It’s as official as an updated Facebook engaged status. Social media is an active participant before, during and after “I do.”
And when it comes to weddings in real time, the numbers are in.
Four in 10 reported that social media use, such as couple-specific hashtags for Twitter and Instagram, was encouraged at wedding events. Seven in 10 reported tweeting while at a wedding and 50 percent admitted to sharing wedding photos via Twitter.
Additionally, one-third of wedding guests reported that they were asked not to bring electronic devices to the ceremony.
Despite which side of the digital fence participants gravitated toward, 65 percent agreed that it was the couple's right to post the first photos to the Web and that permission should be granted before making any personal event-related posts.
The Wall Street Journal's May 9 Getting Married Podcast, hosted by Wall Street Journal Radio's Mathew Passy and Marketwatch’s Kelli Grant, welcomed contributor Rubina Fillion, social media editor for the Wall Street Journal, as they discussed social media's involvement during the wedding day.
The personalized wedding hashtag is trending, and Fillion said this can be one of the most effective ways to collect memories from the blessed day into one centralized location.
But the WSJ's social media-ites offer a word of caution: make big announcements personal rather than viral.
"We raced to call everybody because (my fiance) proposed to me in front of a large group of our friends. We knew that it was a matter of hours before there were pictures online or videos from the proposal and we wanted to make sure that all of our relatives were aware of what was going on," said Grant.
When it comes to announcing any major life event, it's important to tell friends and well-wishers to wait to post information online until all the important parties have been notified personally, Fillion said.
NYmag.com highlights six ways social media has clicked its way into America's vows.
1. Wedding smartphone apps
2. Pinterest boards
3. Vows via smartphones
4. Instagram hashtags
5. Twitter trends
6. Live-streamed proposals
Whatever mode of connectivity the couple chooses, Huffington Post writer Natasha Burton gives tips to avoid being the "annoying couple" who over-zealously broadcasts wedding details in real-time.
"In the age of social media, however, there's a fine line between simply sharing the happy news and thoroughly turning off your 'friends' by broadcasting every last detail of your nuptials, just because you can," Burton wrote on the Huffington Post blog.
Some of her tips include avoiding an excess of bling photos, and nixing the perpetual countdown to marital bliss.
If a couple does decide to utilize the vast world of social media, one thing is certain: moderation in all things.
Emmilie Buchanan is an intern for the Deseret News with Mormon Times. She recently graduated from Brigham Young University-Idaho. Contact her via email: firstname.lastname@example.org or Twitter: @emmiliebuchanan
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