DIY Weddings

Do I really need a photographer this time around?

I'm starting to plan my wedding and this will be the second one for both of us.  We both had the big hoopla the first time around.  So, we've agreed to keep things simple this time, but still beautiful, classy and fun.  

To keep the cost down, I'm considering not hiring a professional photographer.  Since nowadays everyone has a smartphone with a camera, we thought maybe of making a cute sign letting people know to snap away!  I could create an online photo account where they can upload all the photos.

Thoughts?  Has anyone done anything like this before?

Re: Do I really need a photographer this time around?

  • Thank you, Charlotte.  I value and respect your opinion.

    I probably should have given more details.  Our wedding will be somewhat nontraditional - no wedding parties (I didn't believe in them the first time around either); no throwing bouquets/garter; no cake cutting event; etc.  It will be a simple ceremony with a party afterwards.  The more important aspect of that day will be our vows.  I'm marrying the love of my life.  The material things are far less important to me.  I was married before for 10 years and I honestly only opened my wedding album 3 times in those 10 years.  I think I would really enjoy the more candid shots by guests.  But I'm definitely taking into consideration everyone's suggestions!
  • CMGragainCMGragain
    10000 Comments 500 Love Its Third Anniversary 25 Answers
    member
    edited January 18
    Thank you, Charlotte.  I value and respect your opinion.

    I probably should have given more details.  Our wedding will be somewhat nontraditional - no wedding parties (I didn't believe in them the first time around either); no throwing bouquets/garter; no cake cutting event; etc.  It will be a simple ceremony with a party afterwards.  The more important aspect of that day will be our vows.  I'm marrying the love of my life.  The material things are far less important to me.  I was married before for 10 years and I honestly only opened my wedding album 3 times in those 10 years.  I think I would really enjoy the more candid shots by guests.  But I'm definitely taking into consideration everyone's suggestions!
    What is non-traditional about your plans?  This sounds VERY traditional, to me.  All those silly bouquet tossing customs are relatively new.

    In the old days, a couple would visit the photographer's studio in their wedding clothes and have a formal portrait taken.  You see these old photos all the time.  Very traditional.   It was often the only photograph the couple ever had of them together.  You might want to consider it.
    My DH is a photo-nut, and my sister asked him to take pictures at her second marriage.  It totally stressed him out, but he did get some good photos.
    Image result for image old fashioned  wedding picture

    httpiimgurcomTCCjW0wjpg
    SP29J+S=TrueLove
  • KnotYetTiedKnotYetTied
    10 Comments 25 Love Its Name Dropper
    member
    edited January 18

    Instead of a professional, why not seek out an art school with a photography program?  You could really help out a student by expanding their portfolio this way.  It wouldn't cost you as much as a pro, but you can still get some arranged portraits without bothering your guests to get the photos.

    It can also assure you that you get the photos you want: portraits of you and your FI, you and your family, FI and his family, etc., etc.  If you asked a guest to take all of those, regardless of their camera type, you should be paying them!

    I think this is a great idea. Of course, you can still encourage your guests to snap their own photos, and that will help them be part of your special day, but you may want to look back on more professional photos later. I went to a wedding about 8 years ago where there were cheap little Kodak type cameras on every table and it was encouraged for guests to take pictures and leave the cameras there for the couple to develop later.

    You could also have a photo booth. Those are a new thing that I've seen. They're fun for guests, and you can set the machine to print two strips and store one, so that after the ceremony you can put those shots in a photo album.

    I've been debating about photography for my wedding. I'm leaning towards someone who does photography on the side.
    Wedding Countdown Ticker
    J+S=TrueLove
  • I'm starting to plan my wedding and this will be the second one for both of us.  We both had the big hoopla the first time around.  So, we've agreed to keep things simple this time, but still beautiful, classy and fun.  

    To keep the cost down, I'm considering not hiring a professional photographer.  Since nowadays everyone has a smartphone with a camera, we thought maybe of making a cute sign letting people know to snap away!  I could create an online photo account where they can upload all the photos.

