Please leave your phones in your pocket!

I am the first to admit I feel lost without my mobile and even have my smartband to vibrate when I am more than 10 metres away from it, but I also agree that there is a time and a place to get your phone out (when your child walks in with pen all over their face or the cat falls in the bath!) and when to put it away (during dinner, when you use it to communicate with the person sat right next to you and yes, a wedding ceremony!).

We put a polite notice in our Order of Service that said “We want you to all enjoy the service and politely ask that you refrain from taking photos during the ceremony.  Our super talented photographer Shan will be taking LOTS and you will all be welcome to get copies from her website”.2013-10-11 16.37.23 (Copy)

I have to admit I was enjoying myself way too much to even notice if anyone was taking photos but in all of Shan’s photos from the church – no one’s face was obscured by a mobile phone!

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Obviously when you get outside the church and to the reception the photos that your guests take can capture some fabulous and unforgettable moments so please encourage that – even get them to use a personal hashtag for your wedding when they upload them to social media so you can have a good giggle when you get home the next day – download our FREE ‘Capture the Love’ printable here!

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I can across this post recently on Facebook from an Australian photographer called Thomas Stewart and he felt it time to let his feelings known in a rather brilliant rant….


“Right, I’ve had enough. I want to talk to you all about guests using mobile phones / cameras at weddings. I want to plead with you, and I’m going to make this very simple: brides and grooms, please have a completely unplugged wedding ceremony.

Look at this photo. This groom had to lean out past the aisle just to see his bride approaching. Why? Because guests with their phones were in the aisle and in his way.

This sucks. And I’m not blaming these guests in particular; I actually take a large amount of responsibility for this occurring. In the past I should have been more specific with my clients in explaining to them why guests should be told no photos. Well, from now on, I’m going to make a pretty big deal about it.

If you’re planning a wedding, please consider these points:

1. Guests with phones, iPads and cameras get right in your photographer’s way. They have no idea how to stay out of our way. They often ruin many of our shots. They will make our photos worse. 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.

2. These same guests will get in YOUR way. 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.

3. The guests’ photos are usually crap. I’m sorry, but it is true. You can’t take great photos with your camera phone by leaning into the aisle of a dark church to photograph a moving subject. Hell, even lots of professionals have trouble with this.

And finally, the most important point:

4. Imagine you’re in the middle of your wedding ceremony. You’re elated. You decide to take a quick glance towards your guests as you’re sure they’re sharing these happy moments with you, possibly even shedding a tear of their own. What do you see? NO FACES AT ALL AS THEY ARE ALL HIDDEN BEHIND PHONES AND CAMERAS! I highly doubt this is the way you want to remember your wedding ceremony.

In your invites, tell everyone you’re having an unplugged ceremony: no technology, please, Write it on a chalkboard which guests can see as they arrive on the day. Tell your celebrant / minister / priest to tell the guests at the start of the ceremony. HIRE A PLANE TO WRITE IT IN THE SKY!

And guests, you’ve been invited to this wedding to share and celebrate the love that two people feel for each other. They didn’t invite you along to take photographs that they probably won’t really look at anyway. They want you there with them in heart and soul, and they want to see your tear-filled eyes as you form part of their wedding ceremony. You are witnesses to their marriage, so for goodness sake, watch them with your eyes and your minds, not your phones.

So guests please, for my sake, and for sake of the two people getting married, leave your cameras at home and put your phones / iPads away”

Couldn’t of put it better myself!  See more of Thomas Stewart’s work on his website.


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