May 24, 2012 at 11:00 AM ET
The new Mr. and Mrs. Mark Zuckerberg didn’t waste any time updating their Facebook profiles to share the news of their surprise weekend nuptials. But a new survey shows that the Facebook founder and his bride, Priscilla Chan, are far from alone in the speedy post-ceremony status update.
Nearly half of women polled said they did or likely would update their Facebook relationship status to “married” between the ceremony and the reception. That's 49 percent of the 500 recently married or engaged women who participated in the Wakefield Research online survey commissioned by David's Bridal, due to be released next month.
That intermission between the ceremony and the reception is usually a key time for taking photos, or for the bride and groom to share a few private moments together with a cocktail and hors d’oeuvres before heading back to their waiting guests.
“I’m always a little shocked by it,” says Melissa Barrad, a wedding planner in San Diego who has seen this trend up close, among her clients.
Brides and grooms are pulling out their phones during the cocktail hour or at the end of night in their honeymoon suite to change their relationship status from “single” to “married” on Facebook, Barrad says. She’s even seen the updating of the status incorporated into the ceremony itself.
“It’s the 21st-century wedding announcement,” says Barrad, who owns I Do ... Weddings! “Instead of sending out wedding announcements, people change their Facebook statuses.”
Though she’s often surprised to see couples going online at their wedding, she knows that oftentimes, the need to instantly update their world wins out.
About one-third of her clients change their marital status on the wedding night, another third have done it by the next morning, said Barrad, who’s Facebook friends with most of her clients.
And for those who don’t hop to it? Barrad’s seen comments on their pages asking about the hold up.
“People will say, ‘Why haven’t you changed your Facebook status yet?’ when it’s only been 6 hours,” she said.
With the use of social media sites ingrained in the lives of so many young people, she says it’s only natural for bridal couples to want to update their online networks, especially when some are cutting their guest lists to save money.
“They’re so used to doing it in their daily life, it definitely makes sense for them to update everyone in their world about their wedding and name change,” Barrad says. “A lot of times they’re changing their Facebook status and name on Facebook immediately.
“It’s just official and they’re always really excited to do it,” she says.
The Wakefield Research survey has a margin of error of plus or minus 4.4 percentage points.
Lisa A. Flam is a news and lifestyles reporter in New York who, sigh, got married in the days before Facebook. You can follow her on Twitter at @lisaflam.