Wedding Hashtag: 5 StepsTo Perfection


#APWreadersdoitbetter

by Kate Levy, Marketing Manager

how to pick a wedding hashtag

Photo by Cristal Veronica

Wedding hashtags, amiright? How do you know if you really need one? NO I’M JUST KIDDING. Here we are, on the Internet, talking about planning weddings, so obviously you’re going to have a hashtag. Which means you’ve probably sat down and had at least one (okay, five) conversation about what exactly your hashtag it should be. When we were planning, a hashtag was a foregone conclusion—of course it was happening. Our questions were all about how to come up with the best hashtag for our wedding… and we had many feelings on the topic.

First, it’s important to break down what a wedding hashtag even does. Sure, it’s a really fun way to bring in social media to your wedding, but what is the purpose? Hashtags in general are kind of like a very personal search tool, and people use them online for everything. Say you hashtag every photo of your cat with #princessleonathecat—well, now everyone who wants to can find photos of your cat by tapping or typing in your hashtag. So your wedding hashtag works the same way for your guests: it’s an easy way to make your guests part of the celebration (and it’s super fun and convenient for anyone who wants to look at the social media posts after the wedding, too). Since we had a small wedding with primarily just immediate family, this was the best way for the rest of our family and friends to follow along from afar.

So once you know why you want a hashtag, you need to figure out what it should be. Here’s what we did:

5 steps to creating the best wedding hashtag

Two cartoon women raising their hands

step one: use your names

You want your wedding hashtag to be personal to, you know, your wedding—and what better way to do that than to use your actual names to create one? I know, I know. I’m brill. But seriously. Use your first, last, middle, or nicknames in this conversation, and see if there’s a way to string it all together. If you’re both keeping your last names, you’ll want them both in there. If one of you is changing your last name (or you both are), cool: that cuts out an extra name to include. Whatever the name arrangement after the wedding, you want the hashtag to remind your guests of who they’re at the wedding for. You!

Sirius Black Gif that says "siriusly"

step two: add some puns

My wife is the funniest and most clever (hi: you should follow her on Twitter), and puns are a thing in our home, mostly to the soundtrack of my groaning. We are also big musical theatre fans and MAYBE WE MAKE UP OUR OWN SONGS ALL THE TIME TOO. So when it came time to pick our wedding hashtag, it absolutely made sense to put a play on words on a song that we both thought was funny. Much of the wedding planning process can be stressful/serious/must be perfect, so IMO, this is your ULTIMATE time to shine. Get silly with it and just have fun. I see so many good puns during my deep black hole hashtagging dives in Instagram. Just start seeing what you can turn your name(s) into and run with it.

Rainbow Unicorn Gif

step three: make it your own

Here’s the deal. Your wedding hashtag is NOT your wedding website URL. Your wedding website URL should be super clear, aka yournamesanddate(dot)com. Your wedding hashtag? Girl, that can be whatever you want it to be! So sure, while some people will tell you to make sure everything is spelled correctly, or that it’s not too long, or whatever, I mean… our hashtag was #imgettinglevyedinthemorning. Sure, it’s possible someone had a hard time typing that out once the drinks were flowing but you know what? Our hashtag was what we wished our wedding website URL could have been. You do you. As fun as it is for everyone else to use it, your this one is ultimately just for you. You can definitely go the inside joke route too, but keep in mind not to make it SO obscure that literally only you two get it.

Dancing Special Snowflake Gif

step four: make sure no one else has your hashtag

One of the reasons I suggest going the fun pun route is that you also greatly reduce the chances of your wedding hashtag already being taken, or someone messing with it later. This is literally the MOST important step. Take my BFF for example. She went with a straightforward #lastnameyear tactic. She did her due diligence and checked to make sure no one was using it. Hooray it was free and clear! Let the tagging commence! But shortly before the wedding date, after months of tagging wedding prep and shower pics, someone else started using the hashtag.

