So you’ve hired a professional wedding photographer to take photos of your relaxed wedding day so do you really want your guests spending all their time snapping away too?
In the age we live in now, we have phones that have multi-mega pixel cameras and the ability to instantly share those photos with hundreds of friends via social media so is it any surprise that you constantly see guests snapping away and uploading photos? Even once loaded then they are constantly checking comments, likes, tweets the list goes on. Every family also has someone who is a hobbyist / wannabe pro-photographer who has got the kit and loves to take a photo and you’ll know who they are …… forever telling you to get together for this group shot or that group shot.
Oh, and I haven’t even mentioned the dreaded selfie stick yet either!
Making sure your Guests are actually ‘there’!
For some this may not be an issue, it may be part of their life and they enjoy it, however you may not realise until after your perfect day till when you see your official wedding photos captured by your photographer why this might be an issue to you.
Some couples don’t wish to have their special day splashed over social media to people they don’t even know. Couples might want their guests to enjoy the day, appreciate the effort and planning that has gone into it and generally play a part in making it happen the way you have dreamed of and planned for. You want your guests to switch off from the outside world and enjoy the surroundings, let go and appreciate the day, viewing the day through their eyes and not an LCD screen.
You invited your guests to come and celebrate your special day so you want them to be ‘there’.
From a guests perspective it is almost a habit, almost a need to get a photo because everyone else is, they forget that you have hired a professional wedding photographer, they forget that it is about the people getting married, the people they love and that they really can sit back and enjoy and appreciate the moment.
So we should Ban Phones?
Phones don’t need to be banned, if there is an emergency with your guests family or something urgent then people will want their phone on, your guests will be more relaxed knowing they can be contacted if their is anything urgent, especially if they have kids. If you were asked to leave your phone at home would you?
You may wish to kindly ask your guests to not take photos and keep their phones in their pockets just for the ceremony and while you walk down the aisle.
Remind your guests that photos will be viewable online and, with the agreement of your photographer, they may be free to share those on social media if they wish. Here at Nene Digital Weddings, we openly encourage guests to share any image from the official online gallery.
The Wedding Photographers view ..…
“I think it’s a great idea, especially when the bride is walking down the aisle. People spend far to long looking from behind their phones, enjoy the moment for what it is. The bride & groom might also want the first images that go on Facebook to be from the official photographer and not from a guest. It’s an exciting day but sit back, enjoy it and let the photographer worry about the images.” – Paul Williams, Manchester based Wedding Photographer.
“Nowadays because of the strong influence by media culture everything is online, instant and shared. Often couples who are getting married may wish to have a break from that and opt for the unplugged wedding. This is great if you wish to do your own thing and not follow the crowd. Of course family and friends may want to reach for their iPhone and snap away, however it’s important to respect the couples wishes and the ceremony. Phones, flash, clicks multiplied by the majority of guests who wish to photograph the wedding could be too much for some couples. ” – Charmaine Gittens, Scotland based Wedding Photographer.
Two Ways to kindly ask Your Wedding Guests to Put Away Their Phones ..…
Wedding Invite & Programme Note
Just a simple note on the invite or the wedding programme asking for all guests to kindly turn off there devices, phones and cameras. This will prevent any unwanted ringtones going off, distracted guests and phones / cameras from being waved around. You could also follow this up with an announcement (from the best man ?) before the ceremony if you wish but always stress that this is a wish from the couple and not simply from a fussy photographer!
Of course you can have a little fun when kindly informing them to put their phones away. You could put together a creative message on a sign and leave it outside the church or ceremony for guests to see, albeit it is sure to encourage some to capture a snap shot of it on their phone!
‘I usually recommend a chalk board asking for people’s phones or basket for people’s phones. Make it themed so it doesn’t appear rude or that you are “seizing” people’s phones.’ – Paul Williams, Manchester based Wedding Photographer.
Plugged or unplugged
This article isn’t about telling you what you should do, rather it is about an important consideration that many couples will not think of or even allow to cross their mind in the planning. However it is too late when they see photos pop up on Facebook or when they see guests holding up their phones in your photos captured as your wedding photographer.
You may read this and not be fussed and that is absolutely fine, however you may read this and you may not have thought about it or considered it and that is what it is about ….. ensuring your day is as perfect as you want it to be after spending weeks planning every little detail. Do you really need or want hundreds/thousands of additional photos captured by your guests?
Just remember you have decided to hire and pay for a professional wedding photographer to capture the story of your gorgeous wedding day. Make sure you get the very best story and the very best photos you can.