Recently, I re-posted on the I DO Wedding Consulting blog an article that I was asked to write for the NACE (National Association of Catering and Events) blog. Here is the follow-up post that I wrote for them, after my first wedding with a social media concierge:
It happened last night.
The wedding I helped plan was finally here. The wedding I blogged about two months ago. My first wedding with a Social Media Concierge.
I am happy and relieved to report that it went so much better than I had anticipated! As a wedding planner, part of my job is to troubleshoot, to figure out what might go wrong and how to avoid it. If you read my NACE blog post in April, you know that I was concerned that the wedding professionals at this wedding might feel uncomfortable with someone with an iPhone aimed at them for twelve hours, but I have to tell you that it was just not an issue.
First of all, the groundwork was in place. I had spoken with the Social Media Concierge ahead of time, and I had called all of the wedding professionals too. And some of them had spoken to the Concierge directly. And as a reminder to all, I put the following note on the wedding day timeline, so there would be no chance of a misunderstanding:
The Social Media Concierge will be working on providing social media from 10:30 a.m. to 10:30 p.m. (or just after cake cutting). It is understood that she will do social media as a guest would and will not shoot over the photographer’s shoulder using the same picture angle. XXXX is the wedding’s exclusive photographer and will take the lead in the positioning of cameras and equipment.
And she had a reserved seat at the ceremony, on the third row at the center aisle. So she took pictures just as a guest might have there too.
And today, the day after, here is what I have learned from this whole experience:
1. The personality of the concierge really matters. She was a pleasure to be around. She was not intrusive. She was pleasant to all, and the bride loved her. So she was an insider at the wedding, not just an observer behind an iPhone. When the mother of the bride initially suggested a whole social media campaign leading up to the wedding, I was surprised. But because the bride had established a relationship with the Concierge ahead of time, she was happy to have her around all day.
2. You need a plan for the day. What needs to be in the photos? Sure, you want the couple going down the aisle, the ceremony, the cake cutting. But it helps to let the Concierge know that you want images of the welcome bags for the guests, or the bridesmaids’ gifts, or the special hankie for the bride from her grandmother, or the miniature ice cream cones butlered on the dance floor, or any other details. The Concierge can’t possibly know all of the little details that might be important to you. If you want something shared, let the Concierge know ahead. And the same goes for something you don’t want shared!
3. The Concierge needs direction about where you want the images posted. At last night’s wedding, the couple chose just Facebook and Instagram. And forty-four images were posted during a twelve-hour period. I have no idea if this is a lot or a little, as it is the first wedding in which I have been involved where a Social Media Concierge has been employed.
The bride gave the Concierge her cell phone, and the Concierge was busy posting on and off all day. Obviously there are other options, so think about it. One other thing: it would be helpful to d iscuss the captions and tagging that you want to accompany the images.
And of course you need a #hashtag. Since the couple was anticipating that the guests were not taking photos, but since they wanted the guests to see the images on Instagram, they had small, business card-sized inserts made for the favor bags at the end of the night. And they had extra small cards made so they could be included in their thank you notes.
4. The critical part of the Concierge’s job is timing. One clear example of this is the bride putting on her gown before the wedding. Another is the bride’s bouquet. The Concierge photographed these, but of course they couldn’t be posted before she walked down the aisle! This is something that needs thought, conversation, and planning before the event.
The Concierge did a wonderful job and made a plan in her head about the shots she wanted and the timing. My takeaway for the future is that I would love to see a written plan to make sure everything is covered. I guess a planner always wants a plan!