Weddings online for all to see
MOST couples would be upset if photos of their intimate wedding were plastered all over social media sites by their friends on their big day - but not this couple.
Leah and Al Spender, of Maroochydore, invited their guests to post photos to social media sites such as Facebook and Instagram when they were married on June 2 this year at Ebb Waterfront Fine Dining and Wine Cellar, Maroochydore.
In fact, they posted a photo to Instagram and Facebook which said: "Get ready Instagrammers!" and "#leahandalswedding", tagged all their guests and told them to post happy snaps of themselves, as well as the hen's and buck's parties from the night before the wedding, all the way through to the ceremony and reception.
Leah said many friends and family had wanted to be a part of the day but could not attend.
The "instant" photographic updates were a means of including them in the special celebrations.
"We couldn't invite everyone," she said. "We have a lot of family interstate and friends all over the world.
"This was the easiest way to share our day with everyone."
While Leah and her husband confess to being "hooked on social media", Leah believed her day had not lost any intimacy with the social media posts.
"This was the happiest day of our lives and we wanted to record it all and share it with everyone," she said.
Leah and Al also shared photos on Instagram from their honeymoon for their loved ones.
Traditionally, bad luck is supposed to follow if the groom sees the bride before the wedding.
But while photos of Leah were uploaded before the ceremony, she wasn't worried about that ruining her day or their future life together.
"He (Al) saw photos of me but none of the dress and certainly none of me in it," she said.
"There were only a handful of people at the bride's camp and they all knew, without me even saying, not to post any photos of the dress."
That wasn't the case with one Coast bride, who isn't talking to one of her bridesmaids any more as a result of a social media faux pas, the Daily has discovered.
The bridesmaid innocently posted a photo on Facebook of her friend in her wedding dress while preparing for the ceremony … and the groom saw it.
To avoid situations like this, University of the Sunshine Coast communications expert Gregory Nash said brides and grooms needed to be open and specific about what they wanted or did not want shared on social media.
"If you are getting married, make requests," Dr Nash said.
"You don't have to have a media blanket, but you need to control what happens with your wedding.
"You need to say what's appropriate and what's not and your expectations of your guests."
Sunshine Coast wedding photographer Karen Buckle agrees that the bride and groom need to express their wishes about social media sharing.
"It's new territory, so new etiquette has to be established," she said.
"Occasionally, a couple requests no guest photography throughout the ceremony.
"It's their wedding and they can set their own rules.
"If the bride and groom are worried, they can communicate with their family and friends."
And although social media played a big part in her celebrations, Leah said posting photos of the bride in her dress before the wedding was a no-go zone.
"The groom should definitely see that for the first time as the bride walks down the aisle," she said.
"I'll never forget the look on Al's face when we locked eyes as my mum walked me down the aisle.
"You don't want to miss that."