Love in the Instagram Era

If your Instagram feed looked anything like ours this holiday season then you too saw post after post of someone down on one knee and their partner with two hands cupped over their mouth in an apparent display of shock and surprise. Social Media has undoubtedly changed the way we share life’s milestones (for better or worse), and engagements/marriages might be best left offline.

Moreover, if you opened Instagram and searched #wedding, you’d find over 140 million posts. Similarly, #weddingphotography contains approximately 20 million posts, and #engaged boasts a modest 10.3 million posts. As Instagram is generally a place for showcasing a well-manicured existence, sharing these “precious moments” of a human couple seems to be exacerbated… And why shouldn’t it? The platform reinforces our most attention-seeking/sharing behaviors.

The Proposal When did it get so important for wedding proposals to go viral? Forget pressure from your partner: Instagram has added intense demand to be the most romantic, most original, and most attractive when getting down on one knee because it’s practically a requirement to have a hired photographer or videographer documenting the entire spectacle. If you don’t share it on Instagram, did it even happen!?

The Wedding Hashtag Congratulations! You’re engaged. But if you thought the pressure was off, you thought wrong. Creating a clever wedding hashtag to use for every wedding-related post on your feed from here ’til the big day is crucial. If you’re looking to grow your audience, or even keep your friends and family in the loop, sharing intimate details of your wedding via hashtag is a great way to do it. Consider super-influencer Chiara Farragni, who married Italian rapper Federico Leonardo “Fedez” Lucia in September 2018. Chiara documented the entire occasion on her social media channels, from the proposal-gone-viral to a custom Dior wedding dress, with the wedding hashtag, #TheFerragnez, which now includes over 43,000 posts.


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Family 💘 #TheFerragnez

A post shared by Chiara Ferragni (@chiaraferragni) on


The Big Day With the influx of wedding photos plastered on Instagram, millennial weddings are starting to look more or less the same. Old barn or winery? Photobooth or Polaroids? Deconstructed flower crowns are still a thing, right? It’s proving difficult to stand out when we’re all trying to attain the same curated photo op. Because of this, we anticipate seeing a backlash with more couples taking a more intimate approach with their nuptials. We anticipate couples implementing things like a *gasp* “no phones allowed” rule during the ceremony. Take, for example, Justin Bieber and Hailey Baldwin who allegedly married in a secret ceremony last Fall, which was only confirmed when Hailey changed her last name to Bieber on Instagram. Which leads us into our next point…



The Changing of the Last Name It’s becoming more and more common for women, specifically in heterosexual couples, to opt out of changing their last name after marriage. For those who do make the legal change, social media handles create a whole new set of challenges, especially if you’re someone who has built a significant personal or professional brand online. Before Instagram, celebrity name changes held a more status-symbol significance, like for Rebecca Romijn Stamos or Amal Clooney. However, Instagram has created real world effects to changing your last name with how potential followers search and find your content. Consider Leandra Medine Cohen of Man Repeller, who legally kept both her maiden and married names to uphold brand awareness and eliminate confusion, despite #leandramedine housing over 10,000 posts. Before Instagram, changing your last name would be a strictly personal preference, but social media continues to change the way we consider even the most routine part of getting married.