Did anyone else read last week’s headlines about the groom who updated his Facebook relationship status at the altar? Whether you found this funny or alarming, there’s no denying social networking has changed the way we live.

Since Facebook has become integral to daily life for many people, why shouldn’t we allow it to affect our weddings as well? From personal experience, here are my “Top Five” (no “Top 8” here… so long, MySpace) ways that Facebook can have an impact on your upcoming Las Vegas wedding:

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1. Easy Announcement of Union

Unless you’re the twice-removed, third cousin of an ex-President, you probably can’t afford as many guests as newlywed Mrs. Chelsea Clinton-Mezvinsky. Save your wedding guest list spots for family and close friends. For those who won’t make the cut, use Facebook’s status updates, relationship status, and photo album options to let your Facebook friends share the joy.

2. Tracking RSVPs

It’s no secret that many young people “forget” to return their mail-in RSVP cards. If necessary, track down your friends’ responses through their profile pages. Contrary to popular belief, do not use Facebook’s “Create an Event” feature to receive RSVPs for your wedding. On Facebook, many people commit to an event because it interests them, not because they’re marking their calendars.  Instead, send a personal message or contact your friends via Facebook Chat.

3. Watch What Posts

Before your bridal shower or bachelorette party, let the girls know how you feel about these times being posted online. Be smart and use discretion. Las Vegas brides, I’m sure you were thrilled to receive that sexy thong at your shower, and the photos your bridesmaids snapped of your facial reactions are hilarious. But don’t let those pictures be posted for any of your male Facebook friends to view. As a bride, respect your body and reveal your sexy intrigue to groom’s eyes only.

4. Save-the-Date Distribution

With Facebook, you can easily distribute save-the-date information. Consider your wedding guest list. If certain guests would benefit from electronic delivery, as opposed to traditional snail mail, then tag these Facebook friends in your uploaded save-the-date photo or video. Also, occasionally, photography or videography companies are able to send you previews of your save-the-date or wedding photos via your Facebook account. Ask your Las Vegas wedding professional about their Facebook flexibility, and be gracious if they deny your request for privacy purposes.

5. Snag Friends’ Photos

Perhaps the biggest blessing Facebook has to offer brides is the ability to view your friends’ photos of your wedding. Of course, photography professionals will record your wedding story beautifully. However, it’s fun to see how your guests enjoyed your wedding through their eyes. I loved viewing my friends’ photos: my roommates making funny faces in the bathroom mirror, a groomsman kissing his girlfriend, the ring bearer fast asleep on his father’s shoulder, and the Maid-of-Honor’s and the Best Man’s secret mission to decorate our getaway vehicle. On Facebook, you’ll find photos that represent moments that mattered to the people you love, and that itself is a true joy.

Las Vegas brides, feel free to incorporate your social networking sites as you prepare for the big day and later look back at those precious memories. Sure, you should probably save that Facebook relationship update from “Engaged” to “Married” for a more appropriate time than at the altar from your iPhone. But as long as you exercise tact and common sense, Facebook can be your friend during your Las Vegas wedding planning.

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(Author: Allyson Siwajian © 2010)

(Photographs: Bridal Spectacular on Facebook, Jamison Frady of Quiet Art Photography © 2010)