Some couples create a hashtag for their wedding. Some create a ban on Instagram altogether. It’s the wedding Instaban.
A new rule is sweeping ceremonies—I attended a wedding in Deer Valley, Utah, over the weekend which had a ban on social media during the ceremony—where guests are politely asked to not pull out the cell phones and instead be fully present for the vows.
The officiant had made an announcement prior to the bride walking down the aisle that the couple would like their guests to refrain from snapping away—even if the view of the mountains in the background was tempting. Everyone obliged, and it was actually nice to see everyone actually watching with their eyes and not looking through a sea of iPhones. The ceremony pics were left to the professionals, who were not distracting at all, and no one's neck was bent over searching for the perfect filter.
The rule wasn’t in effect at the reception where phones were out, recording guests dancing and eating cake and all the fun stuff that goes on at weddings. So, it turned out to be a good rule in the age of take a picture of everything you see and post it to Instagram right away.
Instead of the officiant asking, some brides post a note at the entrance to the ceremony, asking guests to please refrain from posting on their social media pages during the vows— Kim Kardashian and Kanye West confiscated phones at their wedding, but that was so pictures wouldn’t leak before Kim could sell or post them herself.
Etiquette expert and The Protocol School of Texas founder Diane Gottsman says there are a multitude of reasons a bride and groom would want to keep it private.
"The best way to figure out if you're in the company of social media lovers is to check their wedding website or ask in advance," Diane says. "If they want you to disconnect, the couple will make it very clear. From their wedding website, to a sign as you enter that says thank you for unplugging, to the officiant requesting you put your phones away and enjoy the wedding."
It's important for the guest to follow the couple's request.
Diane says. "Unplugged weddings are becoming more and more popular because the bride and groom want you to concentrate on their ceremony and be present rather than distracted by your phone. It's also distracting to other guests and you get in the way of the professional photographer and videographer by jumping in front of them with your cell phone or iPad.
"Another technology wedding faux pas is often, guests will tag the bride and groom and share pictures that the couple doesn't want shared for multitude of reasons. It may be a great picture of the guest but the bride has a mouth full of cake or they purposely kept it off of Facebook because they wanted to keep the ceremony small and now there are hurt feelings from people who were not invited."
If the couple do allow social media posts, here are some rules.
You are supposed to ask the bride permission before taking her picture, she is allowed to post her dress before anyone if she’d like. And don’t post a picture of her from a bad angle, not cool.
Use the official hashtag the couple has created so they can view their pictures from guests like an album. Don’t take pictures of other people’s kids and don’t interrupt guests in conversation to ask them to take a picture.
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