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
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!
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.
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.
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.
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!