Wedding Hashtags 101

November 30, 2016

Unless you're having an unplugged wedding (where your guests are asked to turn off all their electronic devices such as cameras, cellphones, iPads, etc. throughout the course of the ceremony) we're betting that shortly after getting engaged, you started thinking of the perfect wedding hashtag. We don't blame you—it's one of the first fun things to start planning!

 Step 1. Brainstorm. 

Maybe its a bit obvious, but let's start with the basics. Start with your names. Use your first, last and nicknames as your starting point. Remember that cutesy mashup couple name that your friends gave you two in college? Well, this may be the time for you actually embrace it. Using something that incorporates your names will make it easier for the guests to remember, ensuring that more people will actually use it! Make it fun! Grab your partner, a few close friends, and a blank sheet of paper. Start writing down all the key words, phrases and name and nicknames for the wedding. Think about your location, date, last names, first names, nicknames, etc. Chances are quite good that you will immediately start to see some great possibilities.

 Step 2. Narrow it down. 

If your names are common or you can't come up with anything quirky, using number for your hashtag is a simple way to set it apart. Incorporate the year or date of your wedding as an easy way to make it your own. There might be a lot of #BillandJennifer in the world, but you'll probably be the only #BillandJennifer101516. However, now that creative juices are flowing, it is always best to begin to narrow down your list to a handful of your favorites. The traits of a perfect hashtag include brevity, comedy, meaning, something memorable, and a reflection of your personal identity or love story. These names can particularly lend themselves well to clever yet meaningful hashtags. 

 Step 3. Get punny.

This is one part of your wedding you can really have fun with! Incorporate word play by looking for alliterations, rhymes, synonyms and puns for a hashtag that's both clever and memorable. If you're guests think it's cute they are far more likely to remember it and remember to use it!

 Step 4. Avoid easy misspellings.

Always read over your hashtag for any ways it would be obviously misspelled. For example you may want to move words around if there are two letters in different words next to each other or even shorten longer last names. It could be as simple as flipping #annaanddave to be #daveandanna instead.

 Step 5. Capitalize the first letter of each word.

Capitalizing the first letter of each word will help with readability. By making it easier for your guests to see where each word starts and ends, it will make it more likely that everyone will get your joke or pun. Keep in mind, with or without the capitalization your hashtag will work the same way on social media.

 Step 6. Do your homework.

Before you hit print on your save-the-dates, go ahead and do a quick check of the hashtag to see if there's already been something tagged to it and, if so, how many photos. If there's only a handful of other photos that don't seem wedding related you go ahead and use it. However, if there happens to be an entire other wedding with the same exact hashtag you want to use switch a letter to a number, flip the your names, or pick a different rhyme to avoid getting the photos mixed up. Stealing someone else's hashtag is really uncool. So, before you finalize your hashtag, head over to your social media accounts and take it out for a test run.  One of the main reasons for having a hashtag is to easily see all the photos being taken and shared, and that can be tricky if many others are using the same one.  

 Step 7. Spread the word.

After you've decided on your hashtag, it's time to get the word out. The best way to do this is start off early by telling your bridal party, putting it on your save-the-dates, and posting it on your wedding website. Once you have that perfect hashtag, commit to it! Use it throughout the wedding planning process and at all other wedding-related events, like your engagement party, showers, cake tastings, and more. At the wedding you should also have cute reminders for guest who may have forgotten. Go with a cute sign or two that matches your decor. If you are printing menus or programs, even custom cocktail napkins or coasters are always a nice place to remind them of it as well. And most importantly, if you have a photobooth, make sure it's posted nearby!

 Step 8. Don't overthink it.

Will you remember your wedding hashtag forever? More than likely. Will you love the photos everyone took forever? Absolutely. If it just happens to turn out that your cute couple name happens to be the word for a delicacy in another language and you start seeing random food photos pop up just roll with it. Taking their cues from the couple, simply inject some humor into the situation and everyone else will also just go with it. At the end of the day, it's the photos you'll really care about having, and that everyone had fun with it, so just sit back and enjoy all the awesome photos coming in!! Don’t forget to save them or make a physical book so you can keep those memories close for years to come.

 Ever try getting a copy of your wedding photos and videos from Instagram?  While it’s cool to see your photos and videos in your feed, it’s a pain to actually download them. Worse, if you generate a wedding hashtag that is not 100% unique, you’ll wind up with a lot unrelated photos in your feed. You don't want to make it impossible for her to find your wedding photos and videos in your feed. Having said that, if you just don’t have the time to come up with a unique hashtag on your own, here are a couple of easy ways to ensure you create something original. You can use a hashtag generator, but always double check it Gramfeed or on instagram itself. 

 The great thing about getting a truly unique hashtag is that it opens up other possibilities of what you can do with the photos and videos. There are ways to get photo books from your own Instagram, like Pastbook, but that still won’t get you the photos uploaded by your guests. At least with your very own unique hashtag, you can revisit your wedding whenever you’d like.

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