Social media is an ever-present part of our lives these days – even on our wedding day. From Pinterest boards collecting inspiration to ceremony live streams for guests across the globe, weddings have been significantly impacted by the digital space.
One of the most common examples of this influence is wedding hashtags. What started as a way to gather discussions on Twitter in 2007 is now a standard part of wedding planning, on par with wedding favors and color schemes.
“Hashtags are simply the best way to ensure that not only guests, but also the couple themselves, are able to find all of the images taken during their wedding,” explains Chelsea LaFollette, co-owner of Brilliant Event Planning in New York and Boston. “Hashtags allow everyone to quickly and easily find these images the next day or even weeks or months later. New technology also allows the couple to post images tagged with their hashtag on their website or even on screens during the wedding itself.”
Hashtags aren’t just a practical way to collect wedding pictures, though. They also present an opportunity for couples to get creative. “It's yet another extension of a couple's personality, which is why I think people gravitate toward the ‘punny’, personalized hashtag. Like the cake or the flowers or the dress, they want everything to be tailor-made to them,” says Marielle Wakim, founder of Happily Ever Hashtagged, a custom hashtag creation company.
When designing your own hashtag, keep these do’s and don’ts in mind to ensure it’s both fun and effective.
DO Find Your Inspiration
Not sure where to start? Look for ideas in your last or first names, the venue, wedding date or a shared interest. Some of Wakim’s favorites she’s created for clients include #MollyPicksUpTheTempo for Molly Goldbach and Chad Tempo and #JessCaseScenario for Jessica Kennemer and Case McCoy.
If you’re still stuck, try crowdsourcing. “Ask your friends and family for their input. Some of the best ideas will come from unexpected sources!” LaFollette says.
DON’T Make It Cliché
Not only do you want a hashtag that reflects your spirit as a couple, you want it to actually be functional. “Because a hashtag is really a sorting mechanism, the only pitfall I would try to avoid is using one that's been used by hundreds of other couples (like #SmithWedding), because at the end of the day you'll end up sorting through thousands of photos to see the ones your guests posted,” Wakims says.
DO Keep It Short
No one likes longwinded weddings toasts; the same sentiment is true for hashtags. “The key is to keep it short and easy for guests to remember. Fingers can get a bit clumsy as the night (and open bar) goes on!” LaFollette adds.
DON’T Forget to Copyedit
Before putting your hashtag on the save the dates, take a moment to review it for any unfortunate spellings, word combinations or innuendos.
DO Use It Everywhere
The best way to encourage guests to use your hashtag is to keep it top of mind. “Post it everywhere! Put it on your programs, welcome sign, bar signs, menu – everywhere you can fit it in,” LaFollette says.
For maximum impact, think outside the box, Wakims says. “I've seen them projected onto floors. One friend of mine even had hers plastered on the side of a bus!”