When was the last time you took a photo with something other than your cell phone? It’s probably been a while, and the same is true for your wedding guests, too. When they come to celebrate, they’ll be documenting special moments on their phones. Using a wedding hashtag lets you collect those videos and images from the entire event—without any follow-up on your end. There’s no texting or emailing guests for photos, or fear that you missed out on an epic guest photo.
It might not seem important to capture the party from your guests’ perspective—don’t you have a photographer to document those moments? First of all, your guests are going to take photos regardless; there’s no surprise there! Using a wedding hashtag is a simple way for guests to share their photos with you, at little-to-no-effort on your part. Second, your photographer can’t document every special moment; there’s just too much going on. By encouraging guests to take their own pictures, you get both professional wedding photos and behind-the-scenes shots.
There’s no formula for the perfect wedding hashtag, because it’s personal to you. It’s going to take a little thought to come up with something unique and memorable (that hasn’t already been done!). But these seven steps will make that process easy, so you can check it off your to-do list and move on!
Start With Your Names
It’s your wedding day, so of course it’s all about you! Make a list of all your names—first and last, any nicknames or pet names, and especially your couple name if you have one. When you brainstorm, start with the more unique names, like last names or nicknames. Wedding hashtags are common, and many first name options are already taken (unless yours is very clever). So starting with a less-common name means less work for you!
Use Puns and Rhymes
You want something your guests can remember—and maybe giggle a little at. Rhymes, puns, and word play are the easiest way to do that. Keep in mind that your wedding hashtag doesn’t have to be wedding-related. Yes, you’re at a wedding, but something fun and a little cheesy is easier to remember; don’t force the wedding theme if it doesn’t fit. Instead, create a hashtag about love or dreams coming true.
Bonus Tip: Song lyrics are fun, but are commonly used. Make sure some of your ideas aren’t lyrically inclined.
Keep it Simple
The recurring theme is creating something your guests will remember—especially after a few drinks. Try to keep your hashtag under 15 characters, unless you have a long first or last name; if that’s the case, max out at 20. While including a wedding date is common—and a good way to distinguish your wedding hashtag—try to avoid numbers. Your names are easy for guests to remember, but the numbers don’t hold significance to them; they’re only important to you. So including information that isn’t relevant to the guests increases the chance for error. If you really want to include numbers, use no more than three.
Make a Long List
There are only so many love songs and wedding puns; someone might have already used your first and second ideas. But that’s why you make a long list! Come up with as many hashtags as you can (that you also like) before you start to check their availability. Even if you have a unique name of any kind, there’s probably still someone out there who has it, too.
Bonus Tip: Choose your top three favorite hashtags to check first!
Check the Hashtag
Before you start using your hashtag, check to see if someone else already snagged it. If no one has used it, perfect! You’re good to go! But don’t be discouraged it photos show up. Just because the hashtag has been used before, doesn’t mean you can’t use it, too. Consider the photos that show up—how many are there? If there’s only a handful over the past three years, it’s probably okay to use because it’s clearly not used often. Also check the content of the photos—are they for a wedding? If so, avoid using that hashtag. It’s not worth the risk of mixing up your photos with theirs.
Spread the Word
As soon as you’ve chosen your wedding hashtag, start using it! While this fun feature works best with Instagram—because you’re encouraging guests to share pictures—you can also use it on other social media platforms, including your wedding website. If you decided on a hashtag before the invitations go out, you can include it there as well. But consider how much information is already on your invitation.
If you’re including directions, an RSVP card, and information on hotel or meal options, your hashtag might get lost. And that’s okay! Guests really only need to know it at the actual wedding, and if you’ve started using it ahead of time, those guests on social media will catch on before the big day. And, of course, you’ll want to put up a sign or two at your reception to officially communicate the news.
Get the Ball Rolling
Start documenting your wedding before the actual day. The last thing you want is your guest checking the wedding hashtag, eager to see what’s already been documented—and finding nothing. That will only discourage them from sharing any photos themselves.
Did you and your bridesmaids go dress shopping? Maybe you had some fun picking registry items, or making the centerpieces. Share some of those moments with your friends and family! It will give them an inside peek at this special time of your life, and encourage them to add to it. Aim for 10 photos before the big day. That might seem like a lot, but that also includes bachelorette party photos and getting ready photos; they add up quick.
Bonus Tip: Ask your ‘maids to post photos, too, so all the work isn’t on you.
A wedding hashtag is the perfect way to capture in-the-moment photos from friends and family, without having to track them all down post-nuptials. Make sure you choose something short and personal with a little rhyme to it. Guests will remember it better, and be more motivated to use it.
Was there a hashtag at the last wedding you attended? Share it with us below!