Have you been to a concert recently? Everyone has their hands in the air, but they are holding their phones.
Have you been to a wedding ceremony lately? The same thing… the Bride basically walks down the aisle to a sea of phones and devices.
In this digital age, everyone has a camera on their mobile phone or device and it seems everyone wants to get a photo of the bride and groom. But I think it’s such a shame that people are more interested in getting a photo than actually being present and watching and experiencing your wedding ceremony.
I won’t lie to you… some wedding guests can be really annoying and disruptive in their exuberance to get the perfect shot. I could give you a hundred stories of guests making my job harder but I won’t… I don’t want this post to be a big whine on my part :)
But just about every single person at a wedding these days has a camera phone. And unless you tell them to put their camera/phones away, you will walk down the aisle to a sea of cameras/phones.
The photo below is a random wedding that I picked out and is a very accurate depiction of what guests are looking at during the wedding ceremony. The red X’s are people holding a camera.
We recently did a wedding where the Bride asked all her guests not to take photos during the ceremony… no digital cameras or mobile phones… and it was a revelation! We were no longer competing with family and friends for a position, no one jumped out in front of me into the aisle to get a picture of the bride, there were no camera flashes overexposing my shots. We were able to do our job unobstructed and most importantly the guests were present and experienced the wedding.
I can’t remember where I saw this but I wrote it down… it was written on a Brides invitation in America and I think it’s a nice way to ask your guest to experience your wedding. Here is what it said:
“We want you to be able to really enjoy our wedding day, feeling truly present and in the moment with us. We’ve hired an amazing wedding photographer who will capture the way the wedding looks – and we invite each of you to sit back, relax, and just enjoy how the wedding feels. We respectfully ask that everyone leave all cameras and cell photos off during the ceremony and the “ceremonial parts” of the reception, including the first dance, parents dances and the cake cutting. We ask you to refrain so that we can see your faces and you can see ours, both now and forever in the photos that our photographer will capture. Of course we will be happy to share our wedding photos with you afterward!”
So as I said at the beginning… I get why people like taking photos at weddings. But I also think it’s really sad when I see family at the wedding ceremony moving around trying to get a photo. And I think it’s really sad when I see the Bride & Grooms parents viewing their children’s wedding from behind their camera. They are missing out on really watching and experiencing the good stuff… the wedding.
Hire a photographer whose work you LOOOOVE and then everyone can sit back and experience these amazing moments as they happen.
Having said all this, I know that people love taking photos at weddings, and if you are not prepared to have a totally unplugged wedding here is some advice for the wedding ceremony.
- Tell your parents to put away their cameras. They do not need it. There is nothing worse for me when I try to capture a photo of your parents watching you get married and their face is hidden behind a phone/camera.
- Get your MC or celebrant/priest to tell guests that they are free to take photos, but out of respect to the couple and the ceremony to please stay in their seat, don’t move around and keep the aisle free.
- But then tell them that there will be a chance later for them to get a photo of the wedding couple.
- When the Bride & Groom sign their documents near the end of the ceremony. I’ll take a couple of photos and then get the celebrant/priest to invite anyone who wants a photo to come up and take a photo. This is a big crowd pleaser. It doesn’t take much time and will satisfy most guests needs for a photo.