To Tweet or Not to Tweet: Modern Day Wedding Privacy
Not a day goes by when you log into your social networks and are faced with mountains of wedding pictures, status updates by excited relatives saying “proud of you hun! xx” or some rather tipsy sounding tweets from wedding guests who have decided to live tweet their former co-worker’s reception like it’s an episode of X Factor. Social media is now a huge part of weddings, with the average wedding guest on sharing 22 photos on Facebook or Instagram, and seven out of ten Twitter users posting while at a wedding (we haven’t looked at the post frequency to amount of champagne quaffed ratio yet).
But what about the bride and groom? How do they feel about their big day being put online for friends of friends to gawk at with no input (or editing!) from the Mr. And Mrs.? Many young couples are embracing putting their big day online, with some establishing their own hashtag for their wedding to get a quirky, chronological chronicle from various guests in little 140 character chunks, or organizing a viral video to be made at their wedding (putting ‘wedding Harlem Shake’ into YouTube garners 400,000 results).
However, there has also been a recent turn in the tide of attitudes towards social media during weddings, even amongst young couples. Namely that it’s starting to be viewed as an uninvited guest in itself, and those that were invited are being encouraged to put their iPhones on lockdown, for the ceremony at least.
For many of us (and to the annoyance of the rest), social media has become a way of life, but many engaged couples are now making the unthinkable request of privacy and banning social media and even the use of phones at weddings!
Gone are the days when phone bans only occurred at the weddings of pop singers who are selling ‘exclusive’ pictures of their special day to Hello magazine, the practice is now becoming more popular amongst ordinary couples, who want to reserve the ‘exclusive’ moment for themselves rather than Auntie Doris. More weddings are becoming a social media free zone.
It’s a fair ask, who wants their tender first dance to be on YouTube within seconds, or for guests to provide a snarky, blow-by-blow commentary on Twitter for you to read the next day? The magic of a wedding day can be lost even everyone is viewing it through a screen.
The prevalence of social media means that weddings struggle to retain a sense of intimacy and privacy. It can also be a recipe for disaster that can really throw a spanner into the delicate works of a meticulously planned wedding. Unflattering photos of the bride could be all over Facebook by the end of the day, smart phone flashes can ruin professional photos or special surprises (such as the bride’s dress!) could be ‘spoiled’ by an overeager future mother in law or bridesmaid posting a photo online.
Social media is a pretty new phenomenon (Facebook isn’t even ten years old!), and so it’s hard to gauge the social etiquette that revolves around a wedding. In most instances common sense is enough to go by, but brides are already planning ‘social media strategies’ alongside the wedding colors and buffet to make sure guests are completely sure when and where it’s OK to tweet.
Amazingly, social media is already providing solutions to the issues it created. Terrified of unchecked and unflattering photos of the bride first thing in the morning before she’s had a lick of make-up or groom sneaking a cheeky cigarette to calm the nerves turning up on Mum’s timeline? Apps such as WeddingPics and AppyCouple allow your guests to log in and submit their pics for the couple’s approval. If that sounds complicated, a simple Facebook group is a great place to discuss the ins and outs of social media and submit photos.
Social media at weddings is starting to become a tricky subject. If you’re a bride or groom, make sure your guests are in the know and if you’re a guest, remember to put down the Smartphone for the really special moments in the ceremony, some things should be seen with our eyes, not our lenses.
Zeenat is from www.readyorknot.co.uk. She has worked as a writer within the wedding industry for a number of years and is now an editor with this up and coming online directory. She loves to write about wedding trends, unusual customs and celeb nuptials.
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