Though you might look back on the throwback photos of your parents’ wedding to inspire fodder for your own upcoming nuptials, there’s definitely been a shift in weddings since your folks tied the knot. Since Instagram—or ahem, iPhones—weren’t a thing all those years ago, your ma and pa likely never had to spend time brainstorming their wedding hashtag. Finalizing all of the countless details for your big day brings the work of an additional full-time job, but deciding what social media presence you’ll encourage guests to participate in might be the toughest deadline of all.
If you and your soon-to-be spouse (who always remembers to double tap all of your posts because #inlove) are struggling to decide how to hashtag your ceremony, take the advice from couples who managed to nail it.
Your first inclination might not be your best
Before Arielle Katz’ then-boyfriend, now-husband, Ryan Alexander proposed, she was already daydreaming about her wedding hashtag. Since she had been to countless weddings before her own, she was accustomed to seeing the #’s-for-two trend on her feed and she knew she wanted to have an unique sentiment for their joint step toward marriage together. “There are some pretty awesome ones out there, and I wanted ours to be just as original and punny,” she explains. They started with #RyangotmARled, a concoction of their two first names, but instead of jumping at the first stroke of genius, she thought of the practicality of the hashtag, a piece of advice she’d give to all couples. Since typing it in gave people the opportunity to misspell, or rather, spell ‘married’ the right way, she wouldn’t be able to stroll through their posts with the incorrect hashtag.
Be mindful—and selective—about what you pick as the official tag for your wedding and also, consider your audience, Arielle says. Though your bridesmaids and your best friends could probably figure out the accurate way to thumb in your hashtag, what about your great aunt who just discovered ‘The Facebook?’
Get an outsider’s perspective
When Ellie Mannix and Juan Lamonaca decided to go from happily in love to happily married, they wanted a record of the candid, funny images their friends took at their wedding. To make it easy, a wedding hashtag seemed like the best solution. The easiest one? Nope, Ellie says. She was too determined to use both of their last names, but found herself coming up blank until a friend came to the rescue. It wasn’t the first time this pal helped out too, as Ellie notes, “She’s known for her wittiness and wordsmith abilities, came up with the hashtag on the spot. She's also the creative mind behind several other couples' hashtags so it's no surprise that she was able to craft something so witty, relevant and inclusive of both our names.”
Set to marry in January 2018, Ellie wouldn’t have found ‘the Juan’ hashtag—#EllieFoundtheJuan—without an outsider’s perspective. That’s why she says to always get a second (or third) opinion from a trusted confidant who won’t spill the beans. Specifically, not someone who is in the wedding party, but is completely removed apart from being a guest. “Sometimes when you're too involved, you overthink the process," she says. "My sisters and I had been trying to think of a hashtag for months and it was ironically a fairly new friend that thought of the perfect tag within minutes of asking her."
Make a list of meaningful things
Not a writer? Or interested in a career in social media? Without a marketing-centric focus, you and your partner may struggle to develop the creativity needed to come up with your hashtag. That’s why Arielle suggests a fun brainstorming session with your partner to think about what defines your relationship, what’s brought you together and what meaningful moments you value together. “It's hard to come up with one that you love! Keep brainstorming and playing around with variations of your name, places you met, things that mean something to you—it'll happen,” she adds.
Don’t shy away from something simple
In the end, Arielle and Ryan went with #RyanLoveKatz, which holds a double-meaning for everyone who knows these newlyweds, who became Mr. and Mrs. in July. In addition to being Arielle’s last name, ‘Katz’ is also a tribute to one of Ryan’s favorite things. “My now husband is an insane crazy cat person, whose love of cats has also rubbed off on me,” Arielle explains. Though you might want to think outside of the box and truly make your hashtag one-of-a-kind, sometimes the simple route can mean more—and make it easier for guests to remember when they capture an epic shot of you walking down the aisle, beginning your long life of marriage together.