Guests can really bring out some of the best things about a wedding. They can also add additional stress to newlyweds. Here's our advice on how to give the best gift to the bride and groom, respect for their wedding day.
1. If the Bride and Groom want to have an unplugged ceremony, don't take pictures. There's a reason they want their guests to take pictures. Typically it's either that the ceremony location doesn't allow it. or they don't want guests to disturb their ceremony. If they request no photography or videography at their wedding, then just don't do it.
2. Avoid flash during the ceremony. There's a reason my husband and I don't use flash very often during the ceremony. It's distracting. I recommend that guests avoid using flash for the same reason.
3. Don't check your phone during the ceremony. I think that should just be a rule for every wedding (maybe every social gathering). There shouldn't have to be a sign stating not to do this. It's rude.
4. Be in the moment. Don't feel like you NEED to capture the experience. We are professionals. We will get the shot. If you want to capture the bride going down the aisle, and the couple is okay with it, go right ahead! I'm going to take 15 images of them walking down the aisle, I highly doubt you are going to ruin all my pictures (I doubt you'll ruin any). Of course, photographers and videographers appreciate you being mindful of their location and whether or not you're popping out in front of them. Most of the time it won't be a problem, but of course we are thankful if you are considerate.
5. If you want to walk up to the dance floor to capture the first dance, PLEASE DO! The vastness of empty space in a ballroom sometimes drives me crazy. I would LOVE to have all the guests get up and make a line of people (or make a semi-circle) around the dance floor. It's seriously my favorite. I love it when people are captivated by the traditional dance, regardless of whether or not they're documenting it.
6. Guests with professional cameras, make sure you enjoy yourself. You are a guest, and your bride and groom want you to be in some of the pictures. Feel free to shoot the wedding. It really doesn't bother me a bit, but don't forget to enjoy the party. I can't tell you how many of my friends' weddings I've shot where I don't remember a single moment from the day, because I was too busy capturing the moments. I didn't get to celebrate with them. I just watched everything take place through a little window. One caveat I would add to this is that if you are taking pictures for your portfolio, please ask the bride and groom to make sure it's okay with their photographer. I personally don't mind, but some other photographers might and the last thing you want to do is introduce any extra stress on the wedding day.
7. Please be on time. Nothing stresses out a couple more than people arriving late. If you are supposed to arrive to get in your suit at noon, arrive no later than that time. This also goes for family pictures. This is usually the most stressful time for our couples during their wedding. To make it run as smoothly as possible, show up 10-15 minutes early and do not plan to leave the photo area until all the pictures are done. A lot of the stress is caused by waiting for people or tracking family down after they leave to run a quick errand. I definitely understand there is a lot to do on a wedding day. This would be a good time to have a coordinator or wedding planner, because they can be running the errands for the family!
We want nothing more than for every couple to have a happy and stress free day to celebrate their love, and we know their guests want this for them too.
Keep a look out this week for:
- "Guest Shaming & Photographer Etiquette."
- "Getting the Most Out of Your Camera Without Disrupting the Wedding"
- "Unplugged Weddings: A 2014 Trend”