Social media really bytes.

*snare drum*

Anyway. You know how I’m an old person? Because when BM B – a young whippersnapper who is hip and with it – told me that I should get an app or use a special hashtag for the wedding, my eyes rolled so hard they were practically stuck in the back of my head. I mean, what’s the point, right?

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(Me, via Funny or Die)

Social media is constantly evolving. I’m no troglodyte; I have more than enough of an Internet presence between Facebook, Twitter, and blogging here on the ‘Bee. But I definitely feel like things are changing faster than I can keep up.

Mrs. Mink, Mrs. Otter, and Mrs. Lemur all discussed the pros and cons of having an unplugged wedding, and I don’t think I can say it any better than they can. But I came to the same conclusion as Mrs. Lemur – an unplugged wedding isn’t for us. Why?

At the end of the day, I’m really uncomfortable with the idea of telling my guests what to do. My guests are giving up their weekend, traveling a long way, spending money on hotel rooms – who am I to tell them to put their cell phones and cameras away? If they want to take pictures, who am I to tell them no? And sure, I could ask people not to take pictures, but what do I do when someone does it anyway? Stop the ceremony, take their phone away, and kick them out? Yeah, right – and then I’ll tell them to pick up their phone at the end of the day in the principal’s office, because I morphed into one of my high school teachers.

Besides, I do want my guests to take pictures. I’m going to have to wait a good long while for my professional photos, and in the meantime, it would be nice to have photos from my family and friends to tide me over. Not to mention thatI can’t be everywhere at once, and it would be awesome to see the wedding from other people’s perspectives.

As far as the concern about guests getting in my photographer’s way, I’m not worried. Aleks is a pro; my wedding isn’t his first rodeo, and I’m sure he’ll be able to get where he needs to be to capture the photos he wants to take. Likewise, I’m reasonably confident that my guests aren’t going to start throwing ‘bows and jumping in each other’s way at the sight of a poofy white dress.

And my ceremony is going to be short and sweet. I’m not going to quibble with everyone over what’s ultimately fifteen minutes of my life, you know? Granted, it’s a really important and exciting and wonderful fifteen minutes – but that’s why people might want to take pictures of it! Which brings me back to my first point; if people want to take pictures or videos and share them on Facebook and Twitter and Instagram and whatever else is out there, who am I to say no?

So that said, Stallion and I are actually encouraging our guests to take plenty of photos both at the ceremony and reception. We – or, really B, because this was all her idea – set up an account on Wedding Party so that at the wedding or any pre-wedding parties (well, maybe not the bachelorette), guests can download the app, find our wedding, and upload their photos. Plus, I can upload information to share with everyone such as event dates, times, and locations so guests know where they need to be and when. B was at a wedding last year where the bride and groom used this app, and she swears it went over really well. I like the clean, simple interface and how the photos are displayed chronologically, so it literally recaps the night for you. Convenient, right? Instead of recapping my wedding for you all, I’ll just link you to the Wedding Party photo stream and call it a day. Just kidding.

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(Screencap of the Wedding Party interface, via Huffington Post)

All that said, it’s easy to go to the other extreme; I’m not going to insist that NOBODY take ANY pictures at all, but I don’t want to look like I’m demanding that EVERYBODY BETTER USE MY APP OR ELSE!!!!!111 So all we’re doing is putting a blurb on the wedding website (dead simple since Wedding Party partners with My Wedding, where we’re hosting the site) and making a little sign to put next to the program basket at the ceremony. No one has to use it, but it’s available for anyone who wants to. I figure if people are going to be taking pictures and sharing them online anyway, I can at least ask them to do me a solid and upload them to Wedding Party so I/anyone else who wants to can see everything in one place.

If people use the app, that’s great, and if not, that’s fine too – it’s not like setting it up cost me any time, money, or dignity. I’m genuinely curious to see how it works out, since I’ve never seen it in action before.

What’s your stance on social media at weddings? Did you take any measures to encourage/discourage guests taking and sharing photos?

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