For some wedding attendees, social media is a great way to enjoy attending a wedding. In fact, finding ways to incorporate social media into weddings is one of the biggest trends of the year. But not all brides and grooms are ready to incorporate hashtags and instagram into their special day. A recent survey from Mashable and the Knot revealed that 31% of survey participants would ban social media at their weddings, following in the tradition of famous couples like Kim Kardashian and Kanye West who chose to spend their wedding day in relative cyber-privacy. Banning social media gives the bride and groom more control over the public perception of the ceremony as well as the information that gets out. Not that weddings are secret events, but a bride may prefer her first public dress photo to come from the wedding photographer, not her instagramming cousin. Some guests may find it a relief to be unplugged for a little while. In fact, guests may be more willing to socialize if they can’t turn to their phones during down time. Other guests feel miffed by what they see as passive-aggressive or controlling signs or invites banning electronics. They also often feel that these requests are unreasonable or egotistical for non-celebrities. Pro-social media groups argue that documenting a wedding is part of the tradition and that special, spontaneous moments can be captured with instagram hashtags and tweets. In fact, an instagram hashtag could really be seen as a free wedding album. There are even services available for social media enthusiasts who want their wedding documented online. For $3,000, couples can hire social media wedding concierges to cultivate a custom hashtag and social media gallery on their big day, a service first introduced by W Hotels in New York City. Even if weddings encourage social media, it’s still considered proper etiquette to follow standard phone rules: no phones during dinner or the ceremony, and no oversharing. Try to capture special moments rather than unflattering, inappropriate or untimely ones and don’t forget to socialize. You won’t have an experience to remember if you’re watching it all through a camera lens.
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