How to talk about your wedding on Facebook without pissing people off

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RUT ROH: Don't let this happen to you!
RUT ROH: Don't let this happent to you!
So your relationship status has changed from in a relationship to engaged and now (along with gaining those horribly sexist wedding-related ads on the side bar) all of Facebook is chiming in to say “congrats” and “omg yay!” Even your second cousin, twice-removed commented that she “can't wait for the wedding!”

But the thing is… you never even planned to invite ‘ol what's-her-name, in fact, you only added her as a friend because your mom “suggested” you add each other.

Can I get a little less awkwardness in my monitor? Yeesh.

Engaged couples have been dealing with all sorts of uncomfortable moments since the dawn of big wedding celebrations. It's just that now, in the era of Facebook, it amplifies that awkward by a degree of eleventy, and then live-streams that awkwardness to all your relatives' most recent updates.

Here are some steps you can take to reduce your wedding's Facebook time and put a cap on at least some of that wedding-time awkwardness…

Stating the obvious solution: Resist the urge to discuss your wedding on Facebook at all.

Or at least, keep it to a dull roar. Clearly, bitching about your bridesmaids on a super public forum could lead to bad blood and unnecessary wedding dramaz. Similarly, talking about how amazing a party is going to be to someone who isn't invited is terribly hurtful. Sometimes it's just better to keep your virtual mouth shut.

This is actually part of why 10,000+ of you love the Offbeat Bride Tribe so much. Our private forum gives Offbeat Brides a place to vent and freakout and discuss wedding stuff endlessly… all without bogging down your Facebook feed.

Hide your wedding-related status updates from non-guests by making a list.

You may or may not know that you can easily set up different lists and then, come status update time, you can chose who can see what.

Here's how to create lists on Facebook:

  1. From your homepage, find the Friends section in the left menu and click More
  2. Click Create List
  3. Write in the list's name — “wedding guests” or “bridal party”
  4. Enter the names of friends you want to add to this list in the Members section
  5. Click Create

Then, when it comes time to excitedly share some info about your planning process, you could only make that status/photo/link visible to that particular list using that little lock icon.

publish to your facebook list

How to make your status visible to a particular list:

  1. Enter your status in the status bar (DO NOT hit enter yet).
  2. Click the button just to the left of Post.
  3. Chose the correct list in drop down menu.
  4. Now you may click Post.

Create a wedding group on Facebook.

Your other (slightly more complicated) option is creating a group for your wedding guests. Then when you want to do wedding updates, you can do so on that group page instead, and only the people in that group will see your updates.

make a secret group on facebook

How to create secret groups on Facebook:

  1. From your home page, go to the Groups section on the left side menu and click More.
  2. Click Create Group. A window will appear, where you'll be able to add a group name, add members and select the Secret privacy setting.
  3. Click Create when you're done.

The downside of this, as I've experienced myself, is that you're forcing your friends to be part of a group they may have no interest in being part of. (I can't tell you how many times I've had to remove myself from groups I never signed up for.)

Want to go a step deeper and REALLY freak out the squares?

Delete your facebook.

One of my best friends did this the moment all of her old college buddies started asking when and where. She wasn't even CLOSE to inviting those guys — they didn't even make the list of “maybes.” So my girl just said “fuck it” and deleted her entire facebook page and never looked back.

For more info on deleting your facebook, check out this group.

And I mean actually deleted her Facebook.

How to actually delete your Facebook account:

  1. Go here
  2. Click “Submit” and follow the instructions.

Because apparently, the usual way people “delete” their Facebook is more like deactivating it — all of your information doesn't actually disappear. Indeed, if you don't want to entirely delete your page, you can easily disable your profile, then come back to it and it's like you never left! [Copyeditor's note: I routinely do this at exam time!]

But let's face it: these days it's way too easy for everyone to find out where you had lunch and what you purchased on Etsy. People are going to know that you got engaged, and hell, you shouldn't have to hide that fact — it's big and exciting news! People that you aren't going to invite to your wedding ARE going to know about the impending nuptials. So, you more than likely are going to have to face a few awkward comments about how excited someone is for a wedding in which they won't be attending, much less invited. When that happens, you just gotta grin and bear it. Have a few copy-and-paste responses a la Ariel.

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Comments on How to talk about your wedding on Facebook without pissing people off

  1. I know it’s probably stating the obvious but it’s worth bearing in mind that making a list or group for private status updates doesn’t guarentee they’ll stay private.

