Once upon a time, newly engaged couples would announce their big engagement news in the local newspaper. These days, however, most modern brides turn to social media to spread the word. But, before you take to Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat to share your perfectly posed ring selfie, here are a few new etiquette rules you may want to keep in mind.
Tell your nearest and dearest first
Before you announce your engagement to the world on social media tell the people who are closest to you first. For example, your parents, siblings and best friends would probably appreciate being told in person or over the phone, rather than finding out via Facebook and Instagram along with everybody else you know. And, don’t forget your beloved grandparents, who may have no involvement with social media, would definitely appreciate a call or visit to tell them your good news. Once your close family and friends have been informed, then you’ve got the green light to whip out that diamond emoji and #isaidyes hashtag.
Take a moment to let it sink in before you announce the news
You and your partner have just shared an incredibly special moment and it can be nice to let yourselves thoroughly enjoy it before you share it with the world. Take a break from your phones and computer screens to allow yourselves some quality time to enjoy the experience. While it can be tempting to get online straight away and start sharing loved-up selfies, don’t let that prevent you from taking in your special moment, one you’ll, no doubt, want to remember forever.
Share your wedding hashtag
If you plan on having a wedding hashtag it’s best to come up with it before any of your pre-wedding events. This way you can use the hashtag for every occasion such as the engagement, kitchen tea, bridal shower, buck’s and hen’s, and of course the big day. Carefully consider your wedding hashtag and announce it on social media so that your social media savvy guests are aware. If you have also created a Snapchat geofilter then let your guests know. Not only will you have a curated catalogue of images from Day 1 of your wedding preparations, but your guests will enjoy getting involved too.
Check your inbox and notifications
Once you do post the news on social media be prepared for an influx of well wishes and congratulatory responses, all of which you should address. If it’s too difficult to address each response and message personally, then a blanket response thanking everyone for their kind words and wishes may suffice. That said, each of them has cared enough to congratulate you, so it’s always nice to respond, even if it takes you a few days.
Be cautious of your wording
While you may want to tell your family and friends about when and where you’re having your engagement party, bridal shower, Hen’s/Buck’s and wedding, be careful of the way you word the announcement. The last thing you want is your announcement to seem as an open invitation. It can be quite awkward when people start asking you what the dress code is when you weren’t planning on inviting them.
Keep some details private
While you will no doubt want to indulge in the obligatory ‘ring selfie,’ you may want to think twice before sharing particular details about your ring with your social media following. Things like the cost and the number of carats might be OK to share in private with a close friend or family member, but social media is probably not the best avenue to communicate such things.
Apart from possibly being interpreted as a bit of ‘bragging’ by your friends and followers, your fiance’ may not be happy with you sharing such personal information and, there could be safety issues too.
You just don’t know who might see your very public post on Instagram about your shiny, new $20,000 engagement bling. So keep safety in mind.
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Don’t use social media to vent
While your sister-in-law may be driving you crazy and your bridesmaids may be acting more like divas rather than perfectly supportive ladies-in-waiting, social media is not the place to vent your woes. Often venting on social media can have induce inflammatory responses and start all sorts of things that you just don’t need to be a part of, especially when you’re probably already stressed with your wedding planning.
Are you having an engagement photo shoot?
Try to keep such matters and grievances private and offline.
It may be tempting to post every moment of your wedding planning process in detail but, ultimately, how many photos of EVERY. SINGLE. CAKE. FLAVOUR. YOU. TASTED. will your fans be able to handle, even if they are your nearest and dearest.
It’s unlikely they’ll also be interested in a daily countdown photo either, so be judicious in what you post and how often.
It’s fine to share, but try not to overshare. Plus, an element of surprise for your guests can be nice!
Some social media etiquette rules for the guests
- Don’t jump the gun. You know your sibling, best friend or work colleague is about to announce their engagement. You are not the town crier. Let the happy couple be the first to broadcast the news. Putting their information on social media before they announce it is a great way to steal somebody’s thunder.
- Don’t get in the way of the official wedding photographer and videographer on the day. While you may be trying to get the perfect photo to post on Instagram or you’re filming the ceremony for your Snapchat story, it’s best to make sure you don’t get in the way of the paid professional’s as you could hinder what content they capture.
- Don’t post photos before the bride has even reached the altar. While you may be excited to start sharing your photos in real time, remember that the couple may want to release images of their wedding first. It’s best to ask them ahead of the wedding so they can tell you if they would be happy with you posting images during the ceremony.
- Use a private message for a private matter. If you have a query, complaint or question for the bride and/or groom, don’t ask or tell them on social media. Ask them privately.
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