In 2019, Weddings and the presence of Social Media are so closely linked together, it’s hard to conceive of one without the other.
The journey often starts from the engagement announcement. From here, it’s a free fall down Pinterest, Instagram hashtags, Facebook, YouTube tutorials and a plethora of wedding blogs. With many engagements averaging around 23 months, there is plenty of opportunities to document your own wedding process. The day itself and the following weeks are its own minefield to navigate in regard to Social Media. To begin, there are some clear and not so clear benefits to this union of media and the wedding industry.
One of the more obvious upsides of planning a wedding in 2019 is the readily accessible and relatively instantaneous resources available to the couple. Media giants such as Pinterest and Instagram allow ideas to germinate straight away. More importantly, it means being able to make direct contact with suppliers and services to get some ideas on costs and availability. The side benefit to this is the digital democracy – being able to find reviews for every aspect of your wedding detailing, means that couples can make personally informed decisions easily.
‘Wedding Influencers’ have the industry in a firm grip – giving their followers countless images and ideas of idyllic venues, gowns, florals, photoshoots and food. A lot of these are simply out of reach for the average couple but gets them to pay closer attention to the little details. A lesser recognised benefit of this need for bigger and more personalised weddings is the injection into the independent creative community. All the small artisans such as independent jewellers, florists, photographers, cake makers, calligraphers and many more creative professionals are all reaping the rewards of this increase in demand for unique and highly ‘instagrammable’ weddings.
On the other side of the coin, the ever-present feeling of Social Media can leave many couples burdened with anxiety. 62% of people admit to spending more time on Social Media after announcing their engagement. Whether that’s for research or simple voyeurism, the unhealthy expectations this can create in couples can deeply affect their mental wellbeing.
When every guest has a camera in their pocket, couples often feel the need to perfect and personalise every aspect of their special day, out of anxiety of knowing everyone will see. As a result, the pressure to create the perfect day often leads to a big budget blowout. With many budgets starting at around $15k-$20k, most couples will see this blowing out to anywhere between $25k to $35k – from engagement ring to honeymoon. The financial stress of this alone is enough to make anyone’s head spin!
On the day itself, the etiquette of device usage is a tricky minefield. Many wedding photographers find themselves competing with relatives for the best spot to capture those precious moments, like when the groom first sees their bride. Often guests are jostling to get their own shots with phones, cameras and even iPads. Moreover, too many guests get too ambitious in creating regular updates and Insta stories , often ruining the reveal for the couple themselves. A common feeling expressed by couples these days, is the wish to be more present on the day itself, celebrating all the little milestones along the way, rather than being concerned about what all of it will look like on their Insta profiles for other people to see.
A growing trend in weddings is the ‘unplugged ceremony’ where guests are asked to turn their devices off in order to be present and enjoy the moment. This also means the photographer who’s been hired, can do their job with ease and won’t have to fight their spot in the aisle next to auntie Sue and uncle Bob. Many couples reflect back on it as one of the best decisions made for their day.
But if that is not for you, and your motto of memories is “the more the merrier”, then I am sure you are already thinking of your personalised hashtag for the day as you are reading this. Hashtags are the new age guest book that allows every guest to create everlasting memories of them and the way they have enjoyed being part of ones wedding day.
Place a sign at the entry door and make sure everyone knows to use your personalised wedding hashtag in any photo posted. It will give you a mountain of memories to relive again later!
A common anxiety for couple is of what to post and how often to post in regards to engagement and the wedding. Don’t feel the need to keep other people happy when it comes to how you share your personal journey. You’ll have enough to think about without considering what the wedding will bring to your Social Media platform or how it will be received. It is a special time in your life, take moments with each other to appreciate the little milestones on the journey to the aisle. Weddings are just as personal as they are public affirmation of love.
At the end of the day, be sure to stay true to your journey and don’t let Social Media rule the day.
Want to know more about what people are saying about the relationship between Social Media and the Wedding Industry? Check out these great resources we’ve found: