Before 2007, only computer programmers even knew what hashtags were. But nowadays, picking your wedding hashtag is as important in wedding planning as finding a venue. Hashtags are used to help couples claim their territory in the social media world.
A unique hashtag becomes a brand for your wedding. It makes it easy for others to follow along with your journey to the altar via Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram; helps people remember your wedding url (if you make your hashtag and url the same, which is smart); and becomes the first thing people think of when they talk about your wedding. You can even use hashtags to help collect some of your guests’ photos. (Of course, we recommend you use Joy to collect all of your guests’ photos more easily, but more on that later.) But picking the right wedding hashtag requires more than mashing your names together. Picking a hashtag is a big decision, but the Joy team is here to teach you how to choose a wedding hashtag the right way.
If you want the whole world to join in on a conversation on Twitter, using a hashtag that’s already popular is a smart move. But if you want a wedding hashtag that is unique to your wedding, it’s important that you pick one that isn’t already being used. Picking something too generic will make your feed messy. We recommend you do your homework before choosing your wedding hashtag to make sure it isn’t being used currently by another couple or in an unrelated topic. We recommend using a social media tracking site like Tagboard.com to test out the hashtags you are considering. If you don’t see any posts, or if you don’t see any in the past six months, you’re good to go.
Your wedding hashtag should represent your wedding, and that doesn’t just mean it should have your names in it. If you are planning a lively, lighthearted celebration, pick a hashtag that is fun, and maybe even a little funny. Mary and Adam O’Conner, one of our first Joy couples, used the hashtag #AdamGetsMaryd for their wedding, and found that their guests were even more likely to use it because it was a bit humorous. When you’re choosing a hashtag, think like a marketer, and pick something that appeals to your audience.
Building on the importance of being unique, remember that a general formula of “[name]and[name]” doesn’t always work, because these are often already in use — especially if you and your partner have relatively popular names. When Dave and Amy Osborne were looking for a hashtag, “#DaveAndAmy was already taken, so they went with “#DavePlusAmy” instead. Some popular formulas you can consider include:
Long hashtags are challenging because they are often hard to remember and, especially when it comes to Twitter, they eat up valuable characters. Try to keep your hashtag to 20 characters or less. Feel free to get loose with spelling (remember the #AdamGetsMaryd example) if it saves you some space. Remember that peoples’ attention spans are short.
Easy to read, that is. Hashtags can’t have spaces, and that can make them difficult to read or make out, so use capital letters to separate words and make your hashtag more readable for everybody. For example, #LauraLovesLeonard is much easier to read than #Lauralovesleonard, right?
Remember that hashtags don’t always work
Like we said, hashtags are great for following along with live events on Twitter and Instagram, but they aren’t as useful for collecting photos as they used to be. Instagram specifically has recently made it harder to track hashtags after a certain amount of time, and even when you do capture them in time, it’s hard to download photos, especially high resolution photos, from common social media platforms.
If you really want to capture the photos you and your guests take, use Joy! We created Joy the app to make it easy for couples to capture every single moment before, during, and after a wedding. Joy allows your guests to take photos in the app or upload them from other photo apps, add captions and tags, and like and comment on other guest photos. Guests often share more photos in Joy than with traditional social media feeds because only your invited guests can see their photos – they are no worries about privacy or being too “noisy” on their own social feeds. And you can download the photos they take to keep forever via the free wedding website you create with Joy.