Picture this: A beautiful bride walks down the aisle. The bride and groom say their romantic vows with happy tears in their eyes. They say 'I do', kiss, and then, while standing at the altar... post to Facebook? Believe it or not, it's happening more and more. Now don't get me wrong, I'm all for social media -- it's what I do for work every day and I find great personal and professional value in it -- but maybe it's time to draw some social media etiquette lines. It's great to use for organizing and keeping in touch with friends, but taking it to the altar just seems a bit too much. When is enough, enough when it comes to social media? We are clearly a generation obsessed.
According to this study 48 percent of 18-34 year olds check Facebook when they wake up, with 28 percent doing so before they even get out of bed. Some people use Facebook and Twitter obsessively and often forget to tell big news in person before posting it to their social media world. For example, the motivation for writing this article? I recently found out my brother is engaged -- by reading his girlfriend's Facebook post. Seriously, true story.
Some things, such as your engagement announcement (I am speaking to you brother) should be done in person or at the very least over the phone. However, social media CAN be very helpful when planning your wedding. There are a lot of great tools out there that are helpful and won't take you into that 'you've gone too far' zone.
· Social wedding planning tools such as a blog or wedding website allow you to update all of your guests on any changes that may affect them. If there's a last minute time or venue change this is a good way to get the word out. Wedding websites also allow your guests to leave comments and questions for you. And as a bonus it's always nice to hear congratulations and well wishes from those you love.
· Get in touch with vendors using Twitter and Facebook. Most vendors keep their social media channels up to date so you always have the most current information and, as most upkeep is done daily, they are readily reachable by sending a message.
· On a smaller scale, if you're looking to keep your bridesmaids on the up and up, consider using a specific Twitter hashtag or creating an invite-only event on Facebook.
· Get inspired. This is where social media really shines. Pinterest has exploded with fabulous wedding inspiration and ideas in recent months. It is definitely a place to stop and create some boards to help in your planning. Some advice: be specific. Create boards that are easy to go back to and reference when making your final decisions. Have separate boards for wedding food, wedding flowers, bridesmaid dresses, DIY ideas, etc.
These are all great ways to use social media as it was meant to be used. To share information and converse with those you care about. What you don't want to do is inundate your loved ones with daily updates and rants and raves. Sure, they all love you and are excited about coming to your wedding, but they may not be interested to hear why your florist isn't working with you on particular day or the detailed account of your food and wine tasting. What they do want to hear about is the how/what/when and important information that will help them make their journey to celebrate with you.
And, please, after you say 'I do', don't pull out that smartphone. Instead look into each other's eyes and take in that moment like no other.
Follow Carey Gordon on Twitter: www.twitter.com/careylgordon