10 Tips For Implementing Social Aggregators At Weddings
Implementing social aggregators at weddings is a great way to get everyone more involved. It's highly engaging and may likely be one of the most memorable parts of the wedding, outside of the beautiful ceremony of course.
Everyone at your wedding already has their phone with them, so why not let them take candid shots that professional photographers won't even get? As the happy couple, you get to go back to all these aggregated photos and posts for years to come.
1. Create A Social Media Wedding Hashtag
Your very first step is to decide on a wedding hashtag. According to Wedding Wire, 36% of couples now have a custom hashtag for social sharing. Join in on the trend and make your own personal hashtag.
Why a hashtag? Social aggregators at weddings only work if they know what to look for. If you're just gathering "wedding" posts, you're probably going to have a wall filled with pictures of random weddings and people you've never met. That's not exactly going to make your day special.
You need a hashtag that's unique to you. This way when friends and family start sharing posts and photos to Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and so on, your chosen social aggregator will pick up on your specific hashtag and pull in just the posts from your friends and family.
For some couples, choosing the perfect wedding hashtag is almost as difficult as finding the right venue and dress. However, use these tips to create something that's uniquely you:
- Use nicknames together, such as #sweetiepieloveydovey
- Use first names with wedding, such as #BobMaryWedding
- Use NewlyWed and your last name, such as #NewlyWedHendersons
- Create a couple name by merging first and/or last names
- Play with words, such as if the bride's name is Mary, you might have #GettingMaryed
- Add a date to the wedding, such as #Wedding062419
Whatever the hashtag is, make sure it's not already used. Otherwise, social media aggregators will pick up posts you don't want. Ensure you check all the platforms you want to use and not just one.
2. Add Your Wedding Hashtag To Invitations
You know what your wedding hashtag is, but no one else does. This means no one knows what to use at your wedding. Make it obvious by including your wedding hashtag on your invitations.
Add a note to the bottom of your wedding invitations stating that phones and photography are welcome. Ask that all guests please use your preferred wedding hashtag so you can find everything later on. Encourage guests to make a note of the hashtag on their phones.
3. Display Your Wedding Hashtag At The Wedding
Of course, people are going to forget. Or, they may just forget to use a hashtag at all. Display your wedding hashtag on napkins, tablecloths, at the base of your wedding hashtag wall and table gifts.
You don't have to go overboard, but placing it where people will see it ensures most, if not all, guests will use it. Also, make an announcement at your reception to remind your guests yet again.
Implementing social aggregators at weddings is fairly easy as long as everyone knows how to participate.
4. Let Guests Know The Rules Before The Wedding
Obviously, you don't want guests taking pictures without any kind of rules. What may seem obvious to you, might not be as obvious to them. For instance, someone in your bridal party might go ahead and post a picture of the bride before she's even walked down the aisle. This is a major no-no.
Have a list of rules as guests enter your venue. You don't need anything lengthy, but just a few etiquette rules. A few you may want to consider include:
- No pictures of the bride or groom before the ceremony (at least, don't share them on social media before the ceremony)
- Avoid noisy shutter sounds during the ceremony
- No flashes during the ceremony
- No pictures of the bride or groom before entering the reception (this is only if they're changing clothes)
- No photos at all during the ceremony (some couples prefer this)
As you can see, the rules are simple and straightforward. They're designed to avoid ruining surprises and the ceremony itself. Once the reception starts, there aren't really any rules outside of remembering to enjoy yourself and not just take photos.
5. Decide Which Social Platforms To Use
Even though creative wedding hashtags are transforming the wedding industry, it's still hard to figure out which platforms to use the hashtags on. You have multiple options to choose from.
The first thing to keep in mind is what platforms your chosen social aggregator tool uses. If it doesn't support Instagram for instance, you obviously wouldn't want your friends and family using your wedding hashtag on Instagram.
Of course, you'll likely pick your social aggregator based upon which platforms it supports. You shouldn't have to settle, so pick one that fits your needs, but more on that in a moment.
In choosing your platform, you should think about what your guests use most. If no one really uses Facebook, there's no real reason to include it.
The ideal option is to choose the top social media platforms and let them all be options for your guests. For instance, you'd likely want to include Facebook and Instagram as they're both widely used when it comes to sharing photos. Twitter also works well. Snapchat is an option too.
Let all of your guests know upfront which social platforms you prefer to use. You may even want to include these on your invitations.
6. Use A Social Aggregator To Gather All Posts
Implementing social aggregators at weddings does take quite a bit of planning, but it's well worth the effort. The next step, though, is to pick a social aggregator tool. Curator.io is a powerful option that works for most any event, including weddings. It also supports all the social platforms your guests would be using, including Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Flickr, Pinterest, YouTube and more.
