Take a moment to scroll through the dashboard on your Facebook, Tumblr, or Instagram account and it’s highly iikely you'll spot the photos and accompanying hashtags of at least one couple tying the knot this summer. (Particularly in June, the most popular month of the year to get married in, according to TheKnot.com’s annual Real Weddings Study.)
One area of wedding planning that’s being utilized more than ever is social media. And why wouldn’t it be? There are plenty of organization apps on smartphones available to use, it’s inexpensive, and the reach is significantly broader too. Your great-aunt might not be able to make it to your big day, but if she has an iPhone and an Instagram account, she can track photos and video from the ceremony on the platform by looking up the approved hashtag. Subsequently, everyone else who follows you can do it too – which is why, hashtag or not, social media serves as a great publicity tool for weddings on a larger scale. Case in point: Kim Kardashian and Kanye West’s wedding kiss in Italy now holds the record for most-liked photo on Instagram, accumulating 1.96 million likes in three days.
But the term Bridezilla didn’t explode overnight without a good reason either. For better or for worse, the presence of social media in our lives is also taking weddings by storm to ensure that there isn’t one moment of your happily ever after that goes without getting liked, hearted, or reblogged to the max. When it comes to social media usage in planning a wedding or during the actual ceremony, these four trends take the crazy cake.
1) Hand lifts for engagement selfies.
Want to post a picture of your hand with your new engagement ring on but are horrified by how many veins you can see underneath your skin or how chapped your knuckles are? Skip Photoshop and opt for a hand lift instead. This five to ten minute procedure injects you with a touch of Juvéderm to “restore and replenish lost volume in the hands.” Just be sure you’re timing your engagement and bridal photos out around these $1,200 sessions as the restoration only lasts up to 9 months.
2) “The social media wedding concierge.”
It was the press release heard ‘round the world at the start of 2014 – W Hotels launching a social media wedding concierge for anyone opting to get married at one of their hotels. Services include having a team of social professionals on hand to live tweet the ceremony and reception, create a wedding hashtag, establish a wedding blog, and most baffling of all, even putting together “dream honeymoon Pinterest boards” to serve as a source of inspiration to the soon-to-be-marrieds.
I personally consider all of the above to be areas that I wouldn’t want an outside source attempting to touch on for me (especially the blogging part because I’m, um, a writer?). But if you consider the social media aspect of your nuptials to be too exhausting to handle solo, and have an extra $3,000 to spare, head to the W and get talking with their concierge.
3) Unplugged weddings.
On the flip side of the coin, we have the social media-less wedding day option available where you leave your smartphones and cameras at the door and enjoy the big day without the distractions. As a frequent wedding guest, this sounds like a worse option to the plugged-in alternative. Sure, it means that the ceremony photographer gets shots of the bride and groom minus all the guests in the audience holding up their phones and it ensures the ceremony won’t feature somebody’s Beyonce ringtone going off in the middle of the vow exchange.
However, discouraging the use of social for the entire ceremony, particularly when it was a key player in planning out the big day, seems redundant to me. To each his own here completely, but in my opinion if this is going to be your special day, you might want to have some record of it on hand to look back on and remember. How you decide to share it is up to you.
4) Social media prenups.
In the United States alone, the average wedding guest will share 22 photos and seven out of 10 Twitter users will post while they’re at a wedding. Guests aside, the newly emerging trend for soon-to-be-spouses is signing a social media prenup - a written document or discussion that addresses what’s acceptable to share online about each other. Clauses in these contracts often include instructions not to post any pictures or posts that could hurt the spouse’s reputation on a professional or personal level. And even then the line to tread on what is and isn’t acceptable can get a little dicey. Nude photos would obviously be grounds for violation of the contract, but what about a picture of your significant other wearing a swimsuit at the beach? For some couples, that could be considered damaging to the agreed upon rules of the prenup so when you decide to draw up one of these agreements, dig in as deep as possible to set in boundaries as to what can and cannot be shared.
As the adage goes, first comes love, then comes marriage. Or is it first comes the Facebook relationship status change, then comes the engagement selfie? Sound off with the social media wedding trend you find the craziest below or if there’s one I didn’t cover, let me know.