Gone are the days when brides had to wait six weeks before checking out photos of their wedding day. Now, it all can be relived by simply logging into Instagram. That's because personalized wedding hashtags make it easy to view all of the day's photos in one spot. And, they're more than just a trend. "The 2015 wedding season was our first year of having it be incredibly mainstream, where almost every one of our weddings had a personalized hashtag," says Shannon Gail Clemonds, owner and coordinator of Chicago's Shannon Gail Weddings and Events. Scrolling through the feed after the big day gives you a chance to spot new angles of your dress and the fun everyone had. "By having that hashtag, you really can relive things you may have missed," Clemonds says. Here, she shares five tips for creating the perfect wedding hashtag for you and your fiancé.
Tap into Your Network of Creative Minds
Online generators will pump out a hashtag after you type in your names and wedding date. But, it's likely to be generic, like #MrandMrsSmith, etc. Instead, brainstorm with the ones who know you best. "Utilize your own network to get everyone thinking," Clemonds suggests. Start with a Facebook post inviting everyone to share ideas. The creativity from your crew just might surprise you.
"Personalization is huge," Clemonds says. Start by writing down you and your fiancés first and last names and your wedding date. Then, play around with different words. Clemonds says her biggest tip is to embrace alliteration. "Having that repeat in letters and sounds makes it so much catchier," she says.
Make It Memorable
In order for all of the photos to get tagged appropriately, ensure the hashtag is at the tip of guests' fingertips as they're typing their captions. "People will use it if it's really catchy and easy," Clemonds says. For example, a couple that married on July 11 used #ThankHeavenfor711. How's that for easy to remember?
Stay Away from Hard-to-Spell Words
Let's say your fiancé has a long, complicated last name. Your side of the family, who isn't as familiar with the name, will likely have trouble spelling it. You'll end up with tons of misspelled hashtags attached to photos you may never see. Instead, Clemonds suggests, "try a different approach by focusing on first names, the date, or even your wedding location."
Spread the Word
Coming up with the perfect hashtag is only step one. "If you don't make sure people are aware, then it doesn't filter through as well as you had hoped," Clemonds says. Drive it home by printing your hashtag somewhere your guests will see it — like on the bottom of your ceremony programs or on cocktail napkins at the bar. And, once you've settled on your hashtag, don't be afraid to use it. "As soon as you come up with it, you can use it for your own planning, like when you're getting your marriage license or registering," Clemonds says. "You can create a storybook for the whole process."