I wanted to touch on a subject that can really affect how your ceremony shots turn out.
Let me be honest. No wedding photographer has a problem with guests taking photos at a wedding. However, when they step out directly in front of me with their point and shoot camera or mobile phone, then we’re going to have some issues.
As a wedding photographer, I follow several online forums. As such, I see how an increased number of couples are sharing wedding footage that was photobombed by someone else’s device and expressing frustration at how their guests were disconnected from the present moment.
Because of this, more couples are requesting to have an “unplugged” wedding where loved ones have to do the unthinkable and put their cameras and phones away! In all honesty, you only need to worry about your ceremony. It’s the only time of the day where all your guests will be patiently seated, and I can guarantee that many are itching to whip out their phones and start snapping away.
With that being said, if you feel irritated by the thought of friends and family sharing in your big day from behind a screen, then consider the following:
Decide How Unplugged You Want Your Wedding To Be
Do you want a total ban on devices during your ceremony, reception and everything in between? Or do you just want them switched off during the ceremony?
Tell Your Guests Before The Wedding
To avoid any confusion, add your unplugged guidelines to your wedding website, and possibly even consider sending an email about your decision a couple of weeks before your wedding day.
Let Your Guests Access Your Professional Photos
You may consider satisfying peoples’ desire for documentation by creating an area of the professional wedding photos that you are comfortable to share (my online gallery will allow you to decide which are available publicly). Make sure you let them know that this is the plan when making your initial unplugged request, as it could soothe anxiety. Reassure them that your photographer and videographer are already covering all the moments that they think need to be taken with their phones and they will have access to them soon after the wedding.
Create Guidelines For Sharing
If you are going to allow cameras during your wedding day, but want to be the first to share the images, then tell your guests! In our current age of live streaming and posting the moment instead of being in the moment, many do not think twice about whether the couple is ok with others sharing their wedding images.
If this is important to you, consider what your ask will be. For example, you may state that photos should not be posted on social media until a couple of weeks after your wedding, and communicate this same message on your website.