Do's and Don'ts of Smartphone Etiquette at Weddings

Do's and Don'ts of Smartphone Etiquette at Weddings 1.  Don't photobomb the photographer!  It sounds obvious but it's amazing how many guests get carried away during the ceremony or the group photos and jump straight in front of the pro photographer.  Remember that the Bride & Groom have spent months selecting their wedding photographer and chose that person for their unique style and skill in shooting.  If you want the happy couple to still love you after their big day, don't mess up their beautiful photographs!

2.  Don't use iPads or tablets.  Like EVER.  Here's why:

  • They're too big!
  • The quality isn't great
  • They get in the way of other guests being able to see the Bride & Groom
  • And trust me, if someone knocks it our of your hand or spills champagne on it, you wont be impressed!

3.  Do video the First Dance.  Photographers and the happy couple will both thank you for this!  If the couple has a videographer, don't stand right in front of him and be aware of what you say if he's nearby - you don't want your voice to be over the top of the first dance the whole time!  That being said, the Bride & Groom will love the photograph that their pro photographer will take of them dancing with you all holding up your iPhones to video the first dance. It actually looks beautiful!

4.  Don't use flash.  If you must take photos during the ceremony, whether it's with your phone or a point and shoot camera, please, please, please avoid using your flash!  If your flash goes off right when they say "I Do" for example, it can completely ruin the photographers image and your friends will never forgive you! Don't believe me?  Check this image out:

flash ruins wedding photo

image courtesy of Corey Ann Photography

5.  Facebook.  Instagram.  Twitter. Unless the Bride & Groom have specifically asked you too, do not go splashing your snapshots all over the internet.  The Bride & Groom may be shy or very selective about what images they want to appear on social media and who sees them - let them out their photos up first.  You can always add yours a few days later once you've had a chance to speak to them about it.

6.  Do use specific hashtags.  Following on from the last point, some couples would love to document their wedding by using hashtags and creating a wedding photo stream on Instagram - the reception is the perfect place to get this one going!  They will tell you either in person or via their wedding invitations if they do want you to do this.  In this case, you'll receive a specific hashtag to use when uploading your photos, so make sure you use it.

7. Don't text whilst walking down the aisle or whilst waiting for your Bride to be.  You've all seen this right?  And really, there are much better places to keep your phones!

8.  Don't ask the photographer to take a photo of you using your phone or hand held camera.  As a professional I'm more than happy to take a beautiful photograph of you to commemorate the occasion - but on my camera.  I know it will look much better!  Not just because it's an expensive bit of gear, but because I can change the settings and instead of a blurry iPhone snapshot, you'll get an image you'd actually want to keep!  Which is the point, right?

9.  Do pay attention to the ceremony - not your phone!  And definitely don't update your Facebook status during it!

10.  Do feel free to have a completely UNPLUGGED wedding!  Let your guests know in advance - either in the invitations, by placing a sign in the ceremony room or simply ask your Registrar to mention that there will be no cameras allowed during the Ceremony itself.  Of course everyone can come up at the end and take pictures then if you'd like.

Signs such as this one can be purchased are fabulous and elegant.  Or click on the images below and save & print them for your free sign!  It's the perfect size for an 8x10" frame!

Unplugged wedding sign

Unplugged wedding sign

11.  Another obvious one - but totally relevant and forgotten more often than not - please remember to put your phone on silent (not vibrate!)

12. Don't step in to the aisle during the Ceremony.  At all.  Not even one foot.  I'm begging you.  Photographers sometimes use a long lens and stay at the back of the Church / Ceremony Room to get their shots, especially like us, when we have two photographers for your wedding.

smartphone ruins wedding photo

When you book us, one of the things you love about us is that as a Husband & Wife team we can actually be in two places at once!  I'll be at the front of the aisle and Ian will be at the back.  Now he has a much harder job back there than you'd think.  He's usually shooting in to direct sunlight (notice how the altar is always placed in front of a big window at venues?) and he has to capture the Bride & Groom without getting me in the photo too!  As we work together so often, we know how each other work and can avoid getting each other in the shots.  but we have no control over a guest sidestepping in to the aisle, smart phone in hand and standing there for five minutes.

13.  Don't stand next to the photographer to snap a picture.  I get why you may want to and actually it doesn't bother me - but it completely distracts the Bride & Groom.  They need to know where to look (directly at my camera!) and feel pressured to smile at guests taking photos too.  As soon as one person does this, you'll notice that suddenly there are 20 people vying for the Brides attention!

Getting group photos quickly is as important for the photographer as it is for the guests and the newlyweds.  They want those beautiful pictures to remember who shared their special day with them but they also want to get them done quickly and smoothly so everyone can enjoy themselves too!

14.  Some churches and venues have very limited space or very strict rules about where the photographer can stand.  Try to be aware of the limitations the professional may have and don't stand during the ceremony or raise your arms up to get a photo.

 15.  Last but not least, one of the most important reasons to put your phone or camera down... we want to see your faces!  Weddings are all about emotion, love and happiness and these expressions come across everyone's faces during the ceremony - Mother & Father of the Bride & Groom and all your guests.  If you have a phone or camera up in front of your face, photographers can't capture those moments for the Bride & Groom! (And trust me, they want to see that!)