Stock wedding reception photo by Alasdair Elmes

Etiquette & Speeches

Wedding guest guide: Eight simple ways to avoid committing a social media faux pas on the big day

Everything is magnified when it comes to weddings, and what you post on your various social channels should be even more considered than your regular day-to-day snaps

Whether they're celebrities, royals, colleagues or just some young pair from down the road, many of us can't resist a peek inside a couple's big day.

And it's never been easier either.

If you've missed your neighbour legging it from the front door to the limo in her big white dress, chances are you'll see her after the make up has worn off and the hair's been let down when some mutual acquaintance posts a rather unflattering snap on Facebook later.

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Whether a couple likes it or not - and some don't, if you read THEVOW's recent guide to the 'unplugged wedding' - their wedding day is going to appear in some fashion on social media either on the day itself, or very soon after.

But while one couple is straight up banning phones from their ceremony, another has spent the best part of the last three months coming up with a uniquely pun-tastic personal hashtag, and will be pretty darn peeved if their guests don't use it.

So how does one walk the line in between?

It's a delicate one, but an ill-formed social media post that casts a bride, a groom, or the 'cowboy kisses' wedding theme they worked darn hard to come up with, in a bad light could be detrimental to a friendship - admittedly, depending on how volatile said friendship actually is.

But even if your pals aren't the most turbulent of couples, it's still no harm brushing up on a few wedding/social media rules, so as to ensure you're not struck off the thank you list, before the canap├ęs have even come by.

1. Don't post a picture of the bride trying on her dress

This one is for the bridesmaids. If you attend a fitting, don't get caught up in the excitement and post a pic of your no-doubt beautiful looking friend trying on 'the one' - or any others in fact. Remind the rest of the crew not to do so either (there's always one).

2. Don't post any photos of the bride and bridesmaids - or groom and groomsmen - getting ready on the morning

If you're particularly close to the couple, you may find yourself popping into the room as they get ready to say good luck. Remember to leave your phone in the bag for this one too. Some people can't help themselves scrolling through the 'gram whether it's their wedding day or not (!), and if you do snap a photo, ask if it's okay to pop it online before doing so.

3. Don't live stream the ceremony

In general it's easier to just turn off your phone during a wedding ceremony. Unless the couple have asked you, they probably have a professional capturing photos. If not somebody will. And if you can't help yourself snapping, at least wait til the drinks reception to share your snap (if it's a good one)

4. Don't post any #weddingfails

Photos and videos have a way of running away from people once they're posted online, and if something bad - albeit hilarious - happened during the wedding, chances are it'll be shared by those not even related to the couple. It may even go viral. Consider the content, and how it could be viewed, and ask the couple if it's okay to post before you do. Needless to say if said 'fail' happens to involve a child, you shouldn't post it at all.

5. Be nice

A rule of thumb not just for weddings is to generally be cool when it comes to social media. Choose your words even more carefully than you do when you speak to people, and consider if a photo or video was of yourself if you'd share it with the world (because as we all know, it's not just friends who see your personal content online - no matter how 'private' your profile!) If a couple have asked for phones to be turned off, turn yours off. If someone asks you to take down a snap they don't like, delete it (no matter how gorgeous you looked in it yourself!)