Hashtag your wedding: YES or NO?
There are two sides, and I 100% understand and get both of them.
On one hand you pay THOUSANDS of dollars for a professional and you don't want your Great Aunt's - Second Cousin's - Dog walker to be front and center with their loud - bright flashing - out-of-date camera even looking at your wedding day. I get it. I toyed with the idea of having people drop their cell phones
and children in a basket at the front so that my ceremony would be "perfect".
On the other hand, you have cool friends who get you. Some of them are even photographers themselves. They know how hard you (and quite frankly several of them) have worked on your wedding day and that it is impossible for that professional photog to catch every second of the day...regardless how much you beg. :) It's a great way to get your guests involved and capture some pretty cool shots of your day!
Think of the hashtag as the current version of the disposable camera that brides used to leave on the table during the reception, but...like, ONE MILLION TIMES BETTER!
Here are a few tips, when and if, you decide to hashtag your wedding:
1. Be creative. We used #stewpartyof2 for ours. The "party of 2" thing is very popular, so unfortunately another couple has used it as well. I wish I would have thought of something a little more creative so that I wouldn't have to worry about our hashtag being littered with a bunch of stranger's wedding pictures.
2. ...but not Complicated. There is a fine line between creative and a hashtag too long for Twitter. If it's too crazy your guests will misspell the hashtag and you'll end up with a lot of weird variations of #jakestewartandmallorymcguiretogetherforeverandevernovemberthirtiethtwothousandandthirteen :) (Bonus points if you can figure out what it says!)
3. Start Early. I know that once you get engaged your wedding hashtag isn't your first priority. Something about getting distracted by shiny things...ya know :) Anyways, start using your hashtag early. On any and every piece of stationery that pertains to your wedding, add it! This way once your day has arrived everyone is already used to the hashtag, from using it while you're dress shopping, at your showers, rehearsal dinner, etc. I follow Kirsten Blowers on Instagram and not surprisingly- she rocked her wedding hashtag. She used #stuckeypartyof2 for EVERYTHING...even asking her bridesmaids and for her bachelorette party getaway.
If you ever are wanting to full on stalk a wedding, plug her hashtag in...you'll be on Instagram ALL NIGHT LONG drooling over every detail!
4. Signage. According to Wedding Chicks, we did this pretty well :) I had painted a few pieces of wood with chalkboard paint and had my sister Hillary write #stewpartyof2 on them. Then we placed them around so people wouldn't forget to use it. We had them in our lounge area, by the bar, on our head table, sign in table, etc.
What we really enjoyed was during our honeymoon, we would browse the hashtag to see if anyone else had added new pictures. It was so much fun!
After going through our #stewpartyof2 hashtag, I decided I would give out awards to my favorites!
First place in capturing our decor: Janelle Boston! It is always a wonderful feeling when someone "gets you"...and Janelle got my wedding decor. Love it.
First Place for most creative/hilarious pictures: John McElvany! No surprise here. John's picture of our first dance with Zoe might be my favorite of all time. And the smooshed face (us reenacting what parent's do to their babies in photos these days) make me laugh EVERY. SINGLE. TIME. Plus my makeup looks on point (S.O. Molly!).
First Place for "In the moment" pictures: Lindsey Hodous! Along with her mom and sis, Lindsey rocked the BTS of our wedding. They drove in from Arkansas to help with the set up and the flow during the wedding. They were champs and our wedding WOULD NOT have been as amazing without them. Lindsey captured some really special moments, but the first look takes the cake.