Now, my friend is legit the sweetest, kindest human, but we had literally just finished making signs for the wedding with the hashtag on them, so when she found this out, she definitely had a moment. But she did the noble thing: she sent the hashtag stealer a super calm, non-attacking DM, asking if they could please stop using the hashtag. It… wasn’t received very well, and the other party went off the deep end saying things like, “Hashtags aren’t private property,” and, “You don’t own it.” And while YES, those things are facts, it was also strange to me that someone would want to use the same hashtag. Clearly this was a case of someone totally not understanding that the entire point is to TAG images so you can find them for yourself later. Pro tip: Don’t be that person, and even if someone has tagged private posts with the hashtag already, consider it dead and move on to your next choice.

Man screaming "hit me with the hashtag"

step five: tell your guests

Okay, now that you have your wedding hashtag all figured out, it’s time to tell your guests about it! You can put this on your wedding website, send an email, and obviously have the hashtag prominently displayed at the wedding via signage. Stick a sign wherever pics will be happening, like in the photo booth, in lipstick on bathroom mirrors (seriously, we ALL know that’s where the best selfie action happens), and wherever else you know your family and friends congregate (bar, dessert table, etc.).

One final warning. You can’t become the hashtag police. Not at the wedding and not after. If you have a couple friends who are super Instagram users, then ask them (not tell!!) if they would be so kind as to use the hashtag, and even encourage others to do the same. And if after the wedding you come across some really great pics your friends took but forgot to hashtag, ask them once nicely to add the tag. If they don’t, and you have to have the image, then just repost it yourself and hashtag it up!

did you use a wedding hashtag? how did you figure out what you wanted it to be? what tips do you have for others who are trying to come up with their own? ALSO HEY: share your hashtags in the comments below!

Kate Levy

Kate is APW’s Marketing Manager. This Bay Area native built her own business as a wedding hair and makeup artist, before shifting gears to work in marketing. She’s an avid iPhone photographer, loves all forms of social media (especially Instagram, #katesskylog), and makes a really mean chocolate chip cookie. Kate is a collector of spoons, enamel pins, and reusable bags she never actually brings to the store. When not getting sucked into the ASOS app or an Instagram hashtag blackhole, Kate can be found hanging on the Peninsula with her wife, 3 cats and 2 dogs.

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  • Amy March

    What?!? I can’t believe anyone would think it is appropriate to actually DM a stranger and ask them to stop using a hashtag!!! One person using #hemsworth2017 doesn’t mean it’s off limits for any other Hemsworth.

    I’m adding Step Six. Chill. If your friends post an image without the hashtag? Do nothing and say nothing and move on with your life.

    • Katharine Parker

      I don’t see why another wedding using the hashtag is a big deal. Yes, you’ll see photos of someone else when you search the hashtag, but everyone will know which one is you and which one is someone else. I wouldn’t want 900 weddings with the same hashtag because then you’d never find the right photos later, but one? Not worth worrying about.

      • Katharine Parker

        Also, if you really want to stake a claim to your hashtag before anyone else is using it, you need to start tagging stuff early, way before your actual wedding day. Tag yourself and your partner doing all your wedding planning, every pre-wedding party, at the cake tasting, on a date night–whenever. It doesn’t mean that no one else can use it, but if someone else checks #itsaweddingstarringkatharineparkerandjacktrainer they know you’re already using it and may want to pick something else.

    • K. is skittish about disqus

      Love your Step Six. Seriously. My family and friends valiantly tried to use our (super boring and simple) hashtag, but it ended up being all variations of #KandHusband2015, #HusbandAndKWedding2015, #2015WeddingKandHusband…and it was so fine. I still found all our pictures. Nothing mysteriously disappeared into the ether. It was sweet of them for trying, even though social media is not their thing at all except for a few exceptionally savvy folks. Hell, it’s barely our thing…my husband hasn’t had a Facebook since our junior year of college. I just like things that are nicely sorted and thought a hashtag would do the trick. It didn’t really, but no harm, no foul.

      (Full disclosure: I just might be an old fart about social media and weddings in general though and don’t get what the big deal is, overall.)

      • sage

        Another old fart about social media right here. Fiance never posts anything on facebook, and I generally only post photos of my dog. Neither of us do instagram or twitter. It’s honestly more “us” to not have a wedding hashtag… although I definitely see the merits and why people like them. I try to always add the hashtag when I know about it for other people’s weddings.

