Perhaps we can blame it on the surging "selfie" practice or the growing popularity and affordability of owning your own DSLR aka "fancy camera," but these days weddings have become filled with more than just the one or two photographers you've hired -- it seems like all the guests are also photographers, and sometimes even videographers.
Whatever the case may be, I'm here to encourage you (if you've hired professional photographers to document your celebration) to kindly tell your guests you want an unplugged wedding ceremony -- in simple terms -- "PUT YOUR CAMERAS/CAMERA PHONES DOWN."
Encourage your guests to put their cameras down especially during your Wedding Ceremony. As a wedding photographer, I can tell you, there's nothing more discouraging than composing the perfect photo of an epic moment, only to have a guest who blocks or steps right into your shot. Not only is it distracting, it's quite discouraging to have to deliver a series of photos to the bride and groom that have Uncle Edward with his camera phone right in the middle of an otherwise beautiful photo. Trust me, I almost ran into a huge disaster when I was prepping to take a photo of a couple's First Kiss and a cousin stepped into the church aisle blocking my view. Thankfully, the couple laughed and paused before their lips met and I was able to move quickly around her and still capture their first kiss as husband and wife -- something that happens only once in their lives. But can you imagine how disastrous that scenario could have been?
I totally understand the desire to have a million photos taken to help you remember the day -- I was that bride too about six years ago. I wanted the immediacy of being able to see my wedding photos from family and friends and didn't want to wait for the photographer's images. But I can tell you, when I finally did receive them it made me realize that nothing could compare to the professional photos that were taken on our Wedding Day. They were incredible, intentional and every reason why I should have had more faith and confidence in just relying solely on my photographers. They were beautiful, every single one of them. (Side note: make sure you hire solid photographers that you know you can trust to capture all the important moments and deliver beautiful photographs!!!)
If there is ever a moment to want your guests to put down their cameras, it should be during the wedding ceremony. Have faith in your hired photographers to capture this special time on your Wedding Day, but most of all, encourage your guests to simply enjoy and live in the moment when it comes to the ceremony. After all, they did travel hundreds of miles to partake in seeing you get married right? So why not ask them to relish in the beauty of that moment and refrain from taking photos.
Ask them to be present and celebrate with you. It's a simple but important request.
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About me: I am a former BDW Bride AKA as MarieSam and was addicted to this forum as I planned my own wedding in 2009. Since 2010, I have been the proud owner of MarieSam Sanchez Photography -- a husband and wife photography team based in Southern California and documenting love all over the world.