The #WeddingPreneurs Lounge: Custom Snapchat filters for weddings
Last weekend I had the privilege to plan and coordinate an outdoor wedding at the San Diego Botanic Garden. It was a beautiful celebration, all outdoor, with lots of vegetation all around. We had wooden, rustic farm tables for the guests with wooden chairs, and decorations included eucalyptus garlands with ivory and blush pink roses and custom jars with the couple’s initials on the tables.
What I really liked about this wedding is that the couple is into social media and I provided signs that encouraged guests to posts on Instagram and to snap on Snapchat. These are the signs that I created and placed at their guestbook table
Now, you know what I think about social media and in particular video, or live video. Whenever you can provide content in video format will enhance the experience and that is definitely true with weddings because the emotional aspect with video is amplified. Much better than pictures. Snapchat is the perfect way to provide this type of content when you think about telling a story with video: it’s immediate (almost like live video), it’s raw, and it’s playful so it makes it more fun.
Today I’d like to give you ideas and tips on how to use a Snapchat filter for your clients’ weddings. This is becoming more and more popular at events and I think it’s also because many guests attending weddings today are millennials who are constantly on their phones and they use social media daily.
Create the custom filter
You know what’s a Snapchat filter, right? It’s a graphic overlay that you apply to an image or video you take on Snapchat, and that’s exactly the same that Instagram introduced a while ago. Snapchat filters can be found in certain geographical areas.
You have different options for this: create the filter yourself (maybe use the templates from Snapchat but they’re very limited and very generic) or use a company specialized in filter design. You can just google them on the web and you’ll find several ones. The one that I like is Custom Geos but you can find many more on the internet. Since they are creating a filter for the couple, make sure (if you’re involved with the design) that they match it to the wedding design or vision, color palette, theme, etc.
My couple’s filter was very appropriate with the location and the relaxed, outdoor style of their wedding with the foliage around it.
Once you have the filter you will upload it on Snapchat and follow the instructions for approval and payment to host the filter. The fee will depend on the geographical area that you select (range $35-$200), the bigger the area the more you will pay.
One thing to keep in mind if you decide to create the filter yourself in case you have design skills: make sure you follow Snapchat’s guidelines regarding the size (1080px wide x 1920px tall), file format (PNG, optimized for web), and what you can or can’t include in the filter as far as wording (contact info, URLs, etc.)
Having a custom filter will also allow you to see analytics: it will show how many views your filter received.
Promote the filter before the wedding
You can have your client send an email to their guests encouraging them to use the filter at the wedding, they add the information to their wedding website, and promote it on their social media accounts. The promotion can even start since mailing their save-the-date cards. That includes promotion for their custom hashtag that will be used on Instagram posts.
Example: 1 week to the big day! We can’t wait to share this beautiful moment with all of you. And how cool will it be to see your pictures and snaps from our wedding? Don’t forget to include our hashtag #(custom hashtag) and to use our custom filter on Snapchat!
Some couples create a specific account on Snapchat for their wedding and this is done months before the big day. That way, they tell the entire story (proposal, she / he said yes, engagement party, planning, challenges, joys, progress such as DIY items, cake tasting, preparations, bridal shower, bachelorette and bachelor parties, family flying in, ceremony rehearsal, rehearsal dinner, wedding day, and honeymoon!)
Their guests will follow the entire experience even if they live thousands of miles apart and that will create a deeper connection. It’s like having friends on social media and you never met them before but, when you finally meet them at conferences or at meetups, it seems like you’ve known these people forever and you feel you’re like best friends!
Tell the story
Getting married and snapchatting at the same time seems a little too challenging, and I always tell my couples not to carry a phone on their wedding. I want them to be focused on their celebration and truly enjoy every single minute of the day. They have me to guide them and remind them what needs to be done: getting married, doing the grand entrance, dance together, cut the cake, give a speech.
With that said, brides and grooms might not be able to tell their story because they’re busy getting married. In this case, if they really want their Snapchat account to be active during the wedding day, they should assign a person to it. What I’ve seen in the past is usually a young family member (a little cousin or a sibling) who is very tech and social media savvy and who will follow the couple everywhere documenting their big day. Of course, this person should know what the couple wants – for instance, does the couple want their Snapchat story to be just like that, a story of their wedding day? Do they want to focus on the little details? Or maybe, do they prefer to highlight their wedding party members and guests? Or, things that are behind the scenes?
A couple of years ago, I worked at a wedding where the couple was obsessed with DIY details and the bride’s youngest sister was in charge of snapping all the items she made for the wedding. She followed me and my team during the setup and she was going around the ceremony site, cocktail area and the ballroom just snapping around.
The other one (the groom’s teenage brother) was in charge of the couple’s guests so he was snapping the dances, the laughs, the conversations, the speeches, etc.
I was asked to be the official Snapchatter at an event but I had to say no because I wouldn’t have the time to snap and manage the event on site. This shows you how people don’t realize the amount of work that we planners have behind the scenes! I suggested one additional assistant in my team to do so but the couple wanted me to do it so it didn’t happen…
Always remind the people in charge of the Snapchat account to make sure that the snaps will be saved to Memories – You don’t want those precious moments to get lost because they’re usually the most candid and unpredictable moments that you will remember forever!
Let guests snap like crazy!
At the wedding, encourage guests to snap and post. Let’s go back to the signs I create for my wedding couples when they want their guests to use social media and share images from their big day.
* Snapchat – Snap Our Wedding ~ Make it a very special day by using our custom wedding filter
* Instagram – Are you on Instagram? Tag your photos with #(custom hashtag) and help us capture the story of our day
You can use this template or just come up with yours.
Preserve the memories
With Instagram – Thanks to the hashtag your clients (or you can) create, they will be able to retrieve all the images shared on Instagram. They can download them and create a digital album or save them to their Facebook profile or even have them printed (Shutterfly, Sticky 9, Social Print Studio on photo books, magnets, calendars, mugs, etc.)
With Snapchat – I’m sharing this precious tip from a wedding last year: the couple asked guests to send all of their snaps to the bride’s Snapchat account so she could see them, screenshot them and save them to her camera roll. Once she collected all the snaps from guests she compiled a private video that was uploaded on YouTube and shown to the guests.
~~~ TAKE ACTION ~~~ Discuss options to incorporate social media into weddings with your wedding couples. It’s fun and it allows them to collect more images and beautiful memories from their big day
~~~ LEAVE A COMMENT ~~~ Do you have any other ideas or tips on how to use custom Snapchat filters? Share them here!
This blog post is part of my weekly #WeddingPreneurs Lounge on Periscope – Follow me at @SabrinaCadini and catch the broadcast live every Wednesday at 11:30am PST!
Holistic Life Coach, Brain Fitness Coach, and Life-Work Balance Strategist for busy professionals. I blend well-being principles with neuroscience, biohacking, positive psychology, stress management, and mindfulness techniques to implement effective behavior changes.