Everyone has their opinions when it comes to how much/how little should be shared about weddings on social media sites. I won’t get into that here, but I do think everyone can agree that it’s rare now to come across a couple who doesn’t have a wedding website and/or hashtag. Websites are great for communicating details about the ceremony and reception beyond the save-the-date and invitation, and hashtags allow you and your guests to collectively reflect on your big day.
Sam and I pinned down our hashtag about a month after getting engaged (16 months before the wedding). Why so early? Well, to me, it was important to spread the word about our hashtag to our guests—and ingrain it in their minds—as soon as possible. After all, a hashtag is only effective if you actually use it. My bridesmaids have already hopped onboard. So now, anytime one of us posts a photo or status related to the wedding—whether it be our engagement party, dress shopping, honeymoon planning—on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram, we accompany it with #YouHadMeAtHugo.
My bridesmaid Jess totally has the hashtag down!
I wish I could say Sam and I came up with the hashtag ourselves, but we’re not that clever. We had some help from Wedding Wire’s awesome hashtag generator, which spits out ideas based on your names, wedding date, and wedding city/state. #WhereverHugoIGo was a close second, but I’m a sucker for romance, and I love that our hashtag is a play on Renee Zellweger and Tom Cruise’s famous exchange in Jerry Maguire, “You had me at hello.”
For guests who don’t follow me on social media (and who therefore won’t see the hashtag before the wedding), there will be small cards on each table at the reception, encouraging them to use #YouHadMeAtHugo in their own posts. I think it will be a great way to see our wedding through our guests’ eyes. If you think about it, it’s pretty much the equivalent to leaving disposable cameras on the tables.
The website was a little harder. We wanted something beyond the standard TheKnot.com free website, but with so many platforms available, we went back and forth trying to decide on one that offered the best design options and functionality for our guests. I’ll admit, I probably spent more time researching wedding websites than necessary, because by the time we landed on Appy Couple, I had also vetted WordPress, Squarespace, Wedding Window, Wix, Weduary, Riley & Grey, MyWedding, and probably a handful of others I can’t recall.
We picked Appy Couple for a few reasons. The one-time setup fee of $35 (versus sites that charge monthly) was a perk, but what really got me were the designs, all of which were simple, clean, and sophisticated—perfect for our formal affair. We went with a navy and gold color palette that matched other elements of our wedding, and then took some time to fill the site with ceremony/reception details, travel information for out-of-town guests, bridal party biographies, a gallery of our engagement photos, and links to our registries. In the interest of keeping everything as simple as possible for our guests, we also opted to upgrade our domain name for a small fee to match our hashtag: YouHadMeAtHugo.com.
But perhaps the biggest difference between Appy Couple and all other platforms is that it simultaneously creates you a website and app when you sign up for the service. This is great for our younger guests who favor smartphones over computers. They simply have to download the free Appy Couple app, type in our wedding code, and voila—all of our information can be pulled up on the go. It also boasts some fun, interactive elements, like puzzles made up of our engagement photos (which are actually pretty hard!) and a spot where guests can send us virtual champagne toasts.
I’m very happy with how the website and app turned out. I hope they will be useful tools for guests that not only give them the crucial information they need about our big day, but that also get them excited to celebrate with us!