    Thoughts?  Has anyone done anything like this before?

    Sounds like you are leaning towards making a sign or two with a wedding hashtag so guests can all tag you in whatever photos they take.  This is fine, but I wouldn't push or expect anything more than this.  Also, depending on your guest list this may not work well at all, as not everyone likes to take pictures or gets the whole hashtag thing!

    Thank you, Charlotte.  I value and respect your opinion.

    I probably should have given more details.  Our wedding will be somewhat nontraditional - no wedding parties (I didn't believe in them the first time around either); no throwing bouquets/garter; no cake cutting event; etc.  It will be a simple ceremony with a party afterwards.  The more important aspect of that day will be our vows.  I'm marrying the love of my life.  The material things are far less important to me.  I was married before for 10 years and I honestly only opened my wedding album 3 times in those 10 years.  I think I would really enjoy the more candid shots by guests.  But I'm definitely taking into consideration everyone's suggestions!

    I would consider hiring someone who is new to the photography industry and looking to build their portfolio.  You can book them for an hour or so and have them shoot a few standard poses, the ceremony and the beginning of the reception and then they can just bounce. You can tell them the kind of shots you want and this way you have a guarantee of getting some good photos of your wedding without laying out $1,000 or more for a pro. 

    I guess I just wouldn't be comfortable relying on the guests to take and tag you in the photos that you may want to see.  I think spending a little bit on an "up-and-coming" photographer is a great compromise in your situation as you get what you want and you help someone else build their portfolio at the same time!

    SP29OurWildKingdomJ+S=TrueLove
  • climbingwifeclimbingwife NYC 'burbs
    10000 Comments 500 Love Its Fourth Anniversary 5 Answers
    member
    I recently got married for the second time. When I got married the first time in 2004, I spent $$$ on photography. Had all the posed pictures with all the family and bridal party, got the giant album, etc. I wasn't interested in that kind of photography this time around. I don't need 35 posed pictures with my relatives. But I did still hire a photographer, did a first look and then asked for lots of candids. I'm so happy I did - I have such fantastic photos of the day. 

    Please don't rely on your friends for pictures! I like the idea of hiring a student. I'd go that route. 

    The second time around I also decided to have just a MOH and no other BP members. No bouquet/garter toss, no cake cutting. Also, I haven't really seen this done recently. I think it's one of those traditions that's dying out. 

    charlotte989875SP29OurWildKingdomJ+S=TrueLove
  • Another option for less $$$$ photographers, besides students, is look for elopement photographers. They're more likely to offer ~3 hour packages. Like everyone else said, please don't rely on your guests pictures, you'll be disappointed if you actually want pictures because most people kind of suck at taking good pictures, especially of the big moments most people want (first kiss, first look, that stuff)

    You can still have/look at their pictures, but relying solely on them sounds too risky, personally.
    OurWildKingdomJ+S=TrueLove
  • If you really feel in your heart that you wouldn't mind not having any quality photos of your wedding day, then don't have one. You could do as others have suggested, and pay a small fee to a local student or less professional photographer to just have someone on hand to capture the moments. Just try to figure out what you both want; I am also planning my second wedding, and at my first I really scrimped on the photography to save costs. I didn't think I would care, but I really did once I saw how low-quality the shots were. 