    On top of those helpful individuals who take it on themselves to make sure everyone knows what everyone else is saying about everyone there are people who just don’t realise a group or status update is supposed to be private.

    I doubt there’s any harm if it’s just someone passing on how exciting your wedding will be to those who aren’t invited (there is no rule against having a great party and not inviting everyone on earth so then the fault is all theirs for telling) but it can cause trouble if it’s someone passing on how much a friend/relative is driving you insane.

    • “I know it’s probably stating the obvious but it’s worth bearing in mind that making a list or group for private status updates doesn’t guarentee they’ll stay private.”

      Yep: that’s why Megan’s first suggestion is Stating the obvious solution: Resist the urge to discuss your wedding on Facebook at all. ๐Ÿ™‚

  2. I really deeply recommend not putting any of it on Facebook. Any of it.
    I think an invite-only, private Facebook group is ideal for only parents and other bridal party members. That way, you can keep people who need to be in the know in the know.
    If you need a place to share your excitement, do it on a wedsite. By visiting your wedsite, people are expressing consent to hearing you go on and on about your WEE YAY JOY. Not so much with your Facebook friends, even if they’re attending the happy affair.

    • I agree with the no Facebooking wedding anything. It’s one of the reasons I joined The Tribe. If I need support from friends, then I will text/call someone to share or vent, not post every little bullshit situation on the FB. I have seen the mess it makes so I chose to not switch my relationship status to “engaged” (engaged 2009, wedding circa 2012/13). It’s not that I’m not happy about it, I just thought it would be less stress for me. And I’m happy with my decision.

      I don’t know how many times I’ve had to “hide” people’s status on FB due to their wedding nonsense/drama, especially the ones that I wasn’t invited to and even more so those who angrily post 10-20 times a day. I’m not one to engage in the negativity, so it is extremely frustrating to see someone brand themselves as a ‘bridezilla’.

      One of my friends did an interesting thing: she is friends with most of her fam on the FB so she signed up for a Twitter account under a pseudonym specifically for typing whatever was on her brain and also made it a point to NOT be friends w/anyone she knows. It’s her outlet to type whatever she wants (or as shes says, ‘to put it out into the world’) and not have to worry about what other people say. I thought that was kinda clever.

      • Yeah… do you really want to put your questions and thoughts out to Facebook and get the opinions of all your on-beat family, friends and colleagues? If I were to post a picture on Facebook of, say, a purple wedding dress, it’d get dozens of “… whaaaat? Eew. What are you doing? Is this, like, for the reception?” comments.

        I feel this way about people with babies who post only about their baby all day every day. “My kid just pooped and it was very endearing to me. He’ll be eating peas later, which will be so difficult to get him to eat, but he is my baby angel child magical crotch dropling.” And I’m like. “Hey, I’m friends with YOU, not your baby/husband/boyfriend/wedding.”

        (Uh, this sounds a bit grumpy. I mean, I love my friends and their major life events. But substituting your own identity with the current event in your life is difficult for me to navigate, yo.)

        • Oh Gosh The Crotch-Dropling Posts!

          The worst is when they change their profile pic to a pic of their spawnling and you’re like “why is all my friends babies? Did I imagine the last 20 years? am I in kindergarten again?”

          Also: Bwahahahhaha! (I see another post of the week happening here. tThis made me laugh so much.)

      • Similar to the twitter thing, I have a tumblr for venting and its very theraputic knowing that i’m not going to get hastle for what ive put.
        I kind of wish I could start my facebook all over again so that I don’t make the mistake of adding certain people that I now feel bad deleting.

        Also on facebook when you change your status you can just delete the ‘…. is now engaged’ post from the feed so no one can see that you’ve changed your status unless they go looking in your info.

        • ha ha! It’s great to have an outlet like that, no? ๐Ÿ™‚
          Ah. Yes. I totally know about deleting posts, but with the new fb profile, in addition to the actual long-story info page, there’s a mini-bio at the top of the profile page. All it will take is just one person to notice and for it to turn into a *Muy Caliente Escandalo* out of it. And if I have to edit my account preferences to NOT show relationship status, then *sigh* I feel like it’s a bit of a waste :/ I’m sticking with not changing it, period.

      • I totally made a separate Twitter account when Mr. Zebra and I first started dating to express my frustrations about him being a clueless man. ๐Ÿ™‚
        (He’s not that clueless, but I’m sure you know what I mean.)

