Destination Wedding Etiquette: Social Media Dos & Don’ts

A bride and groom walk barefoot down the aisle on a beach while wedding guests on either side take pictures with their phones.

Let’s talk hashtags and trending topics.

People joke about whether something even happened if it’s not up on Facebook or Instagram, but there’s a real undercurrent of truth to the joke. We’re social creatures in a digital-driven world—the impulse to capture, filter, tweak, hashtag, and post every little experience is strong. That goes double for big events like weddings, especially if that wedding is held somewhere international and gorgeous.

Basically, if you’re a couple planning on getting married abroad, social media is going to play a part in things.

When I was planning my own wedding in Mexico, my first impulse was (thanks to my inner control freak) NO PHONES. This is a private event, I thought. If I wanted other people to see it, I would have invited them!

Meanwhile, the other half of me was thinking, Yeahhh, but I kinda want the world to see how epic this wedding is gonna be… 🎆🎆

If you’re in the middle of planning your own kickass wedding, those little voices are probably arguing in the back of your mind, too.

Let’s face it, people are going to post and tweet and let everyone back home know where they are for the weekend—that’s unavoidable. What you CAN do is lay down some social media ground rules for your guests to make sure that the things being shared are a) things you actually want online and b) organized so you can find them later without having to do a deep dive into anyone’s social feed (because ain’t nobody got time for that).

Societal doom-and-glooming aside, social media is honestly a fantastic resource that will allow you and your guests to create awesome lasting memories of one of the happiest times of your life! Here’s a quick primer on how these top social sites can help you make the most of your big day:



Facebook

Facebook is the most widely-used social site in the world, which makes it the perfect communication hub for your plans. Create a group for your guests and share it with your agent and/or wedding planner to make sure everyone stays in the loop. (Just remember to make your group private, otherwise you’ll be broadcasting your wedding plans to EVERYONE... including Great Aunt Susan, your terrible former boss, and a handful of high school classmates you never talk to but didn’t have the heart to unfriend. 🙅)

Instagram

When it comes to pretty pictures, Instagram is the undisputed queen. Go all out by setting up selfie stations for your guests at the venue (with fun props and backdrops, of course), or post signs on tables reminding everyone of your wedding hashtag and encouraging them to share any pictures they take on Instagram. Once all the excitement is over, you’ll be left with an amazing collection of beautiful, goofy, and heartwarming pics from your favorite people in the world, all tagged for your convenience.

Twitter

While its popularity as a social hangout may be on the decline, Twitter remains an excellent place to engage with businesses and brands. This makes it a useful resource when scoping out wedding vendors, as practically every DJ, florist, and cake shop will have an account —you can get a feel for a vendor’s vibe based on the tone of their tweets and check out any samples of their work that they’ve posted.

Pinterest

You’ve probably already read a bajillion articles praising Pinterest’s usefulness, so I’ll keep this one short ‘n sweet: use Pinterest to browse millions of images and links for wedding inspo and organize your ideas into handy virtual boards. This is the place to really let your imagination go wild!

An older couple walks down the venue steps towards the beach, where wedding guests look at their phones.

Now that you’ve met the players, let’s go over the rules of the game. Social media can be incredibly useful in planning and pulling off a truly fantastic wedding abroad, it just takes a little foresight to make sure all that online sharing is working the way you want it to.

Follow these key pointers to keep things running smoothly on your special day:

Social media dos and don’ts

DO

✔️ Create a cute/funny/memorable hashtag for your wedding that friends and family can use when they post pics or updates. That way, all of your wedding memories can be easily accessed later by searching for your hashtag.

✔️ Make sure to follow all of your vendors’ social media accounts (and share your hashtag with them, if you’d like!). Not only will this keep you in contact during the planning process, but it will also make it easy for them to feature you and your wedding in their posts.

✔️ Hand over your Instagram account (or Facebook, Snapchat, etc.) on your big day. Let a trusted friend or family member manage it during the wedding so you can post updates in real time while still giving the celebration your full attention.

DON’T

❌ Expect your guests to be mind readers. Make it known up front if you’d rather people put their phones away during the ceremony (they’re snapping and streaming out of love, but who wants to look out at a sea of screens instead of faces?), or if you’d like pictures to be restricted to designated areas of the venue/specific times throughout the day.

❌ Let your guests get in the way of the actual photographers. Your friends and family will be excited to snag as many pics of you looking fabulous as possible, but your wedding photographer’s job will be much more difficult if guests are constantly stepping into shots while looking for the perfect angle. Gently remind everyone to be mindful of the professionals you’ve hired (you want your money’s worth, after all!).

❌ Waste your special day worrying about social media. At the end of it all, you want to remember good vibes, good food, and good friends—not brainstorming hashtags, editing pics, or checking to see how many people have liked a post. You’ll have plenty of time to scroll through everything later while you’re relaxing on your honeymoon! You’ve worked hard for this wedding. Be present and enjoy.

Courtnie Nichols

TravelBash, 14260 West Newberry Road #325, Newberry, FL, 32669