01/07/2013 09:20 BST | Updated 31/08/2013 06:12 BST

To Have, to Hold, to Overshare


Another couple, just walking down the aisle on any given Friday/Saturday/Sunday is now 'surprised' because their 'flashmob' wedding video has been shared thousands of times. 'It was just little-old-us getting hitched...we are so surprised that half the world watched the video' Well (1) you coordinated a flashmob led by your clergy (awesome, by-the-way), (2) you filmed it, and (3) people can get really bored at work. So...not really surprising, right, when it gets posted on that World Wide Web, that a lot of people click to watch?

How about that couple running from the Tyrannosaurus Rex? It was reportedly done because of the groom's 'love of publicity'; I mean, sorry, 'dinosaurs'. In fairness, when that one showed up 'everywhere' the couple was on their honeymoon and had 'no idea' that it went viral. We'll call that one the 'wedding social media bomb'. That is, lob it and run to the honeymoon.

Now, don't get me wrong, I agree, weddings can be d-u-l-l. And why not spice it up with the unexpected? I'd give anything to be a guest at a wedding where a flashmob erupts. And with the increasing costs associated with weddings these days (now at £18,000), why not drum up a little publicity as a result?

Also, because we've been socialised to accept the ins-and-outs of 'wedding etiquette' it is quite a laugh to see people break the rules of social convention. And break them they do. A YouTube search for 'wedding flashmob dance' produces 455,000 results; 'wedding dance surprise' has 311,000 results. So much to choose from: Gangham style! Footloose! Titles like 'Funny First Wedding Dance-REALLY FUNNY!!' gets more than two million views. Or 'Jen and Joeys first dance no one saw coming' (well, Jen and Joey, someone did, because now three million people have watched it!) The spectacles are so prevalent that they are becoming a bit cookie-cutter, starting with the song from Ghost throwing in a little 'everybody dance now' and ending with Michael Jackson's Thriller (who doesn't love the idea of dancing like a zombie). For those with two left feet, 'YMCA' seems to work and, for the ambitious, there is the 'Macarena.'

So with that, is it safe to say there is a certain etiquette for the 2013 wedding dance surprise? A recipe? Want to give it a whirl? Here are a few tips:

  • Look really chilled during the bride and groom first dance. A few knowing glances to your betrothed as you foxtrot to your wedding song helps build a little 'will they or won't they' anticipation. Having a friend 'live Tweet' the dance helps as well (@timandemma you got us you crazy kids! didn't expect that! #surprise #crazy #BestWeddingEver).
  • Look at each other with 'confusion' and 'shock' when the music goes funk (like, 'whoa who hired that DJ').
  • Concentrate really, really hard on the moves (when you consider how much work it used to take to teach just a quick two step, there is some major training and focus required with these efforts - but anyone who saw Silver Linings Playbook knows that anything is possible. Excelsior).
  • Always include someone over 65 with moves like Mick Jagger.
  • If you want to be really badass do it in the church around the ceremony.
  • Finally, drag it on. You want at least five minutes of film so that when it hits YouTube you can cram it full of advertisements (hey, dance lessons are expensive, you know).

And if all of that didn't completely satisfy your compulsion to overshare, then don't despair, there will be many more moments ahead...'selfies' on the honeymoon; lots of first home rehab shots on Instagram and Pinterest; and, of course, the requisite 12-week foetal scan of baby boy or girl. The list goes on and will continue as 'private' is now the new 'public'.