The social wedding

Three reasons to use a hashtag

People and their phones can’t be parted for long. While Rachael and Jaime Jacome asked their guests to power down their phones during their June 2013 wedding — to much success — the couple then encouraged everyone to take photos during the reception and post them on social media sites with the couple’s hashtag. “I’m obsessed with my Instagram,” says Rachael. The couple created a hashtag that was the same as their wedding website URL, so the two would be consistent and easier for people to remember. They posted the hashtag at their reception and on table decorations, and told the wedding party to encourage guests to use it. Here, Jacome offers a few reasons for incorporating hashtags into your wedding day.

It connects your guests

When you have a room full of people from different parts of your life, social media can help connect them more easily. “People were adorable. My ‘aunt’ Julie, who’s in her 60s, was learning from [another guest] how to use Instagram,” says Jacome.

You can crowdsource photos

Of course, the Jacomes had a professional photographer for their wedding, but they also really wanted to see the reception through their guests’ eyes. “Professional photos have high resolution so you can print them and blow them up, but they’re staged and posed,” says Rachael. “Crowdsourced photos are in the moment.”

Free pictures!

“Instagram is instant gratification, and it’s free!” says Rachael. The Jacomes actually spent time during their wedding dinner looking through pictures their guests had already uploaded to the photo-sharing site. They also used the site IFTTT.com to search Instagram for all of the photos people tagged with their wedding hashtag and automatically download them to the couple’s Dropbox account so that they could also have a copy of the file. “We got a good pile of photos that held us over until we got the professional ones,” says Jacome.


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