Everything You Need to Know About Wedding Snapchat Geofilters

Your guests will be Snapping all night long.

iPhone on a marble counter top with a wedding photo and geofilter in Snapchat

 Courtesy of OwlFilter

Wedding hashtags are still going strong, but have you thought about using a wedding Snapchat filter to up your social media game for the big day? These graphic overlays add another fun visual element to photo or video Snaps that guests are sure to love.

Snapchat is especially fun to use at weddings because the pics and clips can give an awesomely candid and intimate look at the celebration as it's unfolding. "From the mimosa toast at the start of the day to the sweet images of the bride and groom dancing the night away, you want to capture every special moment," says Alisha Sims of Alisha Sims Photography.

A photo of bride and groom dancing with a wedding Snapchat geofilter overlay
Courtesy of Rebecca Navarre

Why You Should Set up a Snapchat Geofilter for Your Wedding

The on-demand tags are a great way to give your event a more unique, personal touch in the big, bold world of social media. Sims points out that it's also a great way to involve your guests. "People like to feel included in the experience, and Snapchat geofilters make the wedding experience even more personal and involve guests more," she says. Sims calls the feature "custom filter magic!" and enjoys helping couples create something that reflects their personality.

"It's really about listening to what they want," adds designer Rebecca Navarre, who recommends designing geofilters around themes, shared jokes, or the proposal story.

If you're worried about the temporary nature of Snapchat content when it comes to capturing your wedding day, don't fret. Snapchatters can easily save their own Snaps and stories to their Memories, or simply download them to the phone's camera roll and you'll have permanent access.

iPhone on a marble counter top with a wedding photo and geofilter in Snapchat
 Courtesy of OwlFilter

How to Create a Wedding Snapchat Geofilter

When you're deciding how to create the Snapchat wedding filter, you have a few options. You can make the filter yourself on your mobile device or computer, commission an artist to create a bespoke design, or go for somewhere in between buy purchasing a customizable template.

If you're not the most confident in your art skills, can't squeeze the extra time in your wedding planning calendar, or simply want to leave it up to the professionals, you can easily purchase and download a customizable template online or commission an artist for the job. Sims says she's even worked with a bride and groom's custom calligrapher to create a geofilter inspired by the invitations. We love OwlFilter's design pictured above.

How to Create a Filter in the App

When Snapchat initially came out with geofilters, the only option to create was through a desktop computer. Now it's easier than ever to design your personal wedding geofilter straight from your phone through the Snapchat app. Here's how.

  1. Open your Snapchat app on your mobile device.
  2. Tap on your profile in the upper-left corner of the camera screen (this will be your Bitmoji character if you've created one).
  3. On your profile page, tap the settings gear icon in the upper-right corner.
  4. Scroll down to "Filters & Lenses" and tap. This will be about nine options down on the list.
  5. Tap where it says "Get Started!" on the new screen to begin.
  6. To create your wedding geofilter, tap on "Filter." Note that you can also create a custom wedding Snapchat lens to go with the geofilter.
  7. Choose a category from the list of occasions. We recommend "Weddings", "Celebrations", "Bachelor(ette)", and "Start from Scratch".
  8. Tap the filter template you want to start with and customize it with your names, wedding date, stickers, and other text.
  9. When you're happy with your filter, tap the green checkmark in the bottom right corner and set the filter's activation time frame. Before finishing, you'll want to make sure that your design fits within the app's guidelines and community guidelines.
  10. Tap continue and set the location where you want the filter to be available by drawing a Geofence. The price will increase as you select a larger area.
  11. After tapping continue, confirm the details and purchase. You'll have to wait for Snapchat to approve the filter and ask you to confirm the payment, but that only takes a business day or so.

Snapchat recommends you submit geofilters at least 24 hours ahead of time so you have time to make last-minute edits. You can submit a filter to Snapchat up to 180 days in advance.

How to Create a Filter on a Desktop

While less convenient than using the app, Snapchat's desktop studio offers more opportunities for customization. Using your laptop or desktop computer, you can change aspects of the premade template, like font and colors, that isn't an option on the app. This is also where you will upload an outsourced wedding geofilter design.

  1. From the Snapchat website homepage, select "Filters & Lenses" from the navigation bar at the top.
  2. Click on "Get Started" and select "Filters".
  3. On the left side of the workspace, you can choose from the occasion template options or select "Upload Your Own".
  4. Customize with text, fonts, colors, and images. If you're feeling playful, you can even insert your Bitmoji and Friendmoji that illustrates you and your soon-to-be spouse in cartoon form. It's super easy. No Photoshop skills needed. But if you're really photo savvy, you can nix the templates and use your own image editing software to design your own geofilter.
  5. When you're finished customizing, click "Next" in the bottom-right corner and select the date and time your filter will be available and click "Next".
  6. The same way you would in the app, select an area on the map that you want your filter to be available and click "Check Out".
  7. Enter the filter name, your contact information, and payment to purchase. Snapchat will then review the geofilter before approving it.

If you're designing your own filter, be sure to leave enough space for the actual Snap. Snapchat recommends only using the top or bottom 25 percent of the screen.

Pretty easy, right? No need to set aside a big portion of your wedding budget for a fun geofilter either. A customizable geofilter that covers one building for a few hours can be as little as $7.99.

A woman in a pink dress pouring a drink with a wedding filter overlay
Photo by Alisha Sims; Calligraphy by Stanzi Becht

How to Let Your Guests Know About the Filter

Make sure to alert your guests about your wedding Snapchat filter so they can start using it as they dive into the festivities. Add a note to your welcome signs that everyone can see from multiple entry points. Sims also suggests using geofilters throughout the entire experience, including the bridal shower and bachelor and bachelorette parties. "They work for any occasion, and they can be an awesome way to make any party or event more inclusive and fun for the guests, and yourself!" she says.

A person's fingers holding an iPhone with a wedding Snapchat geofilter on the screen
Photo by Rebecca Yale Photography

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