Figuring out a wedding hashtag is so stressful that you can delegate the task to a hashtag creation company. I agonized over my wedding hashtag before landing on one — I wanted something funny, but not corny; original but not too cutesy. I'm not even sure I like the hashtag we eventually came up with, but I had to move on. Even though my wedding is long gone, I still love helping my friends come up with great hashtags for their own nuptials. But according to Joy, a wedding planning website and app, the wedding hashtag is dead, and creating one in 2018 may not be that big of a priority after all.
If you're anything like me, your first reaction is probably skepticism. But Joy CEO and co-founder Vishal Joshi elaborated on why he thinks the hashtag is a thing of the past. "All the typical hashtags are gone," he tells Bustle. For example, he says, if a couple wants to make their hashtag #JustinAndSarah — it's already been overused. “There are a lot of Sarahs who marry Justins,” Joshi says. It's difficult to find a hashtag that hasn't been used by anyone else, and when you do, you run into another problem: Will your guests actually upload pictures of the wedding to Instagram?
I'll admit that I'm guilty of not uploading anything except a picture of me and my partner at other people's weddings. As much as I love Instagram, I'm careful about what I post — and I attend enough weddings that they don't all make the cut. "People post photos that are well-curated and it kind of reflects their brand," Joshi says. And even if they take a lot of wedding pictures, they may not post them. "They're thinking, Why would I subject my followers to 60 photos of your wedding? They didn’t come to your wedding.'" Joy offers an alternative — a private social network of sorts where guests and the couple share photos and status updates.
But Anne Chertoff, a WeddingWire trend expert, says we shouldn't plan a funeral for the hashtag just yet. "Whether you think your guests will use your wedding’s hashtag or not, it’s a creative and fun detail that you can include in various ways," she tells Bustle. Per Chertoff, WeddingWire's Newlywed Report found that more than half of couples create a wedding hashtag to use during wedding-related events like bridal showers and bachelorette parties. WeddingWire also offers a hashtag generator. "A couple can find a more interesting phrase than just their names, which can avoid confusion online if another couple uses their names as their hashtag too."
And the hashtag can be used outside of social media, she says. "A hashtag can be a modern take on the monogram and printed on cocktail napkins or painted on a mirror or photo booth backdrop. Even if you don’t expect all of your guests to upload photos to their Instagram feeds, a hashtag is a common occurrence in today’s culture as a fun add-on." It seems like the hashtag debate will rage on. My advice is to do whatever you want — it is your wedding, after all. I love it when people come up with creative wedding hashtags, but I do wonder if any possibilities will be left five years from now.
I'll continue to dutifully hashtag photos on the rare occasion that I share pictures from someone's wedding to my Instagram feed — that's what stories are for, in my opinion. But of course, stories disappear after 24 hours, so they have their own disadvantages. If you want the best of both worlds, you could do a hashtag and use an app like Joy's to make sure you're covering all of your bases. And if it makes you feel better, most of the pictures my guests took at my wedding were pretty blurry, anyway.