A social aggregator uses the hashtag(s) you choose to search the major social media networks for just those posts. This includes text, images and videos. So, everything related to your wedding that uses your hashtag would be pulled in using Curator.io.
7. Encourage Everyone To Take Photos
Now, it's starts getting more fun. If you're creating a wedding hashtag wall, you don't want it to only include a few photos. Instead, you want it full and constantly changing.
Encourage all guests to take photos. It doesn't have to just be of the couple or wedding party. Ask them to take photos of other guests or shoot short video clips. Have them take pictures of the cake, people dancing, cute moments of the families and naturally, pictures of the two of you.
You could even have contests to get more people involved. For instance, the top five most liked photos might get a special prize to be awarded by the couple. Or, the top three photos the couple likes best get a special prize, such as a restaurant gift card. Everyone likes free stuff and enjoys some friendly competition.
Another thing that will help encourage people to take more photos is to have the hashtag wall displayed where everyone can see it. It's a great way to see what's happening throughout your reception and your guests get to see their handy work displayed for everyone.
8. Add A Social Photo Booth
Photo booths might sound outdated, but far from it. Even traditional photo booths are popular for events like weddings. Implementing social aggregators at weddings along with photo booths makes for many unique and fun photos to remember you big day by.
When people step into the social photo booth, they pose like normal for a set of pictures. They can then pick which ones they want to share. By choosing the network and your hashtag, everything is shared to social media. Your social media aggregator picks up these new posts and shares them to your wedding hashtag wall.
9. Use A Large Projector Or TVs For Your Wedding Hashtag Wall
Social aggregators for weddings are only effective if everyone gets to enjoy the results together. Now is a great time to get creative. Many couples to go more traditional with a large projector screen on one wall. This is usually either behind the dance floor or opposite.
With a projector, you're able to go bigger while spending less, so it's a great budget-friendly option that's highly effective. However, if you want even crisper images, you may want to opt for big flat-screen TVs. In this case, you could place two or more TVs around the reception area to make it easier for people throughout the room to see what's being posted.
Some couples even do both, especially if guests will be going in and out of multiple rooms.
Another creative option is to add tablets to each table. Your guests can gather around and check out your social wedding feed in real-time. This is a good idea for older guests who may not be able to see the TVs or projector screen as easily. These guests might not have a smartphone to view it on themselves either.
10. Embed Your Social Feed Online
Implementing social aggregators at weddings doesn't mean the only place you can view the feed is at your wedding. Think about how many friends and family members couldn't attend your wedding. Maybe they were ill or weren't able to travel due to work or expense.
Your wedding is a time to bring all of your loved ones together. Embed your unique social wedding feed online. Many couples have a website already that has a countdown timer, gift registry links and more. Even if you don't have a website, create a free or cheap site just to host your feed.
Share the link to your site on social media. You can also include it on your invitations. The good news is people who aren't at your wedding can still use your wedding hashtag to send you good wishes and congratulations. Just know they may also share a few embarrassing pictures of the happy couple as a joke.
Another reason to do this is so you have a place to go after your wedding is over to see everything. You're going to be busy socializing, dancing and enjoying those first few hours as a married couple. You're going to miss quite a few posts as they pop up.
Now, on the way to your honeymoon, you get to look back at all the love your friends and family shared.
Bonus Tip: Use Your Wedding Hashtag Before And After The Wedding
While 84% of millennial brides enjoy using social media on the day of their wedding, you don't have to limit your wedding hashtag use just for the day itself.
Your social aggregator for your wedding doesn't just work for your wedding day. As soon as everything is set up, it'll start gathering posts with your chosen hashtag(s).
For instance, you might start with your engagement photos and use a hashtag similar to what you'll use for your wedding, such as #BobandMaryEngaged for engagement related posts and #BobandMaryWedding for the actual wedding.
And yes, you can use multiple hashtags if you want. Or, you can stick with just one.
Some couples enjoy posting updates and pictures throughout the planning process. For example, you might post a picture with a table full of samples as you choose the perfect dishes for your wedding.
Brides may want to post pictures as they try on different dresses. This creates a fun teaser. People viewing your social wedding feed will be even more anxious to then see what you did pick after seeing the ones you didn't choose.
Of course, don't forget to add posts about your bachelor and bachelorette parties. And after the wedding is over, you might use your wedding hashtag to show you both as you open gifts or fun things you do on your honeymoon. This keeps your loved ones updated and adds even more memories to look back on later.
Your wedding is a day you'll remember for a lifetime. Make it even more special by having a wedding hashtag wall. Whether you're the couple or a wedding planner, Curator.io makes it easy to implement social aggregators at weddings.
Image: Allef Vinicius