Are wedding hashtags stupid? Are they the final sign that we've lost the battle to social media, and that love now only exists when its accumulating likes on other people's tiny lit-up screens?
Or are wedding hashtags a brilliant idea, an easy, fun way to make a communal experience even more enjoyable, and to collect precious memories in one place?
We fight about this a lot at the Spring.St office. And when we found out that people are now running entire businesses based on designing other people's wedding hashtags, things got heated.
So much so, that we decided to jump onto Slack and hash(tag) it out, once and for all.
It's time to pick a side.
Deputy Editor Imogen Dewey [11:13 AM]: Dear writers, we saw this week that people are now paying to have their wedding hashtags designed by a professional. How do we feel about this? How do we feel about wedding hashtags in general?
Staff Writer Catherine Santino [11:17 AM]: I understand that it's a simple and fast way for everyone to see all the photos from the day, but they honestly make me a bit ill
Catherine [11:18 AM]: Involuntary eye rolling occurs.
Senior Editor Sarah-Jane Collins [11:18 AM]: Totally agree! They can be cute and funny, but are often cringey.
Imogen [11:18 AM]: Is it because they feel so branded? I feel funny about them too—but I guess it’s not so different from the whole vibe of a wedding invite in general?
Sarah-Jane [11:19 AM]: I like the ones that are just name mash-ups, but the ones where they say something like #soandsoandsoandsoforever, or something sappy on the end…It's just a bit vomit-inducing…
Sarah-Jane[11:20 AM]: Maybe that's why people are hiring professionals?
Social Media Manager Caitlin Stower [11:21 AM]: Going to play devil’s advocate here…I love them
Editorial Assistant Delia Barth [11:21 AM]: I don't mind wedding hashtags. But I think hiring a professional is ridiculous.
Caitlin [11:22 AM]: I would 100 percent be into a career change to become a person who makes up wedding hashtags.
Caitlin [11:22 AM]: I would feel fulfilled.
Imogen [11:22 AM]: It’s also that thing about how self-conscious you want your social media to be. The whole #nofilter hashtag is about being “natural and spontaneous”. But a pre-designed hashtag is the exact opposite of that. It makes the day feel like a corporate event. But also, it should be fine to want your social media curated? #imonthefence
Sarah-Jane [11:22 AM]: Okay, I need you to tell me why you love them, Caitlin. CONVINCE ME.
Caitlin [11:24 AM]: I am social-media obsessed—obviously, since this is my career—but that aside, I am a huge advocate for wedding hashtags.
If someone gets married, I want to see all the photos. I want to see everything immediately. Wedding photos can take months to come back to the couple and by then, everyone has forgotten about your wedding. I love following the love story from the engagement to the honeymoon, all in one convenient place—the hashtag section on Instagram.
Caitlin [11:25 AM]: I spent a good few days coming up with the perfect hashtag for my brother’s wedding, and I made sure people used it. Now we get to look back on all the photos and remember the great day it was—the candid shots and the professional shots, all in the same place.
Sarah-Jane [11:26 AM]: How did you make sure people used it? Were you just popping up all over the wedding and grabbing people's phones?
Sarah-Jane [11:26 AM]: Also, are we allowed to know the hashtag? Was is a name mash-up?
Caitlin [11:27 AM]: Absolutely. No, there were signs everywhere with the hashtag on it (tasteful signs, I swear, in CHALK) so people would remember—and we made sure it was used from the engagement party to the wedding reception, so people got to know it.
Caitlin [11:27 AM]: It was simple—my brother’s name is Liam, his wife’s name is Katie. It was #liamheartskatie
We had to make sure it hadn’t been used before, and we had to make sure it was easy enough that people wouldn’t get too drunk and misspell it (although I’m pretty sure that did happen once or twice).
Imogen [11:28 AM]: I guess it's nice for wedding etiquette in general, as long as everyone uses it—as the couple, you can see what people are putting up, and what pics of you are out there.
And we do make other requests of wedding guests: dress code etc. So it isn’t that weird to ask they participate in that side of it.
Imogen [11:28 AM]: Maybe I’m coming around.
Caitlin [11:28 AM]: You definitely are.
Caitlin [11:28 AM]: Because they are great.
Sarah-Jane [11:29 AM]: The one thing I really like about it is the wedding night recap option.
Sarah-Jane [11:30 AM]:
I read an article a while back, before my best friend's wedding, about how to be the best maid of honor. The one tip I took to heart was to steal the bride's phone and take heaps of pictures with it, so they could look back on their day that night in bed before they went to sleep.
I can see how a hashtag would amplify this and be super lovely.
Caitlin [11:30 AM]: Oh, that’s so good.
Imogen [11:30 AM]: I LOVE THAT. Guerilla memories.
Catherine [11:30 AM]: THAT IS AMAZING.
