Making the most of social media on your wedding day

January 17, 2018
           

Making the Most of Social Media on Your Wedding Day

Social media has become such a huge part of the wedding experience. It seems as though almost every aspect of our daily lives now revolves around consuming and sharing online. 

There are mixed opinions on whether social media should be embraced, or shunned on a wedding day. Some couples opt to enforce their guests to completely avoid it for the day or maybe request that photos are not posted or shared until after a certain time. This helps keep the wedding intimate in case couples have any fears about their guests being disengaged on the day.

This can be difficult though and your guests may feel uncomfortable being told that they aren’t allowed to use their phones throughout the day, especially if they are naturally ones to want to share amazing moments on social media! There are so many benefits to allowing and including the use of social media on your big day and it can really add another element of involvement from your guests.

Will you be embracing social media on your wedding day? Here are some ways in which you can encourage your guests to snap and share in the right way.

Etiquette

There are a couple of social media guidelines that every wedding should follow, and really it comes down to common sense!

The big one is that guests should wait until after the ceremony to post any pictures of the bride. This special moment shouldn’t be ruined and can perhaps spoil the ‘reveal’ of the bride in her dress on the day. Lots of couples place a wooden sign or chalkboard outside their ceremony to politely ask guests not to share.

Live Streaming

Both Facebook Live and Instagram Live are a great way of including guests who couldn’t make the trip to be with you on your day.

Whether you live stream the ceremony or do incremental live clips of the speeches and the party on the night, it’s an awesome and instant way to reach out to friends and family who aren’t present. Try and think of an original hashtag so guests can quickly find your pics!

Photos

If you’re not adverse to people snapping selfies on the day, a good idea is to provide selfie sticks or something similar as wedding favours. It subtly encourages your guests to get involved with photos without explicitly having to ask them. Giving your guests the freedom to capture the day means that you will have these great candid shots and moments on record that you may have missed initially. 

Sharing

Hashtagging your wedding is a good idea and it is one of the best ways of collating all of your guests’ photos in one place somewhere like Instagram. Of course if you encourage your guests to post here then your wedding photos will be public for the world to see! Also, you will have much less control over what people see as you can’t dictate what does and doesn’t get posted.

If you’d like to browse your guests’ photos without the general public having access then there are some great apps that allow you to see all the images that your guests have taken.


How to be the best wedding guest

January 10, 2018
                                           

 

10 Ways to Be the Best Wedding Guest Ever

Want to be a stellar wedding guest? Of course, you do! We've got you covered with these 10 tips.
 

1. RSVP ASAP. The rest of the couple's planning, from ordering linens to ceremony seating, depends on the guest head count. 

2. Send a gift. Most couples create a wedding registry, so all you have to do is choose something from their curated wish list—so half the work is already done for you!

3. Be on time. Only the to-be-weds are allowed to make a show stopping entrance at this event. Get to the ceremony location early and grab a seat.

4. Avoid wearing white. You may look absolutely fabulous, but it's the bride's special moment—not yours.

5. Keep negative comments to yourself. Even if you thought the vows were cheesy or the dress wasn't your style, there's no need to rain on anyone's parade.

6. Don't hog the bride and groom. Offer your congratulations and visit for a few minutes, but then give them a chance to speak with other guests.

7. Monitor your cocktails. With champagne around every corner and an open bar by the dance floor, it's hard to resist a celebratory cocktail (or four).

8. Make sure to mingle. Even if you're shy, or just picky about your company, try not to hide or flock only to the other guests you already know.

9. Be cool with your camera. The couple hired their photographer for a reason, so don't let your selfie ops get in the way.

10. Bad mood? Leave it at home. No matter what happens, keep smiling!


Wedding Fairs

March 07, 2017  •  Leave a Comment

How to get the most from attending a wedding fair

As wedding fair season begins, I thought I would share my top ten tips for visiting a wedding fair and getting the most out of it.

My top tips for visiting Wedding Fairs:

  • Look around for fairs that suit your style, in venues and locations that you are interested in.
  • Take your time, don’t rush. Remember that the suppliers have paid to attend and are keen to talk to you and find out what you want.
  • It’s easy to get overwhelmed. Sometimes taking a break is a good idea, go for a walk and come back after you have thought of what information you need.
  • Take business cards of suppliers you like the look of so that you can contact them. Find their Facebook Pages and link up with them on Twitter and Pinterest.
  • Ask if the supplier is offering a discount for bookings made that day. This can often give you a chance to save some money as the supplier will be keen to get the business.
  • Take people along who want to be there. If your partner isn’t up for it, don’t drag them along; it will just annoy you, and them! Equally, if your partner does want to get involved don’t whatever you do leave them out of it.
  • Take cash - you never know what you might find and this means you can book suppliers and pay deposits on the day.
  • Don’t feel pressured, but don’t miss out! Make sure you are getting what you want and need. Price is an important factor but it should not be the only thing that you are considering when you are booking someone.
  • Remember… You only get married once, hopefully! so enjoy this and try not to get stressed.

I will be exhibiting a few wedding fairs over the next few months such as at the Crowne Plaza, Belfast; La Mon Hotel and Loughshore Hotel in Carrick.


