Back in November last year, the amazingly talented Australian photographer Thomas Stuart of Thomas Stuart Photography posted an open letter on his Facebook page suggesting to couples that smartphone-clutching wedding guests were getting in the way of both the photographers and the newlyweds themselves during crucial wedding-day moments.
Mr Stewart, who said he had “had enough”, posted: “Guests with phones, iPads and cameras get right in your photographer’s way… They often ruin many of our shots… You’re paying a photographer quite a bit of money; that means you want great photos. We cannot do our best work with people getting in our way.”
“These same guests will get in YOUR way,” he continued. “You will miss moments of your own wedding day because there’ll be an iPad in the way. You will miss seeing your partner’s face in the aisle.”
Many photographers will symapthise with Mr Thomas’ view, but what about your guests? It’s highly likely that family and friends will want to celebrate your day with you by capturing and sharing their favourite moments and the most tech-savvy might have Instagrammed that shot of you walking down the aisle before you’ve even said “I do”. So what do you do if you want to guests to have a good time but you also don’t want hundreds of pictures of guests taking selfies at the back of the church?
Include some wording on your wedding website or in your programme
If you are sharing details of your wedding day with guests via a wedding website (or “wedsite”), you can warn them in advance that you’d like your wedding to be a tech-free zone. Alternatively, you could include a few lines in your wedding programme such as:
We’d really like our guests to be able to enjoy the day in the moment with us. We’ve hired an amazing wedding photographer who will be capturing the whole day on camera so we would be very grateful if you would ensure that phones and cameras remain off throughout the day so that you can sit back and relax Of course we will be more than happy to share our photos with you afterwards.
Ask the officiant to step in
Asking the officiant to remind your guests to switch off (not literally) at the beginning of the ceremony is an easy way to deal with the subject quickly and without any awkwardness. Just ensure they include the reception too, if that’s what you want.
Display a sign at your ceremony / reception
If you’ve decided last minute that you’d like an unplugged wedding, don’t worry – you can still display a discrete sign at the ceremony or reception venue reminding guests to enjoy the moment and step away form the smart phones. You can even make a feature of it and style it to fit in with your theme.