Wedding Planning 101
Here's a great last-minute checklist to go through to set your mind at ease.Read More
You’ve likely seen some fabulously clever and sweet hashtags at weddings you’ve attended, and of course in all of those Pinterest pins and Insta posts. They’re a great way to make sure that you and your guests see all of the wonderful photos taken during your big day, including moments you may have missed while you were getting ready or doing your first-look photos. Photos tagged by your guests become part of your own treasured collection, and your wedding vendors can also hashtag photos they take on your big day.
“I often take a few photos from my phone during a wedding, and post them with the couple’s hashtag,” says photographer Chelo Keys of Chelo Keys Photography in Glen Ridge. This way you even get the “eye” of your wedding pros capturing amazing details and moments from your celebration. And in addition to being a smart functional tool to organize so many wedding celebration pics, your chosen hashtag can add a fun touch of your personality to the day.
“I love hashtags because I love to see how the wedding was after I left,” says makeup artist Sarah Muñoz of Sarah Jeanne Makeup Artistry in Roselle Park. This also applies to early-departing guests who may have left your wedding before the last song played. And guests who couldn’t attend your wedding can search your hashtag to see pictures from the day. From cute twists on your name such as #HappilyEverHenderson to a nod to your location with #EmilyandJonTakeCapeMay, you get the fun and creativity of authoring your own wedding hashtag. It’s a task that couples love working on, and that guests love to see when they arrive.
Creating your hashtag. There are many hashtag generator sites that couples can use to create something custom, that ask for your wedding details and your nicknames—and even our Facebook group has some hashtag pros if you’re stuck! You can kickstart your hashtag creativity with a common wedding saying, like “Eat, Drink and Be Married.” Look to wedding signs on Pinterest to inspire you—and replace a word with your married name, such as #EatDrinkandBeMarinelli. Or think about what you want the biggest experience to be at your wedding, like #DanceAllNightWiththeDanielsons. If you’d rather not tweak a saying, preferring to keep it classic, #DanielleandRob2023 will work just fine. Other fun hashtags include #SmithPartyof2 and #MeetTheBrowns. How to display your hashtag. The whole point of having a hashtag is for everyone to share your pictures, so you’ll want to display it proudly. A great sign is a must at your ceremony’s entrance and throughout your cocktail party and reception to make it easy for guests to see. A pretty chalkboard, mirror, glass or framed signs with large fonts as a way to jazz up your hashtag signage. “Cute custom signs that match your wedding décor are great,” adds Jenny Orsini of Jenny Orsini Events in Berkeley Heights. “Surround the signs with flowers and candles. And display them in popular areas all night, such as bars, bathrooms and on dinner tables. But why stop there? Include your wedding hashtag on your menus, programs and favor tags. Guests need to remember it, and reminders throughout the night will help ensure they post pics and can find others easily.” Your wedding hashtag can also be projected onto the floors and walls of your reception venue using specialty lighting, and also on the backs of placecards. At some weddings, the hashtag is carved into an ice sculpture, or lit on the front of the band’s stage. What to do with hashtagged photos. “There are a number of free and paid apps that let you display hashtagged photos of your day during your wedding celebration,” says Keys. These include Eventstagram and InstaFeed Live. “And your wedding deejay may be able to offer this slideshow service in their entertainment package.” With these apps, your guests’ and pros’ wedding photos can flash on a screen at your reception, creating an instant feed. But we suggest thinking twice about offering this footage to your guests, or at least positioning the screen in a foyer or separate room away from the dance floor. You want to live in the moment and not create too many distractions to take your guests away from the events of your big day.
When to not use hashtags. While it’s fun to have images from all your guests, you may not want to have ALL of those cell phones and iPads pointed directly at you as you make your way down the aisle. It creates a distraction for your guests, an eyesore in your ceremony pictures and an impediment for your professional photographer as he tries to get those must-have spontaneous images while maneuvering his way through the sea of smartphones.
“People should save hashtagging photos for the party, and not try to be Instagram ninjas during the ceremony,” agrees Keys. A sign asking guests to put their cameras away during the ceremony is not only okay etiquette-wise, but is fully endorsed by us at New Jersey Bride and other experts in the bridal industry. And if you don’t want those Instagram ninjas taking photos at your reception either, you can even display a sign asking guests to kindly unplug and stow their phones away for the night.
And if you’re somewhere in the middle, wanting your guests’ images but concerned about privacy—perhaps not wanting to make it easy for an ex to see every moment of your wedding—don’t use a hashtag that includes your full names. Some couples even skip wedding hashtags altogether, to avoid winding up with a deluge of photos that obscures the truly great ones. Do you really need 100 photos of a cousin and her date at your wedding?