Can We Ask Guests Not to Post Pictures from Our Wedding on Social Media?

Etiquette

Whether it's because you want to preserve the intimacy and privacy of your wedding, or that you'd rather look at your guests and see their smiling faces instead of a sea of smartphones, more and more couples are looking for ways to control how their wedding is broadcast on social media sites. Is there a tactful way to do so? Our wedding etiquette experts are here to answer your social-media questions in our daily post.

How can we ask guests not to publish any pictures of our wedding on social-media sites? If that's too strict, can we ask them to refrain from posting until the next day?

Chances are nearly all of your wedding guests will have a smartphone in their purse or pocket, and shy of forcing everyone to check their device at the door (maybe a phone-check station at coat check?), it will be tricky telling guests what they can and cannot do regarding social media. But considerate guests will honor a couple's wishes and there are several ways to communicate this. First, on the wedding web site: In addition to including travel directions and registry information, post your social-media guidelines along with a few words explaining your request. Let guests know when photos are welcome and when they're not, how and when to share photos, and any restrictions on Facebook or Twitter updates. Second, include a brief recap of these instructions in the ceremony program. And lastly, make a quick public announcement: Before the processional begins, ask your officiant to kindly remind folks about the rules.

Controlling guests and their phones at the reception will be more difficult—everyone is going to want to whip our their phone to capture the latest Instagram-worthy shot. But if there are moments that you'd prefer to have sans-smartphone-flashes, perhaps your groomsman or MC can say something like: "Please hold off on photos until they've finished their first dance. Thank you." Thoughtful guests will resist the urge.

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