Making the Most of Your Guest’s Photos

December 14, 2016
  

Making the Most of Your Guest’s Photos

Although you’ve hired your photographer (for any sensible bride that will be me) for your wedding, guest’s photos are being increasingly overlooked. Back in the day it was not uncommon for each table at the wedding reception to be adorned with film cameras for guests to snap away throughout the evening – but today these are often costly and laborious to print and then create into photo albums.

So instead we’ve resorted to guest photos being stored on social media, relentlessly tagging our family and friends in an effort for our memories to be cherished and kept safe; but how safe are they really on these platforms? We have no idea how long these digital platforms will be around for, and what happens to all those photos if they suddenly disappeared?

Not only is the safety of our photos at risk but also the quality and charm. In years to come when your children and grandchildren ask you about your life will you want to hand them an iPad to swipe through photos, or would you rather give them printed photos to flick through? There’s something so beautiful about actually holding a photograph, feeling the thick paper between your fingers as you look through memories and years of happiness. A snapshot in time, held captive forever within a tangible object that can be felt and loved.

Having your guest’s photos printed is the only way to make the most of them, so here are a few ideas that are sure to inspire you on your big day!

1. Create a hashtag
Collect all of your guest’s photos on social media by getting them to use a specific hashtag – something like #MrandMrsSmith – this way you will be able to find all of their images from the day without having to rifle through their social media profiles. Saving you time collating them before getting them printed. An added bonus will be the addition of those Instagram filters making your photos look better!

2. Guest-made scrapbook
Buy some Polaroid cameras and get your guests to stick their photos directly into a scrapbook, complete with a pot of Sharpies and stickers so that they can personalise them with a message much like a conventional guest book. No need for you to waste time printing and sticking them yourself!

3. Go old school
Adorn your wedding tables with disposable cameras, it will encourage guests to get trigger happy throughout the day and capture more of those unique moments. Just be cautious that as the night gets darker and the drinks start flowing that a finger over the lens or a faulty flash are all too common!

4. Photo books
Use a photo book app such as My SnappBook to encourage guests to create readymade photo books straight from their phones. Pre buy a number of them and give your guests a unique discount code – have them delivered direct to your address so they’re waiting for you once you’re back from your honeymoon!


Wedding speech - Father of the bride

October 18, 2016
   

Traditionally, at the reception, the bride’s father is the first to make a speech to the wedding guests. At lots of weddings that I do the father of the bride is usually very nervous and all he can think about is saying a few words and then sitting down as quickly as possible.

Hopefully with a few of my tips below this will help to make it a more enjoyable experience.

What to include in your speech

Whether you intend to make it short and sweet, or to really reap the benefits of the spotlight, your speech will need to contain some basic elements if it is to be in keeping with tradition. These are…

The intro
You need to introduce yourself, but it doesn’t have to be reminiscent of an AA meeting. Tell them your name and maybe crack a small joke to make yourself feel relaxed.

The welcome
Make a formal welcome to everyone, and thank them for coming. Try to mention, in particular, the bride’s mother and the groom’s parents too.

Your daughter
She’s made you pay for it, and now’s your chance to get a little of your own back on her! Recall a funny anecdote from her youth, or simply tell her how proud you are of the woman she’s become.

Your son-in-law
Formally welcome the groom to your family, in any way you feel appropriate. You can mention how you felt about him when you first met him, or a moment when you’ve been particularly glad he’s around.

Parting wisdom
As the elder speaker at the wedding, you should impart some of your wisdom to the happy couple about maintaining a healthy marriage or living a happy life. This is also a good place to throw in some jokes about wives, weddings or life in general, just as long as it doesn’t upset your wife!

The toast
Finish up by asking everyone to stand and raise a glass to the happy couple. No doubt, the best man will do something similar at the end of his speech too, but it’s the traditional way to close yours.

Timing is everything
Don’t go on telling old stories that few people in the audience will know about. Keep things fun, engaging and aim for a speech that lasts around six to seven minutes in total. Read your speech through at your normal speaking pace to gauge how long this really is.

Keep it clean
Jokes are a great way to break the ice and loosen up the crowd, but don’t be too focused on being funny. You’re the elder statesman of the speakers today, so you can afford to be a bit more conservative with your words. That doesn’t mean you can’t have a few jibes at the expense of the wedding or your daughter’s love of spending money, just don’t go too close to the bone. Leave it to the best man to have a go at the groom, and focus on welcoming your new son-in-law to the family and toasting the happy couple.

Hold on to your emotions
This is such a big occasion for you and all your family, it can be easy to get caught up in the emotion of it all. Do your best to keep things light and happy. If there are some personal things you would like to say to your daughter, but don’t want to include in your speech, write them down for her to read on the day instead.

The last word
Ask any public speaker what their biggest fear is, and they’ll pretty much always say it’s forgetting where they are in their speech. Fumbling over your words and getting a bit lost is nothing to be ashamed of, provided you can make a quick recovery and get back on track okay. Take your speech on cue cards with bullet-pointed reminders of what you want to talk about, rather than printing it all out in full. This will give you a more natural delivery, and will save you having to read through several paragraphs to find your place after getting lost.

If you do get stuck, use a moment to clear your throat, take a drink of water or give your daughter a kiss. These moments might seem a lifetime to you, but will feel like a natural pause to your audience, and will give you the breathing space you need to get things back on track. Take your time, don’t panic and try to enjoy your moment of fame.