Up-Plugged - Many couples know that technology plays a huge role in their BIG day, but as cell phone cameras (and the like) keep getting resolution upgrades the guests will begin to become cell phone photography experts. This becomes an issue for not only your very expensive wedding photographer, but for the happy couple as well. When you begin to receive your pictures post-wedding, you may start to notice an increase of glowing devices, arms and bodies blocking some of the great ceremony environment that you worked so hard on. While "photo-shopping" is an option, most wedding photographers charge extra for that service as it is incredibly time-consuming if you want any kind of quality results. So, my advice is to have an "Un-plugged" ceremony where your guests are forced to sit back, be present and experience your beautiful wedding without viewing the entire thing on a 3.5" screen. Being present and in the moment.... sounds terrible, right?
Why didn't the photographer dress up?
Don't worry, he wasn't with me. That was the owner of the photo booth who said he needed content for his website. He was not a guest nor invited.....
Will My Guests be Upset?
As many of your guests would text, email and call you with their concerns about missing out on the instant social media uploading capabilities if they're not informed prior to the ceremony, addressing the expectations and having a plan that will solve a few concerns ahead of time will go a long way. Including it on the Invitations and/or a separate info/guest-request card are great ways to handle the situation. You can also add it to your wedding site for your tech-savvy guests. Please don't forget to include a paper/mailed version as well though. Memaw (aka- your Grandma) may not frequent the interwebs as much as you'd like. Plus, the more goal/expectation setting you can do prior to the big day, the better. I've also seen little cards that the ushers hand out to guests as they arrive.
Keep Your Guests Happy
Your guests generally have the best intentions when they unknowingly ruin a photo like this group did. The guests were not trying to keep the Groom from seeing his Bride-to-be as she appeared for the first time in her beautiful wedding dress. No, they were also excited to see her and mainly wanted to capture the moment so that they could relive the experience themselves as well as share it with friends and family who couldn't make the wedding. These are all good reasons, so how can you keep your guests happy too? The answer: Make the professional photos you paid for easily accessible and shared with them as soon as possible. I've even agreed to share 3 main pictures from the ceremony before the reception started. However, I don't recommend that you write this into your contract with your photographer or even make the request unless you are ok with an additional 30 minutes added to the break between the ceremony and reception.
What I would recommend is that you work something out with your photographer that gets you a half-dozen pictures sent to you or posted on your FB wall by a certain time and date. Maybe even right after the reception ends. Don't expect this to be a free service, but it would be well worth it if you can keep people from ruining your pictures.
Have Fun With It!
Be creative, not rude. Let your creativity run wild and find fun and beautiful ways to include the message in your mailings as well as on site. Contact your photographer as well, they may have some other ideas not mentioned here. I have my own-bag-o' tricks that I keep for myself and my clients.
No guests in the aisle please!
While teared stadium seating isn't a great option, neither is your guests leaning into the aisle blocking a potentially great photo opportunity
Keeping technology out of your guests' hands during the ceremony is in the happy couple's BEST interest. There are no re-dos on a first kiss or the beautiful Bride walking down the aisle for the first time. If "Uncle Bob" decides to jump out into the aisle during the first kiss in order to capture the special moment on his flip phone, you (as a client/couple) may be pretty upset that there isn't a high-res professional shot of this magical moment. It's what you paid a lot of money for, so be sure to get the most out of your time, effort and money.
Side note: Photographers strongly dislike people ruining their pictures too. They just want to make their clients as happy as possible and ruined photos make that pretty tough on everyone involved.
Click here for more ideas of how to communicate the "unplugged" message to your guests.
Has anyone seen the Groom?
Photo Credit: Thomas Stewart http://www.thomasstewart.com.au/