By now I’m sure you’ve all seen some version of the following as you’ve attended weddings over the years. Or worse, you’re actually the one unknowingly ruining the moment and professional photos with your need to capture a low-quality iPhone photo for your Instagram feed.
Let’s just let these sit here a minute…
There’s really so much wrong with each photo that I could probably sit and type for days.
In the first photo, the groom has to lean out to even get a glimpse of his beautiful bride. Look at his face! He even looks super annoyed. He’s basically a mere inconvenience to the situation in the eyes of the people taking photos. Then, all the bride can see are the three idiots with their phones to their face rather than her groom. (You know, the reason why she’s having the wedding in the first place!) She can’t even take in the moment with walking down her aisle to the alter because she is too busy dodging her guests in the aisle like they’re LSU fans throwing corndogs at an A&M Football game. (True Story. You should ask me about it some time.)
But really, I think the only thing that could make this picture any more horrid is if they were holding iPads.
Don’t even get me started on the second photo. Who does she think she is? That’s really all I can say about it without going on a total rant. For some reason, these photos made me so mad as a bride and wedding planner. I don’t even know who these people are. However, I think these photos speak volumes about how selfish some wedding guests (and really people in general) can really be. With how much I personally adore each and every one of my clients, I’d cry for them knowing a guest had ruined their wedding photos.
See, here’s the thing.
I’m not saying that you should un-plug your entire wedding day. I’m also not saying that, as a guest, you aren’t allowed to take photos at a wedding. But, ideally, a couple only has one wedding ceremony, and this ceremony is really a precious thing. As a matter of fact, it’s one of the most beautiful things. You’re witnessing your friends and family make a promise before God to be together forever. That’s not something to take lightly. Take in the moment with your eyes and your heart, not your phone screen. When they look back at the audience, I promise they’d rather see you crying along with them rather than your camera lens.
While there’s only one ceremony, there will be plenty of parties – which is what a reception technically is! When you catch the couple for a moment at the reception, take a photo together. I promise they’ll cherish sharing a memory with you.
Brides, guests don’t do it on purpose.
Sweet Brides: I don’t believe that any wedding guest really sets their heart and soul on ruining your big day. It’s a huge moment, and it’s easy to get caught up in the excitement. As a social media queen, I totally get the fact that as a guest who may be close with you would want that Instagram perfect photo to post on their social media to gush about how happy they are for you.
Sweet guests: Before you’re like Aunt Sue and steal the show, think about it. Do you really think your photo is going to be better than the photographer’s? (You know, that professional running around that they probably paid big money for?) I mean, let’s be honest. Save your phone for the reception.
Guests, the couple wants you to enjoy the wedding.
I think it’s important for guests to realize that they are invited to weddings because the couple wants to share and celebrate their love for each other with them. I’m sorry to say, but they didn’t invite you to take photographs that they really may not get the chance to look at anyways. They invited you to share your heart with them as you ugly cry from happiness like Kim K during their wedding ceremony. A bride’s walk down the aisle is such a precious and symbolic thing. She’s literally walking into the rest of her life. You are actually a witness to one of the most beautiful things God has given us. Do you really want to watch it behind a phone screen?
I think for brides this whole topic doesn’t even enter your minds while we are planning. I know it didn’t really enter my mind until I saw this photo and experienced it at my clients’ weddings. We assume that people would be as thoughtful and courteous as our momma raised us to be.
But, Brides, you can’t stress yourself over the actions of everyone else.
There are about a million and one other things that you need to get done when it comes to planning your wedding. If you make your feelings clear to your guests, most decent human beings will respect your wishes.
So how do you create an unplugged wedding?
Asking our technology driven society to put their phones down for 30 seconds can cause full blown anxiety attacks. We live with our phones, and we don’t know how to function without them. Plus, you can’t exactly collect phones in a tin bucket before your ceremony like your math teacher probably did in high school.
If you wish to have an unplugged wedding, here are a few little things you can do to let your guests know:
- Send an insert in the envelope along with your wedding invitations to let your guests know you are having an unplugged ceremony.
- Make a cute sign and place it on your welcome/ gift table or even outside of where guests will enter to find their seats.
- Place a note in the program!
- You could also have your officiant make an announcement before the ceremony begins as he greets your guests.
There’s plenty of little things that can be done that politely communicate your wishes to your guests. By having that extra reminder, guests will most likely get the hint that you are wanting them to put down their phones and experience the lovely thing that God is allowing them to witness. Of course, I’m sure that there are those few people who will get offended or be upset about this topic of conversation. But, let’s face it, there’s always someone offended about something today, right? It’s YOUR big day, not Aunt Sue’s.
If they can’t respect your wishes, they probably shouldn’t be there in the first place.
When wedding planning, every bride focuses on something different with their wedding day. For my wedding, the photos were one of the things I was most excited about. With always being told that your day goes by in such a blur, I view the photos as really a chance to look back and enjoy your sweet day for a lifetime. You can never go back and recreate these moments, and photos really have the ability to speak a thousand words. What will you want those words to say?