Unplug vs Hashtag Your Wedding

Social media has become a huge part of our everyday lives. We post pics of our power greens for lunch, share our feelings, cheer on our sports teams and like and love our friends milestones. We speak in hashtags and emoticons. So it’s only natural for many couples (and their guests) to document and share a cool wedding in the same way. Unfortunately, it adds another decision bride and groom need to make for their big day–do we go unplugged or do we hashtag our wedding? Let’s chat about the pros of each decision and we will give you a few tips for whichever kind of wedding you choose.

Going Unplugged.
If you choose to go unplugged, your photographer and videographer will probably give you a huge hug! If you talk to a current wedding photographer, they can tell you about how difficult it is to try to capture important wedding moments when a well-meaning uncle steps in front of them wielding their giant tablet trying to get the same one. Here are some reasons going unplugged may be the best choice for you.
  1. The photographer and videographer you hired (and probably paid good money for!) will not have to compete with your guests to capture important moments. Likewise, the photographs of your guests will be of them enjoying your wedding instead of a sea of smartphones documenting it.
  2. You, your attendants, and guests will be more present on your wedding day without the distraction social media can be.
  3. Prevent accidental revealings! It can happen so easily. A well-meaning bridesmaid posts a picture of you and her fully-dressed in the bridal suite, gushing about how happy she is for you. Upon posting, it just went straight to your groom’s (and probably some of your guests’) newsfeed. Your big reveal moment was just revealed!

Tips for Going Unplugged at Your Wedding.
So, if going unplugged is the right choice for you, here are some tips for making it happen.
  1. Communication is key. Get it out there early so guests know what to expect. Add a note on the invitation, include a reminder in the program and it probably wouldn’t hurt to make a chalkboard sign or two reminding guests to put their phones away. It may also be a good idea to have your officiant remind and explain your policy before the wedding begins and again before they dismiss to the reception. We’re talking about some serious habits here!
  2. To Valet or not to Valet? To me this isn’t even a question. Some brides have started asking guests to check their phones at the door. I can’t imagine this would go over well with many guests who need their phone like they need oxygen! It also presents a huge liability if any were to get lost or confused. This may work for a very small wedding, but any wedding over 50 people, you may just have to count on your friends to respect your wishes.
  3. Consider a Special Photography Opportunity
One compromise that may satisfy your guests with an itchy post finger is to allow time a special time that they can snap some photographs after the professional photographer. A good time might be after you have kissed and the pro photographer has snagged that so important shot, pausing to allow your guests to also snap before you begin the processional.
Hashtag Your Day.
For some couples, going social with their big day would only seem natural. They may have friends and family who couldn’t make it and a constant stream from your wedding would help them feel included. You can even hire a social media professional who will manage your social media accounts and post for you in real time so you can enjoy the day. Here are more pros for getting social with your wedding day:
  1. See pictures and read comments from guests as they experienced your big day. Are you wondering what your guests thought of all the things you did on your wedding day? You may have never known that your guests were all raving about your specialty cocktail unless you had read it online.
  2. More Candid Shots. Sometimes those candid shots are just so much fun. and you can’t imagine being without them.
  3. Immediate Pictures. Ten years ago, brides and grooms had to wait six months to see images from their wedding! With a hashtagged wedding, a bride and groom can lay on the beach on their honeymoon and re-live the day through images.
Tips for Hashtagging Your Wedding
  1. Communicate your decision with your photographer and videographer so they can position themselves accordingly for big moments. They may even have you sign some sort of waiver in case they miss a big shot due to a guest stepping in front to take the pic. They will also happily share sneak peeks using your hashtag!
  2. Tell your guests about your hashtag. Hashtags are really about organizing a conversation. The easiest way to enjoy your guests wedding day photographs is to give them a hashtag to use. Include it in the invitation, program and make little signs for it.
  3. Set up a phone charging station. If you are serious about guests being able to document the big day without running our precious battery power, set up a tasteful place with multiple types of cell phone chargers where guests running low can get a little extra boost.
Just as technology is so quickly evolving, so is the etiquette that surrounds these devices. The good news is that as the bride and groom, you get to decide what is right for you. Just be sure to make a decision and make sure all of your guests know what to expect! Your guests are usually happy to abide by your wishes, no matter what you choose! Speaking of social media, don’t forget to follow Ashelynn Manor on Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, and YouTube. You can also use #ashleynnmanor to see what our brides and vendors are up to!