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It's one of the most important, most beautiful days of your life, and you've spent hours sweating the details. Now do you really want to leave the Instagramming of your wedding to your drunk friends? Enter journalist and photographer Sophie Pyle's new venture Tweet The Bride, a D.C.-based company that will flood Instagram and Twitter feeds with gorgeous, hashtagged photos of your wedding, all in real time.
Being an iPhone wedding reporter makes sense for Pyle, who is both a veteran social media director and former D.C. editor of Guest of a Guest, where she had plenty of experience photographing the Washington social scene. Pyle explained to Racked DC why she started this business and why Instagramming and tweeting weddings is the natural next step for the bridal industry.
After all, no one is putting disposable Kodak cameras on banquette tables anymore, and many couples never get around to printing out their wedding photos. "It's largely about instant gratification," Pyle said. Click through for her social media do's and don'ts, as well as some very like-able Instagram photos from recent Tweet The Bride weddings.
What gave you this idea?
I'm 26, and a lot of my friends are getting married and engaged, and almost all of them have a wedding hashtag. I read about a few hotels in New York City that are testing the concept of having a designated person in charge of a wedding's social media, and that's when I had a light bulb moment: Weddings should have a photographer, a videographer, and a live person documenting it on social media – and not just at these select hotels in New York City.
Why did you want to start this business?
Obviously a live social media person isn't for every bride, but I can see there is a market for this service and I wanted Tweet the Bride to be the first to offer it as a service for a wedding at any venue. For now, it is the only one.
Images courtesy of Tweet The Bride
Why should brides hire a social media coordinator?
There are a lot of benefits to having a social media artist at a wedding. First, the photos and updates are instant, so a couple is able to re-live their day immediately. Guests get timely reminders about the schedule of the day on Twitter, and some tweets include addresses of where to go. Second, it can bring your guests behind the scenes. Third, those who can't make it can "ride" the hashtag and see live Instagrams and Tweets.
One of the biggest benefits is having a collection of short insta-videos of the really big moments. Weddings have a schedule that is wonderfully predictable. As much as I love snapping perfect photos of the wedding details, my favorite post is always an insta-video of the officiant proclaiming at the end of the ceremony, "you are now husband and wife" (especially when there is glass-stomping involved!).
What goes into a good wedding hashtag? What's the most creative ones you've seen?
Picking a good wedding hashtag can be really difficult! A great hashtag is clever and uses one or both names. Bonus points for a hashtag with a rhyme or alliteration, for example, #wilsonwedding, #ashleyandandrewpartyof2, or my most recent DC wedding, #janelleandmitchgethitched. Sometimes the stars align and you can get a hashtag that's a play on words or a pun of the last names.
Are there any rules of etiquette for social media that guests should know about for weddings?
Tweet the Bride never posts pictures of the groom or the bride before the ceremony. The dress, and that big reveal, needs to stay a surprise. After the ceremony, I like posting those photos as "latergrams" during cocktail hour.
For all other guests, I think it's important to know the couple's stance on social media before posting anything. David's Bridal did a study that showed about 14% of brides forbid social media at their wedding, and those 14% may surprise you (I'm looking at you, Kim Kardashian).
It's also a terrible idea to post any crises or mistakes that happen — it's supposed to be a highlight reel and not a gritty reporting gig.
Now that many brides never print out their professional wedding photos, do you think Instagram and Twit pics are more important than ever?
I think the importance of digital over hard copy photos is growing. More people will see a new wedding day Facebook profile photo than a wedding photo on a shelf. And, it's largely about instant gratification. Some couples are lucky enough to have a photographer who will quickly share a few highlight photos, but they'll have to wait at least a day to get them. Tweet the Bride's photos and tweets are ready instantly.
Does social media make the day more memorable?
I tend to share my biggest and most exciting moments on social media. Weddings are huge life milestones, and they just so happen to be punctuated with beautiful makeup, hair, flowers, food and friends. Weddings are absolutely meant to be on social media!
Anything else we should know?
I create new Instagram and Twitter profiles for the couple, and I guarantee three Instagrams and Tweets per hour (that's an average). Tweet the Bride shares these passwords with the couple, and the only day we ever handle the profiles is on the wedding day. All of Tweet the Bride's artists have strong photography and social media backgrounds. Instagramming and tweeting weddings feels very normal and natural, and I think more couples are going to catch on to this.
· Tweet The Bride [Official Site]
· All Racked Weddings Week 2014 posts [Racked DC]