Social Media Etiquette at Weddings

A wedding is a happy occasion. Love is in the air, the birds are singing...and social media is abuzz with updates. But it's bad manners to steal the happy couple's thunder, so before you post that drunken selfie during the ceremony, check out Modern Manners Guy's 3 tips for wedding social media manners.

Richie Frieman,
November 11, 2013
Episode #271

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Social media is a fast way to spread news (both good and bad), and when it comes to weddings, people can’t wait to share the happiness with their 3,000 closest Facebook friends. And I for one LOVE it. After all, who can’t be happy about watching two people in love tie the knot?  

In fact, this past weekend my wife and I went to a wedding for one of our close friends. For the past year, my wife has been an intricate part in helping to make her friend’s day as memorable as possible. As well, the bride and groom have been posting on Facebook and Instagram about the countdown to the wedding day, and predictably, their Facebook walls are filled with well-wishers.

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However, with all the good cheer that is shared on social media, there is a downside to being so open, which can turn a joyful day into a disastrous one with just a single misplaced tweet.

Now, for those of you who have been living under a rock for the past bazillion years, newsflash: Newlyweds like to be the first to share their news or to post official wedding photos or even announce to the “world” that they are a married couple. But that doesn’t stop some impolite guests from bursting the couple’s matrimonial bubble of happiness.

So before you tweet, post, or hashtag a wedding that is not yours, check out my top three Quick and Dirty Tips about improper social media etiquette at weddings:

Tip #1:  You’re Not the Paparazzi

You can’t go to a wedding without seeing flashes of cameras (and camera phones) go off like it’s the 4th of July. From the minute guests walk in, to the bride coming down the aisle, and of course the raucous partying after the big kiss, cameras are going off right and left to chronicle the event. Now, I’m all for capturing the moment, but some people act as if they are being paid to take photos and will stop at nothing to capture the best shot, from every angle.

I went a wedding last year in which a guest was sitting 20 rows back, but acted as if he was the hired photographer. He leaned over others to get the best shot as every single person walked down the aisle. And he stood to record every moment of the ceremony, as if he was live streaming it to a major news network. Never mind the guests sitting behind him who were treated to a great view of his back side, instead of the bride. It was distracting, annoying, and of course, highly unmannerly.

When it comes to taking photos at a wedding I recommend leaving the important photos to…wait for it…wait for it…the photographer!  So if you are sitting 20 rows back and a few seats in from the aisle, guess what…you’re not getting the best shots of the I do's. If that's your goal, you should have come earlier to get a better seat.

As well, while the ceremony is going on, keep the camera down. While you’re at the happy hour, before the big show, snap away. But when the couple is reciting their vows, have the decency not to force your way up to the front of the room to record every tear. If you really need photos of that night, wait until after the big day, and then email the couple about when the photographer's pictures will be available for you to see. But do not insist on being the first one to see them. It’s their day, not yours.


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