    This time around, we are doing something very similar to you (no bridal parties, cake cutting, first dances, etc.; just a quick ceremony and party with perhaps a couple of speeches from loved ones). Knowing now how disappointed I was in the shoddy photography before, it's one thing I really want to prioritize because, even if we aren't making  a huge deal out of our wedding, I know I'll want to have the details captured for us later. 
    SP29cowgirl8238OurWildKingdomJ+S=TrueLove
  • Another thing to keep in mind is that if you do a wedding hashtag or encourage your guests to take pictures, AND get your cousin to do photography, you might want to limit the guest photos to just the reception or something like that. If everyone is holding up their phones to take pictures during the ceremony, it could be a little distracting...Plus it'll show up in all the professional photos you're actually paying for. 
  • Another thing to keep in mind is that if you do a wedding hashtag or encourage your guests to take pictures, AND get your cousin to do photography, you might want to limit the guest photos to just the reception or something like that. If everyone is holding up their phones to take pictures during the ceremony, it could be a little distracting...Plus it'll show up in all the professional photos you're actually paying for. 
    Nope, this is a non-issue and there is no etiquette approved way to police adults in this manner. If someone wants to be rude, they will be rude regardless of what announcement you make. Most adults will be exactly that, adults, and will be mindful of where the photographer is and won't get in their way. I promise, if you are paying for a professional photographer, they will be able to get the shots you would like regardless of who is standing in the way. Plus, you never know what will happen to the photographer and their images, I know of a few instances where the family/friends cell phone pictures are all the bride ended up having of their wedding day. 
    image
  • justsie said:
    Another thing to keep in mind is that if you do a wedding hashtag or encourage your guests to take pictures, AND get your cousin to do photography, you might want to limit the guest photos to just the reception or something like that. If everyone is holding up their phones to take pictures during the ceremony, it could be a little distracting...Plus it'll show up in all the professional photos you're actually paying for. 
    Nope, this is a non-issue and there is no etiquette approved way to police adults in this manner. If someone wants to be rude, they will be rude regardless of what announcement you make. Most adults will be exactly that, adults, and will be mindful of where the photographer is and won't get in their way. I promise, if you are paying for a professional photographer, they will be able to get the shots you would like regardless of who is standing in the way. Plus, you never know what will happen to the photographer and their images, I know of a few instances where the family/friends cell phone pictures are all the bride ended up having of their wedding day. 
    There are plenty of cutesie sign ideas on pinterest for asking guests to be "unplugged" during the ceremony. I don't think that making this request can be seen as bad etiquette, as it is understandable that the couple may want people to stay focused on the present, rather than having phones out. 

    And while I haven't gotten to doing any weddings yet, I'd really like to be a wedding photographer one day, and from things I've read, the cell phones really can be an issue. Imagine your photographer is down the aisle from the bride and groom to get a shot of the venue, audience, and ceremony all at once. But in the middle of the photo is 30 people holding up cell phones to take their own pictures. Even if the phones don't obscure anything important, it's still a bit distracting. 

    A couple years ago, one photographer even described online about a wedding where the groom had to lean and crane his neck just to see the bride walking down the aisle, because so many people were leaning out into the aisle with their cell phones. 

    And if J+S is encouraging guests to take photos (as she has described in her posts), then they may not be thinking about these things or think that it would be rude to have their phones out during the ceremony. Which is why I suggested she limit it during the ceremony, and encourage cell phone pictures during the reception. She also said that her photographer is a cousin's cousin, as well as a professional photographer. Between being family and a professional (who probably has a contract), it's pretty unlikely that the photographer is just going to disappear with the photos afterwards.


  • justsie said:
    Another thing to keep in mind is that if you do a wedding hashtag or encourage your guests to take pictures, AND get your cousin to do photography, you might want to limit the guest photos to just the reception or something like that. If everyone is holding up their phones to take pictures during the ceremony, it could be a little distracting...Plus it'll show up in all the professional photos you're actually paying for. 
    Nope, this is a non-issue and there is no etiquette approved way to police adults in this manner. If someone wants to be rude, they will be rude regardless of what announcement you make. Most adults will be exactly that, adults, and will be mindful of where the photographer is and won't get in their way. I promise, if you are paying for a professional photographer, they will be able to get the shots you would like regardless of who is standing in the way. Plus, you never know what will happen to the photographer and their images, I know of a few instances where the family/friends cell phone pictures are all the bride ended up having of their wedding day. 
    There are plenty of cutesie sign ideas on pinterest for asking guests to be "unplugged" during the ceremony. I don't think that making this request can be seen as bad etiquette, as it is understandable that the couple may want people to stay focused on the present, rather than having phones out. 

