To Have and to Hold, To Post or Not To Post …
You are making plans to get married
So you are finally getting married! Yayyyy and all that great stuff!
Your plans are underway, venue check, invites – check, dress – check, seating plans – check, wedding photographer -check, car -check … there are so many things you will need to think about, but here is one you may not have… a policy on social media for your wedding.
At this point you may be a little puzzled, wondering exactly what this is, well let me share a few scenarios to fill in the gaps.
We post everything on social media
So many people share EVERYTHING on social media now, we share photos of our food, new purchases, nights out, nights in, birthdays, funerals, parties, and weddings. Literally there is nothing that is immune for a snap, instagram, tweet or Facebook nowadays.
But …what if you don’t want your private wedding put all over the net for everyone to see? If you are fine with this happening, then thats get not a problem, don’t say anything to your guests and you can be sure there will be photos and videos of your wedding before the day is done online somewhere.
However, if you fall into the category of people who do not want this, then you need to explicitly state this somewhere before the wedding and on the day. Leaving it to “my guests would have more respect than that” is a huge chance, because for many people its not a disrespectful thing to do!
For some of you who are fine with everything being on social media and no limits placed on your guests, you may be thinking, why would any wedding couple do this? What is wrong with sharing photos and videos of someones big day? Here are a few reasons why people may not want their wedding day on social media.
Some people are private. For some people you won’t see photos of their food online, you won’t see photos of all their family members, every holiday, their daily walks abouts, what they watch on tv and so on. For some people you may see a post every few months, they may even post every day, but it will be nothing about their personal lives of family. For some people like this, they won’t want their most intimate day online for the world to see. And before someone thinks, “but my profile is private”; yours may be, but what about all of your guests? And even if their’s are too, that is say 70-200 profiles with your intimate moments on, shared with the 500-2000 friends on their profiles too, so potentially your private moments are shared with how many people (head to your phone to do some quick calculations).
If you have had a small private wedding of say 50 people, and purposefully kept it that way because you did not want random family and acquaintances present on your day, some people would say that posting it all over social media defeats that object. What do you think?
A Few Examples
For those people unconvinced, here are a few examples of guests posting on social media where the couple were not best pleased.
1 – A bridesmaid snap chatting the bride in the background before she got to the church on the day of the wedding.
2 – Guests Facebook living at a wedding
3 – Guests face timing a wedding to someone who was not invited, to show how much of a good time THEY were having!
4 – Guests posting unflattering photos where one of the couple had their eyes closed, or strange facial expressions
5 – Guests posting albums of 100’s of photos from every aspect of the wedding, as though they were the wedding photographer
6 – Guests posting videos on paid platforms such as YouTube
7 – Guests posting something to ridicule the couple, such as posting something that went wrong, someone tripping etc.
8 – Guests posting unflattering angles, such as a hall that looked empty, a dancefloor that looked dead, people looking bored etc
Ask yourself if you would be happy for any of these to be posted at your wedding? And keep in mind, that not everyone is aware of this when they are posting, so its not always purposeful! I have seen people post some terrible photos of themselves on social media and be completely unaware, so there is no reason why they would have more awareness when posting photos of others.
What Photographers think
From a photography point of view too, guests can make your job really difficult! I advise couples that IF they are allowing photos to ask guests to stay in seats, because you can never underestimate how much a guest will be unaware of getting in the official photos, in order to get their iPhone (other brands are available too) photo.
There is also now the emergence of iPads and super sized iPads i call them, which are basically like guests holding up tv screens in the way of the photographer and in your pictures on the day. It quite frankly looks stupid.
I have even had a guest ask me to move out of their way, in my capacity as the official photographer, in order to get the photos THEY need!
What Other Brides and Brides to be Think
We asked for some further views from other brides, these were some of the mixed responses we received.
Emma Cumiskey said “I have said to guests you can post pics after the night guests arrive as otherwise they have seen the happy couple before they get there”.
Alexandra Daisy said “I would hate if the live streamed our ceremony and speeches. I’m happy for our guests to take pictures throughout the day but ask them not to post them until after the wedding was over. I would hate to see my guests constantly on their phones during my wedding. Id want them to actually experience and enjoy the day”.
Becci Faulkner said “I had no phones at church rule and asked people not to post anything until the day after the wedding. After that anything was game”
Molly Freeman said “We’re hoping for an unplugged ceremony (we want to see people’s faces in pictures not iPads and phones). But other than that pretty ok with pictures and videos after that and at the reception as long as I don’t look too bad in them”
Faye Rose Charrington said “We have a sign that says no social media until we have posted! And we probs won’t post for a few days! Just wanna keep it private for a bit! Everything is online now. Doesn’t hurt to keep things to yourself for a wee bit 😃”
Arelene Wheeler was not concerned by any posts “I didn’t mention anything before hand but we had people do both; Snapchat our ceremony and put me on Facebook before the evening guests had even arrived. I was too busy to care st the time but I wouldn’t do it personally. Speeches were also recorded”.
Not to Post
Ellis Willis had a bad experience with social media wedding posts saying “Someone put about 100 photos and the speeches on Facebook the day after my wedding without asking and I was devastated we didn’t want loads on Facebook and we didn’t get to see them before they were put up either. Gutting really… some of them were terrible and edited so badly by a guest, broke my heart”
Sarah Tugwell works in the industry as a wedding planner “I am a wedding planner and no matter how many times a celebrant or registrar say unplugged ceremony there are always people doing it and I have even had a venue and a venue dresser post pictures of the ceremony room Before the ceremony (so basically as they had finished setting up) which I don’t agree with. Alot of my couples say no to social media until the evening. Now, our own personal wedding next year is a tricky one as my fiance doesn’t do social media and hates it so he doesn’t want any pics going to without our approval… how do I manage that one? Personally we happy for some to go up but only when we have seen them and not to be plastered all over social media. We want to keep it private really. Happy for guests to take pics though.xx”
Naomi Lunn said “We aren’t your average young couple. We didn’t post when we got engaged. I haven’t ever posted a picture of my ring, even though it’s spectacular lol. And I’m certainly not doing countdowns or announcing that I’ve bought a house. We are inviting 20 of our closest to see us tie the knot in the most beautiful place in Cumbria. Luckily for us there is no WiFi or signal there so people will have to wait until 2 days after the wedding to post. I’d rather there weren’t any photos on Facebook to be honest but I guess it’s a bit extreme to say no posts at all… I don’t think people will respect that, so I guess there is no point saying it”
Josie Shereston said “I banned social media at my wedding and to be fair my guests respected my wishes…. it was our day… not everyman and his dogs lol”
Laura Kane said “We don’t want anything putting up, we are a very private couple, we don’t put anything up, for example… we didn’t put a post up when we got engaged, we changed our relationship status that’s it. If we don’t tell them personally or are invited then why should they know?
So we are going to ask that guests don’t put anything up, pics of themselves yes but not of the bridal party or any part of the day”.
This is obviously something that couples now have to think about it, whether you agree with it or not. Here is another recent article from news site I Am Birmingham on the same issue
So, as advice from someone in the industry, if you are fine with guests posting everything, or a limited bits, that is fine, or if you prefer them not to post anything, or put on time limit of when they can post, that is fine too … but whatever you choose, please make your guests clearly aware of your wishes. Please add it as another “to do” on your wedding lists!