Tech Etiquette: New Rules for the Modern Bride

Up-to-the-nanosecond tips from esteemed etiquette experts Anna and Lizzie Post.

As wonderfully convenient as they may be for both planning and experiencing weddings, Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram and the like also bring their own unique etiquette challenges when it comes to tying the knot. Here, some of the new ground rules to consider.

bride and groom taking selfie Image-Searching and Planning Sites

Pinterest and Loverly are a fantastic way to save, source, organize and share wedding images and DIY projects. Pin to your heart’s content, but keep a few things in mind.

1. Avoid overload
Limit the ability for these sites to automatically post to other social media sites such as Facebook. Otherwise your Facebook friends may suffer from serious wedding fatigue before they even receive your invitations (and your friend list is likely big enough that many of them won’t even be on the guest list). Plus, find out what you should (and shouldn't!) post about your wedding on social media ►

2. Share and share alike
Pinning sites are all about sharing, so don’t be surprised — or upset — if a friend pins your looks or even orders the same bridesmaids’ dresses or wedding shoes you pinned. Just remember that imitation is the sincerest form of flattery.

Mobile Manners

Smartphones are ubiquitous and while it’s unlikely you can prevent guests from bringing them, you can set some guidelines for how and when they use them. 

3. A device-free ceremony
There are a few simple ways to remind guests that it’s time to power down their devices. You might post a "please turn off all mobile devices" sign at the entry or by the guest book. If you are providing programs, you can add it there — most guests read the program cover to cover while they wait. Or you can ask one of the groomsmen to make an announcement just before the couple’s parents are seated and the ceremony begins. Why you might want to consider having an unplugged wedding ►

4. Photos at the ceremony
Many guests will want to take pictures of their own during the ceremony. Whether it’s because the couple would like to see their guests directly, without a camera phone hiding their faces, or because they would prefer not to have photos of the ceremony (which many feel is private), uploaded to the Internet, it’s fair to ask guests to put away their smartphones (something all good guests should do, but that isn’t always the case). Follow this up with a reminder before the processional begins.

5. Smartphones at the reception
You could ask that guests refrain from using their phones at the reception, too, but it’s less likely they’ll comply. Once guests are at the reception, it’s virtually guaranteed they will check their phones. They’ll also take and post pictures of you, of their friends, of key moments like the cake cutting or toast and even of the food. Since there’s no way you can police this, think of it as extra photo service and ask guests to share images while you’re waiting for the formal ones from your photographer.

Insider tips from Bridal Guide’s senior web producer, Stefania Sainato:

6. Assign an Instagram hashtag to your big day
Mine was #stefandjasonwed, and I displayed a beautiful calligraphed sign at my reception entrance encouraging guests to post their best moments throughout the evening. My husband and I had a blast scoping out their snapshots while we were on our honeymoon in Hawaii, and it held us over until we received our proofs from the photographer. In retrospect, I would have included the hashtag on other signage (i.e. drink stirrers, the ceremony program basket) as well.

7. Connect with long-distance loved ones
My maid of honor, Sonia, lives in Milan, so she couldn’t attend all of the festivities leading up to my wedding. Not wanting her to miss out on this special time in my life, I used my iPad’s FaceTime feature to video chat with her during my bridesmaid luncheon! My ‘maids and I were so ecstatic to have her join us from overseas that we even took a group photo holding the iPad to commemorate the occasion.

8. Create collaborative Pinterest boards devoted to specific tasks
I made boards for topics such as finding the perfect MOB dress or throwing my best friend’s bridal shower. This greatly cut down on back-and-forth emails and by storing everything in one place, we were able to pull up our inspiration during vendor meetings and brainstorming sessions. I would recommend keeping your general inspiration board private, though, in order to avoid any copycats!

Photo Credit: Sweet Little Photography