    And while I haven't gotten to doing any weddings yet, I'd really like to be a wedding photographer one day, and from things I've read, the cell phones really can be an issue. Imagine your photographer is down the aisle from the bride and groom to get a shot of the venue, audience, and ceremony all at once. But in the middle of the photo is 30 people holding up cell phones to take their own pictures. Even if the phones don't obscure anything important, it's still a bit distracting. 

    A couple years ago, one photographer even described online about a wedding where the groom had to lean and crane his neck just to see the bride walking down the aisle, because so many people were leaning out into the aisle with their cell phones. 

    And if J+S is encouraging guests to take photos (as she has described in her posts), then they may not be thinking about these things or think that it would be rude to have their phones out during the ceremony. Which is why I suggested she limit it during the ceremony, and encourage cell phone pictures during the reception. She also said that her photographer is a cousin's cousin, as well as a professional photographer. Between being family and a professional (who probably has a contract), it's pretty unlikely that the photographer is just going to disappear with the photos afterwards.


    Those "cutesy" signs are also pretty rude. You shouldn't be telling guests what they can or cannot do unless it is a location requirement. Treat your adults like adults.  

    If people holding up phones is too distracting for a photographer I would probably go with another photographer. I mean what if something else distracts them?

    That article has made many rounds, and many other photographers have spoken up about how it is a non-issue for a good photographer.

    I never said that the photographer is going to disappear with the photos, I said that you don't know what may happen to the photographer and the images. The images could get accidentally erased or damaged, and then boom, no images of your ceremony. 
    image
    sparklepants41HeffalumpInLoveInQueens
  • justsie said:
    justsie said:
    Another thing to keep in mind is that if you do a wedding hashtag or encourage your guests to take pictures, AND get your cousin to do photography, you might want to limit the guest photos to just the reception or something like that. If everyone is holding up their phones to take pictures during the ceremony, it could be a little distracting...Plus it'll show up in all the professional photos you're actually paying for. 
    Nope, this is a non-issue and there is no etiquette approved way to police adults in this manner. If someone wants to be rude, they will be rude regardless of what announcement you make. Most adults will be exactly that, adults, and will be mindful of where the photographer is and won't get in their way. I promise, if you are paying for a professional photographer, they will be able to get the shots you would like regardless of who is standing in the way. Plus, you never know what will happen to the photographer and their images, I know of a few instances where the family/friends cell phone pictures are all the bride ended up having of their wedding day. 
    There are plenty of cutesie sign ideas on pinterest for asking guests to be "unplugged" during the ceremony. I don't think that making this request can be seen as bad etiquette, as it is understandable that the couple may want people to stay focused on the present, rather than having phones out. 

    And while I haven't gotten to doing any weddings yet, I'd really like to be a wedding photographer one day, and from things I've read, the cell phones really can be an issue. Imagine your photographer is down the aisle from the bride and groom to get a shot of the venue, audience, and ceremony all at once. But in the middle of the photo is 30 people holding up cell phones to take their own pictures. Even if the phones don't obscure anything important, it's still a bit distracting. 

    A couple years ago, one photographer even described online about a wedding where the groom had to lean and crane his neck just to see the bride walking down the aisle, because so many people were leaning out into the aisle with their cell phones. 

    And if J+S is encouraging guests to take photos (as she has described in her posts), then they may not be thinking about these things or think that it would be rude to have their phones out during the ceremony. Which is why I suggested she limit it during the ceremony, and encourage cell phone pictures during the reception. She also said that her photographer is a cousin's cousin, as well as a professional photographer. Between being family and a professional (who probably has a contract), it's pretty unlikely that the photographer is just going to disappear with the photos afterwards.


    Those "cutesy" signs are also pretty rude. You shouldn't be telling guests what they can or cannot do unless it is a location requirement. Treat your adults like adults.  

    If people holding up phones is too distracting for a photographer I would probably go with another photographer. I mean what if something else distracts them?

