How to make your wedding go viral: A case study in wedding content strategy

the details

Location: Greensboro, NC

Package Purchased: Custom Package

Hours of Coverage: 21 hours across 3 days

Final Deliverables: 12 in-feed posts, livestream on TikTok

Favorite Memory: I got to bring my husband John Michael along as my second shooter! He shoots my content and is a total pro, but this was his first wedding supporting me as the second shooter!

When I say this wedding was incredible, that’s an understatement. Miles and Toni’s wedding was so unbelievable that it’s hard to put into words, but I’ll try.

The Coverage & Viral Growth on Social Media

Toni and Miles are influencers and business owners who already had a large following on social media. This meant that when they were dating, got engaged, and planned their wedding, they took their community along with them for every step of the journey. Toni and Miles’s followers were there during their entire relationship. They wanted to include them in their wedding day as well.

This was that wedding that was all over everyone’s For You Page for that weekend in May 2023. We covered three days of behind-the-scenes photo and video content. I hosted a TikTok live stream with 250,000 viewers. And I created 25 pieces of unique content that got 5 million likes over their wedding weekend. And 120 thousand new followers later — we made Miles and Toni’s wedding go megaviral!

This wedding was all about capturing memories and weaving those into the social strategy we had orchestrated behind the scenes. It was also our responsibility to make sure that Miles and Toni’s online community felt like they were truly present on the big day.

I wanted this weekend to showcase all the time and attention that went into their wedding day and help their community be a part of it. But we also wanted to create something for Toni and Miles to launch them online into post-wedding life as #NewlyNorton.

by the numbers

  • 250,000 attendees for the wedding livestream

  • 120,000 new followers

  • 21 hours of event coverage

  • 20 in-feed TikToks

  • 9 in-feed Instagram posts

  • 7 million views on the top video

  • 6 videos with more than 1 million views

  • 3 Instagram takeovers

Now, this level of virality isn’t what everyone is looking for from their wedding. But if you already have an online presence, brand, platform or business, and if you want to leverage this milestone in your life, you need more than just a content creator capturing behind-the-scenes photo and video. You need a wedding content strategist.

The social strategy for this wedding involved tons of transition work, before and after shots, and transformations. Leveraging Toni’s existing social presence and personality, I was able to showcase a different side of her: Toni the Bride.

@newlynorton Introducing: MRS. NORTON! #newlynorton ♬ original sound – Miles and Toni

@newlynorton Had to show love to the people who have supported our journey! #newlynorton ♬ original sound – Miles and Toni

flying into North carolina

But let’s back up a second! Bringing John Michael with me, we flew from New York to North Carolina and started our three days of coverage immediately. Friday night’s Rehearsal Dinner was a black tie affair. It was very small and intimate, but we started to experience the event design of the weekend. The room was a dark and moody backdrop with vibrant, tropical pops of color for contrast. The design elegantly tied in elements of both of their personalities. Toni and Miles are very intentional people, so there were details & gifts throughout their weekend that they put a lot of time and thought into. And it started here.

One special part about planning your big day is that you can imbue it with your personality. No detail was left behind here. There was a steel drum welcoming as guests entered dinner, a DJ playing the couple’s favorite jams by Future, Meek Mill, and Waka, and personalized gifts for each attendee at the dinner. It was so fun to see Toni and Miles singing their favorite songs with their best people surrounding them with love.

@newlynorton The weekend is just getting started! Rehearsal dinner of my dreams! #weddingweekend #bridetobe #blacklove ♬ original sound – Miles and Toni

When meeting with Toni and Miles beforehand, my social strategy really was focused on creating and telling their story. They’d built a successful apparel brand and platform around wellness and fitness (alongside several other successful businesses), but this weekend was about Miles and Toni the couple. Both Toni and Miles are incredible personalities, and I can work them into content easily. The ultimate goal was to show the intimacy, vulnerability, joy, and gratitude of their day play out through short-form video.

I was also able to showcase how down-to-earth and laidback they were. Because after the rehearsal dinner and an outfit change, they took all out-of-town guests to bowl a few frames at AMF Lanes nearby!

@newlynorton Wedding weekend is here! As guests checked in, they each got a welcome gift — what’s your favorite item? #newlynorton #nortonweddingweekend ♬ original sound – Miles and Toni

the wedding day

The next morning, it was finally time for the actual wedding day. In my Full Creator package, I include a second shooter. This weekend was special because my husband John Michael came along. He captures my personal content, so to finally have JM join in as my partner-in-crime at the wedding was such a treat.

And besides, with a wedding this luxe it’s essential to have a second shooter with you. It’s typical for the media team to focus heavily on the bride! But of course, the bride always wants to see what their partner is up to the morning of the wedding. Having JM capture the fun they’re having gives the couple a complete picture of the behind the scenes of their wedding day.

I started at 9am in the hotel bridal suite with the girls doing hair and makeup. The focus in the morning was telling the story of Toni’s custom dress (her dress designer flew in from London to hand sew her in to her dress! Y’all, the details!). I also captures the bridesmaid reveal, and some amazing transitions of the bride transforming from Toni into Mrs. Norton.

