Social media – whether Twitter, Facebook, Google+, Pinterest or another platform — are ubiquitous. And the technology has revolutionized our communications. It’s now easier than ever to stay in touch with each other, and to share information with a few keystrokes.
In fact, that whole tech family has had a huge impact on wedding planning. But how can you use social media to enhance your wedding – and not overwhelm it? Tim Miller, owner of Photography by Tim and Liz Miller, has shot weddings galore, and shares a few insights on the use (and abuse) of social media.
Social media can save hours of traveling and phone calling as you prepare for your big day. “Before social media, it was harder to get first-hand information about reception halls, caterers and other service providers,” Miller says.
But now, you can find online people who have actually used your potential vendors, and get the pros and cons of food quality, service, parking and a myriad of other important details that a website might gloss over.
You can also tweet timely details of your planning progress, keeping your followers in the loop anytime, anywhere. “It can be like having a live, on-the-scene reporter,” he says. In fact, some guests will tweet throughout the wedding day, as a way to share the events in real-time with absent friends and family.
Pinterest can be a source of inspiration for poses, gowns, floral arrangements, china – pretty much anything visual. But Miller reminds future brides that not every vendor will mesh perfectly with your dreams (just imagine a techno DJ at a 50-something wedding reception!). It’s better to determine first what you like and then find someone who can provide it.
But anyone who’s inadvertently killed a couple of hours browsing the web will agree – there are some downsides to this stuff.
“When you hire a professional, you’re also hiring his or her creativity and expertise,” Miller says. “For example, most wedding photographers will capitalize on candid moments, or a distinctive setting.
“Telling the pro to simply recreate what you found on Pinterest, or insisting on a rigid have shot list, means you won’t have a genuine record of your wedding. Giving some direction is okay; just don’t insist on duplication.”
“Think before you post” should be Rule Number One. We all know the tradition: the groom’s first glimpse of your gown occurs on your wedding day. Miller tells of a bride who lost that opportunity when an attendant posted a photo of the gown on Facebook. Guess who else saw it?
It’s easy to get carried away with social media; it’s everywhere, and we use it all the time. But, like many other things, it’s wonderful – in small doses. Too much of it can help make your wedding day less than you expected.