In this time of the Digital Age where information travels so fast through up-to-the-minute status updates and tweets, I’m listing down the most common social-media-related wedding faux pas—and what to do instead. Don’t be that annoying guest and follow these new wedding etiquette.

ruined wedding photo
A ruined wedding photo | Photo by Corey Ann via Lover.ly

1. Wait to publicly post your congratulations

As someone very close to the bride or groom, of course, you are excited to congratulate them. And the most special way to do that now is through social media. But if the couple hasn’t made the announcement yet, then you shouldn’t spill the big news for them. Hold off on the public congrats until they’re ready to share the news themselves. They might be waiting for an important reason (like they haven’t even told their parents yet), and there could be hard feelings involved if others find out they weren’t in the know first.

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2. Private message any wedding-related questions

If you want to discuss wedding plans with the bride or groom, it’s polite to do it in a private way. The couple may have hundreds of Facebook friends who aren’t on the invite list. It can be awkward for the couple’s other Facebook friends who weren’t invited. It’s not fair for them if each and every detail comes up on their news feed. Also remember that this is a busy time for the couple too, so don’t be offended if they don’t keep you up to date on every single detail.

If you want to discuss bachelorette or bachelor party plans with the person organizing it (usually the Maid of Honor and the Best Man, respectively), it is HIGHLY recommended that you really do it in a private way. You don’t want to spoil it to the bride or groom. And it will be off the radar to the uninvited b*tch who would do anything to spoil the bride’s special event. (Okay, I’m projecting here.)

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3. Dealing with the RSVP

Keep in mind that the couple’s inboxes are already full of wedding-related details; a text, email or private message is likely to get lost in the mix. Paper invitations will include an RSVP card or page with instructions on how to confirm your attendance. These days it’s usually through text message or email to the organizer. The couple or the organizer will expect responses before the deadline, so reply as soon as you received it. If you lose the card, then it’s okay to call and find out how the couple would prefer you to RSVP once you know whether you’ll be attending.

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4. Follow the d*mn dress code

Speaking of invitations, most couples want a certain dress code for their wedding. It is always specified on the invitation, usually just above the RSVP. It’s important to respect our friends’ wishes when it comes to celebrating their relationships. And of course, we expect that from them also when it’s out time to wear a wedding dress and walk down the aisle. If they want you to dress some trendy feather formal dresses 2016, then follow the d*mn dress code! If you’re confuse on what the dress code mean or what to wear, read this guide about decoding the wedding dress code.

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5. Sharing photos of the bride and groom

It’s great that you want to show what an amazing wedding the couple has planned and Instagram the cake, the flowers, the fabulous plus size mother of the bride dresses under 100, and the wedding dress. But please! Don’t post on social media if the wedding didn’t start yet. Some brides and grooms check their phones before the ceremony. You don’t want to spoil the moment for them, right?

But some couples may want to wait to share photographic details of the wedding until they have photos from their professional photographer, or might opt for an unplugged wedding, so respect their request if they ask you not to post photos before they do. If you’re worried about whether you’re in the clear with posting photos, then wait until a close friend or family member of the couple does so first. Then you’ll know if it is okay to post away.

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And this brings me too…

6. Stay clear of the professional wedding photographer

I once had a photography internship, so I know what I’m talking about here and I know the pain of professional wedding photographers in taking that “perfect moment”. Please, be mindful of the photographer and videographer the couple has hired to take photos of their wedding, especially during the ceremony. Keep in mind: they hired them, NOT YOU, and they expect amazing photos from them, NOT FROM YOU. And they probably paid them big money so let them do their job!

If the couple didn’t opt for an unplugged wedding then, sure, take as many photos as you please, but don’t let snapping Instagram photos get in the photographer’s way. Take note of these: 1) stay seated during the ceremony (and no leaning into the aisle or raising your phone way over your head either). Standing up or moving around can be distracting to the officiant, get in the way of the pros and ruin the view for other guests. And 2) Never, I repeat, NEVER use a flash or turn on your phone, tablet or camera’s flash because it can horribly ruin the professional photographer’s shot that cannot be fix through photoshop. Stick to the natural light ONLY.

If you really want a photo, do it with your friends like a groufie, before or after the ceremony of course. And if you really insist on having that “walk down the aisle” photo then go to the venue early and get a good place on the aisle.

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7. Actually use that wedding hashtag

I think in the past year, I never attended a single wedding that didn’t had a hashtag. So if the couple has a hashtag, use it as much as possible on every photo and tweet. They created it for a good reason, they want to have all of their photos in one place. Make as much effort as possible to use it and encourage others to as well.

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That said…

8. Put down the f**king phone

Posting occasionally is okay, but the couple invited you to celebrate their day, not sit there on your phone. The couple spent a lot of time planning an event that you would enjoy, so don’t spend the entire time on your phone documenting the wedding on Snapchat—go have some fun! Plus, having a phone or tablet out all the time can get in the way of photos, and no one wants to look back on their wedding day to see a guest more engaged with a device than their reception. I know resisting to check and post on social media can be challenging to most people, but try harder!

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Do you agree to my list of new wedding etiquette?

Photos via giphy.com