Even in this day and age, sometimes people forget that anything they post on the Internet has the potential to be seen by literally anyone. Once you put something out there, you can never get it back, nor can you completely control who may see it one day. Case in point: a bride in Hong Kong recently posted a Facebook status that went viral and angered a lot of people. Essentially she said that unless guests were willing to contribute a big cash wedding gift that they were not welcome at her wedding. Not only did she undoubtedly offend some of her invited guests, but the post spread like wildfire around the Internet, until a group of 1000 people had banded together with the plan of staging a protest at the wedding. Ladies, unless you want that to be your fate, it pays to mind your ps & qs on the Internet. These social media tips for brides should help keep you out of hot water.
Tip Number One: Only post things about your wedding that you are comfortable with everyone you know – and everyone they know – seeing. Facebook is not the place to post a picture of the wedding gown and bridal jewelry you have chosen, unless you want to have your look be old news by the time you walk down the aisle. Nor is it a good idea to tweet about totally blowing your budget on designer shoes, a stretch limo, and your honeymoon. It is only going to end up with your wedding guests complaining that you should have saved some of that money to spend on the things that matter to them, like a full open bar at the reception!
Tip Number Two: Remember the “social” part of social media. Your Facebook or Twitter feeds are not the same as a personal journal about your wedding (you can start a blog for that, if you have a burning desire to write huge amounts on the topic). Keep your audience in mind, and ask yourself if they would really be interested in what you are about to say before you hit “post”. If you post ten times a day about the minutia of planning your wedding, pretty soon people will stop reading your status updates and might even opt to stop receiving them.
Tip Number Three: Don’t air your dirty laundry in public. Once upon a time, people just knew this rule, but in today’s landscape of reality television and 24/7 social media, it seems to have fallen by the wayside. This really goes back to the first tip, because anything you post on your various feeds can end up filtering back to the person about whom you are speaking. So if you have a problem with your florist, speak to her about it in private, rather than flaming her on the Internet. And if your mother is driving you crazy, pick up the phone and call your best friend to vent. Don’t even send a text about it, because it is risky to put your gripes about other people in writing.
Tip Number Four: Avoid getting caught up in the drama of other brides online. Some of the nastiness that goes around on the chat boards on the wedding website is truly shocking. That kind of stuff can really bring you down, and honestly it is not worth your time to get into debates with strangers; no one ever wins those fights on the Internet. If you want to engage with other brides online, look for more positive forums or ones that are designed for sharing wedding inspiration like Pinterest and Lover.ly. People seem to be infinitely more kind spirited on Pinterest than on some of the wedding chat boards, and Lover.ly is just beautiful images, with virtually no comments at all.
Social media can truly be a blessing or a curse, depending on how you use it. With these tips in mind, you should be able to use social media platforms to enhance your wedding planning, rather than cause turmoil and drama.