Wedding Do’s and Don’ts of Social Media

You’re engaged! And you want to spread the joyful news to everyone you know. So you head straight for the internet, right? No! No! For the love of God, NO! There’s a right way and a wrong way to use social media as your wedding communications center. Pay attention, now.

1. Don’t post your engagement notice until you’ve first notified your closest relatives and best friends in person. You know… face-to-face, or by phone, or by a written note, the old-fashioned way.

2. Once you’re ready to tell the whole world, go ahead and post all those cutesie, lovey-dovey pictures on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and anything else you can think of.

3. Social media are not for sending invitations. Sometimes you have to use real paper. Your invitations should be printed and mailed, with RSVP cards. And each invitation should identify the person or persons who are invited. If you’re confident enough to let someone invite a “plus-one,” that’s fine. If you’d rather not have strangers at your wedding, make sure your invitation asks, “Which of these people are coming?” One other benefit of sending invitations by regular mail is that you won’t have to face those internet-only friends and explain why they weren’t invited.

5. Can you post your gift registry on your social media? No! If you want any internet presence for your registry, create a dedicated wedding web site, and post it there. No web site? Let your relatives and wedding party spread the word about where you’re registered.

6. The internet is not for asking, “Will you be my bridesmaid?” Your besties deserve something a lot more personal. You can send a little gift. Just search Pinterest for “Will you be my bridesmaid?” You’ll find lots of cool ideas. Or you can simply ask each candidate in person, or on the phone, or in a nice note. Keep your bridal party private, so no one feels cheated by being left out and having the snub rubbed in their faces on Facebook.

7. Facebook has a “limited view” feature. Use it! That way, you can send some messages to one group of friends, other messages to a larger group, and still others to the entire world and the assembled press corps.

8. Get your own hashtag. And display a prominent sign with that hashtag at both your ceremony and reception. Even the best professional photographer can’t get every photo. And having a hashtag where your guests can instantly post pictures right on the spot will produce some of the evening’s best and most memorable images.

9. Thank-you notes must be printed, not emailed. Okay, maybe the guest who emailed you a Starbucks gift card as your wedding gift deserves to be dismissed with a limp email thank-you. But everyone else spent time, energy and money picking out the perfect gift. It’s only fair that each guest receive a personalized hand-written thank-you note. It means a lot more than a lousy email message.

Now you know the rules of netiquette. Happy planning!

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© Fourth Estate Audio, 2015 – Jay Congdon is president of Fourth Estate Audio, a professional Chicago DJ and Chicago Wedding DJ company.

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