        I haven’t used that account in like 2 years… I should totally pick it back up again and utilize it for Wedding joy and frustrations alike!

  3. I’ve actually been lucky that, even though I’m talking about my wedding on facebook, most of my friends are really understanding that it’s a small, intimate affair with mostly family and my few, closest friends. And some of my closest friend’s moms. I still don’t know exactly how that last part happened, but… whatever. D:

    Still, I think communicating about your wedding is nice, and being able to communicate that not everybody is going to come is also nice. Some people might get upset (like FH’s aunt, who basically whined herself onto the guest list. He’s such a pushover.) but it’s a price I’m willing to pay to share my happiness with friends who I otherwise wouldn’t be able to share anything with.

  4. I make it a point to not mention much about my wedding on Facebook to avoid receiving comments from people who assume they are going to be invited. There have already been some awkward moments. There are lots more people we would have loved to invite, but space/budget constraints have limited our choices.

    Why do people assume they are invited to weddings???? It makes me feel so bad that I can’t include everyone.

    • I think it comes from the Big White Wedding trend – why WOULDN’T you invite everyone you’ve ever met?! All 1,000 of them. It’s really sad that when someone mentions they’re getting married people don’t think about the commitment they’re making or their relationship, but about open bars, dance parties, and a free meal. Big White Wedding Thoughts can suck it.

      • What’s hilarious is even if I invited my entire friend’s list, it wouldn’t be considered a HUGE wedding by most standards since I keep my friends list around 150. That’s actually much easier than it sounds. But there are a lot of people who aren’t Facebook friends (many of who just don’t have a Facebook) who’ll be invited and many Facebook friends who won’t.

  5. It took me MONTHS to change my status, and then I guffawed when my fiance went on facebook for the first time in years and actually accepted my relationship request! After over six years together, my relationship finally wasn’t with an unnamed individual!

    I haven’t even shared the wedding date on Facebook, so most of the WWW probably thinks I’m getting married in two years or something.

    I advise not sharing too much! My co-workers know I’m engaged, but most don’t even know when the wedding is because I. don’t. talk. about. it. When’s the wedding? This fall! Really? When? October! When? Early October!

    If they don’t get the hint from that!…

  6. Really, I think it’s just rude to assume you’d be invited to anything unless you WERE specifically invited. When we were engaged I felt free to discuss specific details because if they decided to invite themselves I had no problem meeting rude with rude – they offended first. It’s not everyone’s style, but I’ve always been known as the person to go to when you want to hear the truth. “When’s the wedding?” “June 12th!” “Sweet! I’ll have to pencil it into my calendar!” “Why? I didn’t send you an invitation…” Then they blush, mumble something, probably go back and call me a bitch, but they can’t possibly misinterpret that! Unless they’re seriously stupid. And really when have there EVER been social events that everyone thinks they can just show up to without an invitation?!?! ARG.

  7. Another option is to keep the wedding updates online, but take them off Facebook altogether. Not all of my family are on facebook (and Lord knows the Boyfriend doesn’t check his but once every six months). The solution? YahooGroup! Private, invite-only, and emailed directly to your inbox.

    You do have to put up with Yahoo’s awful UI and bugginess, but really, compared to how often Facebook is rolling out “improvements” without fixing previous errors, it’s six of one and half dozen of the other at this point. ๐Ÿ™‚

  8. Thanks for the helpful piece! As always, OBB is awesome.

    I had a run-in with all this yesterday. An annoying third cousin of mine (yes, third cousin) recently commented on a birthday post I wrote to my sister (yeah, she doesn’t understand how Facebook works) and was trying to reconnect. I wrote back and said I was living in Seattle with my fiancee. Then I immediately regretted it. That side of the family might have heard I got engaged, but I really regretted reminding them. Fortunately, our wedding will be a “small destination wedding” for everyone but us (wedding in Seattle; guests coming from the Midwest and East Coast), so that should provide a good enough explanation. But oy. It was a good reminder to tread carefully.

    I’m going to create a list of wedding guests and make it so only they see my very occasional updates about the wedding. I already use friend lists to prevent professional contacts and “adults” (anyone from my parents’ or fiancee’s parents’ generation) from seeing most of my posts, mostly to avoid their annoying and incessant comments. ๐Ÿ™‚

  9. Outside of changing my status to ENGAGED and calling my fiance…FIANCE…I don’t discuss my wedding at all! Reality is 80% off the people on there are NOT invited!!

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