Full disclosure: I use social media. I have fun on Facebook, I use LinkedIn for business networking, I show prospective clients videos of my work on YouTube. But it breaks my heart when social media mania ruins a wedding or other special event for my clients.
Technology has changed the way we do almost everything, but weddings are about the bride and groom, not about who can get the pictures up on Facebook first.
• 56% of newlywed women think it’s important to have social media rules at the wedding (and I, a long-time married male DJ, agree)
• 61% of brides forbid their bridesmaids from uploading pictures of the bride donning her dress before the ceremony (the bride’s entrance is a special moment – don’t spoil it!)
• 52% say the bride and groom must be the first to post a picture of the wedding to a social media site (I repeat: the wedding is about the couple)
Professional wedding photographer Corey Ann wrote a poignant blog about how amateur photographers (that would be anyone with a smart phone or iPad) have been major spoilers at weddings. In “Why You Should Have an Unplugged Wedding,” she shares how thoughtless guests have not just disrupted the ceremony but ruined the professional photos the bride and groom are paying for. You pay a lot for professional photos of your wedding. The photographer should be able to get the images they need without a guest “photo-blocking” or “photo-bombing” them.
Wedding etiquette is constantly evolving, but one thing that should never change is that the wishes of the bridal couple should be respected – even when they move into Bridezilla/Groomzilla territory. The key is to let your guests know what you want. Some ways to do that:
• Put a notice at the bottom of the program that this is an “unplugged ceremony” and ask guests to refrain from using electronic devices.
• Ask the officiant (or the wedding DJ) to make an announcement just before the ceremony begins.
• Post a sign that’s visible as people enter the venue or put it by the guest book.
Generally, the rules for social media are more relaxed at the reception than at the ceremony itself. If you want to establish some guidelines, ask your professional wedding DJ to make an announcement at the beginning of the reception and then periodically throughout to remind people of your preferences. All of the professional Orlando DJs who work with Marc Burgess Productions are happy to make those kinds of announcements so you can have the wedding and reception of your dreams.