Here's How To Throw A Social-Media-Optimized Wedding

If you want your wedding to go viral, listen up.

Step 1: Proper Hashtagging

How does one come up with a hashtag?
“You shouldn’t spend longer than 60 seconds thinking of it — the quicker it comes to you, the better. The more you think and ruminate on it, the more pained it will feel. My now-husband, Preston, and I were watching TV and talking about our save-the-dates, which I designed to read, ‘OMG we’re getting married.’ Preston said, ‘Why don’t we make our hashtag like that?’ We both thought that was really funny, and he suggested we add our first initials. So we went with #EPOMG, because it rhymed, it was easy to remember, and it made us laugh every time we said it to each other. The No. 1 rule is to make sure it’s easy to remember, because you don’t want your guests asking each other what it is when you’re walking down the aisle and they want to post a picture of you. And then the second rule is to make sure it isn’t heavily used. If there are one or two photos with that hashtag, that’s okay, because your feed will take it over. You don’t want your wedding getting lost in Instagram.” —Elizabeth Spiridakis Olson, creative director whose 2013 wedding went viral

How do you make sure said hashtag gets used?
“Include it on your wedding website or save-the-date card, and ask the DJ to announce it in between songs. You can have framed signs on the tables that encourage taking photos and sharing them using your hashtag. But definitely limit it to one or two areas — you don’t want to turn your wedding into an MTV Awards–style production.” C.K. Alexander, wedding-vow coach and owner of LoveInk

What if this social-media flurry leaves people feeling angry for not having been invited?
“Address the situation yourself: Share a picture with your network and say, ‘Thank you for the kind words! We wish all of you could have been here with us.’ ” —Dawn Mauberret, wedding planner and co-founder of Toasted Wedding Event

Step 2: Hiring a Live-Tweeter

Yes, this exists: New York–based concierge service Maid of Social, which launched this September, will send a representative to your wedding who will post photos to Instagram, live-tweet the ceremony, send Snapchat messages, and even stream the first dance on Periscope. “We work with the couple ahead of time to make sure that we’re in the loop with everything happening on the actual wedding day,” says co-founder Samantha Roberts. “This includes tagging vendors to make sure they’re credited and helping take photos for the bridal party. That means you’ll have someone on hand specifically to take those non-selfie shots of you and 20 other friends, without hassling the hired shooter.” Customizable packages start at $1,200.

Step 3: Going Viral

“Always remember that the first photo you share is probably the one that’s going to take off the quickest and have the most impact. So you might want to wait a little to post until you’ve gotten a chance to see a good chunk of the rest. I actually posted this one early on, right after the ceremony, when I ran out to retouch my makeup. Christian Siriano, who designed my dress, took it. It’s definitely not the best picture that I shared from our wedding, nor of me. But the little things you notice and don’t like about yourself, it turns out literally nobody gives a shit about. And it can look really sterile if everything is super thought out and planned — like those cheesy photos where one person’s in focus and the other person isn’t. This photo was totally off-the-cuff, against a brick wall, and diagonal — it wasn’t even straight!” —Nicolette Mason, contributing fashion editor and columnist at Marie Claire and blogger, married at the Wythe Hotel this past May

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