With your big day on the horizon, you’re most likely knee-deep in the throes of wedding planning. Preparing for such a memorable and large-scale event is certainly overwhelming, but it’s also incredibly exciting—especially in the modern age. In the age of social media, weddings aren’t guest-only experiences anymore, but rather larger broadcasts for friends (and friends of friends) to see.

If you aren’t adopting a #nosocialmedia policy for your wedding, you can utilize social media to include the wider world and enhance your day—before, during and after. Here are some tactful ways to use social media for you wedding.

How To Use Social Media At Your Wedding

Before Your Wedding

Announce your engagement.

The lead-up to your wedding day starts the very moment you get engaged. When you choose to broadcast this exciting news on social media, however, is totally up to you. Some people announce their engagement immediately and others choose to wait a few days or weeks. There are a few different ways to announce your engagement, too. You can share a photo on Instagram, write a lovely long-winded Facebook status, send out a quick tweet—whatever feels right to you.

When you do finally share, you can expect the excitement to start pouring in from all over—family and friends, acquaintances you haven’t spoken to in years, and maybe even some wedding-loving strangers.

Create a wedding hashtag.

If you’re going to consistently share wedding planning updates on social media, a wedding hashtag is right for you. Once you’re engaged (or even before), brainstorm a wedding hashtag that will personalize your special day and serve as a means of connecting all future wedding-related posts. Don’t worry if you can’t think of anything just yet—go ahead and post as much as you want in the interim. You can edit all past posts to add in your wedding hashtag once you decide on it.

Your wedding hashtag can be as creative or basic as you’d like. Make sure, though, that it’s a hashtag that makes sense to your guests and is easy to remember. Your guests will also use your tag throughout your wedding ceremony and reception so you want something to the point.

If you can’t think of a fitting hashtag, we recommend a few simple formats. For example’s sake, we’ll use the names Nicolette Risser and Elizabeth Fortune.

  • If you’re taking your partner’s name: Soon-to-be last name + Wedding + Year #FortuneWedding2020
  • If you’re not taking your partner’s name: First Name + First Name + Year #NicoletteElizabeth2020
  • If you want something simple, but with a small twist: First Name + First Name + Forever/4ever #NicoletteElizabeth4ever

Use social media for inspiration.

Social media serves as one of the best (and cheapest!) wedding planning tools. It costs nothing to browse Pinterest and Instagram for wedding inspiration of all kinds–from potential wedding gown styles and color schemes to venue options and even invitation designs.

Use Pinterest to create special boards that collect inspiration based on the subject. Use Instagram’s save feature to organize all of your wedding favorites into folders you can quickly reference as you plan. This keeps all of your inspo in a few dedicated places and makes it easy to show wedding vendors what looks you’re really hoping to achieve.

At Your Wedding

Go live.

If you feel comfortable inviting just about anyone to your wedding day (virtually, of course), consider setting up a live stream of your ceremony. You can use Facebook or Instagram to capture your day in real-time. This is a wonderful way to include any family or friends who couldn’t make it. We definitely recommend a livestream if you’re planning a destination wedding.

Set up a phone tripod or employ a well-placed friend or family member to film the ceremony. Your livestream will also capture any well wishes from viewers that you can look back on for years.

MarquisePhotography InlineImage 1080x720 Photo Credit // Marquise Photography

Create post-worthy experiences.

During your planning process, give some thought to how you can promote social media posting by your guests. Think about when most people reach for their phones to post a picture. Here are a few scenarios to consider:

  • Walking down the aisle. Many guests post images of the couple as they make their way down the aisle. Add a social media callout with a hashtag reminder to your program to encourage shares.
  • At the reception. Your reception is bound to be the most shareable time of your wedding day. Place hashtag reminders in a few key areas so guests will add it as they post static images and Instagram Stories throughout your party.
  • By the food. Food content is king on social media. If you’re having a seated dinner, make sure you include reminders to share on your menu. If you’re having a buffet dinner situation, include those same reminders on any signs listing the foods available.

You may even consider going the extra mile and actually creating a share-worthy backdrop that guests can take photos in front of to post. If you offer the right setup, your guests will feel even more excited and inclined to share.

Set up a hashtag printer.

A hashtag printer is a tool that allows your guests to instantly print copies of any images they upload to social media sites using your tag. Not only does this encourage them to post, but it also creates a fun and exciting activity for your guests.

Many hashtag printers offer different designs that your guests can choose from to enhance their photos even further. It also serves as a keepsake, as guests will leave with physical copies of the pictures they took from your big day. If you want to create something more memorable, ask guests to print two copies of their photos and set out an empty picture- or scrapbook nearby with a request to add their images.

Make custom social filters.

Create a personal social media experience by making custom filters on Snapchat and Instagram. Snapchat, especially, has made filter creation easier than ever. Make a filter that includes your wedding colors, your hashtag or your names, any fun design elements—whatever you want.

TiffanyChapmanPhotography InlineImage 1080x720 Photo Credit // Tiffany Chapman Photography

After Your Wedding

Share your professional photos.

Your wedding photographers worked hard on your wedding day—and once you have their edited photos, it’s time to share. Take advantage of Instagram’s carousel feature to share a few photos at once. Here are some round up ideas:

  • Couple shots. People want to see you and your new wife or husband—and they really want to see your outfits.
  • Detail shots. Share any up close and personal images of your tablescapes, food, decor, and flowers. These photos, especially, are great for inspiring your guests or other soon-to-be brides and grooms. Include some other hashtags (#weddingflowers, #weddinginspo, #weddingdecor) that will draw more viewers and encourage more shares.
  • Your guests. If there’s one thing your guests will want to share, it’s pictures of themselves—hey, we’re human! Share a carousel of some of your favorite action shots from the reception and be sure to tag your guests.

Post your video.

If you hired a videographer for your wedding day, ask them to create share-friendly cuts of their work. On Instagram, you’ll want to keep it pretty concise—no more than 30 seconds. On Facebook, feel free to post a longer clip as the platform lends itself to a bit more viewing time.

There’s no right or wrong way to use social media at your wedding. You can share as much or little as you want. Your guests and followers will be happy to follow along.