Each Wednesday, we tackle wedding etiquette. At times, it’s a reader question or one from a colleague, friend or family member and other times we’ll cover a popular issue. This week’s question comes from the current Summer/Autumn issue of New Orleans Bride magazine. (Note: Questions may be edited for clarity and brevity.)
Question: 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?
Answer: 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.
Do you have a solution to share or a wedding etiquette question? Respond in the comments or email Melanie@MyNewOrleans.com.