For this month's blog topic we asked our team what their perspective is on cell phone use at weddings. Do the guests get a unique perspective other than what the hired photographer takes or is it a distraction?
I'm gonna go old school on this one and say I love it when couples request part of or most of their day be tech free. As much as I love contributing to the unique hashtags throughout the day, I love it more when I get to photograph couples and their friends and families fully engaged and present throughout the day. When multiple professional photographers and videographers are hired for a wedding so much will be photographed and recorded and the results are so much better when everyone's not staring at their phones or trying to be the pro themselves. All this being said, I am never threatened or insecure about people using phones and trying to capture how they see the day. I know their intent is to help document a beautiful day and it's a way for them to personalize the event. If there is a cool Instagram account or hashtag being used I will most definitely contribute!
Last season many couples I worked with chose to ask that guests put their cell phones away during the ceremony. I think during this part of the day, couples want the distraction that phones can create to be put on hold. Their requests seemed to work, and I don't believe their guests felt negatively about it at all. One way to embrace the benefits of social media is to offer a creative hashtag to your guests. It becomes a great way to organize your friends Instagram posts from the wedding event. I think of it as an alternative to the older idea of placing disposable cameras on the reception tables. I've seen couples advertise the hashtag in the invitation or with signage at the event itself.
I think social media can be such a fun way of sharing in the excitement of a wedding! I love the new wedding hashtag trend - it is always so fun to see what couples come up with for their hashtag and I think it's a great way for everyone to look back at a collection of personal photos from the couple's guests. Usually couples wait several weeks to receive their professional photos, so having those cell phone photos from their guests can be a great way to relive their day before receiving their professional photos.
With this in mind, I think it's important to draw a line with when guests are taking those photos. I know that it is so tempting for friends and family to want to get a photo on their own phone or camera during family photos or wedding party photos especially. Keep in mind that there is usually a schedule the couple and photographer are trying to follow, and stopping for guests to take cell phone pictures can eat up a lot of that time! I would encourage couples to communicate this with their family members before the wedding day. It makes photos go a lot quicker and smoother so everyone can get to the important part of the day - the ceremony and the party!
I generally enjoy social media at weddings. I love the idea of using hashtags to track all the photos and post that the guest are posting, this makes finding things easy after the big day! I also like posting images the day of using the couples hashtags. I think social media can provide wonderful guest vantage point of the day.
I am all for people using phones to capture their vantage point of moments with friends and family during the reception. However, the most respectful time to put your phone or camera away is during the ceremony. The couple has spent a lot of time and money into planning their wedding, and they want you to fully experience it without the distraction of taking photos. Leave the ceremony to the photographer, for the rest of the day selfie and hashtag it up respectfully!