Congratulations! You may either be planning a wedding, or planning on attending one in the near future!
This is such an exciting time for you and for your loved ones. Wedding planning can be stressful, and the wedding day is over in a flash!
If I have been hired to photograph your wedding, rest assured that all of your big moments will be covered. From those candid tears with parents, to the first kiss, to the last dance. I am personally there to document your whole day in a beautiful manner. Consider me your paparazzi for the day!
That being said, I know how much these photos will mean to you. I know how much they will mean to your family and your bridal party too, years form now. I promise you that I will not leave anything good out.
I personally do not mind family members taking photos during the wedding festivities. This is so exciting for them too and they likely haven't ever seen you all gussied up. Hey, iPhones and iPads really don't take too terrible of quality photos either.
The difference between myself and your wedding guests is that they are invited to enjoy your day with you. I have been paid for my skills to be there for you. A pretty awesome job I promise you, but still a profession that you have hand chosen me for. The quality of your photos will be top notch! You have hired me so that even if your guests are enjoying your ceremony, or first dance, or conga line, you will have photos to document it. They get the privilege to sit back and enjoy the show.
I do have a few reasons that completely unplugged ceremonies are THE BEST, especially for the guests:
-You get to experience it all (no distractions, full immersion, all the love and happy feelings. It's just not the same from behind a screen, trust me on this)
-You aren't tempted to conduct business (this is a big one for me, if I want to not be distracted by business emails for a bit, I leave my phone completely out of reach. A wedding day should be one of those no-distraction days)
-My photos will be better (no offense, really! My camera packs some serious punch and although you may get to share the shots the day-of, mine will be the best quality and ultimately saved for generations to come. Who knows where Facebook will even be in 20 years?)
-You won't distract the bride/groom (This actually does happen pretty regularly at weddings, the bride will be walking down the aisle and the family member will have their phone out front and the bride will look at their phone and smile. I know this doesn't sound like much but when the bride only has a limited amount of time to find the photographer and smile, that has almost cost me some good aisle shots)
-You won't distract the ring bearer/flower girl (This one IS huge. Since these littles are often shorter, family members tend to lean into the aisle, and it can REALLY hinder and distract these little guys. They have a BIG job already and the more obstacles leaning in to the aisle, the harder it is for them to successfully make it the whole way down, Plus it can be scary with several cell phone cameras in their little faces!)
I truly think putting the phone down allows your guests to focus on what your day is all about, however if they must, here are a few things I would ask of them:
-Let me get the shot I need first (most things really do happen once and I need to get that shot for the bride and groom, let me in first, and I promise you a turn once I'm done if it's possible)
-Allow us some private time for couples portraits (This is one of the only times I will ask that we be alone with the bride and groom, this allows us to get the best and most intimate portraits possible)
-Do not lean into the aisle (This is one place that does get very distracting and crowded and should be avoided)
-Respect the couples wishes (even though it's not going to ruin my day if you take cell phone photos, I will always enforce my couples wishes for the day if they ask for an unplugged ceremony)
All in all, if you are on the fence about taking photos, just leave the phone in the car and enjoy the ceremony. There is so much more magic about the day if you are fully concentrated on the couple, and I promise I will take care of those photos.