How to Make the Most of Technology at Your Wedding


We’re living in a world where capturing experiences digitally and immediately posting the evidence online has become part of many people’s daily routine. The compulsion to snap photos of everything you see seems to multiply when you’re a wedding guest, and for good reason – when every detail has been planned to perfection, and you’re watching two people you care about make a monumental commitment, the desire to have photos of the occasion is definitely understandable.

However, the rise of camera-phone photo snapping at weddings comes with a few complications. When the majority of your guests are spending the day behind their phone camera, it can begin to take away from their experience at your wedding. On the other hand, gathering photos from the different perspectives from all of your guests can be a great way to see parts of your celebration that you weren’t able to take in firsthand. 

First, let’s break down some of the pros and cons of technology at your wedding…

Pros
  • More photos. With photos being shared easily online, you will end up with a big collection of photo and video from the perspective of your guests.
  • Presence for absent guests. If friends or family are out of town and unable to be present, the images being shared online will help them see your big day immediately, especially with the help of a wedding hashtag to help group your images.
  • Candid shots. You’ll get to see things you didn’t even know happened while you were busy visiting or having formal photos taken.


Cons
  • Obstruction. When guests are leaning out into the aisle to take photos, it can really hinder the photographer (who you’ve paid a good amount for) from getting good photos of the ceremony. Even when a guest isn’t between the couple and their hired photographer, guests can easily photobomb the background of a photo.
  • Unwanted flashes. An amateur’s flash going off at the same time a photographer is trying to take a photo can completely ruin a professional photo. That may sound inconsequential, considering how many photos a professional photographer takes in a day, but many moments on a wedding day only happen once, and in a split-second (such as a first kiss, bouquet toss etc.) and if the perfectly-timed photo is ruined by someone else’s flash, there’s nothing a good photographer can do to salvage it.
  • “That guy.” Worse than a phone getting in the way, I’ve even seen guests use an iPad or other tablet to try to get a photo. When someone is standing up, iPad in the air, they’re ruining the view for everyone seated behind them… no one wants to be seated behind that guy!
  • Where are your guests? Picture this: during the ceremony, you look out to see the smiling faces of your friends and family. Rather than happy, supportive faces, you’re met with a sea of cell phone backs – because most of your guests just want to capture the moment.

Solutions

Luckily, there are a few ways to protect technology use from getting out of control at your wedding. The first, and most obvious, is to hold an 'unplugged' wedding. For this to work, you can incorporate signage informing your guests that no photo or video recordings are permitted, in favour of letting your photographer do the best job possible. For this to work, your officiant will likely have to make an announcement before the ceremony begins, to make sure that everyone is aware.

Another solution for the ceremony, which is a little more subtle, is to use some sort of decoration on the ends of each row of seating to block guests from entering the aisle with cameras in hand. This can be done tastefully with ribbon, floral arrangements, or garland - and it also does double duty by protecting your aisle runner, petals or any decorations you have on the aisle.

wedding hashtag sign - photo source.


Still interested in having your guests share their photos on social media or by using a wedding hashtag? A good compromise is to have an unplugged ceremony, but post a wedding hashtag at the reception only. A decorative sign or banner could be placed on the guest book table - click here for some inspiration for this!

We hope that these suggestions help you capture images of your big day the best way possible, whether you leave it up to your professional photographer, or you invite all of your guests to join in on the photographic fun!