In a recent rant on Facebook, photographer Thomas Stewart pointed out how in our age of social media obsession, people are taking their amateur cell phone camera pictures too far at weddings.

He posted the following rant:

Right, I’ve had enough. I want to talk to you all about guests using mobile phones / cameras at weddings. I want to plead with you, and I’m going to make this very simple: brides and grooms, please have a completely unplugged wedding ceremony.

Look at this photo. This groom had to lean out past the aisle just to see his bride approaching. Why? Because guests with their phones were in the aisle and in his way. 

This sucks. And I’m not blaming these guests in particular; I actually take a large amount of responsibility for this occurring. In the past I should have been more specific with my clients in explaining to them why guests should be told no photos. Well, from now on, I’m going to make a pretty big deal about it.

You can read the rest of the post here.

A cellphone free wedding?

So with my own wedding just a couple of months away, it really made me think about how I’d want our guests to use their phones on the day.

Would I ask guests not to use their cellphones and personal cameras at all? No, I don’t believe I would.

Tyler and I are even keen on having a dedicated Instagram hashtag for our wedding so that guests can snap away and post all their awesome pictures from the day. I think it’s great when guests get involved like that at weddings. Everyone’s excited to be there and take pictures (of themselves and the bridal party), and I think it’d be a loss to ask people not to do so.

But at the same time, I would hate for our wedding guests to interfere with the day and get in the way of how special it could be because they’re too busy leaning in awkward positions with devices held up to their faces to take a couple of poor-quality pictures. I think what it comes down to is a bit of common sense and courteousy, and I think that’s simple enough to achieve.

Things like… 

Don’t block the aisle by stepping out of the rows of seats to take pictures of the bridal party at the ceremony. Take pictures from where you are. If you don’t have a good view, no matter. Someone else will and there will be plenty of pictures to go around.

When the professional photographers are doing their thing, don’t interfere or get in the way. And also, no photo bombing 😉

Try not to take so many live action pictures that you miss seeing the whole thing right in front of you. That’d be a shame 🙂

What are your feelings on this? Ask guests not to use their phones at weddings or let them snap and Instagram away?