@newlynorton See our wedding on Mars May 13 at 5 PM est #newlynorton ♬ original sound – Miles and Toni

@newlynorton The first time my bridal party saw me in my dress! #newlynorton ♬ original sound – Miles and Toni

@newlynorton My Bridesmaids! #newlynorton ♬ original sound – Miles and Toni

Meanwhile, John Michael was hanging with the guys while they got lined up, played cards, and took a few celebratory shots to commemorate their relationships with Miles.

@newlynorton Spotted entering the stadium #newlynorton #groomsmen #groomsmenentrance ♬ original sound – Miles and Toni

Miles and Toni got married in the Cadillac Service Garage in Greensboro, North Carolina with an incredible team of wedding planners and designers. They were so focused on the design of the wedding and making sure each of the guests could appreciate the unique details, so they really focused on the guest experience.

As Toni and Miles’s wedding content creators, we took over their Instagram and TikTok and posted in real time on their stories and in feed throughout the entire day. The content for this wedding was so fun to create because the couple and their vendor team had every detail nailed. Telling the story of the best day ever, one moment at a time.

@newlynorton #newlynorton ♬ original sound – Miles and Toni

@newlynorton It’s time to see my husband! #newlynorton ♬ original sound – Miles and Toni

the couple

Toni and Miles didn’t do a first look, opting instead for a First Prayer. We were creating videos all day long, but we made sure to hold on posting in-feed until after Miles had seen Toni to keep that part special for the couple. A small detail, but very, very important.

Part of our job as wedding content creators is–of course–to post to social media and share with the world. But it is also to intuit which moments are for the internet, and which moments are for the couple. Millions of people saw Miles and Toni’s wedding and felt like they were there. And yet, there are so many moments you don’t get to see on social media. We captured so much that is just for the couple to enjoy.

@newlynorton Our first prayer! We decided to wait to see eachother at the altar. Surreal moment. #newlynorton #firstprayer #weddingprayer ♬ original sound – Miles and Toni

the livestream

One part about this weekend that we orchestrated was a TikTok livestream of the wedding ceremony. It was such an important part for the couple and we were happy to oblige. I occasionally guest host on QVC, so this was comfortable territory for me! It was a treat to emcee the livestream that saw more than 250,000 people join us and over 2 million comments and likes from everyone sharing their best wishes to the couple!

Once the couple had seen each other, we began posting all that we had edited during the morning and afternoon. We also posted in real time throughout the rest of the evening.

@newlynorton The Nortons! #newlynorton ♬ original sound – Miles and Toni

top notch guest experience

As we said before, the guest experience was top notch at Toni and Miles’s wedding. Throughout the cocktail hour, they had a photo booth and an After The Tone phone guest book, a sneaker wall and a live violinist. The couple owns an apparel company that makes socks, so they had a custom sock with their monogram throughout their entire wedding. At the wedding itself, everyone was dressed to the nines in all white.

However, once a sneakerhead always a sneakerhead, so the invitation asked guests to show out on their sneaker game and bring their favorite shoes to change into for dancing. Each sneaker had little plaques that served as the seating chart.

@newlynorton What sneakers would you have worn at our wedding? #newlynorton #customsneakerwall #weddingsneakers ♬ original sound – Miles and Toni

@newlynorton Replying to @Shaniya yes @requestboutique in charlotte got me right #sneakerhead #newlynorton #cpfm #kaws4s ♬ original sound – Miles and Toni

The couple’s first dance went viral and was so fun to watch. This dance party was incredible and felt like it never stopped. Even John Michael and I had to show out and dance. Toni and Miles really made everyone feel part of their special day.

@newlynorton (Just a part) of our first dance! #newlynorton ♬ original sound – Miles and Toni

lets talk: social strategy

It’s essential when I work with clients that one thing is clear: We aren’t just focusing on capturing behind-the-scenes photo and video. Anyone with an iPhone can capture behind-the-scenes of your wedding. The real value of a wedding content creator is the story we tell & the production quality of what we create. We’re not just doing transitions and rough cutting clips together. I have a Type-A timeline and a shot list to create captivating content.

My philosophy is that your followers shouldn’t feel like a stranger is posting on your behalf. Your wedding day content should feel genuine and natural to who you are. This is why I intentionally cap the number of weddings I take each year–churning and burning through weddings cheapens the experience for everyone.

I don’t just show up and capture your day with my phone(s). I spend a lot of time working directly with you to understand how and what you want to share with your community. On the day of the wedding, I don’t have to ask you any questions — we know exactly what to do.

With Miles and Toni’s content, I had a chance to create a story around their day and post about it in (near) real time. The results were pretty incredible, and it’s a case study in how we can leverage this milestone–your wedding–to find your 15 minutes of fame!

@newlynorton @Laur | Wedding Content Creator helped us bring the wedding content to you, so we could focus on getting married. The BEST in the game! #newlynorton ♬ original sound – Miles and Toni