    • S

      I’m with you, but to play devil’s advocate, I guess it could depend on the context in which the other person was using the hashtag. If it was for their wedding, or they’d been using it for a long time/used it for lots of photos, then, nope, sorry. I can kiiiind of see contacting them if the other person had only just started using it for something small and silly, though? I have a hashtag of photos of my pet. If I checked my instagram and one or two photos of someone’s new cat suddenly popped up with my soon-to-be wedding hashtag and the invites were printed and sent, I can maaaaaybe see contacting the person and telling them that, you know, this hashtag was on your invites, and you know it’s silly, and you’re so embarrassed to even be contacting them, and by the way their cat is so cute, but since they’ve only just started using the hashtag, would they possibly mind….etc, etc. That is genuinely the only scenario I can think of in which this is remotely acceptable behaviour. I still personally would not contact them, because oh my god no, but I can kind of understand someone else more in love with hashtags than I doing so in that particular type of situation…maybe. But yeah, don’t be contacting some other Jess and Steve to call retroactive dibs on #jessandsteve2017.

      • S

        (…But to play devil’s advocate to myself, I can also imagine even in that one situation, the whole thing backfiring horrendously if the person was not a people pleaser. “Lol, these crazy people contacted me asking me to stop using #MittenzLove as a hashtag because it’s going to be their wedding hashtag cos they met in winter or something, smh. Excuse me while I spam the hashtag with hundreds of photos of baby Mittens! Lol!”)

      • theteenygirl

        Sooo I came up with a hashtag that I love, put it on all the invites, everyone is excited to use it, only one random picture had already and then because of this post I checked the hashtag and MANNN someone had a kid, named him Inn, and started using the hashtag #InnLove2017 which is our wedding hashtag! I’m not going to do anything about it but it’s just kind of annoying!!!!

        • CMT

          Could you do #NameandNameInnLove or something similar?

          • theteenygirl

            Well.. that .. makes.. sense…
            How did I not think about that?

            Thank you!!!

      • emilyg25

        Nope, it doesn’t. The only way I could see contacting someone about this is if that someone was your friend. Hashtags aren’t ownable.

      • idkmybffjill

        I guess I just feel like the point of the hashtag is to make it easier to find allll the pics from your event. If there are a couple of cat pics mixed in? Who cares?

    • idkmybffjill

      Yeah… one other wedding is v easy to sort through.

    • Yeah. I’d be so weirded out if a stranger DM’d me to tell me they had “dibs” on a hashtag I was using. Wedding hashtags are great, but I feel like signal confusion is a risk you have to accept with the territory?

      • emilyg25

        I would laugh out loud. I work in communications–people need to give up the illusion that you can control hashtags.

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    • RNLindsay

      Yeah we used a very generic hashtag, went all the way to July of that year with no other usage and then someone marrying on the same day as us had the same hashtag. What does it matter? If anyone clicks on my hashtag they can clearly tell the diffeerence between my nautical eastern US wedding and their mountainous Colorado wedding. Why does it matter?

    • ART

      Came down here to see if anyone else thought the responses of “Hashtags aren’t private property” and “You don’t own it” were far, far from off the deep end…and more like, well, the truth? Kind of like the street parking space in front of your house. Sorry, it’s not yours.

    • SS Express

      What I wouldn’t give to be able to use #hemsworth2017 as my wedding hashtag.

  • nyc_to_ma

    Luckily we have a super obscure nickname that we’ve used for years (our last names mushed together into something absurd). Does anyone have ideas of where I can order a few not-expensive signs with the hashtag? Or good Etsy vendors? Etsy is sooooo overwhelming, I usually give up within seconds of searching on there.

    • Jan

      I have a super easy fix for you! Go to target and get a few cheapy frames, chalkboard paint, and chalk. Paint the glass and you have lots of little chalkboard signs you can create and put up in a few prominent places. V cheap and v easy.

      • penguin

        And for the lazy version, you can usually find little chalkboards so you can skip the painting step. Agreed that these make great little signs.

        • Jan

          Yeah, I’ve actually seen wee ones in the dollar bins at various department stores.

      • Alex K

        We used cheap frames and printed out the wording on colored computer paper (with fun font). I think we had 5-10 signs for various things done for about 10 dollars.

