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.

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

  1. I’ve shared maybe one wedding or marriage related article on FB, with the note, “and that’s all I’m going to say here, probably, because we can’t afford to invite everyone that we’d like to!”
    Occasionally people have asked questions on my Wall, I’ve almost always responded by private message. I did delete one Wall post, as it was a response to a PM that I didn’t want up! It was partly my bad–I had added an acquaintance-friend as a friend, and asked in the message about his DJ rates…and then he replied on my wall. So I let him know by PM that responding publicly to a private message is a faux pas, and I thought he was geek enough to know that, and that some brides wouldn’t hire him based on that, because what other gaffes might he make?
    But yeah, definitely keeping it to a minimum~!
    I don’t really think it’s lying by omission. Maybe if your friends list is teeny tiny, but I’m having a smallish wedding, and don’t want to chance having crashers.

  2. When my wife and I were planning our wedding, we definitely kept things understated. We did, however, post our wedding website on our accounts (not in our statuses, just in a place that people who were interested could find). This worked out really well because our website explained in more detail that our ceremony was a really private affair, but still gave our friends a personal way to wish us congratulations.

    I agree about the issue with ranting about plans on your Facebook page. No one wants to have a window into your personal Wedding Hell… we all want to be happily deluded into thinking the whole process has been perfect. 😀

  3. I’m getting married in a week. I have posted nothing about it – nothing – no staus change, no mention of the word ‘bridal’, ‘wedding’, ‘enagaged’. To be honest, part of me wanted to post things when I need motivation or a ‘good for you! How exciting!’…but for some reason it just gives me a bit of anxiety. It’s such a personal things I don’t want to put it out there for random people’s comments.
    Likewise…I don’t want wedding photos splashed across facey! Hoping we can put a little sign up or something like that…one of my friends had photos put up on facey by family memebers in between the cermony and reception. She was furious.

    • I feel the same way. I don’t trust Facebook’s “privacy” settings.
      We’re making a separate wed site for info and photos that will ask people not to discuss or share photos on Facebook.
      We’re also making some signage at the wedding on various parts of our relationship, which partly includes FB, and we will be asking again.
      Though I have a circle of Internet friends and when we get together they like to take a lot of pictures. I ask them every time, PLEASE don’t put pictures of me on FB, but then they do and then say, “I hope that’s ok.” So I hope that they will listen.

  4. Am I the only one who never thought to discuss my wedding on FB right off the bat? I guess I’ve just gotten so used to finding other topics for status updates that I looked at the first piece of advice, said “Duh?” and just kind glazed over at the rest. *shrug*

  5. I don’t think I posted anything about getting married while we were engaged. We were keeping it small and a few people had invited themselves, which was incredibly awkward when we told them they were not actually invited.

    Facebook is a beast best left alone sometimes.

  6. I totally did the list thing to prevent other people from seeing wedding related posts, especially because I had a wedding related blog too for people to get wedding info off of.

  7. I am wondering something similar to some commenters. I was really excited to do the “relationship status” change, but now I am getting the feeling from the comments that even that might be too much? For those that didn’t, will you change it to “married” when you are? What about putting the photos up there? A lot of recently marrieds use a posed wedding shot as their profile picture. Is that frowned upon in this context? My personal rule for that has always been, “it’s cool, but maybe if it’s FIVE YEARS LATER you’ve done SOMETHING more worth a profile picture than your wedding?” What is the general take on that? (For me it would be six months or less before I think it is weird, but seriously, I don’t get people who leave that picture up or put it up again when they’ve been married for years.)

    • I don’t think you’re going to get any sort of consensus answer here. It’s whatever feels right to you!

      • I’ve been reading all of them through my hotmail account and was about to come post this exact same thing!
        In a site dedicated to “offbeat” weddings where none of us think the same thing about weddings, it seems some people still expect us to think the same about this…

    • I’ve seen some of my friends put their wedding pictures as their profile pictures on the day of their anniversary… which I think is a really sweet idea.

      Plus, it helps me out because I can barely remember my best friends’ birthdays let alone their anniversaries!!

    • @ Sam – I’m only recently married, but can almost guarantee I’ll do this down the track… much like I will re-post favourite girl’s holiday photos/nights out etc as my profile pics after the fact.
      It’s not right for you as a person, that’s fine – just explaining why some people like me do it… Less of a “Haven’t done anything worthwhile in 5 years” thing and more of a “Gee. Wasn’t that an amazing time? I remember that so fondly and it was so special that I want to share it subtly with everyone…” if that makes sense?
      I am a bit of a FB fiend though, and I’ve changed my profile pic 5+ times in 2 weeks (all wedding photos atm). I don’t agree with leaving the same one up for 5 years either… but I know people who do that (and it’s not wedding photos) just because they like that particular photo of them, and can’t be bothered finding another nice one just for the sake of changing it…

  8. I think FB is always about common sense. I think it is completely inappropriate to bitch about a friend in public manor regardless of wedding related or not. And I enjoyed the congratulations from more distant connections when I changed my status to engaged. I had previously kept that part of my info hidden. Part of FB is sharing info about your life, and marriage is a pretty big deal, so to not include that info does seem to me almost like you are hiding the importance of that person to you. I am still independent, I am still my own person, but my life has changed and become more closely integrated with my FH. I also think that can be true of wedding info on FB. I agree that there are many people who take it too far, but for a lot of us, dress shopping the first time is a big deal, if they want to post that, it is valid. I have not posted anything beyond getting engaged, but you can bet that when May 25 roles around, I will be posting something about getting married in a year, because I am excited about that day. And we are grown-ups. If someone assumes they are invited, we can politely inform them they are not if necessary. Sometimes doing the mature thing isn’t easy but it still should be done.

  9. I’ve learned the hard way not to trust list features of online social networking tools. I update Facebook here and there to link to vendors I’ve booked (give them a little boost), but I’m keeping my wedding updates to the OBT.

    I’m also putting updates on the wedsite, the URL of which will be given to wedding guests only via STDs and invitations…seems like an effective way of controlling who the content gets to. It’s tough though, I’m super proud of the wedsite my fiance and I created, but I don’t want people to read all about the wedding, get interested and then NOT be invited.

    Plus…I’d like there to be a little mystery surrounding the wedding. I don’t want people to walk into a wedding they already know every detail about!

  10. When I’m having wedding-related fun, I’ll post about it and simply omit the w-word. For example, last night I was learning how to fold paper cranes for decor use. Instead of being all “OMG learning to fold paper cranes for wedding decor” I just said “learning to fold paper cranes using junk mail.”

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