Much about the wedding landscape has changed since the inception of smartphones, from the way brides try on gowns to how fast ceremony photos get shared (they’re often circulating on Facebook before the union’s even official).
Image via Wilkie Photography
But to keep some traditions in tact, and special moments sacred, wedding expert Jeff Beil, who’s also the CEO of the online cash gift registry Tendr, says it’s imperative to stick to a set of guidelines.
“When you hear the term ‘wedding etiquette,’ usually topics like what to wear, how much to give, and when to RSVP come to mind,” Beil says. “But nowadays, it’s important to keep digital etiquette in mind as well—and there are some mistakes you cannot make—if you want to stay friends with the soon-to-be newlyweds after the wedding.”
So, what to do—er, not, do? Here are Beil’s top five digital don’ts:
Don’t ruin the fun. The bride’s or groom’s festivities before the big “I do” should not be shared across social media channels! Please remember, this is their time to have fun without their friends and family following along at home. Don’t ruin the fun via Snap story or Instagram! Remember: No matter how innocent, what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas!
Don’t spoil the big moment. Everyone loves to see the look on the groom’s face when he sees his blushing bride in her gown for the first time. But if, for some reason, you get a shot of the bride before her soon-to-be hubby sees her and you post it on social media, you completely blew it! This is a no-no. If you do happen to get a shot of the bride before the ceremony, wait to upload your photo until after their nuptials—and don’t forget to use the couple’s designated hashtag when you do!
Don’t use flash photography or any lighting during the ceremony. The only flash during the ceremony should come from the professional photographer’s camera. Even if you feel as though you need to capture the moment during their nuptials, wait until the appropriate time. But if you must take a few quick shots, be sure your sound is off—absolutely no shutter noise or flash!
Don’t e-mail your gift or use PayPal. The last thing we want to do is make life more difficult for the happy couple. We are living in a digital world, where newlyweds can easily register online for cash gifts. As their guests, let’s not make it harder for them by sending gifts via e-mail or make them create a PayPal account. Nowadays, you can give the gift of cash in an elegant way with personalized digital cards and messaging. They will be forever grateful for the gift of convenience.
Don’t let your phone be a distraction. Your loved ones’ big day is not a time to be checking social media, texting, or uploading photos. They invited their friends and family to share in this special day and celebrate with them—so, enjoy the party, live in the moment, and save your uploading and downloading for when you get home!