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The Bride's Guide Blog

Etiquette: Facebook Rules

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It seems like the etiquette game is constantly changing. And nowhere is that more apparent than in the digital realm. Case in point? A reader recently wrote in with the following questions:

Lots of my friends and family are on Facebook. Can I create a page just for my wedding, and post updates, etc.? Or maybe an event? Is it rude to post status updates about my wedding planning on my own wall?

Here’s the etiquette rule at play -- and it’s a biggie: It’s rude to talk about a social event in front of someone who is not invited but has reason to think they might have been.

Facebook makes this hard to apply. It's still sort of new, in etiquette terms; people develop so many differing levels of intimacy, and everyone uses Facebook differently. So be cautious with status updates, depending on who is in your “friends” list, and how it compares to who is on your guest list. A few general status updates are fine. You can’t hide the news -- just don’t dwell on it.

As for creating a page or an event: restrict these to be visible only to the “friends” who are also on your guest list. But be warned: Most people don't care about your trips to the florist or cake baker the way you do, so just keep that in mind.

How are you using Facebook? Got any hints for how to navigate this?

Comments (8)

  • My rules is: I speak freely about the event. I find it hypocritical to hide it as sooner or later it will come up - so why speaking about it publicly? People usually speaks about birthdays and other parties (Thanksgiving, Christmas, etc) freely even in front of people who aren't invited. So how is a wedding different?

  • I sometimes use facebook to vent, or to offer general wedding advice since a lot of my friends will soon be getting married - even ones that aren't invited. Things like "Just got Fiance's wedding ring from etsy seller Zahour, it's beautiful! Buying handmade is lovely, and cheaper!"

    In the beginning I wrote a very polite note to everyone on facebook called "stop inviting yourself to other people's weddings" This could have been construed as rude, but I wrote several drafts until it was as politic as possible, and friends said it came off really well. I had to write such a note because my facebook friends were the ones who began the facebook wedding rudeness. As soon as our engagement was announced on there, I received public comments on the engagement like "I AM invited, RIGHT????" and "*Makes big puppy dog eyes and asks for an invite*" So rude! I really think most people who haven't planned a wedding don't realize how much goes into it, or how most of the costs heavily depend on the number of people you invite.

    I'm just saying, rudeness goes both ways. It's also rude for people to assume they get an invite, or a date, and there's something to be said for the rudeness inherent in squashing someone's joy because you don't have adequate control over your emotions. I like to know where I stand with people, and if that's not in the inner-inner circle of wedding invites, that's ok.

    My tactic is to be honest with people, but as tactful as possible. If people hint that they want to come (or do more than hint) and aren't on the guestlist, I tell them how big my fiances family is and mine, and mention the size of our venue, and that of course we'd love to invite all of our friends, but that combined we have about 800 facebook friends, and we actually know them all! We'd like to be able to say hello to all of our guests on our wedding day!

  • No one wants to read endlessly about someone's wedding-really now, let's all be honest! No matter how excited you are it's not really all that interesting to read every minute detail of your wedding. Class is always in style-not boring everyone to death!

  • I just wanted to weigh in here, on a related Facebook issue. I was very conscious that I absolutely did not want any of my close friends to find out about my engagement via Facebook. I had no intentions of posting the news as a status, but invaribly word gets out and people want to congratulate you by writing on your wall. Certainly it is joyous news to be shared, but I have found out about other friends' engagements via Facebook, and I find it very impersonal. Once my inner circle knows, I'll shout it from the rooftops (but likely will not be making a Facebook group about it...)

  • @Junebride--I totally get your point, and I agree with you.

    In fact, I believe it is rude to post even a *congratulatory* post on someone else's wall until AFTER news has been placed there by the person concerned. It's really just an extension of basic common sense--it's not YOUR news; you shouldn't be trumpeting it to the world, or speaking about it in front of lots of other people.

    But way too many people don't get it. So nowadays, w/ instant communication, you really do have to say to people you've told, "please do not tell anyone until you get an OK from me [or, until next Wednesday], because I still have people that I want to tell personally. I don't want them to read it on my wall, or hear it through the grapevine."

  • @Kate: I'd love to see what you wrote about "not asking for an invite." Send it to me (AskMartha@MarthaStewartWedddings.com), or post it here?

  • Kate, I loved your idea as well! What I'm doing is, since now there is a feature that allows you to choose whomever can see your status/posts, I chose only people who are invited to the wedding to read any updates about the event, to see the e-session pictures, etc. I truly don't understand how anyone could auto-invite themselves to the wedding... Argh!

  • [...] ideas mixed with a flair for modern practices. As an avid follower of the blog I have come across several posts about the issue of social media’s involvement in wedding planning. I recently came across a [...]

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