Are you even engaged if you didn’t post a proposal photo on Instagram!
Instagram is overloaded with wedding pics from every corner of the globe. From glamorous luxury weddings of celebrities to ordinary brides and grooms wanting to be #instafamous. The ‘wedding’ hashtag has reached 65 million posts and counting and that doesn’t even include all the other wedding-related hashtags, so weddings are definitely one of the most popular topics covered on Instagram.
But in the current climate of sharing your big moments on Instagram or it never happened, there needs to be a few Instagram Rules Of Engagement.
To the ordinary Instagram-user you probably think I will just post a picture to share with my friends and its that simple. But it’s not that simple! Instagram has this thing called the Instagram Algorithm that affects who and how many people see your post.
If you are on a Private account then this doesn’t affect you so much as you have to approve who can see, like and comment on your posts and they are likely going to be family members, friends or people you know. However this is more relevant if your account is set to Public where anyone can see and follow your account as well as liking and commenting on your posts.
Don’t worry the Algorithm actually is not a bad thing! The Instagram Algorithm is there to remove nasty spam and bot accounts (bots are annoying machine-generated commenters that spam your feed) in order to make Instagram more enjoyable and social like it always was intended to be.
Today Instagram is a big part of many peoples daily lives. A place where users of the social platform happily share their big moments and milestones – from celebrating birthdays, seasonal holidays, mothers and fathers day, graduating school and uni studies, to the arrival of a new baby. But probably one of the most Instagrammed milestones is a wedding – everything from the proposal, engagement, planning, the big day and the honeymoon.
In Australia, every season is wedding season because of our glorious climate, so anytime is a good time to brush up on some wedding etiquette tips for posting on Instagram.
These days we are increasingly in the habit of post everything to Instagram from the new haircut to what we ate for lunch without a second thought, so it seems natural that you’d share your (or someone else’s) wedding joy on social media, but there are a few general rules that would be taken into account before hitting the post button.
Below are a few social media guidelines for tackling wedding season to ensure you don’t run the risk of scaring away your friends for the amount of #weddingspam you share, being uninvited to the wedding or ‘unfriended’ for posting memories some would rather forget.
So lets take a look at the do’s and don’ts of Instagramming your wedding.
Status Update : Engaged
The Engagement Post is usually the first announcement of all the wedding-related posts to follow, so it’s important to set the right tone from the first official ‘Im engaged’ post.
Don’t post a photo of just the diamond. This looks braggy and forgetting the most important part, there are two of you that make up this newly engaged couple.
Choose your caption wisely. This is the first time you’re announcing to the online world that you and your partner are engaged, so now is the time to write something meaningful!
Don’t post your engagement photo with the wedding hashtag you plan to use. A premature wedding hashtag is the modern equivalent of signing your first name with your crush’s last name after the first date.
The Bachelorette/Bachelor Party
Whether its a scene out of The Hangover movie or a more subdued fun pre-wedding hens or bucks night drinking cocktails or downing shots, be aware while some people are happy to take part in all the shenanigans, it doesn’t mean everyone wants to have photos posted online of them taking part or even in the presence of these shenanigans. Remember people have lives and careers away from the events of this one night/weekend, so you don’t want them to be paying for one silly night/weekend for the rest of their life, because what happens on social stays on social. It’s best to save the photo evidence of the Bachelorette/Bachelor party antics in a safe and secure place to share with only the weekend’s group of attendees.
In the event you do share photos from the Bachelorette/Bachelor Party follow these few rules of etiquette:
Check before tagging (and hashtagging). If your bachelorette/bachelor party has its own hashtag, be sure that all members of the bachelorette/bachelor group are prepared to be featured in these photos publicly. Remember you might want to keep some photos hidden from the public and especially parents or the in-law’s eyes!
Avoid public displays of flirtation. Best not to post the part of the night when the “dancers” arrive. In fact, maybe just ban phones all together from this point. No one wants to see that and trust me, you probably won’t want to remember it the next day either. This is the time to put away phones and just enjoy the night with your mates.
Planning The Wedding
Do you know what no one needs to see? A daily countdown to your wedding day. No matter how excited you are about your upcoming nuptials, friends do not need to be reminded each and every day that there are only “94 days until I do!”
Say yes to the dress but you don’t need to share every option. These types of wedding posts are best shared on Pinterest on a private board with just your bridesmaids. Plus you don’t want to be giving away all the pretty details before the big day – it’s better to surprise your guests! And do you really want opinions from everyone else? If you want to be a stress-free bride then a big fat No!
The Big Day
Assuming that you already follow the people who are invited to your wedding, as well as loved ones and friends who won’t be there for whatever reason. I’m sure many of them follow you so will get to see all the lovely photos of you getting married and enjoying the day’s festivities. This means that your wedding hashtag is generally for people who weren’t invited and your vendors so they can see their hard work transformed.
Wedding magazines are always looking to discover unique and stylish wedding details to great love stories and elopements to feature on their account to inspire future brides and grooms planning their weddings. Other wedding related hashtags can help such wedding magazines find fresh wedding inspiration to share.
I think we can all admit to clicking on a hashtag and going down the rabbit hole of a wedding we weren’t invited to. We live in strange times where it seems being a voyeur or stalker is quite acceptable when we want to see what bridal gown so and so wore or what her cake was like. And it seems the more likes a post gets, the higher its regarded as cool, beautiful and so on.
