1. Wherever and however you exchange vows, it is probably the most important moment in your life (thus far) and phones should be put away, just out of respect for the importance of the moment. Unless of course, it is your wish that there is a ceremonial internet montage of the exchange. Your guests should know where you stand before they arrive at the ceremony. “Unplugging” is becoming quite common, at ceremonies and on vacations and social gatherings in general. A little note in the program or a whisper from an usher may help remind guests that day as well.
2. The ceremony may just be a different story. It is a celebration, a party, and you may want it captured by people and collected on social media channels for the post party viewing on your honeymoon in Bora Bora, relaxing with a cocktail in hand. That is again up to you, and guests should know what is expected ahead of time. A simple and friendly reminder by uncle John to your guests, between the ceremony and cocktail hour would be an added reminder. Some people are private and some are social creatures. Decide beforehand and set the tone, so you are not distracted by cellphone drama during your celebration. That is not what you want to remember about your wedding.
3. If you are not a celebrity, confiscating phones is just bad taste. You may have a serious control issue and it may be time to get that in check before walking down the aisle into married bliss. Your friends are grown ups and their phones are not your property. Let’s believe that they have your back, if you are inviting them to the blissful occasion in the first place.
4. Be specific about what you will expect from your guests. No texting, no photos posted, no Facebook during your day–Let them know what your wishes are, but try to refrain from focusing and correcting people during the day. Also, if you wish that your pictures and videos be posted to a specific site or use a hashtag, you can let them know what the instructions are for that. Consider printing them on the program in small print at the back as well.
5. The bride and groom should really refrain from cell usage at their wedding. Do you really want to be caught in photos all day of you engaging with your phone and not the people at your wedding? That is just selfish and bad taste. Set the example and respect the time people took to come celebrate with you. Leave the selfies to the guests.
It is the age of social media. We can’t get away from it. Millenials are the in the cue and no matter what business you are in considering new social norms is just par for the course. Modifying practices at solemn occasions is just good common sense. There are some traditions that should be upheld, no matter how modern of a couple you are. We all have different levels of what those expectations should be, so communicating them is especially important. If Aunt Milly has too many martinis and starts singing “All You Need Is Love”, it may be in everyone’s best interest that she is not exploited all over the net. However, she may just want to be the next viral sensation. Respecting everyone’s privacy is just a good idea.
The Knot recommends a wide range of best practices from sending out traditional invitations (a must do) to a designated Tweeter, which seems a little over the top, but YOU be the judge! You can see their list here.
If you are a little bit more tech savvy, Mashable offers some other options (and some differing opinions) that are trending, like photo sites, private Pinterest boards for sharing inspiration and using Google Map to mark wedding locations for your guests. Check Mashable, to see if any of those ideas are right for you. Again, it is your wedding.