Instagram Wedding Secrets: How To Get The Most (& Best) Pics

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whitelightning-1Photo: Via @PrestonOlson.


We've been in love with Elizabeth Spiridakis Olson ever since we stumbled across her blog White Lightning five years ago. The style blogger has lived about nine lives already; she was once a style writer for The New York Times' T Magazine before becoming the art director of Bon Appétit, and she just pulled up stakes and moved to San Francisco to become the creative director of AFAR magazine.

But Olsons' big news of late is her recent wedding to longtime beau Preston Olson. The pair were married this past July at Liberty View Farm in Highland, NY, and had one of the most beautifully Instagrammed weddings we've seen, with friends chipping in and 'gramming literally hundreds of great shots. It didn't hurt to have Tavi Gevinson and Ira Glass on the guest list, either.

So, how'd they do it?

We spoke to Ms. White Lightning herself — amidst the flurry of San Francisco apartment-hunting — to get her recommendations for a truly perfect Instagram wedding.

whitelightning2Photo: Via @white_lightning.
Hashtag, hashtag, hashtag:
"A hashtag is the most important part of having a successful Instagram wedding experience," says Olson. "It's the only way to keep track of everything." Olson and her husband decided on their hashtag, EPOMG, months before the wedding and began incorporating it into the pre-planning festivities. "I put it on every single piece of information — from the save-the-date to the beer cozies we gave out to the invitations. You think it seems crazy, but nobody remembers."

Hashtags are super-useful, says Olson, because they act as an insta-archive of all of your great wedding memories. And, that makes it easy for you and your loved ones to easily browse through photos of the big night. "Even someone like my mom, who has no idea what a hashtag is, can see everything. She loves it."

Think carefully about your hashtag. It should be short, simple, and easy-to-remember — especially because it's likely that your friends and family are going to be a bit tipsy while they're snapping pics.
whitelightning3Photo: Via @white_lightning.
Give your guests permission:
"You have to hit people over the head with it. We were really encouraging," said Olson. "It helps to have friends that are already photo-savvy. Our posse of friends are pretty social-media-savvy people," though she admits that most of her bridesmaids don't even have Instagram accounts. "We made sure everyone knew it was okay for them to take as many photos as they wanted."
white-lightning-5Photo: Via @white_lightning.
Consider pockets:
Yes, pockets. To cut down on the stress of relying on others to take pictures, Olson had a tailor put pockets in her wedding dress, so she could have her iPhone on her at all times. "She thought I was crazy," jokes Olson, but knowing she could snap a pic at a moment's notice? So worth it.
white-lightning-6Photo: Via @emofly
Start Instagramming before you walk down the aisle:
"Our wedding was 100% DIY. If you have the kind of wedding where you're really involved, it's nice to snap some photos of you setting up," suggests Olson. "Everyone loves those details." Even if you haven't handwritten every place-card setting, you may want to get some quick pics of the setup anyway. Every cliché about weddings is true — they go by so fast, and you won't remember any of it. Trust me, you'll want to take a picture of it, because you won't remember it later.
whitelightning-7Photo: Via @white_lightning
Don't forget to have fun:
"The most fun part was the next morning when we woke up and were alone," said Olson. "We went to Instagram and got to see so much stuff that we didn't get to see at our own wedding."

Now it's your turn. We want to see Instagram-proof of the incredible weddings you've thrown or attended. Add #weddingcrashers to pics, and share your favorite shots with Refinery29. We may just feature your awesome wedding adventures on our site.