        • emilyg25

          Same!

  • Xochiquetzal Duti Odinsdottir

    Clever wedding hashtag I saw in my feed: #whentwobecomeluan

  • We totally went the pun route, as our wedding hashtag was #McCluresPiDo – since we got married on Pi Day. And on the plus side, so far I haven’t seen anyone else use it! It’s nice to go into Instagram and be able to use the hashtag and find our photos, 2yrs later.

    • HarrietVane

      That is one of the most adorable wedding hashtags I’ve seen and I don’t even like wedding hashtags that much :)

  • Vanessa

    Enh, our hashtag is our url. Fuck it. It’s also our email address that we sent our invitations from.

    Also, if a stranger sent me a message asking me to stop using a hashtag I would immediately report them for harassment. That is too much.

    • Sarah

      Same here. I angsted over trying to come up with something creative but our names are too weird and I didn’t want to go down the cliche route, so I just went with #mynameandhisname. the end.

  • Jan

    My nickname growing up was Merie so I’m trying to get my partner to agree to #HisNameGetsMeried. So far no dice, but I feel fairly confident I’m gonna win this one.

    Also, while I would probably never contact someone over a hashtag, I was supreeeeeemely annoyed when I realized some dude-bros had hijacked the hashtag I’ve used for my dog for 3 years, to post pictures of muscle cars and busty ladies in bikinis. I was all “BUT MAH BABEH”.

    • Cleo

      You should take a picture of your dog in a bikini next to a muscle car to bridge the divide.

      • Eenie

        Please at the very least use some Photoshop to make this happen!

  • Rosie

    We are having such a hard time coming up with a hashtag! We have thought of lots of good ones, but they only involve his last name (which has a LOT of good puns you can make with it), but since I’m not changing my name, I’m worried that people will assume I’m changing my name if we only use HisLastName in the hashtag. We are getting married in Vermont so we were thinking of doing something generic like #lovermont or #moonlightinvermont or #vermeant2be. I never thought it would be an issue that other people would use the same hashtag as us.

    • idkmybffjill

      Honestly I feel like it’s only a big deal if it’s a REALLY big hashtag. My friend and her husband’s names combine to make a really great hashtag…. the equivalent of “Party2017″… we naively didn’t realize just HOW popular that would be until the week of the wedding, so we last minute pivoted cause all the tags were getting lost.

      • Rosie

        Good point! I just looked up #lovermont and there are like 28,000 posts… so maybe we won’t use that one!!

        • idkmybffjill

          Yup! We were all so pumped because “Omg can you believe that their names make such a great combo?!” and then were like…. uhhh woops. We ended up just using HisLastHerLast2017, they both have short last names so it felt way more catchy than expected and no one else was using it!

    • Sarah Jane Tinnelly-Williams

      I didn’t change my last name, and my daughter has the same last name as me, but we used his last name in the hashtag because it worked with our nerdy accountant humor. I think a few people assumed that I changed my last name (I actually got a wedding invitation the other day addressed to Mrs. Hislastname) but the people who I’m really close to know that I’m still Mrs. mylastname, and that’s all that matters to me. Obviously it’s different for every person, and I was sort of feeling a little bit more annoyed than I was expecting to at the invitation, but that’s just my experience. I like #vermeant2be!

      • Rosie

        Thanks! That’s my favorite too, and nobody has actually used it at all yet. We could also use that one but with our first names in front of it. Also, I can totally relate – we just got a wedding invitation address to The Future Mr. and Mrs. Hisfirst Hislast, and I was like, um, NOPE! I could see that they were trying to be cute but it still bugged me.

      • Clare C

        We just got a wedding invite addressed to HisFirst HisLast and MyFirst MyMiddle because they just looked on Facebook and I’m a teacher so I have it that way for a semblance of privacy.
        So I think some people just put whatever, and you’re right, as long as those close to you know your real name it doesn’t matter.

    • Ashlah

      If it helps in making your decision, I think your worry is reasonable. I would assume you were changing your name if your hashtag only included his last name. In my mind, the reason for highlighting one last name would be because you are together becoming the [LastName] family. You might still decide to use it, and that’s totally fine! But I do think your hashtag acts as a “clue” (right or wrong) to your guests about what’s happening to your names. So if it’s important to you that guests not make that mistake, you’re right to reconsider. If it’s not a big deal to you, then go forward with the HisLast puns!

