How to Crowdsource Your Wedding Photos with Instagram

Crowdsource Your Wedding Photos (With Instagram)

Early in our planning, we agreed that we didn’t want hundreds of posed wedding photos. Flipping through years of pictures, the candids always transport us back to the moment the picture was taken. Our favorites include amateur snapshots taken by family and friends with cheap digital cameras, iPhones, and even a few wind-up disposables.

So we decided to crowdsource our wedding photos.

I was in the middle of launching a project at work, using a mix of social media tools to compile photos from students at my university. And then it hit me—we could use this same idea for our wedding! And so project “Instagram Our Wedding” was born.

You will need these (free) tools:

• Instagram mobile app
• Predetermined wedding hashtag
• Online photo storage site
• Account on
• Several wedding guests with smart phones

From there you just have to:

1. Download the Instagram mobile app on your smart phone device. For noobs, Instagram is a (free) social, photo sharing app. You can take pictures, add cool effects, and share them with your friends. It’s like your Facebook newsfeed with pictures only. Drink the kool-aid, hipsters.

2. Choose a wedding hashtag. Just like Twitter, Instagram filters pictures by using “hashtags.” For example, our tag was #pbwed. So if you were to search #pbwed on Instagram, you would find a boatload of lovely photos taken at our wedding by our beloved guests. (Tip: before you begin, search for your chosen hashtag to make sure no one else is using it.)

3. Decide where you want to store your photos. It’s best to use pre-existing accounts to save yourself some hassle. A few options include: Dropbox, a Facebook page (not profile), or Flickr account. In the next step, you’ll perform some wizardry that will automatically upload your Instagram photos to your photo storage site.

4. Create an account on or, “If this, then that.” First you will activate “channels,” which will include Instagram and the photo storage options you chose in step #3. Basically you are linking your existing accounts to the site.

Next you will create “recipes,” which will create a chain reaction. For example, we created two recipes for our wedding:

IF THIS [wedding guest tags a photo with #pbwed on Instagram],
THEN THAT [photo automatically uploads to preexisting Facebook wedding album]

IF THIS [wedding guest tags a photo with #pbwed on Instagram],
THEN THAT [photo automatically uploads to preexisting Flickr album]

Be patient with It took us a few test photos before we got it right. (Tip: you must link your accounts before you create the recipe/s.)

5. Share your genius plan. Soon after we announced our engagement, we created a wedding-themed Facebook page to share updates with our friends and family. We gave simple instructions, “Help us document our wedding! Snap pictures of celebratory gatherings, bachelor/bachelorette parties, and our wedding ceremony using Instagram. Tag with #pbwed.” We also included the instructions in our wedding program.

It was awesome to see our wedding day from multiple perspectives. We have photos documenting all of the celebrations leading up to our actual wedding day. We were able to spot new friendships forming and what our guests enjoyed at our party. Our guest list was small, but we ended up with 263 photos from Instagram alone. Sure, they’re a little blurry and unfocused—but to us, they are treasures reminding us of the love and laughter we shared that day. If you are looking for a way to supplement your professional wedding photos and keep your guests engaged—give this recipe a try!

Instagram from Mallory’s Wedding

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