Should You Ban Electronics at Your Wedding Ceremony?

Guest taking a photo of a bride on their cellphone

Electronics bans at events (like weddings!) have actually become a trend in the last few years. There are even some artists who don’t allow them at their shows. Why would musicians care if their audience used their phones? Possibly for the same reason you don’t want people to have phones or cameras at your wedding: they’re a distraction. But are electronics a big enough distraction for you to put an absolute ban for the ceremony and are there other reasons a couple might tell guests to leave their phone at home?

Getting in a Professional Photographer’s Way

Here’s the problem with all your guests snapping shots of you on their phones and cameras: you’ve paid someone a lot of money to do that already. That professional wedding photographer or videographer is not going to be happy when your Great Aunt Mildred holds up her iPad right in the middle of their shot. This kind of situation is one of photographer’s biggest complaints when it comes to wedding etiquette. They don’t feel they’re able to give you the best captures and service when wedding guests get in their way and it can make their job a lot more frustrating. In fact, there are some wedding photographers who offer a discounted rate if you decide to go ahead with an electronics ban. So there’s a monetary perk to be considered here as well.

Flower girl and boy at an outdoor wedding

It’s a Wedding, Enjoy It!

There’s nothing wrong with asking guests to just enjoy themselves. We get very caught up in this technological age where we focus on getting the perfect photos for social media and finding just the right filters and hashtags.

Here’s the thing: wedding ceremonies are short and they only happen once. If a guest misses a precious moment because they were fiddling with their Galaxy S8, there’s no way to get that moment back. There will be plenty of time at the reception for guests to sit on their phones, so they should be able to live without them for thirty minutes or so. Hopefully you haven’t structured your ceremony to be so long that guests will start to miss their tech. When there’s no phones or cameras distracting everyone, you can create special moments with just you and your guests to share together.

The Final Say in Your Wedding Photos

You may want to keep your ceremony as sacred moment. Although there’s surely to be photos taken of you from every angle at the reception, with an electronics ban at the ceremony, only your wedding photographer will capture that moment. It can be empowering to have carte blanche over all the photos that get approved. With your photographer, you get the final say. You will receive the first draft of your ceremony photos and if there’s one you feel is unflattering or not a huge fan of, no one has to see it. If you allow electronics, this power goes out the window and you’re forced to endure all of your relative’s bad cellphone camera photos.

Two fingers with a drawing of an unhappy bride and groom on them

Guests May Be Offended

It’s true that some people may not be happy about your restriction and rules can sometimes make guests feel a little rebellious. However, these are your guests. They should know you and your partner pretty well, and hopefully they at least like you enough to respect your decision. In the end they should abide by your decision even if they don’t like it.

It’s understandable if it makes guests uneasy. We’ve become so used to having a phone in our pockets that it can feel strange not to use it. Just be prepared to enact your ban, as you might get some flack. Have your key reasons ready and phrase them in a way that makes guests feel wanted instead of scolded.

Photographer Issues

An electronics ban might be problematic if you’re already having issues with your wedding photographer. Let’s say you hired someone to capture the ceremony, but they’re doing a terrible job. Hopefully this will never happen to you, but if it does, it might be nice to have some of those amateur photos your mom and grandma took. Some people feel like it’s too much responsibility all riding on the photographer. What if something happens and the photographer loses all of your photos? If you have a ban on cameras, you’ll have absolutely no pictures to show for it. It’s an unlikely scenario, but it does happen. It just depends on how worried it makes you.

Some couples choose to not have a photographer at all. In that case, you may want people to be snapping photos for you. This way if the budget didn’t support a professional, you can snatch up the photos your guests took of you by a simple hashtag search or by asking friends and family to send some your way. It all depends on your situation, but it is possible an electronics ban isn’t for you.

No one wants to play second fiddle to a bunch of electronics during their ceremony. For some couples, the feeling of having everyone’s full attention is more important than anything else. For others, guest photos mean a lot and the constant clicking makes them feel like a celebrity being captured by the paparazzi. It’s all about your perspectivem but let’s just hope your photographer gets the best perspective possible.

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