How to keep center aisle for pro photographer – wording on program

posted 2 years ago in Photos/Videos
Post # 2
1236 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: June 2014 - San Francisco, CA

I wouldn’t say anything in the program. Maybe just give the ushers (are you having ushers?) a suggestion to remind anyone who puts a bag in the aisle or whatever to keep it clear for safety purposes.

Post # 4
8680 posts
Bumble Beekeeper
  • Wedding: October 2014

Are you putting any type of decor down the aisle? Like tulle, or vases, or flowers. I’ve never seen anyone walk on or put things on the aisle when it’s blocked off.

Post # 5
9137 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper
  • Wedding: November 2013 - St. Augustine Beach, FL

Astra:  Hang something like tulle from chair to chair or pew to pew along the aisle so that guests cannot access the aisle.  Have ushers escort people to their seats from the outside of the rows instead of the aisle.  Leave the first row or two open on each side for your parents and grandparents to sit immediately following the processional of the family members.

Post # 5
3806 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: August 2013

we didn’t say anything to the guests. it was more in the way our aisle was decorated. the aisle runner and rose petals were a natural barrier to the aisle itself. so no one really jumped in the aisle.

Post # 5
376 posts
Helper bee

I also wouldn’t say anything in the program. Mostly because people probably won’t read it.

Our officiant had some good suggestions for things he/she could say about when/where photography was acceptable during the ceremony. I’d ask them!

Post # 8
6158 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: October 2013

we didn’t say anything to guests either.  we had a ribbon blocking the center ailse.  no one walked on our runner until the processional started.

Post # 9
4729 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: September 2012

I would encourage you to at least have an unplugged *ceremony* even if you don’t want to do the whole wedding. Guests hanging into the isle is, hands down, one of the biggest problems I have at weddings as a photographer. These days, unless a couple unplugs their ceremony, I have a sea of iPads and cell phones in the air throughout the entire time.

Post # 11
951 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: July 2014

Astra:  We are doing an unplugged ceremony.  I did put something in the program about it, as well as where they can view ceremony photos we get back from our photographer.  I figure if we offer to share ours, they’ll be less likely to do it anyways.  Since that’s not an option, have your officiant or DJ (if you have a DJ for ceremony music) make an announcement before the prosessional begins.  And have your ushers remind guests to silence phones and put away cameras as they’re being seated.  Friends of mine had the ushers do it and it worked great.  Only one person took photos anyway (the groom’s sister, believe it or not) but everyone else respected their wishes.

Forgot one thing… there are signs about unplugged weddings you can get – there are a bunch on Etsy.  My friends actually forgot to put theirs out so the usher did the job well enough, but it’s an option.


  • This reply was modified 2 years, 5 months ago by  MrsEvergreen.
Post # 12
4729 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: September 2012

Astra:  Typically it would be best to put it on the programs. Since you’ve already sent them for printing, I would suggest possibly a sign like this : at the ceremony.

Another option would be to have your officiant say something at the start prior to anyone coming in saying something like “Astra and FH invite you to be truly in the moment and kindly ask that you silence all cell phones and refrain from photography during the ceremony.”

Honestly, it’s the best gift you can give your photographer. I know that the common misconception is that we photographers don’t want people photographing becuase we don’t want them to “steal our thunder” and that is SO FAR from the truth. In reality, not only is it a huge distraction for us, we can’t work around it during a ceremony. During a reception? Sure, we can bend or move and change locations. During a ceremony, if someone is sitting in a chair/pew holding up an iPad there is nothing we can do to hide it. While it’s always been somewhat of an issue, it’s really become a huge problem within the past few years. I know it’s pretty unrealistic to have a totally unplugged wedding, I would never ask my clients to do that. However, for the ceremony it completely goes against my style and how I work (being as discrete as possible) to ask a guest to put their camera away.

At a wedding last season I was working in a strict church, which did not allow me past the very last pew in the back. I had to sit through the entire ceremony with a guest half way up the isle holding an iPad out into the isle  the entire ceremony. The church lady would not let me up there to at least shoot past him, nor would she “cross the boundry” to ask him to put it away. Sadly, this bride has an iPad in the middle of every single ceremony photo and there is nothing I could do about it. (FWIW, yes, I do have several upper body/tight shots where you can’t see it – but it was impossible to shoot full length photos without the iPad).

Some people probably think stories like that are extream and don’t really happen. I can promise you they do. That average person probably attends 1-3 weddings per year, if that. I attend 35+ weddings per year and see it getting worse at every wedding.

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