      • Rosie

        Thanks, yes, that is helpful! We might go with a more boring one that just combines our names (e.g. #brangelina2017)

    • savannnah

      I’m also bumping up against this with both the hashtag and our Snapchat geofilters. They all seem to work with just one last name and that’s not the message we want to send.

    • Angela’s Back

      Personally, I think #vermeant2be is awesome and not generic at all, and you could totally add your names in the front and bam, you win :)

    • SS Express

      If I went to a wedding where the hashtag used only one surname, I would absolutely assume that both people were going to be using that surname going forward. I’d probably still ask to make sure before I started calling you by your “new” name, but not everyone would. I mean, lots of people assumed I changed my name despite that fact we didn’t give them any reason to make that assumption and our URL and hashtag used our two nicknames (and my nickname is based on my LAST name). But it depends how much you care. I can definitely see enthusiasm for puns outweighing annoyance over people calling you by your husband’s last name.

      Also I really relate to your struggle because my husband’s name would have lent itself to an excellent romance-themed pun that reflects our personalities and hasn’t been used by anyone else yet, i.e., the PERFECT wedding hashtag. Considering how much it upset me to receive cards to Mr and Mrs Hisname I’m glad we didn’t do anything to encourage more people to make that assumption, but at the same time I’m a bit bummed I couldn’t use it. This is ghost ship level stuff for me.

  • emilyg25

    Some other things to remember: Hashtags are public and unless all your friends’ accounts are private, other people will be able to see your photos. I’m not super strict about internet privacy, but maybe think twice before putting your first and last names out there. And ultimately, make the effort but remember that some of your guests are going to take photos of your wedding and then just … do whatever they do with them. You won’t see them all.

  • Sarah Jane Tinnelly-Williams

    Our wedding hashtag was #hislastnamemerger, because we are both accountants and nerds and his last name starts with ‘m’ so it worked. Now that our family has expanded by 2 cats, I plan on using #mergercats for all the adorable cat pictures

  • CP2011

    For what it’s worth, wedding hashtags ALWAYS make me cringe. I understand the usefulness for keeping pictures together, but still…

    • Hannah

      I’m glad I’m not the only one! I don’t use hashtags in general, so I don’t know why I would start now. If people take photos, we’ll see them eventually (or not), just like the good, old, pre-hashtag days.

    • Eenie

      I really really really dislike the cutesy punny ones. But I never got into hashtags. I do, however, make the best attempt to use the publicized hashtag.

  • gonzalesbeach

    hm, I am the kind of person [kind of person???] who doesn’t want a wedding hashtag

  • Staria

    A word of caution: if you have a stalker, do NOT do this. Really stop and consider if you want your photos searchable by strangers. And ask your partner their comfort level too! I had to call a screeching halt to anything being online when a stalker popped out of the woodwork to harass my now-husband and I, three months pre wedding. I love having things online but we had to can having a website, no social media tag, and I had to be careful not to reference the date we were getting married because miss stalkerpants had already worked out the venue. I was happy for friends to post photos online and tag me – I did an extra go through of my privacy settings to ensure all photos were friends only and made sure I added all my husband’s mates (he’s not on Facebook). That’s honestly enough. I just allowed them to appear on my timeline and that was how they were all in one place.

  • Pingback: You Can Make the Best Wedding Hashtag Ever in 5 Steps | Wedding Adviser()

  • Fushigidane

    #Bulbasaur*** (*** did not involve our names nor did we change our name to Bulbasaur, as tempted as my husband is to do exactly that :P)
    Unless you know your crowd posts a ton of photos don’t get your hopes up to see lots of pictures online. Only 2 people used the hashtag (one photo each) and only 4 people posted any pictures online that we know of. We’ve seen less than a dozen pictures of our wedding posted on social media.

  • Lisa

    If anyone needs help thinking up a creative wedding hashtag, check out this Etsy generator!

    https://www.etsy.com/listing/539346803/wedding-hashtag-generator?ref=pr_shop