Today's Monday Wedding Madness topic is on Guest Photographers and how to politely get them to stop photographing your ceremony and have an unplugged ceremony.
One of the main issues during the ceremony for your photographer are your snap happy guests. All photographers expect for your mother or grandmother to take a couple of photos during your ceremony and they are usually not the issue. They take a quick photo and continue watching the ceremony. The issue lies with the guest who is constantly taking photos throughout your ceremony and even moving around and getting in your photographers way. I have had shots ruined by a guest stepping out in front of me and completely blocking my shot or having guests use their flash and completely blow out my image. If this happens at a moment that can't be re-shot (first kiss, etc) it is horrible for your photographer and for you because you will not get that image. (There is only so much we can do with a blown out shot due to someone else's flash.) I always try to be very aware of the guests who are taking photos during the ceremony and try hard to work around them and anticipate their moves.
How can you, as a couple, stop guests from photographing your ceremony before the wedding? There are a few options that you can take.
If you have a wedding website that your guests will visit to get information on the big day you can mention it there. Telling your guests that you are having an unplugged ceremony will help them leave their cameras down and in turn they will be able to fully enjoy your ceremony. Also, some venues will prohibit photography except from the wedding photographer. If this is the case you can let this be known.
You can mention your unplugged ceremony on your programs or wedding invitiations. Let the guests know that you have hired a photographer to capture your wedding and you want them to enjoy themselves and not worry about capturing the day on their devices.
Another option is having your officiant mention it before the wedding commences. A lot of officiants will not have a problem mentioning this and this will remind your guests that you would rather them stay unplugged.
Want some examples of wording and a free sign template? Click the photo below to be taken to be taken to the wonderful Offbeat Bride's post on the subject:
Monday Wedding Madness is a blog series that occurs every Monday and answers the questions you have about wedding photography. Have a question you would like to have answered or something that you wish you would have known before your wedding or are you a wedding professional who would like to contribute? Send your questions to firstname.lastname@example.org.