A bride has told of her excitement as she prepares to take part in the UK’s first official social media wedding.
Zoe Anastasi’s big day will be captured and broadcast by iPhone-carrying photographers every 15 minutes on social media. Her ceremony will be live streamed over Twitter and there will be social media walls at her reception. Her day has even been organised over Facebook.
For Zoe, from Derby, it was a no-brainer to have a professionally-run social media wedding.
“Your wedding day is the biggest day of your life. You worry that it’s over in 24 hours, and I think it’s great to enjoy the build-up, to get more people involved in it. It makes it more special.
“It’s the one day that’s all about you and if you have different people talking about it all over the world, on different formats, it makes it that extra special. Also it’s afterwards, looking back at all the memories, the photos, the tweets…”
34-year-old Zoe, who works for construction company, Willmott Dixon, is marrying St James’ Place Wealth management consultant, Will Diggins, 32, on June 16, 2016 at Nottingham’s Greek Orthodox Church. The wedding at 12pm will be followed by a reception at The Walled Garden in Beeston.
Photographs from Zoe’s day will be beamed around the world from the morning of the wedding, starting with capturing her and her six bridesmaids getting ready. The smartphone-carrying photographers will then follow her to the ceremony and the reception.
The photos will appear on a giant social media screen at the reception where guests using a hashtag can add their snaps to the display. All the content will be monitored by the team from Status Social, the Derby company behind the Social Media Weddings package, before going live.
Zoe is of Greek-Italian heritage with a large family: “We always said from when we began planning it, we’re having a big fat Greek wedding. We’re really proud of that. Even though we’ve got a lot of people coming, there’s a lot of people who can’t make it, and they are really excited to be able to watch it online.
“I’ve got family in France, Italy, Spain, Cyprus. Will’s got family in Australia and America, and not everyone’s going to come. Now they can feel part of it, see us get married, and I think that’s really nice.”
Photos taken on the day will then be placed into a social media wedding album ready for the bride and groom to view when they wake up the next morning.
Zoe’s fiancé, Will, says they are looking forward to re-living the day on their honeymoon:
“The thing is, you spend all that money, all that time on the wedding and I just want to remember every second of it. Having the photos, having the updates, will enable that. What I wouldn’t want to do is finish the wedding, it all to be a blur, and having an album by an official photographer six months later. I just want to be able to remember as much of it as I can.
“Also it’s a day of pretending to be a celebrity, it’s the closest you’ll ever get to feeling famous, and who wouldn’t like that?!”
Zoe and Will say planning the wedding on Facebook has helped the guests feel more involved, brought out wonderful stories about them and created a buzz about the big day.
“It’s got everyone talking about it, putting on lots of old photos of us,” says Zoe. “And people have found out a few things about me and Will that they probably didn’t know before.
“We want to share our entire wedding with people. We think it’s going to be amazing!”
Zoe and Will have found that wedding suppliers have bent over backwards to help when they’ve heard their wedding will be broadcast over social media. Some suppliers have even offered special deals to the couple, cutting down on wedding costs, after hearing about the extra exposure they’ll get. But Zoe and Will understand there will be others who think they are crazy to make their wedding so public.
“We’re not obsessed by social media – in fact we find some of it very boring!” says Will. “It’s a great way for people to see important events in your life, not for bragging purposes, but if you have someone who you haven’t seen for ages, technology used the right way can be great. It might come across that we’re a bit attention seeking, but it isn’t about that for us.
“I think it depends on you. We are quite happy with wanting to share our day so it’s right to have a Social Media Wedding. There are people who are have private intimate affairs, but we’ve got more than 200 people coming to our wedding.”
And Zoe says she wants to enjoy her day and being a Social Media Wedding bride will help ensure that happens:
“More people are really excited about our wedding as they’re not just getting an invite in the post, they can be part of the build-up too. They can see where we are getting married, see pictures of us, see what we’re having for food, make song requests, see who else is going – all via social media. It gets them more involved, and that’s the way we want it.
“Yes it might make us feel like a celebrity for a day, but for us this is our one wedding we are ever going to have and we want it to be special, and we do want it to be massive and in your face! And why not? It’s going to be once in a lifetime and we’re going to take full advantage of it.”
The Social Media Weddings package, which has been created by social media specialists, Status Social, includes:
Using social media, generating excitement for the wedding by sharing stories, photographs, videos and plans for the day. Encouraging song requests, friends’ stories about the couple, and helping the guests to get to know each other.
Helping the wedding run more smoothly by keeping guests up-to-date and sharing information (eg directions, times, hotel information).
Advice on how to create a wedding gift list using Pinterest.
The wedding day
Professional photographers using discreet camera phones to capture the early part of the wedding day including the preparation of the bride and the groom’s morning. These photos can go out immediately over social media, whetting guests’ appetite for the rest of the day, or can be saved for use later.
Streaming the wedding ceremony live over social media while the photographers continue to capture the day. Great for sharing the day with those who can’t be there.
A social media wall will be displayed at the wedding venue, featuring photos taken by the Social Media Weddings photographers. Guests can share their own photos and comments on the social media wall, via a wedding hashtag, all monitored for taste by the Social Media Weddings team.
Images and videos posted into a Facebook album ready for when the bride and groom wake up the next morning – no waiting for months to see their photos.