Belfast Telegraph

Sunday 29 May 2016

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Digital life: Picture this, a wedding without photos

A new survey reveals it's not just celebs who are banning Facebook and Instagram at their nuptials. Katie Wright looks at the modern matrimony rules

Published 27/02/2016


February 29 is historically the day when women eschew traditional gender roles and propose to their man, so, seeing as it's a Leap Year, you might get a bunch more wedding invitations than usual this year.

And when those weddings roll around, don't be surprised if you see something like this on the invite: "We kindly remind you not to take any photos. Please find enclosed a small sticker which will need to be placed over the lens of your camera on your phone for the duration of the event."

That polite-but-firm note was found on the itinerary for Kimberley Walsh's recent three-day nuptials in Barbados.

The Girls Aloud star imposed a strict social media blackout for the three-day celebrations, reportedly because she had signed a six-figure deal with a glossy mag.

While we mere mortals don't have to worry about breaching the terms of a Hello! magazine photo deal, social media can pose a problem at even the most low-key wedding.

New research reveals that 45% of people would consider asking guests to wait until the day after they tied the knot to post pictures online.

The survey, commissioned to mark the launch of the Hallmark Hotels Win a Wedding competition, found that unflattering photos showing up online was more of a wedding day worry than whether the groom turns up, the rings go missing or the food is awful.

And while half of those questioned wouldn't dream of posting unattractive photos of the happy couple, the other half don't see it as a problem. Are those little stickers sounding more appealing now?

Then there are those who want help from filters and airbrushing: the highest proportion of couples who admitted they would Photoshop their wedding album if they could get away with it were found in Wales, compared to the lowest in the West Midlands.

Digital advances are making life easier in other ways, too, with 53% of respondents agreeing that sending out invitations by email instead of post is fine and 61% saying that sending congratulations on Facebook instead of sending a card is acceptable.

Plus, it's not uncommon to see a hashtag emerge - whether impromptu, or dictated by the newlyweds - as snap-happy friends document the day. So, ultimately, whether you're happy with a Facebook free-for-all, or intend to clamp down with an all-out ban, it seems to come down to how vain you are - or how mean your friends are.

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