Is there a better argument for having a camera-free ceremony than THIS picture?
No. Honestly. No. This should be enough.
This is a real picture from a wedding at Villa Amor in Sayulita. I took it. In an email a day or two after her wedding, the bride asked if there was anything I could do about her brother-in-law being behind the altar during the ceremony.
No. Honestly. No. There isn’t.
Don’t worry. He wasn’t there the whole time. I did give the bride plenty of lovely photos from their ceremony that don’t have her relative and his smartphone in them. She and I shared a laugh over the ridiculousness of his behavior. Doesn’t everyone have someone in their family that is expected to do something a little awkward at family events? I’m that person in my family. Go ahead. Ask my sisters.
People like me and this guy can be stopped. All you have to do is ask. Have a cute sign in a very visible location at your wedding for everyone to see. We really want to see your faces, not your devices or We have one plea, keep our ceremony camera free … Oh snap. Unplugged. Whatever, Pinterest has a thousand good suggestions. Officiants are also excellent for asking your guests to put their devices away before you walk down the aisle. I love it when an officiant points me out before the show gets on the road. I wave.
It’s my responsibility to make the best possible picture of wedding ceremonies. It’s a challenge and a gift. I pay attention to the emotion, the words, the moment, the guests, the lights, the kiss, the words … all of it. In that variety of pictures no one want to see guests holding their phones up between themselves and the action at the altar. What’s going to happen with those photos? Will the photos taken by hands sticking into the aisle during the processional really be better than the ones that I get? I like to think not. These not-so-awesome hail mary photo attempts are getting in the way of the ones couples entrust me to get. Trust me guests, I got it.
Really though, the best argument for asking guests to keep their cameras and phones away during the ceremony is their presence. And being present. Guests are guests because the bride and groom want to share the moments of their wedding with them. They want them to be there as they join their lives in a sacred ceremony. It’s a gift to witness with this moment in time in person … not through the screen.