    That article has made many rounds, and many other photographers have spoken up about how it is a non-issue for a good photographer.

    I never said that the photographer is going to disappear with the photos, I said that you don't know what may happen to the photographer and the images. The images could get accidentally erased or damaged, and then boom, no images of your ceremony. 
    I don't understand how politely requesting your guests to respect YOUR wedding day by putting their phones away for the ceremony is rude. I know that we all make a big fuss about treating our guests well, but the wedding is still first and foremost about the bride and groom.

    The issue is not that the phones are distracting to the photographer, but that they can be distracting in the photos. Now, this could differ for each person, but I imagine that a lot of people aren't envisioning their wedding photos having a bunch of cell phones in them. Generally, you want the focus to be on the bride and groom, the guests (faces, expressions), or the details you've paid a lot of money for (venue, flowers, food, etc). Having a bunch of cell phones throughout the photo affects the composition, and makes what could otherwise be a very nice photo, much more busy. Instead of your eye being drawn to the bride and groom at the altar, your eye is darting all around the photo.

    One of the big points of Stewart's post wasn't even about it being an issue for the photographer- it was about the fact that the groom couldn't even get a clear view of his bride around all the people sticking their phones out into the aisle. This is irrelevant to how good your photographer is, it's a question of do you want that special moment where your groom sees you in your dress for the first time, or do you want him to see it through 50 cell phone screens? And is it really worth it, just so that every guest can get the same mediocre shot on their cell phone?

    And assuming, as you keep saying, that you've hired a quality photographer, then they should be prepared with backup equipment, memory cards, and be taking every precaution to make sure your photos are safe.


    Ultimately it's up to each couple on whether they want to allow cell phone photography during the ceremony; I was just trying to provide some helpful suggestions that J+S might not have considered. Personally, I find that holding up cell phones during such a formal event as a wedding ceremony is more rude than asking for an unplugged ceremony could ever be- but maybe that's just me.  
  • flantasticflantastic The Midwest
    1000 Comments 500 Love Its Third Anniversary 5 Answers
    member
    edited February 27
    justsie said:
    justsie said:
    Another thing to keep in mind is that if you do a wedding hashtag or encourage your guests to take pictures, AND get your cousin to do photography, you might want to limit the guest photos to just the reception or something like that. If everyone is holding up their phones to take pictures during the ceremony, it could be a little distracting...Plus it'll show up in all the professional photos you're actually paying for. 
    Nope, this is a non-issue and there is no etiquette approved way to police adults in this manner. If someone wants to be rude, they will be rude regardless of what announcement you make. Most adults will be exactly that, adults, and will be mindful of where the photographer is and won't get in their way. I promise, if you are paying for a professional photographer, they will be able to get the shots you would like regardless of who is standing in the way. Plus, you never know what will happen to the photographer and their images, I know of a few instances where the family/friends cell phone pictures are all the bride ended up having of their wedding day. 
    There are plenty of cutesie sign ideas on pinterest for asking guests to be "unplugged" during the ceremony. I don't think that making this request can be seen as bad etiquette, as it is understandable that the couple may want people to stay focused on the present, rather than having phones out. 

    And while I haven't gotten to doing any weddings yet, I'd really like to be a wedding photographer one day, and from things I've read, the cell phones really can be an issue. Imagine your photographer is down the aisle from the bride and groom to get a shot of the venue, audience, and ceremony all at once. But in the middle of the photo is 30 people holding up cell phones to take their own pictures. Even if the phones don't obscure anything important, it's still a bit distracting. 

    A couple years ago, one photographer even described online about a wedding where the groom had to lean and crane his neck just to see the bride walking down the aisle, because so many people were leaning out into the aisle with their cell phones. 

    And if J+S is encouraging guests to take photos (as she has described in her posts), then they may not be thinking about these things or think that it would be rude to have their phones out during the ceremony. Which is why I suggested she limit it during the ceremony, and encourage cell phone pictures during the reception. She also said that her photographer is a cousin's cousin, as well as a professional photographer. Between being family and a professional (who probably has a contract), it's pretty unlikely that the photographer is just going to disappear with the photos afterwards.


