I need an etiqutte question awnsered! Please and Thank You!

posted 3 years ago in Etiquette
  • poll: Is it rude to ask guests with cameras to either stay in the back or not take them during ceremony?
    Yes : (25 votes)
    20 %
    No : (98 votes)
    80 %
  • Post # 3
    396 posts
    Helper bee
    • Wedding: June 2017

    @kansas_nurse:  i think it is perfectly acceptable to tell people to not take photos during the ceremony. You are correct, you did spend the money and it’s your day so you can decide what to do. However, I think telling people to go stand at the back of the church is completely rude. Just tell them there’s no photography, because even if they are off to the side, their flash can still affect the flash of your photographer and ruin shots. Your family should respect your wishes!

    ETA: Like you said, there will be plenty of time at cocktail hour and the reception to take photographs. Promise your guests you will provide them with copies of the photographers work, if they request it. They should know the photographer’s work will be beautiful… That way they can still use their cameras for the reception and get beautiful pictures of the ceremony too!



    Post # 5
    7030 posts
    Busy Beekeeper
    • Wedding: November 1999

    @kansas_nurse:  Have you made it clear that they can take photos after the ceremony?

    When I first heard of unplugged weddings, I thought – from a guest’s point of view – that it was the photographer acting out of self-interest. Because if I can’t take my own photo, someone needs to fork out $10-20 per print to the photographer to get me a photo. But that’s not the case if they can take photos at other times, so they may not object (or not object so much). (For my own personal photo, I always prefer the posed photo outside to the distant snap of the kissing couple anyway).

    From an etiquette point of view, you can certainly ask that your ceremony not be disrupted. For that, I think “no photography” is less disruptive than “please move to the back to take photos”. (You could say “no flash photography”, but the problem is many people (including me) don’t always know how to disable the flash).

    Post # 7
    975 posts
    Busy bee
    • Wedding: September 2014 - Banff, Alberta

    @kansas_nurse:  We are doing an unplugged ceremony. We have put a note on our webiste saying please keep electronics away during the ceremony and we are putting a note in the wedding programs as well. The officiant can make an announcement as well if it looks like it will still be a problem. I think restircting the guests in that way is more rude (still not actually rude though…) than having an unplugged ceremony, because then they might not be able to hear the ceremony. Do guests actually think their photos will be better? Reassure everyone they will see the professional photos when you get them. 

    Post # 8
    877 posts
    Busy bee

    I think it’s fine to have an unplugged event!  

    Post # 9
    381 posts
    Helper bee
    • Wedding: July 2013

    @kansas_nurse:  Our pastor did something a little unique as a substitute for an unplugged ceremony. After he gave the invocation, he announced that at that time anyone could take any photo they wanted. He actually paused the ceremony, people stood up and took pictures, and then they put them all away once the ceremony began again. I only know of two people that took pictures from the balcony after that time. It worked really well for us.

    Post # 10
    5160 posts
    Bee Keeper
    • Wedding: April 2013

    Honestly, I think these rules are too complicated.  Just go for an unplugged ceremony.  Make it sound like it’s the pastor’s idea.  He can announce it before the processional starts.

    This happened at my sister’s wedding and it was a suprrise – not only to all the guests but to her as well!  Catholic priests, what are you gonna do with em?

    Post # 11
    2649 posts
    Sugar bee
    • Wedding: October 2010

    @kansas_nurse:  Yes, it’s rude to tell people how to act and/or assume they don’t know how.

    I just had this happen at a wedding I attended – the photographer and the couple posted things on-line telling people not to get in the way of the photographers, turn their cell phones off, etc. 

    It’s off-putting and rather insulting. I’m a civilized adult – I know how to act. 

    Post # 12
    3664 posts
    Sugar bee
    • Wedding: August 2013

    Just blame it on the church’s rules. No one can argue with that one.

    Post # 13
    3836 posts
    Honey bee
    • Wedding: June 2014

    @kansas_nurse:  I’d suggest going unplugged.   Somehow I can’t imagine guests with cameras rearranging themselves during the ceremony based on their camera equipment.  They can take photos later.  🙂

    Post # 14
    1110 posts
    Bumble bee
    • Wedding: July 2013

    @kansas_nurse:  I don’t think it’s rude at all!  We did a similar thing… we posted a handmade sign at the entrance saying:

      We invite you to be truly present
    at this special time.
      Please, turn off your cell phones and cameras,
    and share this time with us!
      Our photographer will capture how this moment looks
    so that you can capture how this moment feels in your hearts,
    and without the distraction of technology.
      Thank You!


    Absolutely no one was offended, and we even had guests thank us for that gentle reminder to actually live in the moment!  So few people live in the moment anymore; everyone’s too caught up in their technology!

    We had a few people who took pictures anyway, but they were discrete about it and did not get in the photographer’s way – they later sent us their pictures, and one told us, “Sorry, I couldn’t resist… but after reading your sign I made sure I was extra careful not to get in the photographer’s shots at all!!” so even for the people who DID take pictures, our sign was helpful in keeping them in check. 🙂

    Best of luck to you!! And I think it will go over well! There’s no pleasing everyone ever, so do what you feel is right – it’s your day!



    Post # 15
    6678 posts
    Bee Keeper

    Our congregation has a  no photos allowed during services policy so it’s never been an issue for the brides that get married there. I agree with the PP who said you are making this too complicated.  I would not  ask people with cameras who want to take photos to sit in back like some second class guests.  Just have the officiant request kindly, that no photos be taken during the ceremony at all, exactly the way you wanted in the first place. That’s reasonable, and not rude at all. 

    Post # 16
    1802 posts
    Buzzing bee

    I would just either allow it or not allow it completely rather than trying to control it slightly. Not having it be a strict yes or no will give room for people to bend or break the rules you’ve put in place. If you do a completely unplugged ceremony then at least most people won’t want to be “that guy” at the ceremony taking pictures when it has been mentioned multiple times that photography isn’t allowed. 

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