It seems like you can't log into Facebook/Instagram/Snapchat these days without your feed being covered in wedding-related posts. Sharing photos of your engagement, bachelorette party, or wedding day can be a great way to show off your bridal bliss to your community, but does everyone you've ever met really need to know every time you try out a potential wedding-day nail-polish color or get in a fight with your wedding planner? When it comes to wedding-planning posts, at what point does sharing become oversharing, especially before the big day has even happened?
"As a bride, just like with any other milestone life event, you need to stop and think before you post," says Jodi R.R. Smith of Mannersmith Etiquette Consulting, "because there are a number of things that could be potentially hazardous to you and your event as you move forward." How much of the planning process you want to share on the Internet is inevitably a personal decision, but here are five things you should keep in mind about oversharing on social media before the big day.
Consider Who's Seeing Your Posts
Unless you want all 900 of your Facebook friends at your wedding (856 of whom you haven't spoken to since college), you may want to pause before you share certain details. "The second you get engaged, the minute you put it on your feed, everyone who follows you assumes they're close enough to be invited to the wedding," says Smith. "Because they were included in the initial excitement, they now feel they should be included in the event." Save sharing any specifics about the wedding (like the date and location) until you send save-the-dates; that way, only the people who are actually invited will know to show up at the event.
Realize You May Be Offending People
Remember how crappy it felt in high school when you didn't get invited to someone's Sweet 16? Even though you thought you two were close? And then you had to listen to everyone talk about it during lunch? For some of your Facebook and Instagram friends, that's what it will feel like when they realize they didn't make the cut for your big day. "Every time you post something, it's a reminder they're not included," says Smith. To avoid any hurt feelings, Smith suggests using technology to your advantage to create a private Facebook group or text thread so you can easily share any intimate details with your nearest and dearest, and anyone who's not going to be invited won't feel left out.
Maintain a Little Bit of Mystery
As far as things to look forward to on a wedding day go, the big dress/cake/venue reveals are some of the most exciting parts (aside from committing to spend the rest of your lives with someone you love, that is). "If a bride posts everything—every dress fitting, cake tasting, meeting with her wedding planner—there are really no surprises," says Smith. "As a bride, you don't want people to have wedding fatigue by the time they get to your event." Smith suggests posting about the wedding once every other day at most; anything beyond that can be overkill.
Don't Be Negative
It's no secret that wedding planning is stressful, and at times there will be things you'll want to complain about to anyone who will listen, but a social-media page is not the right place to air your grievances. "Getting resources and suggestions [from social media] can be good," says Smith, "but be careful about writing something that's specifically negative, like 'I went to this bakery and that was disgusting.'" There are many, many ways it can backfire on you (like if you end up having to order the "disgusting" cake you posted about for whatever reason), and it will end up sending some pretty major bridezilla vibes out into the community.
Make Sure You and Your Fiancé Are on the Same Page
This advice should go for the entire planning process (and for the relationship as a whole, really), but the two of you should have an honest conversation about how much you want to share in regard to the event so that no one feels uncomfortable. "The guideline is that you default to being more private rather than more public," says Smith. "You can always add additional information at a later date and share more later on, but once info is out there, it's impossible to take it back."