    Those "cutesy" signs are also pretty rude. You shouldn't be telling guests what they can or cannot do unless it is a location requirement. Treat your adults like adults.  

    If people holding up phones is too distracting for a photographer I would probably go with another photographer. I mean what if something else distracts them?

    That article has made many rounds, and many other photographers have spoken up about how it is a non-issue for a good photographer.

    I never said that the photographer is going to disappear with the photos, I said that you don't know what may happen to the photographer and the images. The images could get accidentally erased or damaged, and then boom, no images of your ceremony. 
    I don't understand how politely requesting your guests to respect YOUR wedding day by putting their phones away for the ceremony is rude. I know that we all make a big fuss about treating our guests well, but the wedding is still first and foremost about the bride and groom.

    The issue is not that the phones are distracting to the photographer, but that they can be distracting in the photos. Now, this could differ for each person, but I imagine that a lot of people aren't envisioning their wedding photos having a bunch of cell phones in them. Generally, you want the focus to be on the bride and groom, the guests (faces, expressions), or the details you've paid a lot of money for (venue, flowers, food, etc). Having a bunch of cell phones throughout the photo affects the composition, and makes what could otherwise be a very nice photo, much more busy. Instead of your eye being drawn to the bride and groom at the altar, your eye is darting all around the photo.

    One of the big points of Stewart's post wasn't even about it being an issue for the photographer- it was about the fact that the groom couldn't even get a clear view of his bride around all the people sticking their phones out into the aisle. This is irrelevant to how good your photographer is, it's a question of do you want that special moment where your groom sees you in your dress for the first time, or do you want him to see it through 50 cell phone screens? And is it really worth it, just so that every guest can get the same mediocre shot on their cell phone?

    And assuming, as you keep saying, that you've hired a quality photographer, then they should be prepared with backup equipment, memory cards, and be taking every precaution to make sure your photos are safe.


    Ultimately it's up to each couple on whether they want to allow cell phone photography during the ceremony; I was just trying to provide some helpful suggestions that J+S might not have considered. Personally, I find that holding up cell phones during such a formal event as a wedding ceremony is more rude than asking for an unplugged ceremony could ever be- but maybe that's just me.  
    This comes down to a difference in philosophy. Yours can be summarized by the bolded portions of your post. Ours is this: Just because two people are getting married does not mean they have the right to supervise the adults they invited. They do not own the event, and should make every effort to treat their guests well (i.e., not talking down to them or policing their personal devices). If the couple really doesn't want to deal with the normal behavior of the people they're inviting, they're free to not invite anyone, and then they can control every aspect of their day.

    Anniversary

  • OMG! The groom had to LEAN?! /s


  • The wedding can absolutely be only about the bride and groom, but when you start inviting guests it ceases to be ONLY about them. You will find that we often will prefer to treat adults like adults on this website. 

    Also, heaven forbid your aunt/cousin/friend get a "mediocre" picture of you on your wedding day for themselves. Oh heavens that would just be the worst. 
    image
    flantasticsparklepants41MesmrEweInLoveInQueens
  • climbingwifeclimbingwife NYC 'burbs
    10000 Comments 500 Love Its Fourth Anniversary 5 Answers
    member
    Telling your guests to not take pictures during the ceremony is rude. 

    I have no idea who was holding a phone up during my ceremony. I was a little too busy concentrating on walking down the aisle and then on my groom. And then on saying my vows. Trust me - that will be the last thing on your mind. 

    My guests took some really awesome pictures too. 

    sparklepants41MesmrEwecowgirl8238InLoveInQueens
  • Telling your guests to not take pictures during the ceremony is rude. 

    I have no idea who was holding a phone up during my ceremony. I was a little too busy concentrating on walking down the aisle and then on my groom. And then on saying my vows. Trust me - that will be the last thing on your mind. 

