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Should you have a social media blackout on your wedding day?

Wedding Planning – 02.05.17


It’s the biggest day of your life; your wedding day. Months of planning, saving and prepping has gone into making your big day the best ever, which you have chosen to share with your closest friends and family. After planning outfits, food, drink, music, speeches and so much more, the next question that the modern age of technology forces the wedding party to ask is: should there be a social media blackout?

There are many reasons for asking guests to not post pictures of your day on social media. Firstly, you’ve spent so much effort, time, and money to make your wedding look spectacular: you’ve spent weeks finding the perfect dress and suit, you’ve picked the colours and the flowers, and agonised over all of the little touches to make the day uniquely yours – only for a guest to try to take a quick snap on their phone at an inopportune moment! You pay a professional photographer so that the pictures of your wedding reflect how truly beautiful it was, a professional who knows how to take a great shot. As well-meaning as guests might be, they’re never going to be able to take as nice a shot on their smart phone, particularly when you aren’t expecting a picture!

Secondly, few people would want their image put out there on the internet without their consent. You wouldn’t be happy if your friend uploaded to Instagram a picture of you mid-mouthful at dinner, or a colleague Snapchatted a shot of you with a furrowed brow, hard at work at your desk, without checking with you first if it was okay to put your image out there onto the web – it feels invasive. So why should it be any different at a wedding?

Finally, once an image is out there on social media, you just don’t know who’s going to see it. If your school friend shares an image of you and your new spouse, it won’t just be going out to all of your mutual friends, it will be going out to all of their friends, and their friends of friends. Many couples want to keep such a special day just for themselves and their guests – not for their guest’s uncle’s ex-dog sitter to have a look at!

However, a social media blackout isn’t for everyone. Some couples actively encourage their guests to take and upload pictures, as it means that they can see images of the big day before the long wait for the photographer’s images to come through. Another reason why a couple may not want a social media ban is that they’re proud of the effort that they’ve put into their wedding, and they’re more than happy for the world to know how great it was! Some are even giving guests a hashtag to use, so that they can easily find all of their guests’ photos.

Another argument for not enforcing a blanket ban on social media is the potential difficulty the couple might encounter when enforcing the rule. Some people may not take kindly to being told what they can and cannot do with their own devices on their own social pages. If it’s a worry that some guests won’t comply, what can be done? If guests can’t be trusted to follow the couple’s wishes, should the wedding party ask all guests to give up their phones for the ceremony and reception, and can retrieve them at the end of the day? This seems a little extreme, and may affect the mood of the day if guests are disgruntled at having to give up what has become a lifeline to many people.

At the end of the day, your wedding is yours, which you are choosing to share with a selection of your nearest and dearest. Couples are completely within their rights to ask guests to keep it intimate and special by not having the day publicly broadcast to the world, and any guests worth inviting should understand and support this privacy. But if social media is something you’re keen to be a part of, make the most of it and encourage your guests to try to take the best photos they can of the day for you all to share and remember!

If you’re looking for more tips to make sure your wedding day is the best it can be, take a look at Planning Your Day and see how we can help you.