Post # 1
Alright, so photography is an incredibly important aspect of the things I want to take away from my wedding. My life long proof of what I spent all this time, money, and peace of mind on. I am a portrait photographer myself, and am lucky enough to have another wonderful professional photographer in my family who is not only willing to take my photos for a great family discount price, but is also understanding enough from a photographer point of view to allow me to do editing on the images as well as providing me the images that she edits. All that is great, and thankfully one of the few aspects of my upcoming nupuals that I’m not stressed to the max about, but I did run into one thing I wasn’t quite sure how to handle….
How to, as the bride/groom, to ask your adoring family to stay the hell out of the way, preferrably before ever arriving at the wedding? I seriously don’t want distracted looks or uneven lighting because someone had to come get in the way trying to take their own version of the picture. And as I’ve never planned a wedding before, I’m not sure of the best way to address this issue before everyone arrives with cameras in tow.
It’s not that I don’t want them to take pictures, but I’d rather the pictures that I’m paying for and the ones that I plan to hold on to for the rest of my life to actually be worth looking at. If the photographer misses a shot because “Uncle Bob” decides he MUST have the perfect spot then I either don’t get the image in a quality and format that allows for proper post-processing and print, or we (who ever was in the “perfect shot”) have to come back and recreate it after and hope that the lighting hasn’t shifted too much (outdoor wedding). I’ve only shot two weddings professionally as they’re not my preferred type of photography so I’ve never had to deal with this professionally.
I’m sure with a bit more thought I can come up with something, but I wanted to get a feel for what the wedding etiquette guru’s thought on the subject.
Post # 3
@danielle-barnett: I am relying on my photographer to handle people that are in the way or to know where to move to get the best shots. Unfortunately I don’t think you can instruct guests on anything or else you will be worrying all night about whether each guest is behaving.
Post # 4
I have been working on this issue myself! I’m really interested in hearing what everybody has to say. I am considering having a sign at the beginning of the aisle that says something along the lines of “We are so glad you are here today. We ask that you are fully present during our ceremony. Please silence all electrolic devices, and no flash photography please.”
I’m hoping to find a more eloquent way of putting it. I am also a photographer, and absolutely detest when guests take pictures during the wedding, especially with flash. There is nothing worse IMO than having a beautiful photo ruined by uncle Bob standing in the aisle and firing his crappy flash. I will NOT have that happen to my photos, or my video. I was watching one of the demos for my videographer and the brides entrance was completely ruined by all of the flashes going off.
If it were acceptable, I’d have them check their cameras at the door. Ugh, this is one of my biggest stresses!
Post # 5
Our contract with our photographer actually says something about guests not being allowed to do that, so I’m not too worried about it. If it’s in the contract, you can blame it on the photographer! 😛
I’m no etiquette expert, and personally I wouldn’t say anything and figure people can get the idea on the day, but you could say something like “To preserve the integrity of our professional photos, we are asking guests to please cede shooting position to our photographers.”
Post # 6
@danielle-barnett: I feel ya! We put the note below on our website, and a shorter version saying basically the same thing, in our programs. stop seemed to work. 🙂
Our biggest hope for our guests is that everyone is able to relax and have fun. It is so rare we are all together at once, and we want to see your smiling faces in our photographs!
We invite you to be fully present with us during this most memorable day. We hired two of St. Louis’ best photographers to capture every special moment—not only snapping photographs of us, but also of you, our guests! So please, we kindly ask you to leave your cameras and iPads at home and put your cell phones on mute. We promise to share all of the professional pictures with you. We will post the link to the photographs as soon as they become available.
Post # 7
@danielle-barnett: I think this is a great way to say it, too.
Post # 8
- Wedding: August 2013 - Rocky Mountains USA
Are you talking about the ceremony, or the entire wedding?
We had an unplugged ceremony and it was great. I had a “program” written on an antique window that asked people to please not use their cameras and that we would share photos. And we also had our officiant make an announcement at the very beginning:
“The bride and groom would like to respectfully request that you keep your cameras and phones off during the ceremony. They have arranged some excellent photographers to capture this part of the day, and they’ll happily share all the pictures with anyone who is interested. So for now, please just sit back and enjoy the next few minutes.”
For family shots etc, just ask that people not take pictures during that time.
However, if you’re trying to get people not to take any pictures or get out of the way during the ENTIRE wedding… that gets a little bit controlling IMO. Some of my favorite pictures from my wedding are my friends’ shots of them being all goofy and drunk during the reception. You are SO busy that you can’t possibly pay attention to what everyone is doing, so it’s really fun to see behind-the-scenes pictures from other people’s perspectives.
The window says “Please no cameras during the ceremony – we promise to share photos!”
Post # 10
I put on our website that our wedding will be unplugged and I will likely put it on the programs, too.
Post # 11
I’m a photographer. I have various tactful ways of keeping unwanted amateur snappers out of my pictures and any professional worthy of the name will be able to do similarly.
However, this is helped over here by the fact that photography by anyone other than the official photographer is not allowed. Let alone flash photography! If you have a civil service then the Registrar (Officiant) will always point this out from the start and usually guests are allowed to take pictures afterwards. Churches are often even stricter.
I also think it is a tad controlling to suggest that nobody other than your photographer takes any pictures throughout though. It’s perfectly reasonable to ask that guests desist at the ceremony but lift the restriction at the reception. It’s not unreasonable to ask that guests allow the photographer to cover special parts of the reception without being hindered – the cake cutting, first dances etc., but beyond that, let your guests take some pictures. You might be surprised at how well they capture moments that your photographer might have missed.
Post # 12
@danielle-barnett: I was worried about this but it absolutely wasn’t an issue! We made sure to have lots of time just the two of us for pictures and got family photos out of the way before the ceremony. But other than that, everyone was well-behaved, no one had an actual camera and most kept the smartphones tucked away. I also think having a second shooter helped get as many perfect shots as possible.
Post # 13
Rely on your photographer, or if you have a DOC, rely on them or their assistant (if applicable). When I was working as a DOC’s assistant at one wedding, I stayed with the couple during photos, and when people were milling around the courtyard during that time, I just kindly pointed them in the direction of cocktail hour. They all seemed happy to listen and head for air conditioning and alcohol!
Post # 14
@lolot: such a good idea! I don’t want people just taking pictures during the ceremony and this is a polite way of asking for no pictureS. Thanks for posting!
Post # 15
@ladyamalthea: For one I kind of doubt that’s what your contract is stating – it probably has verbiage saying that the photographer you hired is to be the only hired professional photographer at the event. Even if it did say something about guests not being allowed to take photos, that isn’t something a single photographer or even a group of photographers can (or should) police at a wedding. There have been instances where we have had to politely tell guests to move, or that what they were doing was interferring with our process – but that is usually after the moment has already been ruined.
Ultimately it’s going to be on you to handle guest photography by making it known to the attendees of the event what your wishes are in regards to this. Photographers have enough on their plates to handle.
Post # 16
We’re going to have our officiant point out before the ceremony to guests that we’d appreciate it if they could turn off their flash and remain in their seats/out of the aisle so that our photographer can capture perfect moments for us and that pictures can be distributed after the wedding.