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Author Notes: Weddings are about honoring the love between two people -- and celebrating that connection with what is, for most of us, the most expensive party we’ll ever host. In the age of social media, it’s more important to newly engaged couples that their wedding day is worthy of likes and shares, especially on the aesthetic-based platforms of Instagram and Pinterest. If Instagram has taught us anything, it’s that people absolutely love taking pictures of themselves eating. Give them a beautifully plated meal on a wood-grain table and watch the filtered smartphone photography flow. If your #weddinggoals include an Instagram-worthy event, the best place to start is with a stunning tablescape.
Appealing flatlays. Instagram is crazy about flatlay photography, and Instagram addicts are always looking for a snappable flatlay photo op. Flatlays are the overhead shots we all know and love, especially popular for food pics. Look at your place settings from a bird's eye view to see if you’ve created an appealing flatlay for your guests to ‘gram.
Good lighting. According to WeddingWire, “everyone is looking for a venue that allows for natural light to ensure ‘likeable’ photos. Airy locations with floor-to-ceiling windows or skylights will guarantee that as long as there is daylight, your wedding ceremony and reception will get plenty of natural light for both your photos and the overall ambiance of the day.” No one likes shadowy, grainy, yellow or otherwise artificially lit Instagram photos that can’t even be rescued by the almighty Valencia filter.
Personal details. Just ask Coke how much people love to see their name appear on something (spoiler alert -- it’s a lot). Guests love personalization and monogrammed wedding details, and they are much more likely to jump on Instagram to feature the personal touches at your tablescape. After all, a place setting is just a place setting, but a place setting with rustic custom name tag or menu is #Instagood.
Add texture. A compelling tablescape design absolutely must integrate a variety of textures to add depth and visual interest to a space. You can do this in a variety of ways using different colors, materials, patterns, and finishes. There are plenty of elements on the table to layer contrasting and complementary textures, colors, and designs to create a visually stimulating and photo-worthy place setting.
Vary height. Not only should you consider a variety of textures and materials as you plan your perfect tablescape, but you should also consider switching up the height of the various elements of your table, like the centerpieces, glassware, candles, etc. It isn’t very appealing to look out at flat tables with no height change to draw the eye in different places. One trending option is to use vertical space, like chandeliers or suspended floral arrangements, to accomplish height variation.
Consider the full experience. When it comes to setting the table, remember you’re setting the scene for the entire reception. Your tablescapes will be one of the most photographed elements of your wedding, since they contribute to the overall ambiance of your reception. Be sure to consider whether your centerpieces will disrupt your guests’ experience (for example, hindering dinner conversation) and whether the designs you have chosen make sense for the style and shape of your tables.
Tips for Making Your Wedding More Instagrammable in General
Strong Backgrounds. Ecommerce bridal gown retailer, Azazie, regularly showcases the real weddings of brides across their blog and social media profiles. Although these brides have varying styles, one unifying theme is that many of them choose venues with strong, sweeping views to set the stage for this memorable day. It doesn’t do you much good to have a showstopping wedding cake or other gorgeous details set against an unattractive backdrop. Scan your venue for the most appealing backgrounds for important elements like the wedding cake. If your venue doesn’t have much to work with, consider drapery or other DIY options to make things more aesthetically pleasing. If nothing else, just keep it simple and you can’t go wrong.
Selfie Stations. Guests love selfie stations, which are just pre-designated spots (with clean backgrounds) for guests who aren’t dancing to mingle and document their good times at your reception. Typically selfie stations are loaded with props or other fun details to tempt guests into taking some Instagrammable photos during the party.
Have a Hashtag. Chances are you’ve had a wedding hashtag throughout the planning stages of your event so you could document your journey for your own memories. But if not, you’ll definitely want to create a wedding hashtag for guests to use while they’re posting all those photos to Instagram. This is just about the only way to ensure you’ll have access to all the pictures and perspectives of your big day, so try to craft one your guests will really want to use and don’t forget to advertise it so they don’t forget!
In the end, the most important thing about making your wedding Instagrammable is making sure you’re doing so because it’s what you really want for your wedding day. It can be easy to get sucked into the pressure of social media, but if design and details aren’t your thing, don’t beat yourself up about it. And if an Instagram-worthy event is your dream day, at least bear in mind that the world of Instagram is carefully posed, edited, and filtered; don’t get so hung up on the final product that you miss out on the joy of creating it! —Boris Dzhingarov