The Social Media has become second nature to majority of us and hardly a day passes when we manage to stay away from it. In such a scenario when even the most trivial moments of our lives make a presence on digital platforms like Facebook, WhatsApp and You Tube, how could an important and buoyant event like a Wedding Ceremony remain unaffected by their strong influence. Now-a-days a lot of pre and post wedding communication, photo and video sharing, thanksgiving and affectionate gestures flow-in and out Online. Not to be forgotten, the informal approach of the guests and relatives in India which may not let them care much ‘bout your privacy concerns or likings before posting anything in the cyber space. Keeping in mind all the pros and cons of Social Media it is wise to carry a proper strategy for managing the Social Media in Indian Weddings beforehand.
A smart social media plan for Wedding can not only allow you to save time, money and effectively communicate with your audience avoiding any unwanted digital mishaps but can also help in showcasing and branding the event online if desired, adding extra-fun to the gleaming Indian Weddings.
Online Wedding Invitations
Wedding announcements and invitations have become much easier. Also the e-vites are more creative, eco- friendly and low budget as one saves on so much paper and the hassles of deciding on the traditional card pattern and design. You can even send a creatively made YouTube invite of your video announcing your wedding personally.
The guests can also confirm their availability and attendance online itself making it easier for the wedding organizer to co-ordinate things accordingly.
Building Memories Online
Just a few years back one had to wait for days for the wedding pictures to get processed and printed but today with the digital camera the pictures can be clicked and uploaded instantly. The digital pictures can be artistically enhanced and uploaded on Facebook, Instagram, and Flickr etc.
The best moments of the wedding ceremony can be shared live through Ustream, LiveVows, webcastmywedding.net etc. for those special friends and relatives who stay abroad or for some reason can not attend the wedding.
A shared Flickr account can be set up for all the guests to upload and share the wedding pictures there and then. An online photo sharing website program like iRave where your guests can send their photos, allows you to manage who can view them and even approve them before they go online.
Branding your Wedding Online
Most of the social media platforms including Twitter, Facebook, Flickr and Google Plus nowadays have a provision of hash tagging (#) that allows users to post all the updates related to a particular topic.
You can make a specific hash tag regarding your wedding and request all your friends and family, attending the wedding to post pictures or comments using it, making it easy for everybody to search and access all the updates related to the events. Just make sure that the hash tag is unique and catchy so that your event postings do not jumble up with others’.
The number of likes, follows, shares, and comments received on your posts from your known and unknowns will certainly excite you later on. You may also seek the services of a professional Social Media Expert for Weddings in case you are willing to publicize your event at a wider level.
Better Engagement of Guests
The wedding attendees can be introduced to each other online before the wedding itself, allowing them to know each other well and enjoy the wedding when they personally meet them in the ceremony.
The guests can interact and post comments on walls, see who all are invited to the party and plan their own move for the wedding day accordingly. This can be done better by creating a pre-party page (groups) on Facebook or WhatsApp so that only the invitees can chat and discuss.
Also, a friend or a young close relative can be requested to become the official tweeter to update the other guests about the proceedings of the events.
Searching the Best Wedding Planners and Service Providers
Social media helps you with your pre-wedding preparations such as researching, comparing, contacting and booking the vendors for catering, wedding venues, décor, music, transportation services etc. The type and quality of work done by them can be authenticated through their postings online. This way you can access genuine and best wedding planning services.
Netiquettes to Watch
While social media is an open space to present oneself freely and openly, one must follow certain etiquettes while using it for a good public image.
Despite the convenience of sending e-vites to your guests get a few printed cards for those special relatives who might feel left out and offended by the casual online invitation. Care should be taken to give them the cards and invite them personally. Also inform your friends and family members about the engagement and wedding dates before posting them on the social media to avoid hurting their feelings. The thank you cards should be all hand written and personal. Don’t use social media for thanking the guests.
If you don’t want your guests to post any of your pictures in the social media then you should mention it in the wedding program. Placards or Small Boards with humble messages of not to click images without permission could be placed at suitable places at the wedding venue. However, the guests should not be restrained from clicking and uploading their own pictures from the event.
The guests and the vendors should also respect the privacy of hosts and individuals around and should take utmost care while posting anything about wedding ceremony on the social media.
Few Words of Caution
Marriages are a transition from carefree single-hood to a responsible family life. Especially in a gradually evolving yet conservative society of ours a few precautionary measures for using Social Medium during this transition are advised.
A quick going through the friend’s lists on your FB, Whatsapp, Google and Yahoo accounts and getting rid of the unwanted ones, prior to the wedding would be wise. Absurd old messages and posts should better be deleted. The privacy and security settings, contact details and passwords should be altered as per requirements.
Although maintaining transparency and clarity in any relationship helps in building up trust and bonding, however respecting each-others individuality and privacy is necessary for the would be spouses. Sharing of passwords, reading others’ messages and impersonation should therefore be avoided to the utmost for a happy married life ahead by both the partners.
Real Versus Virtual World
Social sites are definitely a powerful medium and wonderful way to share your ‘Special Day’ with your social circle but all the individuals attending the Wedding Ceremony, including the Bride and the Groom, should not get much obsessed with it. They should enjoy as much as they can, interact with the guests and treasure those precious real moments. Let the Virtual Neighbourhood take a back seat for some time.
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