How To Be Engaged in the Age of Social Media
By Naomi Shaw
We all know that couple. From the moment they got together, they’ve opted to reveal every moment of their relationship online. From private pet names to candlelit anniversary dinners, these two make sure to share their happy romance with all their friends—and frankly, it can get awfully annoying.
Here’s the thing you may not realize: when you get engaged, you and your intended run the risk of becoming that couple. It starts innocently enough. You post an engagement announcement here, ask a few friends for catering recommendations there. But before you know it, your friends’ feeds will be overrun with news of your nuptials, leaving everyone with wedding fatigue before the big day arrives.
How can you make the most of your social media while planning your wedding? Here are a few simple guidelines:
Thanks to social media, your parents, closest friends and co-workers are all dialed in to your day-to-day life. It may be easier (and certainly faster) to simply announce your engagement over the web. However, getting engaged is a major life milestone,and one that the couple should share with family and close friends first.
Call the people closest to both of your—or better yet, sit down with them in person—and make your announcement before alerting everyone online. This not only gives you time to process this momentous occasion, it will give your family time to celebrate with you on a more personal level. Then once your inner circle is up to date, feel free to let everyone else know with a beautiful engagement announcement on Instagram, Facebook or the social network of your choice.
Like we mentioned earlier, no one wants to become that couple. But when you’re newly engaged and planning a wedding, it’s hard not to be! If all 200 photos from your engagement photo shoot look great, why not post them all? If you have thousands of Facebook friends, why not get all their advice on centerpieces? If you aren’t careful, your oversharing can really sour your wedding planning experience.
The problem here is twofold. Firstly, your friends will—not might, but will—get tired of hearing about your wedding. Secondly, all the suggestions and well-meaning advice you’ll receive on social media can actually make you tired of your wedding. It’s best to keep your wedding-related posts to a minimum; this way, your special day will retain some of that old-fashioned romantic magic.
Hash It Out Online
So far, we’ve talked a lot about how not to use the Internet during your engagement. But the Internet isn’t all bad. In fact, it can be a great way for you to capture all the beautiful moments of your engagement, ceremony and reception. Nearly every one of your guests will have a smartphone handy, which means there will be plenty of pictures your photographer won’t have in his or her collection. This is exactly where the wedding hashtag comes in handy.
Pick out a cute and clever hashtag for your wedding, and make sure your guests know to use it. Between Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and Snapchat, you’ll have a full collection of wedding photos that captures the fun each of your guests had. Who knows, there may even be a beautiful candid shot of the happy couple, too.
Delegate the Details
If you have friends or family who can’t make the ceremony, social media is a great way to keep them updated as you celebrate your big day. However, it should not be your job to capture the magic for Aunt Mildred in Manitoba to see. For that, we turn to the people who are walking down the aisle with you.
Select a member of your wedding party and designate them your “Tweeter of Honor” (or whatever cute name you think of). This person’s role is not only to be your average bridesmaid or groomsmen, but a social media maven who keeps your page updated from the moment you start getting ready until the moment you head off for your honeymoon. This way, you can celebrate your new marital status along with the folks at home.
Above all, make sure that social media is a benefit to your wedding planning, not a burden. If using the web stirs up drama, overwhelms you, or is just plain annoying, don’t be afraid to log off for a while. Your wedding is about the love you and your partner share, and nothing should ever distract you from that. Congratulations, and happy planning!
Naomi Shaw is a wedding journalist and writer who lives in Southern California with her husband and three kids. When not writing about the latest destination, vintage, LGBTQ or exclusive weddings, she enjoys writing on fashion, beauty, jewelry and interior design.