    My guests took some really awesome pictures too. 
    Exactly this. One of my favorite photos of H & I on our wedding day is one his cousin, who was in HS at the time, took. 
    MesmrEweInLoveInQueens
  • Most people will ignore a Pinterest sign. Guests taking pics with their phones is GOING to happen. 

    I think the most you can do in regards to cell phone regulation is to have the officiant make an announcement before the ceremony starts for people to silence them so they don't ring during the ceremony. 
    *********************************************************************************

    image
    justsiecharlotte989875cowgirl8238InLoveInQueens
  • lovesclimbinglovesclimbing Alaska
    2500 Comments Fifth Anniversary 500 Love Its First Answer
    member
    I really don't think guests with cameras and phones is near as big an issue as proponents of unplugged weddings make it out to be. I had a great but fairly amateur photographer. This was only the second wedding she'd ever done. My photos are amazing and none were ruined. And I know that there were some guests taking photos during the ceremony because I saw the photos afterward. 

    charlotte989875InLoveInQueens
  • MobKazMobKaz Chicago suburbs
    5000 Comments Seventh Anniversary 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    member
    justsie said:
    justsie said:
    Another thing to keep in mind is that if you do a wedding hashtag or encourage your guests to take pictures, AND get your cousin to do photography, you might want to limit the guest photos to just the reception or something like that. If everyone is holding up their phones to take pictures during the ceremony, it could be a little distracting...Plus it'll show up in all the professional photos you're actually paying for. 
    Nope, this is a non-issue and there is no etiquette approved way to police adults in this manner. If someone wants to be rude, they will be rude regardless of what announcement you make. Most adults will be exactly that, adults, and will be mindful of where the photographer is and won't get in their way. I promise, if you are paying for a professional photographer, they will be able to get the shots you would like regardless of who is standing in the way. Plus, you never know what will happen to the photographer and their images, I know of a few instances where the family/friends cell phone pictures are all the bride ended up having of their wedding day. 
    There are plenty of cutesie sign ideas on pinterest for asking guests to be "unplugged" during the ceremony. I don't think that making this request can be seen as bad etiquette, as it is understandable that the couple may want people to stay focused on the present, rather than having phones out. 

    And while I haven't gotten to doing any weddings yet, I'd really like to be a wedding photographer one day, and from things I've read, the cell phones really can be an issue. Imagine your photographer is down the aisle from the bride and groom to get a shot of the venue, audience, and ceremony all at once. But in the middle of the photo is 30 people holding up cell phones to take their own pictures. Even if the phones don't obscure anything important, it's still a bit distracting. 

    A couple years ago, one photographer even described online about a wedding where the groom had to lean and crane his neck just to see the bride walking down the aisle, because so many people were leaning out into the aisle with their cell phones. 

    And if J+S is encouraging guests to take photos (as she has described in her posts), then they may not be thinking about these things or think that it would be rude to have their phones out during the ceremony. Which is why I suggested she limit it during the ceremony, and encourage cell phone pictures during the reception. She also said that her photographer is a cousin's cousin, as well as a professional photographer. Between being family and a professional (who probably has a contract), it's pretty unlikely that the photographer is just going to disappear with the photos afterwards.


    Those "cutesy" signs are also pretty rude. You shouldn't be telling guests what they can or cannot do unless it is a location requirement. Treat your adults like adults.  

    If people holding up phones is too distracting for a photographer I would probably go with another photographer. I mean what if something else distracts them?

    That article has made many rounds, and many other photographers have spoken up about how it is a non-issue for a good photographer.

    I never said that the photographer is going to disappear with the photos, I said that you don't know what may happen to the photographer and the images. The images could get accidentally erased or damaged, and then boom, no images of your ceremony. 
    I don't understand how politely requesting your guests to respect YOUR wedding day by putting their phones away for the ceremony is rude. I know that we all make a big fuss about treating our guests well, but the wedding is still first and foremost about the bride and groom.

