More internet savvy brides and grooms are using wedding hashtags on popular social media websites to share details about their wedding and special photos and announcements. Should you use a wedding hashtag? Find out now with the Director of Social Media at the Essex Room.
Norman Lemcke: Thank you, John.
Incorporating Social Media into Your Wedding
John: Social media is a big part of people’s lives now and weddings are certainly no exception. What are some ways that brides and grooms are incorporating social media into their wedding day?
Norman: Well, social media really is almost the main way of giving information [and] for brides and grooms to disseminate information regarding their wedding, starting from their engagement through their wedding day, even past that through their honeymoon.
John: Social media has almost taken the place of email now, in terms of getting the word out there to your friends.
Norman: Absolutely. You have to remember that with the internet and with social media, the world is a very small place. You can reach a lot of people with just one post on Instagram or Twitter or Facebook post. There are some brides who are actually using that as a way to announce their wedding; like the “save the date” or “engaged” or something.
Choosing Wedding Hashtags
John: All right. Regarding hashtags, do a bride and the groom pick a hashtag for their guests to use ahead of time or do they leave it up to their guests to find something appropriate?
Norman: They definitely do not leave it up to the guests because you just never know what the guests will come up with. It’s pretty common for a couple to design their own or create their own. They can be pretty funny, they can be based on a joke; [and] they’re hard to actually create.
Tips for Creating Good Wedding Hashtags
John: What are some tips then maybe for creating a good hashtag?
Norman: I would say think about each other. For example, we had a couple who got married last season. His last name was Backson and their hashtag was #allbacksandnobody, which is clever. You play on the names. We also had one where the groom’s last name was Salts and their hashtag was #justaddsalt.
Norman: It’s clever. One of our colleagues, her daughter got married and her married name is Aiello so she used #youhadmeataiello. You can be funny. You can use really anything; inside jokes, you can use just simple #mrandmrsjoesmith. But there are actually some really cool sites you can go to that help generate a hashtag. A lot of people just get bogged down. It’s a daunting task when you ask brides and like, “So do you have a hashtag yet for your wedding?” And they just look at you wide-eyed and say, “Yes, we’ll get one.” And some of them just can’t do it and this is actually a good way to make sure that there aren’t any more of the same hashtag being used anywhere else.
John: If your name doesn’t obviously lend itself to a little pun or something like that, you could use one of these hashtag generators for your wedding.
Norman: They’re all different though. Some ask for your last names and first names and interests and stuff like that. You can rhyme something, use your name to rhyme or you can just pull something out of the blue. We had a couple who actually use their dog’s name.
John: Oh, well.
Norman: They couldn’t come up with anything else and so they used their dogs’ name, which was fun.
John: You can obviously put the date of your wedding on there. That would be a good way to make it so that if you’re just Jack and Jill or something like that and there’s lots of those maybe putting the date would make it unique for you.
Norman: You can’t use symbols and you can’t use the slash but you can do the year or you can do #cindyandtimmarchtwo or something like that.
How to Spread the Word About Your Wedding Hashtag
John: What are some fun ways that brides and grooms can let people know about the hashtag that they’ve created or chosen?
Norman: Well, this is actually interesting because it’s taken on a life of its own. There are all sorts of creative ways people can do it. A hashtag tray, which is like coasters that they can use for drinks, there’s the insta-card which is basically a business card that they just hand out to have their hashtag on it says, “Please share your photos with us using the hashtag.”
John: Could you maybe put one of those at each plate setting or something like that or maybe strategically, place it on the plates or something?
Norman: Sure. What we usually do at the Essex Room is we put their hashtag in a gold frame in various locations so people can see it. I also like the chalkboard; they’ll do a big chalkboard in a foyer as people walk in. People also do cake toppers, I saw.
John: Right on top of their cake there’s this wedding hashtag.
Norman: Yes, which is interesting because people are very creative with cake toppers now.
John: All right, not just a little plastic bridegroom anymore.
Norman: You can do stirrers for your drinks, so when people go to the bar they get a stirrer and it’ll say what their hashtag is. It’s a forced audience because everyone’s going to go to the bar, so everyone’s going to get a stirrer.
Wedding Hashtags on Pinterest
John: What would be a good way to find some ideas, maybe go to Pinterest or something like that? Have you seen any Pinterest boards with wedding hashtag ideas?
Norman: I am not a big Pinterest user personally. Brides go there for ideas on décor, on themes and so forth. I would suggest if you have no time or it’s just too overwhelming to think of a funny hashtag because there’s a lot of pressure on these couples to come up with, oh it’s so cute or it’s so funny. I would suggest just going to one of the hashtag generator sites that they have on wedding and almost every wedding site has them.
John: And they probably have ideas too on how you can let your guests know.
Norman: Yes. A lot of times they’re putting their hashtags on their invitation.
John: Right on the invitation. Some traditionalists might not like that.
Norman: Yes. But that’s just the way the world is now and you want to start it [as soon as possible]. I always ask brides to give me their hashtags as soon as possible, so when I start posting about their wedding or if they share photos, I can hashtag them and so it just gets the journey going. We really like to share the journey with brides from basically the food tasting up until the wedding day.
How Guests Use Wedding Hashtags
John: That leads into my next question which was, on the day of the wedding how do the guests actually use the hashtag? What happens next? Is it just obvious to everybody who uses social media that if there’s a hashtag that means I put the hashtag in my Facebook post, or put it on Instagram, things like that?
Norman: It’s obvious to a certain generation. The older generation doesn’t use hashtags, since they’re not necessarily on Instagram, they’re on Facebook.
John: If you don’t know what it is, you’re probably not going to download Twitter on your phone that day and just figure it out.
Norman: Granny is not going to have her smartphone out taking pictures all the time and wanting to hashtag. It’s primarily just a generational thing. Then they can use it throughout the year. Pictures don’t disappear, they’re in the cloud. You use it and I can look up a hashtag from a past wedding and it’ll come up.
John: That’s great. All right, that’s really great information, Norman. Thanks again for speaking with me today.
Norman: Thank you for having me.
John: And for more information, you can visit the Essex Room website at essexroom.com or call 978-768-7335.