Q: I’ve been to a few weddings this year and it kills me to see everyone watching the ceremony through their phones and tablets. Is there any way I can keep my guests from taking pictures and video while I’m getting married?
The more connected we get through social media outlets, the more disconnected we can seem in the moment. We may have gotten used to watching people perceiving their world through the lens of a device, but there are certain moments (a concert, for instance) where that distance really stands out. This is especially true during a wedding ceremony, when the focus your guests lend is truly part of the ritual.
This is your wedding, of course you can ask for your guests to put away their phones. However, there are a few ways to ask that may have a more encompassing reaction, and even then, they may not abide by your wishes. If they don’t, don’t let it bother you — it just means that they’re caught up in the moment. In fact, most likely you won’t notice because your eyes probably won’t stray from your soon-to-be spouse’s the entire time.
For an unplugged ceremony, you can ask your officiant to make an announcement as you begin that the couple has asked that no pictures or video be taken during the ceremony. That way your guests have the opportunity to take a couple photos of your processional, but can put their phones away and enjoy your ceremony.
Another option is to print a small card that says something to the effect of: We invite you to be present with us; please put away your phones and cameras during our ceremony.
You can place those cards on each seat or have them handed out to guests as they arrive. You also can have a short sentence printed in your program, or on a sign placed in a clearly visible spot.
Q: I want to see the photos and video that my guests take of my wedding. Is there a way to encourage that, and while I’m at it, cultivate some fun shots?
If you’re looking to have your #bestdayever, here are five suggestions to get your creative juices flowing. (Don’t forget to collect all the fabulous photos and videos after!)
1. Hire a photo booth and/or flipbook: Complete with backgrounds and props, vendors who offer these services are typically well-versed in getting everyone’s good sides; they offer ways your guests can share the experience instantly though sites like Facebook and Twitter — and they also provide take-home mementos of the experience.
2. Create a selfie area: From a fabulous wall to life-sized cutouts of the bride and groom, provide something fun for selfies along with a couple selfie sticks or a phone stand and don’t forget a reminder of your hashtag.
3. Print and place social media reminders: From your program to signage and cards to embroidery on your husband’s suit cuff, choose a hashtag for your wedding (there are plenty of websites and articles that offer advice on how to do so) — and maybe even a Snapchat geofilter — and place a few reminders around your space. Word of mouth will spread as posts add up!
4. Provide charging stations: Depending on the size of your reception space, consider setting up a couple tables complete with surge protectors and chargers of every shape and size.
5. Hire a live-tweeter: Get a pro to post photos to Instagram, live-tweet your ceremony, send Snapchat messages and even stream your first dance on Periscope. (Or you could hire a social -savvy friend or family member.)