We’ve always encouraged making a wedding hashtag—they enable your guests to share photos from their perspective, and allow a virtual “album” that you can hopefully look through for years to come.
That said, if you have any hesitations about having one, there are a few potential reasons you might to reconsider. Before you commit to the hashtag, consider the following #downsides.
1. There are better options out there.
And all you need to do is tell your guests to download an app that you post on your wedding website. The Guest is a new photo-sharing app that automatically uploads any photos your guests take to a stream in real time—so you don’t have to worry about waiting for your guests to choose, edit and upload a picture to social media the next day.
2. Not everyone has Instagram.
And of course, going off of that, there’s a chance a good chunk of your guest list (your grandma’s Mahjong friends, for instance) either won’t know what a hashtag is, or don’t have the necessary social media account to use it. Encouraging the use of an app instead makes sure every guest is on equal footing, and has the same access to the technology as the next guest.
3. They’re a little too public.
People searching your hashtag or that follow your Instagram feed could see photos of your special night before you even get the chance to. If you don’t love the idea of personal images ping-ponging across social media, take note.
4. Sometimes only a few people participate.
If your friends and family don’t get word of the hashtag in time, the next morning when you scroll through Instagram, you might be disappointed to see only a few posts. Plus, there’s a good chance your guests will solely post pictures of themselves—which is still great, but probably not exactly what you’re looking for when you’re trying to find some candid photos of your cake-cutting or first dance.
5. Your guests might be preoccupied with being “social.”
When we whip out our phones to upload a picture to Instagram and hashtag #TheNewlyWoods, suddenly we’re more focused on likes than we are on the present. By encouraging your guests to use an app instead, they’ll likely be less inclined to use social media and—most importantly—more likely to be present in the moment at your reception.
6. You risk, well, offending people.
Obviously, you’d invite every Instagram follower and Facebook friend you have if you could, but that’s not the reality of weddings. Those people who weren’t lucky enough to get the invite might not appreciate a virtual play-by-play of all the awesome fun that they aren’t getting the chance to experience in real life.
7. Your hashtag stream isn’t uniquely yours.
Hashtags aren’t like URLs or phone numbers; there’s no guarantee that yours is unique. And since wedding hashtags have been around for about five years at this point, it’s getting more and more difficult for couples to craft a totally new one. Plus, your hashtag album isn’t guaranteed to remain only yours in the future either, if there’s another #TheNewlyWoods who happen to marry in the next few years and share an affinity for the one you came up with.