If you’ve been in a healthy-ish relationship for a few years now and you’re not currently having money problems, there is a good chance you got engaged this holiday season. Congratulations! (I meant to like your photo, but I wasn’t near a computer!)
But proposals, those are easy as shit. It’s wedding planning that (pro)poses the real challenge. And no part of that planning will test you to your core quite like selecting the right hashtag.
“What’s a hashtag?” is probably the first — no, that’s stupid, you know what a hashtag is. Jane Gilmore Kurtz, my grandmother, knows what a hashtag is. But wedding hashtags, those serve a purpose way more specific than acknowledging your good fortune (#blessed) or halting the tyranny of feminism (#NotAllMen).
You see, at today’s fully social media-friendly nuptials, your friends and family are your collective wedding photographer. Whether you ask them to or not, they’ll snap and shoot anything and everything. They’ll capture candid moments that not even the most adept professional could get to, like bathroom stuff, and they’ll do it just for the privilege of basking in your wedding glow and/or free well drinks. But how to mobilize all those shots? How to truly harness this awesome power?
WEDDING HASHTAG, mon freir. And not just any hashtag, plucked lazily from the “cloud.” No, this one’s got to satisfy a few very specific metrics:
- Adorability (or adorkability, your choice)
- A name, either yours or your partner’s or both. First or last? Decisions!
- A message that conveys just what your relationship is built on, whether love or desperation or something else.
- …and most importantly, fun!
But maybe the easiest way for you to start thinking about how to organize your ceremony’s social media/set the course for the rest of your lives is to look at what others have done in the past. You’ve got purely informational tags, overlong tags, love-by-way-of-song-lyric tags and clever tags. A rainbow of ###s to choose from, the same choices you had in picking a partner. You’re going to want to consider this one even more carefully!
A NOTE: For the sake of my friendships and the hope that I keep getting invited to weddings, each one of which is perfect in its own way, I have changed names or at least spellings of those names in the examples to follow. You are all my best friends (not, like “best friend” the way you’d describe your spouse in a post on Facebook. One rung below) and I’d never sacrifice that for the sake of a blog post.
FOR THE CREATIVE COUPLE
Think: #IWillFollowDrewIntoTheDark; #WeFoundLoveInAGrantAndSlovisPlace; #WithOrWithoutYu
Great songs bring people together, and that’s exactly what you and your partner are aiming for when you combine your favorite song (or any song really — it could easily be about domestic abuse or emotional immolation so long as it’s got a memorable title!) with your name, or names. If you can roll the name in there in a way that doesn’t feel totally forced? Bonus! Just remember to put it in somewhere, otherwise you’re just hashtagging a song lyric that many people the world over may already be using for their own purposes.
FREEBIE: Last names “Yu” or “Hart” or “Baby” work in a lot of different songs
FOR THE ALL BUSINESS COUPLE
Think: #McConnellSmith; #Brandenbergs
At the end of the day, this hashtag thing needs to meet just one purpose: organizing your social media shit. So there are no bells and whistles here, big deal. You want us to break our backs for every inch of this event? The only issue arises when another union between two people with exactly the same names takes place, at which point you’ve cross-pollinated your digital flower. But you can live with that. Maybe. The other Brandenbergs are probably d-holes.
FOR THE GAY COUPLE
Think: #BrettPlusBarryEquals<3; #TammyAndDeniseSayIDo
It will be pretty obvious from the color scheme on display that yours is in fact a gay wedding, but it’s good to stay on message up and down the creative ladder. When people see two names from the same sex in your hashtag, they’ll know — you’re gay!
FOR THE fUn-<3viNG cOuPLe
Think: #NoRegretsFest2K15; #CrazyInLoveInBarbados
A wedding should be one big party, stuffed with the craziest party animals you’ve partied with these past 10-40 years, and you want that to shine through in your hashtag. In fact, hashtag might be selling it short — try mantra, bro. This thing’s gonna set the tone for the life to follow. Which may just be the biggest party of all? Anyway, you’re gonna want all those forthcoming good vibes and energy flows to emanate from one source. It’s here. It’s now. It’s printed on all the foam glowsticks you’re handing out at the reception.
FOR THE INDECISIVE COUPLE
Think: #OliveLovesRufus; ZevAndAllyTakeThePlunge
Is that a coded message about adoration imbalance in the “___Loves___” option above? Probably! Because the first thing you ask yourself when you see “OliveLovesRufus” is…well, does Rufus love Olive? Does he love her as much? 21st century marriage is supposed to be about equality and partnership and here you’ve got us reflecting on antiquated gender roles (“I just need ya to love me, baby, and old Rufus will take care of ya in return”) and looking at the lovely couple with suspicious eyes.
Then again: simple and elegant.
You could also employ dubious wedding metaphors like “walk the plank,” “take the plunge,” etc. to convey the ambivalence bordering on uncertainty you’re facing as you ponder the rest of your mortal life, and maybe the one after that too, with this person you still mostly like. Whatever.
FOR THE PRIVATE COUPLE
Why are you even considering a hashtag in the first place? Do you know how many prying eyes will be lapping up the visual bounty of your Big Day? None of this post was for you!
…so there you go. By no means the world’s most comprehensive list of couple-types (there are at least three more) or certainly hashtags, which mathematically speaking could reach toward the BILLIONS, but I hope this has provided you some measure of calm as you wade into the fun but very challenging and serious and you better get this right so help you god waters of choosing the right hashtag for your upcoming nuptials. Good luck!
Really, good luck!