Wedding Etiquette for Guests - A Friendly Reminder

Wedding Etiquette

Wedding Etiquette? What’s that? Lately there have been many images that I have seen from other wedding photographers floating around social media. They all have one thing in common, CELL PHONES! I too have had the same thing happen to me, and it’s been something that I have been thinking about quite a bit. How to act at a wedding seems to of morphed into who can get the first photo of the bride posted to social media. At a recent wedding I asked a question to a few people: What is the rudest thing you can do at a wedding?

I could say a million things about this…but I will leave it at this: There’s nothing worse than looking through an iPhone screen rather than enjoying the moment and being PRESENT! Also, there’s nothing worse (or sad) than seeing everyone’s faces covered by their phones during the ceremony. Or covering the GROOM from seeing his bride for the first time just so you can get your iPhone shot. JUST STOP! Stop.It.Right.Now. We know you are BFF’s with the bride, your popular on social media, you have followers on Snapchat who care deeply about you, but that’s what we’re here for – we promise to capture the pictures so you can relax & enjoy the couple’s ceremony. If they wanted you to view it through your phone, they wouldn’t of invited you. They would’ve given you a link for the live stream!

DON’T GET IN THE WAY OF THE VIDEOGRAPHER OR PHOTOGRAPHER

The bride and groom are paying professional photographers to capture their wedding so do not get in the way to snap your own picture. We’re pretty sure the couple would want the professional photo over your camera phone one. That also means the aisle is off limits! There are no re-do’s.

A good rule of thumb is to stay seated during the ceremony, and definitely don’t lean into the aisle or raise your phone over your head (this isn’t a concert). Standing up or moving around can be distracting to the officiant, get in the way of the pros and ruin the view for other guests.

DON’T POST ON SOCIAL MEDIA

Social media is also something that seems to trump wedding etiquette. While social media is a fun way to spread big news, it’s not your job to tell the bride and groom’s news. Some brides AND grooms want to see the professional photos and videos before they are shared with the public. A big don’t for wedding guests is posting to social media before the wedding is over and especially before the ceremony begins. There have been instances where wedding guests have posted a picture of the bride before she walks down the aisle. Imagine if the groom was scrolling through and BAM! There goes the surprise, just because you wanted to get a few likes and boost your engagement on Instagram.

If the bride and groom are specifically asking you to tag your pictures with a specific hashtag then you have permission to post photos before the couple. Just be aware of what they are asking of you and if you’re not sure then don’t do it.

PUT THE PHONE AWAY. TRADE IT FOR A COCKTAIL IN YOUR HAND

Formals can be stressful, unwanted, but it’s a formality that most parental figures require of the day, especially if they have helped with the cost of the photographers. So don’t add to the distractions. If wedding guests are taking photos from behind the professional photographers, then they can be a distraction as to where the bride and groom are supposed to be looking. The professionals won’t be able to get their shot if the bride and groom are looking in a different direction, thus adding to the time of formals. Im pretty sure your B&G would like to enjoy their cocktail hour, but can’t if they are continuously having to take the same shot, because you had to get that special angle to post to your timeline!

D-A-N-C-E

Be a team player & get out on the dance floor! (even if you can’t dance!) Throw back a glass of wine if you need to and get your butt on the dance floor. Your friend only gets married once! Nothing is more depressing than an empty dance floor with just the bride & wedding party dancing. (Elderly guests of course do not apply to this rule)…but if you can move yo’ legs & hips from side to side – get out there with the couple & participate in the fun festivities. Trust me, they want to feel surrounded with love & be able to look back on their reception & see you by their side rather than a bunch of people who seem “bored” in their chairs all night. They will really, really, really appreciate it so much. You might just even get a picture of you dancing. I bet it will be much better than your selfie that is underexposed and out of focus!

THE GENERAL RULE – Teach others good wedding etiquette by leading by example. Put your phone in your pocket/purse. Enjoy the day. We promise you might have fun!

#UnplugTheWedding

 

Michael Freas

My wedding collections are infused with consistent and creative technique, dynamic portraiture and bold photojournalism. I work with couples who are adventurous, creative and appreciate creative professional photography. They are inspired by and admire the art of visual storytelling. I capture those moments that will be cherished for years on end.