As social media becomes increasingly intertwined with daily lives, it seems inevitable that romantic relationships make greater use of social media. It wasn’t long after online networks were created that web users found the Internet to be a ideal medium not just for academics communicating over long distances but for developing friendships and romantic relationships as well. Perhaps the first social networks formed around dating sites during the web’s early years, and once these social networks began to take part in our online routines, the relationship status became a key part of profiles. Today many consider updating your relationship status from single to “in a relationship” a legitimate means to acknowledge their entry into a committed relationship, and sharing the news of an engagement is only a mouse click away for Facebook users.
Couples use social media to tell their story and about preparations for the wedding, and to exchange photos and share memories with wedding guests (and maybe those who couldn’t make it) after the big day. One popular trend for newly engaged couples is to make a wedding website on which couples can share the story behind their relationship and to share wedding day plans in advance with guests, not to mention making it a breeze to link to their wedding gift registry. Some even use social media to propose to their spouse, creating a unique proposal but also making it easy to share their special story. Here’s a few of the unique ways couples are using social media to share their proposals and weddings:
- A Google Maps engineer created a scavenger hunt for their would-be fiancé, navigating around NYC using the Maps app on their smartphone
- Dozens have proposed by updating their status on Twitter
- During the Royal Wedding between Prince William and Kate Middleton the couple broadcast their wedding via a live stream on YouTube. News and chat about their wedding set a new record for tweets per second.
- A single issue Groupon good for one marriage contract
- One creative partner set up a series of proposal-themed web links for their would-be spouse to click-thru using StumbleUpon
- An enterprising couple checked-in to the altar using Foursquare to pop-the-question
- At least one couple proposed (and accepted) via LOLCats
This summer I had the honor to attend the wedding between two of my friends, Mark Welsh and Kristin Welsh. Before we arrived in Destin for their wedding, we used their wedding website to make our own plans for when to buy plane tickets, where to stay, what to do in Florida, and which gifts we could buy through their wedding registry. From the day of their engagement up to the ceremony on the beach, they celebrated news about the wedding with friends and family. And afterwards we used the same social networks to share photos and relive their special day.
Here is a timeline of my favorite memories from Mark and Kristin’s wedding, as told through social media clips by friends, family, myself, and the bride and groom themselves:
Social Media continues to have a profound effect on all our relationships, bringing romantic couples together and connecting us closer with family and friends when couples share their special day. Or at least it’s likely to shape how we share memories in the future, just as wedding photography and videography has in the past, by creating unique memories not only on the big day, but all the day leading up to and in the lives they choose to share together.