My hottest topic recently has been
‘Unplugged Weddings’ 

by Suzanne Riley Marriage Celebrant #suzannecelebrant

To allow guests to take and share photos or not?

Here’s my take on it

Before you make the the ‘zero photo’ decision really think about your personal situation because you have options and instead of zero, you can create boundaries. 

This is ‘your’ wedding day…… so you set the rules and boundaries
Here are a few considerations to keep in mind. 

  • Some of the most personality filled moments can be captured candidly by friends with their phone cameras. 
  • Sometimes the professional photos take a while, sometimes a few weeks to be delivered… so it’s lovely to have your friends photos to revisit special moments during the first few weeks after the wedding day.
  • Photos appearing and being tagged on social media for days after the wedding extends the fizz and excitement of the day and documents the occasion.
  • This is a day where your family and close friends will be so excited to share their experience too.
So.... Here we go!

THE CEREMONY

Imagine you as the bride are about to appear for the first time, walk down the aisle on the arm of your Dad, you’re feeling excited, a little nervous and you just can’t wait to see everyone’s face, their smiles and their reactions …. what an amazing moment in life, that walk down the aisle. Guests are teary eyed and absolutely present, atmosphere is perfect.

What you don’t want to see is a sea of Phones, iPads, cameras and guests watching through a lens…
The moment will be spoiled the atmosphere lost.

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You have paid for a professional photographer to capture every precious moment and you would hope, to capture the joy on the faces of not only the bridal party but also all of your guests…

So during the housekeeping it’s important for your celebrant to remind everyone of the boundaries.

***Your celebrant will be happy to share your wishes and create the boundaries during their ‘housekeeping’ announcement before the bride arrives.

You Have Options 

Photo Boundary choices:

  • No photos to be taken during your entire occasion.
  • No photos to be taken during the ceremony, however pre and post wedding photos are allowed.
  • No photos to be taken during the bridal entrance however photos may be taken during the remainder of the ceremony with following boundaries… only from shoulder height, no flash, no standing and no leaning into the aisle.
  • Allocate only one person who is allowed, (in stealth mode :)) to take candid photos with YOUR phone.  This can be explained to the guests during the housekeeping that your one chosen person is taking special photos and memories for you.

*MY TAKEWith just a few instructions, you can have a beautiful device free walk down the aisle, a present ceremony and also have the joy of seeing wonderful social photos, your guests can enjoy sharing with you and others in the days to come – the excitement continues and everyone is happy.

Sharing boundary choices: 

  • No sharing allowed on social media
  • Photos allowed to be shared on social media after the bride and groom share their own first photo.
  • Photos allowed to be shared on social media only after the wedding date.
  • Photos allowed to be shared however the guests wish.
  • Photos allowed only to be shared to the bride and grooms private wedding page.
My Sharing Suggestions
  • Create a ‘private Facebook group’ and invite all wedding guests to the group. This is a great way to share information leading to the wedding, sharing your instagram hashtag and also everyone can share their photos with you and everyone privately on and after the big day. Even if your guests aren’t direct friends on facebook they will still share in the fun of all photos posted there
  • Create a hashtag for instagram and Facebook
  • Ask guests to love bomb your phone with photo texts the day after your wedding

In addition to your celebrant sharing boundaries in the ‘housekeeping’ you can organise a sign stating your boundaries. 

Note: There are so many ideas on pinterest and google images with fun signs you can create to present at the entrance to your ceremony.

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Example of a Celebrant pre-ceremony photo guideline talk… 
“If I can ask all of you to check now please, if you have a phone with you, that it is switched off or on silent.
It is almost time for the bride to arrive, you can imagine she will be excited, and probably a little nervous, but importantly she will be looking forward to seeing all of your faces, your smiles and your reactions as she arrives, what she doesn’t want to see is a sea of devices… it is so off-putting and also spoils the professional photos so,  I will ask you now if you can put all phones and cameras away.
Our professional photographer will be capturing all of the most special moments of the day so please relax, be present and enjoy every moment of the ceremony. There will be many opportunities after the ceremony to take lots of photos.


Other Photo ideas:

  • At the reception ‘Photo Booths’ are soooooo popular, your guests will be falling over each other to have a bit of fun in there!! Some modern booths post directly to facebook and Instagram.
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  • Polaroid fun, pass around a polaroid camera and have your guests peg them to a ‘clothes line’ at your receptions… a bride did this recently it was a HUGE hit.
  • Organise a polaroid photo guest book – guests take a photo with the polaroid camera, stick it into your guest book and write their message next to it.

 

Notes:

**Friendship keeper tip :) Only post complimentary photos of the couple .. no photos mid blink or mid mouthful of dinner….
**Ask your professional photographer to ensure they don’t block the view of the groom as the bride walks towards him down the aisle.  You would be surprised how often this happens as photographers try to get that perfect shot of the bridal entrance…. and some photographers are oblivious as they have their back to the groom.

Bottom line is that it’s your special day,  your event, your rules, your memories and your final choice… make sure you do what ‘you’ will love xx

Suzanne xx

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