Social media too intrusive at weddings say brides

St Patrick’s Cathedral, Auckland, may give consideration to a policy on the use of social media at weddings in the church.

The move comes on the back of a British study of bride’s expectations, showing nearly half believe it is important to enforce digital rules on wedding guests.

The study also indicated one in seven brides wish mobile phones could be banned.

Administrator of St Patrick’s Cathedral, Auckland, Monsignor Bernard Kiely, says the Cathedral does not yet have a policy on the use of social media at wedding ceremonies, however he told CathNews that a policy is something it might need to look at.

Monsignor Kiely said standing at the front of the Cathedral as the bride walks in is very different these days.

“As people turn to greet of the bride, mostly what can be seen are people’s backs and the bright lights of their electronic devices as they take photos,” he said.

Not averse to social media, Monsignor Kiely is however concerned that the use of electronic devices can become intrusive.

“Parents of the wedding party who view the ceremony through the viewfinder of a tablet might have a digital record of the event, but miss out on the wedding, he said.

Monsignor Kiely says different couples have different attitudes towards social media.

“Some couples prefer no photos or video.

“Others might ask guests to delay posting until the bride and groom have posted first.”

However Monsignor Kiely stressed guests at a Church wedding are taking part in sacred ritual.

“Participating in a wedding ceremony through an electronic lens can be a kind of detachment from the sacredness of the moment,” he said.

Responding to recommendation from wedding planning website, “The Knot,” that couples designate a “tweeter of honour”, Monsignor Kiely said at this point it is not an idea that the Cathedral has considered.

However he commented, that for First Communion Masses the Cathedral has an ‘official’ photographic record and the photos are placed on the Internet for families to download.

Cellphone silence no longer enough

As the Cathedral considers a policy, Wellington celebrant, Victoria Wilks says that in her experience about 75% of Kiwi brides are limiting the amount of social media at their weddings.

Another Wellington celebrant, Karen Simpson agrees with Monsignor Kiley and says couples vary on the amount of social media couples prefer.

“Two years ago, I would have said, ‘Please turn your cellphones to silent,’ but social media wasn’t a big deal back then,” she said.

These days, Ms Simpson says she asks most couples before the ceremony, if they wanted her to raise with guests the issue of social media and turning off electronic devices.

Among the “do’s and don’ts” identified on wedding preparation websites most say it is inappropriate to use any form of social media without knowing the bride and groom’s wishes.

In an article for, Kellee Khalil says modern protocol reqires the bridal couple to state their approach to social media and if appropriate to make known a hashtag for ‘their’ day.





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