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Bride With a HashtagEmily Post wrote her etiquette guides well before the advent of social networking technologies. However, some direction is needed for modern situations in which social media may be used. Each pair of newlyweds has taken special pains to ensure that their big day is a joyful celebration that’s a reflection of their love. Impolite interruptions and other social media faux pas may be overlooked by the couple-to-be, but it’s still a good idea to follow some simple guidelines to avoid embarrassing yourself and being rude to family, friends and other guests. 

Your Role Is to Help the Happy Couple Celebrate 

Many experts have jumped at the chance to fill in etiquette lacunae left behind by Emily Post and other older writers. One example is a Real Simple article that offers some useful guidelines, as well as a primer from for both couples-to-be and their guests. Underlying their suggestions are the ideas of prudence, respect for personal privacy, following the couple’s wishes and ensuring you aren’t so distracted that you miss the event’s memorable moments.

Let the Couple Make Announcements on Social Media First

The first rule of social media etiquette as a wedding guest: always allow the couple to be the first to share information. Too many horror stories abound of well-meaning friends posting congratulations or going public with photos of the wedding attire before the couple has been able to go public with the happy news. It’s their wedding, so they should be in charge of managing its social media presence without interference from others.

Minimize Use of Your Mobile Device at the Wedding

The newlyweds-to-be most likely invited you because they wanted you to share in this joyous occasion. If you agreed wholeheartedly to attend, your focus should be on helping them celebrate and enjoying your time with friends and family. Remembering this point should help guide you in your use of your smartphone or tablet in these events. Keep usage of your mobile devices to an absolute minimum, reserving them for taking pictures or a few quick personal notes at best. Additionally, it’s a good idea not to post on social media during the ceremony or the reception. You’ll not only respect the nature of their celebrations, but you’ll avoid sharing anything that could be seen as private or potentially embarrassing.

Check With the Newlyweds Before Sharing Photos

Keeping in tune with your soon-to-be married friends is wise, especially when it comes to understanding their social media strategy. Ask if they have a special hashtag for the wedding, and use it if you post any photos or other information. Speaking of which, it’s also wise to check with them before you share any pictures. That “cute” shot of your tipsy cousin or the family dog chewing on the bride’s shoe might not be something your friends want widely circulated. In the era of stolen photos used as memes and viral exposure, following this suggestion is more than just a mere gesture of courtesy.

A Little Discretion Never Hurts

Social media and the ease of sharing have made it easy to instantly broadcast thoughts and images out into the world. However, such technologies mean that some discretion and forethought are necessary before you press that “post” button. When it comes to a wedding, it’s vital to remember that you’re attending as a guest to help the happy couple celebrate. Put their social media approach and privacy first, and make sure you aren’t distracted at the happy event itself. Also, use a little good judgment when deciding what to post, and make sure you include any hashtags they’ve chosen for their wedding. Following these steps isn’t difficult and ensures you’ll avoid hurt feelings, awkward situations and major missteps in your manners.

Category: Wedding Planning Ceremonies Society

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