I know a photographer that has the same recurring nightmare. The bride and groom are about to share the infamous first kiss as husband and wife. The photographer is in position down the aisle ready for the shot when out steps Uncle Ernie from the fifth row with an iPad. In the blink of an eye the kiss is over and the couple now has a professional picture of an iPad picture of their first kiss. Money well spent.
Having been an event planner for over 7 years, I've seen it all. I won't deny that all the new amazing apps and technology available have made many parts of the planning process easier and attending a wedding more enjoyable; however, wedding guests need to brush up on their social media manners before they ruin someone's special day.
Here are the top dos and don'ts when attending a wedding:
10. DO respect the couple's wishes. If they have asked no photos to be shared on social media, then put your phone away and enjoy the night. I do think it is acceptable to still post a selfie or pic of you and your date. #newdress #goodhairday
9. DON'T vent about the wedding on social media. If your food is cold or the DJ is bad, then you can find the planner or just relax and remember it is not your wedding.
8. DO use a provided hashtag when posting a picture. It is a great way for the couple and guests to see the evening from other perspectives. It's the disposable camera of 2014! If the couple has spent the money and requested you to download an app to aggregate pictures, then try to oblige.
7. DO remember to put down your phone and enjoy the party. You are not Giuliana Rancic reporting live from the red carpet. You are a friend or family of the couple and they want you to spend time with those around you rather than giving the play-by-play of the night. When you are taking pictures, remember to be aware of where the paid photographer is standing so you do not block their shot and always turn off flash so you don't ruin any of the professional photos with your blinding light.
6. DO keep the couple in mind. Look at the picture you are about to post. Would you want it posted? Be honest. It is not a race to post the first pic of the bride down the aisle and they would appreciate the first (and any) photo(s) posted of them to be flattering. Check out an app like More Beaute for amazing touch-up filters.
5. DO remember to keep pertinent information handy. Apps like appy couple and Wedding Party App are making it easy for guests to keep all the location information and other details in one spot. Please DO NOT text the bride or groom on their wedding day asking for directions or parking info.
4. DON'T Vine the couple's vows, first look or any other sentimental moments like toasting a deceased relative. These are extremely private and not something the couple may want shared. Not sure if you should post? When in doubt, wait.
3. DO give shout outs to awesome vendors from the wedding. Most wedding vendors use word of mouth for sales so if you love the entertainment, flowers, catering or space, let them know!
2. ALWAYS turn off your ringer and ignore unimportant calls. Just don't be that person.
And most importantly....
1. NEVER send out a picture of the bride BEFORE she walks down the aisle. I don't care if the couple already did a first look. There is something magical and sacred about that long-awaited walk down the aisle and a groom does not want to see his bride for the first time on his Instagram or Facebook newsfeed.
Author: Amanda Goetz is the Founder and CEO of Availendar: a site helping brides and planners access the availability calendars of reputable vendors in the event industry. Availendar is currently in beta and being rolled out in NYC to brides, planners and top vendors in the industry.
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Contact Amanda: Amanda@availendar.com