Sonya Sorich: What happens when weddings and social media collide

ssorich@ledger-enquirer.comJune 18, 2013 

We've long associated weddings with true love. But now, it's hard to take a trip down the aisle without igniting discussions about what constitutes a true "like."

That's my attempt to emphasize social media's effect on modern weddings. Sorry if I confused you -- I'm recovering from a crippling sense of rejection. More on that in a minute.

"Social media has changed the wedding game in so many ways already and will likely continue to do so," according to a recent CBSNews.com report.

Maybe you've heard debates over "live-tweeting" during a wedding ceremony, not to mention posting wedding reception photos on social sites before the day's "official" images have been released.

Something often overlooked in those conversations? The extent to which social media has sharpened the sting of being denied a spot on a wedding's guest list.

It's already happened multiple times this year. I'll hit Facebook or Twitter and see someone's public message about a mutual friend's upcoming nuptials. I realize she made the guest list cut and I didn't. Ouch.

Sure, rejection has been part of social gatherings since the six-guest sleepover you hosted in first grade. But I'd argue the rejection is more biting when you learn about it weeks -- or even months -- before the event.

What's more, we live in a culture where friendship is often defined by dubious digital ties. We have more "friends" -- and, in turn, more people who expect to be invited to our major life events.

Need proof? Consider "Don't Save the Date" cards, a "new trend" detailed in the aforementioned CBS piece. This is literally a card informing someone that he or she is not invited to your wedding.

Would one of those cards help calm the rejection I experienced upon seeing "I can't wait" status updates on Facebook? Um, no.

The best prescription might be thicker skin.

Earlier this year, Slate's "Dear Prudence" advice columnist responded to a question about "Don't Save the Date" cards. An excerpt: "People old enough to receive a wedding invitation are supposed to be mature enough to understand that not everyone can be asked to such occasions and accept this with good grace."

Point taken.

But if you're a bride or groom, try to limit hurt feelings among acquaintances who didn't make your guest list's cut. You can't control what other people post on social media, but you can think twice before discussing your invitations in a public online forum.

Private messages exist for a reason, folks.

In the meantime, I'll refrain from regarding guest list rejection as a personal attack. And if that doesn't work, wedding crashing is always an option.

Sonya Sorich, reporter, can be reached at ssorich@ledger-enquirer.com or 706-571-8516. Visit ledger-enquirer.com/sonya to read her columns.

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