pic credit: ThinkGeek via Flickr
While social media can be incredibly helpful in planning the perfect wedding (starting with following us on Twitter), it can also be a huge pain in your train when it comes to having a say in what details of your special day make their way to your network.
In the past, the couple had most of the control over what wedding day images were shared with family and friends. These days, however, with Twitter and Facebook sharing such a large part of our day-to-day lives and camera-equipped smartphones in more hands than ever, there's no guaranteeing your wedding won't be live-tweeted unless you integrate a social media policy into your careful planning. You don't have to go so far as to plan a guest smartphone check to put the kibosh on social sharing, but a clear social media policy might help.
Think about it, it's your family and friends we're talking about. If you can't trust them to respect your wishes, why are you inviting them to share in such an important moment in your life?
That being said, as with most things pertaining to your special day, if you have a vision in your head of guests sans smartphones during the ceremony, you're going to have to speak up and let them know you want your wedding to be hands-free. Most people nowadays assume tweeting is allowed unless specifically stated, which means you will want to find a way to communicate your wishes to your family and friends without resorting to investing in a wireless signal scrambler to block all wireless communications. This could be as simple as informally sharing your "no tweeting" policy when discussing your day with friends and family, or, for the truly adamant, trying well-placed signs of Twitter's distinctive blue bird with a red NO slash through it in the guest seating area.
On the other side of the spectrum, some hyper-connected couples might want their day broadcast for all to see (hopefully most draw the line at tweeting each other the "I do"). If this is you, put some thought into a hashtag your guests can use or consider using your social media savvy guests' Twitter handles on place settings instead of their names. Create a Facebook page during the planning process so you can "like" your favorite vendors (say, for example, MyDeejay), provide details to guests without needing to email them individually and easily share your photos in a space separate from your own personal Facebook page.
Regardless of the direction you go, the key is to make sure you are clear on what you want and communicate that to those who will be sharing it with you (and, potentially, the rest of the Internet).
Remember, the times may be changing but this is still supposed to be a special, once-in-a-lifetime day. Don't spend it worrying about whether or not you changed your Facebook status from engaged to married. As Arial Stallings of OffBeat Bride points out, "[I]t can be difficult to find the line between using the tools to effectively organize your wedding and treating your wedding like another Twitter hashtag publicity campaign."
Good point! Do you have a social media vision for your wedding? Do you even care who tweets?