Leave Your Smartphone at Home: Etiquette for Wedding Guests in the Digital Age

Modern technology is creating a set of new concerns for couples on their wedding day. Maybe you’ve heard or read horror stories about wedding guests who insist on taking photos using their smartphone, ruining the professional photographer’s photos.

As a guest, you don’t want to upset the couple. So as not to disrupt the wedding, what are the technology-related rules you should follow?

What Couples Want
To avoid distractions on the wedding day itself, the couple should discuss in advance what they want to do technology-wise, then follow through with their guests. Asking your guests nicely should do the trick to make them comply to your tech policy. Communication is key. Tell them ahead what they’re allowed to do and what not to do:

  • If you DO allow them to take photos during the ceremony and reception,
  • If you DON’T want them taking any photo during the ceremony and reception,
  • If you like no cameras at the ceremony only but allow cameras for the reception party,
  • If you DO want them to share photos online
  • If you have restrictions on the photos that they can share online
  • Or if you DON’T want any photo shared online.

To let your guests know about your wishes, slip a note in your invitations, or put signs around the wedding venue. Let someone announce this before the start of the ceremony.

Do’s and Don’ts for Wedding Guests
1. Know the couple’s wishes regarding taking photos and sharing these photos and other updates online. While there are those who only want professionals to be taking photos on their wedding day, others encourage their guests, especially close family and friends, to shoot away.

  1. Whether or not the couple encourage their guests to take photos, remember not to block the view of the professional photographers and videographers hired by the couple. Remember that the couple paid good money for their services, and they want to see their wedding photos full of their loved one’s faces, not those faces blocked by smartphones, iPads and cameras.
  2. Stay seated during the ceremony. Standing up or moving around is distracting. Moving about also ruins the view for other guests.
  3. Turn off your phone or put it on silent mode. You don’t want your phone to ring in the middle of the ceremony and shatter the solemnity of the occasion.
  4. Avoid posting photos of the bride and groom on social media unless you have permission to do so. If you do, make sure to comply to the wedding’s hashtag.
  5. If you’re sharing the photos, make sure these look great. Avoid posting unflattering photos. Make the wedding a happy occasion for everyone to remember.

The basic rule to follow throughout the wedding is to pay attention to the ceremony and the people around you, instead of being glued to your phone and other gadgets. Remember that you’re here to enjoy the wedding, so be fully present for the occasion.

(Image via brides.com)

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