I take this phone to have and to hold
Kiwi brides are increasingly saying "I don't" to unlimited social media on their wedding days, putting strict rules around guests posting on Facebook, Twitter and blogs.
Celebrity nuptials such as those of Kim Kardashian and Kanye West have been nicknamed "Insta-weddings" for the social media frenzy they generate.
But a British study of brides' expectations shows that nearly half believe it is important to enforce digital rules on wedding guests, with one in seven wishing mobile phones could be banned.
In Wellington, celebrant Victoria Wilks says about three-quarters of couples whose ceremony she takes want their guests to refrain from posting anything about their weddings on social media.
"I started asking people in the last year about it because I noticed more people were mentioning it.
"When I first started asking, I felt it was a bit over the top, but that's just the way it is."
It was the next progression from asking guests to switch off cellphones during ceremonies, she said.
"There was a time when you didn't have to think about people turning cellphones off, but you do now."
Another Wellington celebrant, Karen Simpson, agreed: "Two years ago, I would have said, ‘Please turn your cellphones to silent,' but [social media] wasn't a big deal back then."
These days, she asked most couples before the ceremony if they wanted her to raise with guests the issue of social media and turning off electronic devices.
About 15 per cent wanted restrictions on social media, with most of those asking guests to delay posting or tweeting until the couple had done so, she said.
"Some couples say no photos or video. But others will ask for guests to delay posting until the bride and groom have had a chance to first."
Only about 5 per cent of newlyweds married by another Wellington celebrant, Nikki Stone, asked for controls on social media.
"It's not something I personally bring up but maybe I should."
Celebrants Association of New Zealand president Elizabeth Bennett said she began asking all couples about social media rules about two years ago.
Since then, they had all asked her to request that guests refrain from uploading anything to social media until after the ceremony finished.
"I think that, where couples are considering their ceremony as significant or sacred, to not have the intrusion of social media is important to them."
However, none had wanted blanket bans or delays in posting, she said.
Let friends and family know you're engaged before they read it online.
Think before you post.
Is it a useful update, or just bragging?
Everything in moderation.
Overkill on the wedding talk before the big day risks making people wish it was all over already.
Keep the dress under wraps.
Tell guests your social media wishes.
They won't withhold everything, but it will help.
Every wedding is different. Some couples may hate live tweeting, while others might give you a hashtag to use when posting to Instagram.
Ask before you share.
Remember to say a formal thank you.
A quick post online won't do, even in these informal days.
Don't forget to update your marital status.
- The Dominion Post
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