Caitlin [11:31 AM]: Yeah, definitely. You don’t want to be waiting months for photos. I love looking back at all the photos from the wedding in the hashtag. It’s so great to see all the moments you missed while you were doing important bride stuff.
Sarah-Jane [11:32 AM]: Okay, so I think we're all on board with the hashtag, but what about the professionals? Why does there need to be a job that does this?
Caitlin [11:32 AM]: It’s pretty ridiculous, I’ll admit that. But there is a fair amount of work that goes into making a wedding hashtag.
Caitlin [11:33 AM]: LAUGH AT ME IF YOU MUST.
Imogen [11:33 AM]: From a business perspective, I say power to anyone who knows how to make people pay you to do something easy.
SORRY CAITLIN, I THINK IT’S EASY.
Sarah-Jane [11:33 AM]: Okay, break down the "work".
Imogen [11:33 AM]: Canny use of inverted commas there, my friend.
Sarah-Jane [11:33 AM]: I call them "truth marks".
Caitlin [11:34 AM]: You need to have at least a basic understanding of social media. You need to choose something that is short, sharp, and easy to remember/ALSO EASY TO SPELL. You need to make sure no one has ever used that hashtag in the history of Instagram before.
Imogen [11:34 AM]: Couldn’t you Google all that, because the internet exists?
Caitlin [11:34 AM]: It’s just one more thing that a bride and groom shouldn’t have to worry about. If you have the money, why not get someone else to do it for you?
Sarah-Jane [11:34 AM]: CAITLIN, YOUR LIFE IS A LIE.
Imogen [11:35 AM]: “Dear internet, how do I make the best wedding hashtag?"
Catherine [11:35 AM]: IM SORRY BUT I DONT THINK THIS SHOULD BE A JOB.
At least, not an entire job.
Imogen [11:35 AM]: “Dear person Googling, pay someone thousands of dollars."
Imogen [11:36 AM]: It’s as silly as paying someone to choose your photo filters (someone who is not an app)! OMG business idea: wedding hashtag-maker app.
Caitlin [11:36 AM]: It’s not, though. Sure, you can find tips on the internet but they’re going to tell you exactly what I’m telling you here—and that’s doing the work. And if there is a site that exists that creates the perfect, unique hashtag for your wedding (#appidea) then that would be great…but that site also becomes someone’s job.
Caitlin [11:36 AM]: HAHAHA SAME IDEA.
Imogen [11:36 AM]: Great minds. And good point, I guess. If it’s a good app, why is it not a good job?
Caitlin [11:36 AM]: ZING.
Sarah-Jane [11:37 AM]: I guess because you build the app, then the app just does it—and you're essentially not doing any more work?
Catherine [11:37 AM]: I don't have a problem with the concept of a wedding hashtag; it's useful and convenient. But to me it's like an an engagement photo shoot—nearly impossible to do without making me throw up in my mouth a little.
Perhaps that's just a personal problem.
Sarah-Jane [11:38 AM]: Haha.
Are you allergic to love?
Caitlin [11:38 AM]: Catherine, I can’t wait until I get married and force you to abide by my very clever and original wedding hashtag.
Imogen [11:38 AM]: It’s that same question though: Why does it make you throw up?
Does it feel too forced?
Sarah-Jane [11:38 AM]: #thestoshow
Caitlin [11:38 AM]: Nope.
Sarah-Jane [11:38 AM]: PAY ME ALL THE MONEY.
Catherine [11:39 AM]: Caitlin, I will happily use your wedding hashtag whilst silently cringing and digging my nails into my palms because I AM A GOOD PERSON/WEDDING GUEST.
Caitlin [11:39 AM]: Thank you - you are invited to my wedding in 10+ years time.
Delia [11:40 AM]: I think hashtags are great for organizational reasons—you can find all your wedding photos so easily—but I think paying somebody to do it is ridiculous.
And I kinda agree with Catherine that all this stuff makes me throw up a little.
Imogen [11:40 AM]: But why does wedding stuff make us throw up? REAL QUESTION.
Catherine [11:40 AM]: I think because it's so staged and forced. I feel like weddings in general these days seem to be about everyone except the bride and groom. It's a production that's hyped up way too much and there's way too much pressure.
Delia [11:41 AM]: I kinda find it corny, I guess.
Caitlin [11:41 AM]: I think you can have a wedding hashtag and still be tasteful and not corny.
Imogen [11:41 AM]: And Catherine, I feel like hashtags and photos are totally about the bride and groom!
Almost too much, even…
Sarah-Jane [11:42 AM]: I would definitely like to see Zosia Mamet's wedding hashtag.
Caitlin [11:42 AM]: OOOH.
Catherine [11:42 AM]: SHE PROBABLY DIDN'T HAVE ONE BECAUSE SHE IS TOO COOL.
Caitlin [11:42 AM]: She definitely had one.
Sarah-Jane [11:42 AM]: If Zosia didn't have one, I am against it.