As a social media community, we have learned to judge posts by the number of likes it has, this is an issue in itself. Please don’t be someone who wedding-shames a bride or groom because they didn’t get a lot of likes on a post because they choose things, not to your taste or didn’t have the budget for anything fancier. Thankfully Instagram at the time of this article is actually looking into hiding the likes feature from posts as its being regarded as “We want your followers to focus on what you share, not how many likes your posts get”.
Here are a few Instagram Etiquette tips for the wedding day :
Hand over your phone. No one wants a picture of the bride staring at her phone. Instead, enjoy being in the moment and have fun with your family and friends. Chances are you probably don’t have a bag or a pocket to keep your phone in any way. It’s your day to be in the photos not taking them, embrace it. Plus hopefully you hired a professional wedding photographer to capture this important one-time event with all your loved ones gathered, so trust the pro to do their job.
No pictures of the dress should be posted online until after the ceremony. Don’t let the bridesmaids, any vendors or anyone else post pictures of you or themselves on the way to the ceremony because you don’t want anyone let alone your partner to see your dress before they see you.
Celebrate together. There is nothing more un-wedding-like than the ‘happy’ couple who only post pictures of themselves.
Smile. It’s not a fashion shoot, people want to see happy smiling newlyweds, not the posed selfie photo.
The Wedding Hashtag. Yes it’s a thing having your own wedding hashtag. If your having one, make sure its easy to type in the comments (remember you are dealing with drunk people taking photos and posting to Insta) and for people to remember later to go stalk the wedding. Make sure you have the wedding hashtag print on a sign that can easily be seen, somewhere like the table for the guest book. Oh hey, did you know we sell gorgeous wedding guest books – check them out here!
Avoid #weddingspam and long hashtags. No one wants to see their feed filled with continuous photos tagged with #MrandMrsSmithGetHitched
Everyone Has An Opinion. Random accounts and even people you know will comment with their 2 cents worth about your wedding. You don’t have to reply. Or a simple cocktail emoji with Honeymooning in … !
We thought we’d throw in a few instagram etiquette tips for the guests.
Dear Guest, don’t photograph or film during the ceremony, be present. There is this thing called Unplugged Weddings where guests put down their phones and cameras to be present while watching their loved ones tie the knot. This is something the couple requests – not the celebrant, not the photographer, YES the bride and groom so please respect the couples wish for you to put your phones and cameras away and leave the capturing of the ceremony to the professional photographer and/or videographer they hired to record the moments they say I-do. The bride and groom would hope to see all their family and friends’ smiling faces when they look out into the crowd, not iPhones or cameras and certainly not iPads or being flashed like the paparazzi turned up to their ceremony.
When To Post Photos Of The Happy Couple. It’s a definite no-no to post any photos of the bride, bridesmaids, groom, groomsmen, flowers and any styling details before the ceremony. The couple has spent months planning their day, so let the newlyweds have the glory of sharing the first photos of the important details. It’s okay for guests to post pictures of themselves providing no wedding details or secrets are let out of the bag but keep it to just a photo of the guests and what they are wearing.
Avoid Posting Drunk Selfies. Posting drunk selfies taken in the loo of you and the bride won’t be appreciated, especially when they keep surfacing at the top of the Instagram hashtag.
Be generous. When you finally can share pictures from the wedding after the couple gives the go-ahead, make the wedding look great. Make sure the bride looks beautiful. Delete any embarrassing facial expressions or people blinking – no one is ever going to want to look at those and they just create clutter on your phone. Crop out the porta-loos. Take a Pinterest-worthy photo of your name card or flowers on the table to show how pretty the wedding was.
Don’t get in the way of the professional photographer. The couple has invested a lot of money in hiring a professional photographer so don’t be the disrespectful person holding an iPhone in the bride’s face when the pro is there capturing photos. You don’t have to capture everything, especially if they’ve paid someone to do exactly that. I’m sure the couple will give you access to their online photo gallery where you can download the professional’s version. Enjoy the moment.
Good Old Respect. Remember there is no kinder gift than making sure you only post beautiful photos of the bride and groom. Not the mid mouthful, ugly-crying photos. They are your friends after all so don’t be the person to spoil their wedding day.
Additionally, no one wants to see your dark, blurry photos and videos!
Most wedding photographers these days will share some sneak peeks from the wedding day within the first few days after the big day for the couple to share with family and friends. I suggest holding off sharing any wedding photos until you receive your professional photos. Don’t you want people’s first impressions of your special day to be a great one!
The honeymoon is a great excuse to have a digital detox!
Everyone can appreciate a travel photo and dream about being there too, but your family and friends don’t need to see every. single. second. documented. Go and enjoy! This is your chance to relax, enjoy the whirlwind of the wedding and down a cocktail or three before lunch. I’m sure social media will survive without you for a few hours.
After the Big Day
I know once the professional wedding photos come in, it’s tempting to blast social media and share them all. But don’t. Have them printed in a wedding photo album that can sit on your coffee table to share with family and friends when they visit. Photos look so much better in print. With an album, you get to create an heirloom by preserving the memories from this milestone event for the kids, and even grandkids one day.
Favourite wedding day memories. Pick a few of your favourite wedding photos to share and then keep the rest for yourselves. Today where everything is on social for everyone to see, it’s nice to keep some of the more intimate and precious moments of our lives private.
With these tips for sharing your Insta-worthy wedding images, get back in the saddle with planning your big day. After all, people do love love, so whether you are sharing highlights from your own journey on the path to marital bliss or a friends wedding, just try to be respectful of other people sharing this social world and hopefully we can avoid creating any Instagram divorces.
If you have any tips for surviving the Insta-wedding world, please let me know in the comments below.