3 ways to use social media in your wedding

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As much as we all hate to admit it, social media has a strong grip on our lives – almost every aspect.
Social media sites can be an amazing source of wedding inspiration as well as a great place to get yourself organized and even share your ideas with wedding party members.
Finding the right vendors for your wedding is paramount to making your big day a success. So how do you pick the right ones? How do you know which photographer to choose and whether you are getting a fair price? How do you sort through the hundreds of stationery companies and invitation options? Which hair and makeup artists will deliver the exact look you desire and which florist will dazzle you with their style? Most importantly, how can you be sure you made the right decision? It all begins with knowing where to start your search in the first place.
Here are three ways that you can take advantage of social media to improve your wedding:

Pinterest boards
If you haven’t used Pinterest yet as a source of endless inspiration, you are sorely missing out. Not only is Pinterest chock full of great DIY instructions, but you can also use it as a search engine to find gorgeous engagement and wedding photo ideas and poses. You can take advantage of the Pinterest boards feature to keep your ideas organized. Create a board for wedding hair, bachelorette party ideas, wedding dresses, makeup, decorations, food, favors, invitations—the possibilities are endless. You can even invite your bridesmaids to contribute their ideas to your Pinterest board. You can use this to communicate visions to your wedding planner or floral designer. If you want to keep your perfect favor or groomsman gift ideas a secret, you can use the secret board option. You won’t lose your favorite inspirations in the sea of thousands of suggestions, but the friends who follow you won’t see them show up on their feeds either. Really, if you haven’t started a Pinterest wedding board you need to do so now.

Instagram hashtags
When my fiancée, Jen, and I started our search for vendors, we immediately felt so overwhelmed! Being active on Instagram, it was the first place we turned to. Hashtags are the best way to browse, as well as searching for keywords. Using locale-specific tags, such as #albanywedding #albanybride or #albanyphotographer, is a great way to browse for photographers, hairstylists or makeup artists. Instagram is also useful in researching venues for your ceremony and reception, and often a better way than visiting the facilities’ official websites. Whether you are looking for the perfect venue or you have already found The One, Instagram is a great method for discovering all the different ways other brides have styled the space. Looking through a venue’s Instagram feed and tagged pictures is the obvious starting point. You can also search location tags on Instagram as well as a hashtag of the venue name.

Facebook
Be careful, but selectively add some relevant relationship information. For example, when Jen and I got engaged we changed our relationship status on Facebook. A few days later, we had three wedding-related ads show up in our newsfeed. This was good because we would clearly need those services at some point and it reminded us of some companies we could contact. Another way to use Facebook is to use Facebook groups. Make a Facebook group and include your bridesmaids, maybe your wedding planner, your mom, aunt, or whoever is helping you plan your wedding. You can share, discuss, plan, create events and documents and easily keep everyone on the same page–all in one place. There are also some moderated and non-vendor Facebook groups. This is mostly a support group of past, present, and future brides helping each other plan their weddings. Planning a wedding can seem like a huge task, but with the right online tools, you’ll be a click or two away from wedded bliss.
Asif Ismail is an experienced marketer and the founder and Chief Marketing Officer of Inspired Global Marketing. He helps his clients better understand their customers and how to communicate with them. For more information, visit inspiredgm.com.

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