Imogen [11:42 AM]: Did Amal have a hashtag? Probs not.
Caitlin [11:42 AM]: She totally did, but it was probably so unique and inside-jokey that we mere mortals will never know about it.
Sarah-Jane [11:43 AM]: What would it be? #AMORGE?
Caitlin [11:43 AM]: If you can guess it, it wouldn’t be that.
Catherine [11:43 AM]: BEYONCÉ DIDN'T. FINAL RULING. But then again, she got married in like 2007. So…
Caitlin [11:43 AM]: Amal probably paid a professional.
Imogen [11:43 AM]: #MrAlamuddin
Sarah-Jane [11:43 AM]: Amal didn't have one. You know who would have had one? Marnie Michaels on Girls and that is everything you need to know because she's the worst CASE CLOSED.
Imogen [11:44 AM]: I'm now just imagining George lying at Amal’s feet, angrily throwing spurned #weddinghasthtag ideas into the waste-paper basket.
Sarah-Jane [11:44 AM]: I have convinced myself to hate them again.
Delia [11:44 AM]: I feel like making a hashtag makes it obvious you’re doing it for "likes", which makes it seem non-genuine/corny.
Imogen [11:45 AM]: What’s wrong with likes? REAL QUESTION.
Delia [11:45 AM]: Nothing! It just makes it less transparent.
Imogen [11:45 AM]: Why are we so anti people looking for reinforcement/love on social media? I think wanting lots of likes is one of the most genuine/human things ever.
Caitlin [11:45 AM]: Nah, nah, nah. It’s not for the likes. It’s for the LOVE
Imogen [11:45 AM]: Sorry, #offtopic
Caitlin [11:46 AM]: Delia, come back to me when you get married, and you’re sad all your wedding photos are in a bunch of different places on one hundred people’s Instagrams, so you can’t find them anywhere.
Catherine [11:46 AM]: SHOTS FIRED. Pew pew.
Caitlin [11:46 AM]: A practical wedding hashtag doesn’t have to mean it’s gimmicky or corny.
(PS. Pay me to create your wedding hashtags.)
Delia [11:47 AM]: I think it’s a personal thing. I wouldn’t really care about my photos being everywhere, to be honest. But I totally get the practicality factor.
Imogen [11:48 AM]: So, where do we stand? Pros: useful, sweet, fun. Cons: corny, fake, annoying when people screw it up.
Caitlin [11:48 AM]: It’s up to your personal tastes. But I’m all for them.
Caitlin [11:49 AM]: And I don’t actually think the idea of a hashtag professional is completely ridiculous. Only a little ridiculous. Like, a 3/10.
Imogen [11:49 AM]: What’s the largest amount you think is fair to charge? As a person who stands to profit here?
Sarah-Jane [11:50 AM]: If you pay more than $50, you are a sucker of the highest order.
Caitlin [11:50 AM]: Hmm…$50—100, if you're just making a hashtag. If you're putting together a social package for your wedding? $500—1000.
Catherine [11:50 AM]: If it's part of another social media job, or wedding planning job, then I don't think it's absurd
Caitlin [11:50 AM]: Agreed.
Catherine [11:51 AM]: On its own though? Crazy.
Imogen [11:52 AM]: Ideal scenario: Who would you want to create your wedding hashtag? Like, some kind of ad legend? I would pay for Don Draper to do my wedding hashtag. Or, like, Jon Stewart.
Imogen [11:53 AM]: Even if it sucked.
Caitlin [11:53 AM]: Yessssssss. Stephen Colbert. I love him.
Sarah-Jane [11:53 AM]: Guys, I don't think this is their field.
Caitlin [11:53 AM]: It definitely is.
Sarah-Jane [11:54 AM]: I mean, I would have them officiate, or MC, or whatever. But why on earth waste them on a hashtag?
Imogen [11:54 AM]: They might not have time to MC. My point being, I would pay for some kind of celeb to do my hashtag, but not a random person.
Imogen [11:54 AM]: Sorry to call you a random person, Caitlin.
Delia [11:55 AM]: I’d pay Tina Fey to do mine. I would even have one if Tina Fey wrote it.
Sarah-Jane [11:55 AM]: Celebrities don't even do their own social media. They pay non famous people to do it.
Imogen [11:55 AM]: That’s why it would be special!
Caitlin [11:56 AM]: Or, you’d end up paying Jon Stewart, only for his non-famous assistant to make your hashtag up.
Sarah-Jane [11:57 AM]: Hahahaha.
Associate Editor Sara Nachlis [12:09 PM]: Sorry guys, jumping in late. But I can make you a wedding hashtag by combining your mother's maiden name, the street you grew up on, and your social security number.
Just send those to me, plus your credit card info (including the code on the back and expiration date) and I've got it covered.
Caitlin [12:10 PM]: HAHAHAHA. You win this.