There is a great deal of debate about technology at weddings. The average wedding guest owns a smart phone with a camera and is ready to take pictures at the wedding. The question becomes, do you let guests take images at the ceremony, at the reception, or do you encourage them to be in the moment? This is a point of discussion with many brides and grooms who are planning their big day in 2016 and beyond.
From my perspective, I always encourage the couple to keep the ceremony sacred and let guests know this. Guests should partake in the ceremony, be present in the moment, and let the professional photographer do what they are paid to do, take pictures.
There are lots of creative ways to let guests know that you appreciate them putting down the phone and leave the picture taking to the photographer. Here are a few examples.
When it comes to the reception, more and more brides and grooms are encouraging guests to take photos and then post them to instagram with a particular hashtag. By leveraging a hashtag it will allow the bride and groom to see all the images from the special day in one place rather than searching different social media accounts to find all the images. Here are some great examples:
Some couples continue the theme of having guests keep their phones away and refrain from posting images onto social media accounts. Many times the couple wants to keep the day private from the social media world and allow guests to enjoy the moment with them.
This conversation about allowing photos or not comes up frequently with a colleague of mine, Berit Bizjak, owner of Images by Berit. Here is her take from the perspective of a professional photographer:
“There are two elements that are missing when everyone who’s attending a wedding ceremony is trying to take photos. One is the loss of truly being present and mindful of what is taking place. Invited guests are there to partake and witness the marriage – not to provide photos to the couple. The second element is that there are many lost opportunities for the professional photographer to get key moments and to do her job because of being blocked, background intrusions (when people enter the aisle or stand to take their photo) and sometimes having guests’ flashes blow out the photos that the professional is trying to take.”
Ultimately, the choice is up to the bride and groom for their big day, but create a plan. It is important to set expectations for guests on the day of the wedding and that starts with having a plan. What is your opinion?