    The issue is not that the phones are distracting to the photographer, but that they can be distracting in the photos. Now, this could differ for each person, but I imagine that a lot of people aren't envisioning their wedding photos having a bunch of cell phones in them. Generally, you want the focus to be on the bride and groom, the guests (faces, expressions), or the details you've paid a lot of money for (venue, flowers, food, etc). Having a bunch of cell phones throughout the photo affects the composition, and makes what could otherwise be a very nice photo, much more busy. Instead of your eye being drawn to the bride and groom at the altar, your eye is darting all around the photo.

    One of the big points of Stewart's post wasn't even about it being an issue for the photographer- it was about the fact that the groom couldn't even get a clear view of his bride around all the people sticking their phones out into the aisle. This is irrelevant to how good your photographer is, it's a question of do you want that special moment where your groom sees you in your dress for the first time, or do you want him to see it through 50 cell phone screens? And is it really worth it, just so that every guest can get the same mediocre shot on their cell phone?

    And assuming, as you keep saying, that you've hired a quality photographer, then they should be prepared with backup equipment, memory cards, and be taking every precaution to make sure your photos are safe.


    Ultimately it's up to each couple on whether they want to allow cell phone photography during the ceremony; I was just trying to provide some helpful suggestions that J+S might not have considered. Personally, I find that holding up cell phones during such a formal event as a wedding ceremony is more rude than asking for an unplugged ceremony could ever be- but maybe that's just me.  
    I have attended MANY weddings over the years.  I have yet to see one, let alone multiple people sticking their heads, bodies, and/or phones out an aisle to obtain a picture.

    Please search "unplugged weddings" on this site to see just how unnecessary it is to warn guests about cell phone usage.
    charlotte989875
  • If you don't hire a photog then you won't have any photos!
    MesmrEwe
  • I thought I would save money and just have lots of disposable cameras on every table for guests to snap away.  What a mistake.  The cameras were either not used, disappeared from the table and never made their way back to me.  I don't have a single picture that captured the mood.  If I had it to do over, I would have delegated the task to a few of my friends who I could count on to cover the whole event.  They would know all the personalities and have an idea of the groups of friends/family that I wanted to memorialize in photos.  I'd create a list of who, in particular, I wanted shots of and then work from there.b
  • climbingwifeclimbingwife NYC 'burbs
    10000 Comments 500 Love Its Fourth Anniversary 5 Answers
    member


    I thought I would save money and just have lots of disposable cameras on every table for guests to snap away.  What a mistake.  The cameras were either not used, disappeared from the table and never made their way back to me.  I don't have a single picture that captured the mood.  If I had it to do over, I would have delegated the task to a few of my friends who I could count on to cover the whole event.  They would know all the personalities and have an idea of the groups of friends/family that I wanted to memorialize in photos.  I'd create a list of who, in particular, I wanted shots of and then work from there.b


    I'm sorry, but this is terrible advice. You don't task your guests with photographing your wedding. You let them be guests and enjoy the day. If you want pictures, hire a photographer. 

    InLoveInQueensflantasticsouthernbelle0915sparklepants41
  • flantasticflantastic The Midwest
    1000 Comments 500 Love Its Third Anniversary 5 Answers
    member


    I thought I would save money and just have lots of disposable cameras on every table for guests to snap away.  What a mistake.  The cameras were either not used, disappeared from the table and never made their way back to me.  I don't have a single picture that captured the mood.  If I had it to do over, I would have delegated the task to a few of my friends who I could count on to cover the whole event.  They would know all the personalities and have an idea of the groups of friends/family that I wanted to memorialize in photos.  I'd create a list of who, in particular, I wanted shots of and then work from there.b


    Yeah, unless you're paying me, I'm not working your wedding. I know many friends will do this sort of thing without complaining (to your face), but it's really taking advantage of the friendship. You can only get people to do something that you would otherwise have to pay for if they volunteer themselves completely out of the blue.

    Anniversary

    InLoveInQueens
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