Hashtag vs. unplugged weddings

  • Tami Smallwood weighs the pros and cons of weddings on social media.
Tami Smallwood weighs the pros and cons of weddings on social… (Cellar Door Photograohy )
July 11, 2013|By L'Oreal Thompson, The Baltimore Sun

To hashtag or not to hashtag?

This is the question plaguing brides and grooms across the country in an ever-evolving world of social media. Recently, Facebook joined Twitter and Instagram in offering clickable hashtags, which allows users to search topics according to keywords prefaced with, you guessed it, a hashtag. But are the trending topics appropriate for weddings?

Local wedding planner Tami Smallwood, CEO of blush|Wedding & Event Planning firm has a few thoughts on the matter.

"There are upsides to seeing your special day unfold through the eyes of the guests, but unfortunately they do not outweigh the downsides," she explains. "I understand that we are moving forward in technology, but some things should remain sacred–a couple’s wedding day should be one of them. Allowing guests to hashtag your wedding, can be hazardous for a few reasons."

A few of those reasons included giving access to your Big Day to uninvited guests before you’ve even had a chance to see it yourself! And self-proclaimed Instagram photographers may ruin special shots that you paid your professional photographer so much to get in the first place. Also, flashes from smartphones and pocket cameras can washout professional photos and alter shots.

"There are some creative ways to ensure your big day is not a photo fiasco, but the unplugged day of your dreams," says Smallwood.

She recommends making guests aware of your desire before the ceremony takes place with a short message in the program or with a visible sign near the entrance. The officiant could also make an announcement before the processional begins. Smallwood also suggests a fun alternative to smartphone photos, such as photo booth pictures, which also make great favors.

"This wedding phenomenon is a great way to capture fun candid shots with your guests and see them right away," she says. "If a couple can afford to hire multiple photographers, by all means, allow your guests to take photos. But, if not, simply go unplugged."

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