank you notes to express your appreciation.


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