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#Hashtagging Happiness

#Hashtagging Happiness

A successful wedding hashtag involves more than chance

By Anjelica MacGregor // Photo by Black & Hue Photography

Technology and romance don’t always go hand in hand. So it’s understandable when some brides impose a strict ban on phones at their weddings. But for most couples tying the knot these days, the more “Likes” they get on social media, the better. With the wedding hashtag trend gaining serious momentum, recent studies have shown that more than half of weddings incorporate the fun digital sharing practice.
Interested in trying it out yourself? Bryan Honhart, co-owner of Black & Hue Photography, recently took over Wedding Wire’s Instagram account for a day and picked up a few valuable tricks of his own.

Include your names

The most basic and important step — incorporate both names. Maybe the last name of the bride and the first name of the groom make the hashtag. In any event, pick something that speaks to both parties. Think about the cute collaborated nicknames invented by friends. Or, if no collaboration exists, just make something up such as #EmmaHeartsNick

Incorporate the wedding date

A huge success for celebrities has been the incorporation of the year they married. If the wedding takes place in 2016, include both last names with the year. The hashtag needs to get to the point. “I try to avoid long hashtags because you don’t want to have three paragraphs worth of little hashtags,” advises Honhart.

Choose a pun

“Couples always turn last names into some sort of pun for a wedding,” Honhart notes. If both parties have long last names, the best option is to choose a fun or catchy phrase that speaks to the personalities of both parties. Rhymes and synonyms usually help.

Capitalize each separate idea

Capitalizing each component of your hashtag makes its less confusing for guests. Since no spaces or punctuation marks can be used in a hashtag, the phrase will be easier to absorb and much less prone to typos. Of course, all lowercase or a combination of the two will work just as well for sharing purposes. “Five years down the road you can just type in your hashtag from your wedding,” says Honhart, “and you will find random shots that you missed that you didn’t even know were happening.”

Ensure the availability of the hashtag

Once both parties have decided on the hashtag, enter it into the search bar on your chosen social media platform. If a surplus of wedding photos appears with the same hashtag, think about changing a letter, number or entire word. The best hashtags are the ones not in circulation at all. After all, the purpose of a successful hashtag is a clean slate where all photos are compiled neatly.

Market the hashtag

If you plan ahead, you can place the hashtag on the “save-the-date” invitation and wedding website. In addition, most couples create signage to place around the wedding venue that emphasizes the hashtag. According to Honhart, a DIY photo booth area is the perfect place to showcase the hashtag. “They’ll set out a Polaroid camera, a bunch of props, fake mustaches, hats and sombreros, just the craziest things you’ve ever seen. Usually they’ll have a sign with the Instagram logo alongside their hashtag. I recommend having it out at cocktail hour when everyone’s finally relaxed and on their phones, and they can do some candid stuff there with the hashtag.”

Look back and ‘Like’

The greatest gift of the wedding hashtag is preserving moments the bride and groom were busy enjoying. Hashtags capture the day through the eyes of family and friends. Photos from the hashtag will inspire reminiscing for years to come. Just don’t forget about what’s really important: Your wedding is about your marriage more than anything. Enjoy the day.

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