ó Becca Dilley remembers the first time she saw
newlyweds leaning in for the traditional kiss while arms
rose from the sea of guests ó holding iPads aloft to
record the moment. "I have yet not to find it
a wedding photographer, Dilley watches with some concern
as social media are changing a ritual thatís mostly
about the bride and groom to an event that potentially
cedes control to anyone with a smartphone. On a day
planned down to the mints, social media allow for random
acts of mindlessness.
websites and magazines now include tips for dealing with
well-meaning tweeters, stalkerish iPhone sharers, giddy
Facebook posters or irrepressible Instagrammers.
couples embrace technology with gusto, while others
wonder how to keep their vows from going viral. Social
media are the new "plus one" at weddings,
causing couples to consider how to manage the technology
so that friends and relatives donít morph into
Cities wedding planner Alyson Newquist of Bash
Collective became a believer in value-added social media
after her own nuptials. Given the lag time for
professional photos, it was fun for her to see friendsí
photos posted online the next day.
is a level of satisfaction of going on Facebook and
being tagged a hundred times," she said. "What
social media is doing to weddings is extending the
space-time continuum in a way thatís pleasant for many
she added, "Weíre in a sort of no manís land in
terms of social-media etiquette."
retailer Davidís Bridal annually asks brides whatís
on their minds. This year? Social media.
six in 10 newlywed women said itís crucial to have
social-media rules at a wedding. Slightly more than half
say that the bride and groom must be the first to post
wedding photos to a social-media site. And six in 10
brides admit theyíd forbidden bridesmaids from
uploading photos of them in their gowns before the
couples draw a distinction between the solemnity of the
ceremony and the more celebratory reception.
any case, you need to make your wishes known, said Laura
Barclay, an etiquette consultant who owns the
Tampa/Minneapolis Civility & Etiquette Centres.
a notice in the program itself ó not at the top, at
the bottom ó noting that this is an Ďunpluggedí
ceremony, which is the term people are using," she
said. "Or you can have the officiant ask the guests
to silence their electronics."
goes for kids, too. "This should be part of their
development, to understand proper behavior at
weddings," Barclay said.
options include posting a sign as people enter the
wedding venue, asking them to refrain from using
electronics. Or place a framed notice at the guest book
with a similar message. (But donít do both, Barclay
said, or youíre veering toward Bridezilla territory.)
Newquist nixed a tip about having a basket where people
can drop their phones. Sounds simple, but it could
boomerang if guests think the couple have "an
elevated sense of self-importance, which isnít very
champions a light touch. "Humor is a great way to
convey what you want communicated at a wedding."
For example, riff on the turnoff reminders before movies
or on airplanes. One wedding site noted a minister who
joked that there was "a quiet room in the back for
excited children and people busy with cellphones."
said guests using social media during the ceremony can
keep them from truly experiencing a moment to which the
couple has given a lot of thought. "I would
question why youíre taking photos instead of really
being there," she said.
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Mindy Gallimore married Ryan Murray in August, friends
created a hashtag handle, #murramore, for their tweeting
and photo-sharing. No one considered it cutting-edge,
both work in advertising and marketing, and a lot of
friends do, as well," she said. "Most of them
are very attuned to social media. Itís not just part
of our social lives, but our professional lives."
media undeniably make weddings more public, she said,
but also more distinctive. Last summer, she and Ryan
attended a raft of weddings that, face it, could have
blurred together. But each had a Twitter handle, which
gave guests a way to participate to a greater extent
than clinking champagne flutes.
said their officiant asked guests to turn off any
devices during the ceremony, although she hadnít
specifically requested that. "Iíd seen at other
weddings that it wasnít a concern, that everyone knew
to put their phones away."
did the St. Louis Park, Minn., couple field any arched
eyebrows from older family members at all the tweeting.
"Theyíre so used to us having our phones out all
immediacy of Instagrams was fun, she said, because the
photos showed more candid moments. "But nothing
will ever replace professional photos," she said.
"Itís nice to see the Facebook posts, but they
donít really compare."
is here to stay. The popular wedding website
www.theknot.com suggests that if the bride struggles
with not updating her status on the hour, she designate
a Tweeter of Honor.
sites let guests download photos at the reception to a
designated wedding album. Couples can livestream their
wedding to friends or relatives unable to attend,
whether itís at a Fijian beach or a Burnsville church.
Dilley has been to several where an elderly relative has
been able to observe the ceremony or the toasts
distantly via Skype, "which is actually very lovely
when done well."
are even couples who take time at the altar to change
their Facebook status from "engaged" to
may send Aunt Frances into a tizzy, but then she may
have driven Grandma Hortense into a tizzy by dancing the
twist at hers.
mean, old etiquette books used to say to never mention
that your parents are divorced," Dilley said.
"Itís always evolving."