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#WeddingFails: 10 Reasons Why You Should Ban Your Wedding Guests From Playing Photographers

Your wedding will probably be one of the most memorable and important days of your life. This holds true for both you and your partner. Weddings tend to be highly emotional affairs for everyone involved. After all, it is a momentous day which honors and celebrates the union of two individuals and their families. It is important to catalog everything that happens at the wedding very carefully, so that you can go back to the photos and remember the feelings you experienced on your wedding day even years after you have been married. Of course, you need photographs from your Big Day, but this doesn’t mean that you should delegate the task to your wedding guests.

A lot of people feel that they can save money by not hiring a wedding photographer, thinking that one of their wedding guests could do a much better job. However, most couples still choose to go the professional route. Even then, their guests feel the need to have their own personal catalog of the wedding and the important events leading up to it.

Suggested read: Wedding photography tips: Dos and don’ts for memorable pictures

With this article, I will try to explain why you should try your level best to dissuade your wedding guests from acting as though they are the official wedding photographer, or in fact, taking any photos in general.

1. Your better half might see you before the wedding


Image source: Pixabay, under Creative Commons License

One of the most special moments in a wedding is when the bride and groom see each other for the first time after long hours of separation. The bride steps onto the aisle in all her glory and the groom is simply floored by her beauty. This is a moment that is truly incredible both for the bride and groom as well as for all the guests. However, the bridesmaids and groomsmen spend time with the bride and the groom before they see each other. They might get super excited and decide to post pictures of them on social media. If their spouse-to-be or other guests are scrolling through social media, seeing these images will ruin the beautiful and fun surprise of seeing them in person. There is one simple solution to this – don’t let your guests take pictures.

2. Flashes from guests’ cameras ruin professional photos

woman holding a camera

Image source: Pixabay, under Creative Commons License

This is probably one of the most important reasons why you should dissuade your wedding guests from taking incessant pictures before, during, and after the ceremony. Professional photographers who have been hired to take pictures of the wedding have very advanced cameras which are used to capture special moments in great detail. However, if there are a hundred other people taking pictures of the bride and the groom, the light from all those flashes ruins the natural lighting to which the official wedding photographer’s camera has been adjusted. The professional photos won’t turn out as well because of all the excess lighting.

3. Your guests will be too busy taking pictures to actually experience the events

first dance at wedding

Image source: Google, copyright-free image under Creative Commons License

One of the most emotional moments for the bride is when she walks down the aisle towards the person she is about to marry while seeing the faces of her loved ones lining the aisle on either side of her. The faces in the crowd are filled with emotions, because this is such an important moment. Now, the trend is not seeing a sea of emotional faces, but rather a crowd of gadgets including phones and even more unsightly iPads with your friends’ and families’ faces hidden behind them. There is no sight sadder than this.

4. Wedding guests take amateur photos

wedding ceremony1

Image source: Google, copyright-free under Creative Commons License

There is nothing wrong in admitting that your wedding guests aren’t going to take the greatest pictures, which neither you nor the guests themselves will want to look at for a very long time. They might take some nice pictures, but everyone knows that a professional camera will offer you a better picture than an iPhone. However, if your wedding guests keep on taking terrible pictures throughout the ceremony and reception, they will not only be in the way of the professional photographer, but they will also prevent you from having some really nice pictures from your wedding day.

5. Wedding guests taking pictures can be really distracting

wedding photography

Image source: Google, copyright-free image under Creative Commons License

A wedding guest randomly clicking away on their cell phone or digital camera is extremely distracting for everyone – the official wedding photographer, the bride and the groom (who can obviously see them from the corner of their eyes), the person conducting the wedding, and possibly the other wedding guests. The only solution to this is to ask the guests to refrain from whipping out their phones at every given opportunity, even if it is to take pictures of your wedding.

Suggested read: 15 wedding photography secrets that make you look amazing

6. Emotions are compromised when wedding guests keep taking pictures


Image source: Pixabay, under Creative Commons License

When your guests decide to become “pros” at wedding photography, the various emotions and reactions, which are some of the most memorable parts of a wedding, immediately get compromised. In an attempt to take wedding portraits, they might interrupt key moments such as the first dance, the bouquet throw, or others throughout the event. This should be avoided, because a good photographer should be invisible in order to take candid and beautiful pictures and capture the right emotions.

7. The party might morph into the selfie parade

woman taking a selfie

Image source: Google, copyright-free image under Creative Commons License

This is probably one of the most practical reasons why wedding guests should be banned from taking pictures at your wedding ceremony. They may take out their phones with perfectly good intentions of taking some pictures. But soon, the party might turn into clusters of people smiling at phone screens without even trying to enjoy the day. If this happens, the professional wedding photographer that you hired will have nothing to do, because everyone will be busy posing and fake smiling at their own devices. Personally, I have nothing against selfies, but they don’t really suit an occasion as beautiful as a wedding.

8. The guests might post pictures of your wedding even before you do

woman texting2

Image source: Pixabay, under Creative Commons License

A bride is super excited, even several days after her wedding, to show her wedding pictures to her other friends or acquaintances who couldn’t make it to the ceremony. In fact, it is perfectly normal for a bride to be excited about her wedding album because it offers a totally new point-of-view for her. The whole surprise and thrill of getting your wedding pictures back is lost when you see them gloriously displayed all over Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and everywhere else, usually of inferior quality, with obnoxious captions and hashtags to top it off.

9. Professional photos of your wedding day will cease to be special

wedding photography

Image source: Shutterstock

You might think that photos are just photos, that all are equally special, and the more the merrier in the end. This line of thought is way off the mark when it comes to wedding photography. If you are planning on having amazing, high quality photos, your wedding guests and their cameras will only stand in the way, both literally and metaphorically. You will be overwhelmed by so many photos of your wedding day, and most of them will not be of very high quality. When your printed photos finally arrive, they will already have lost their charm.

10. Seeking permission to take photos puts unnecessary pressure on the bride


Image source: Pixabay, under Creative Commons License

Putting the anxiety-ridden bride under more stress is probably the last thing you should be doing as a wedding guest right before the wedding. The bride and the groom have already hired a professional photographer, and if they needed someone else to take pictures, they would have asked you themselves. In addition to that, there are some private resorts, locations, and especially churches and chapels, which strictly prohibit photography. Asking the bride to get special permission for you when you are not the professional photographer is deplorable wedding etiquette.

Suggested read: See the epic picture of newlywed couple taken by a time-lapse photographer

Photos are very personal, important, and emotional when looked at several years after the day of the event. However, in order to properly capture all of the amazing moments, the photos should be taken by a professional photographer who will know when and how to get the best shots. This cannot be achieved when you allow your wedding guests to go wild with their cell phones, cameras, and iPads because it distracts from the emotion and charm of the wedding. It is best if you simply let the photographer do what they were hired for and have them take candid, beautiful photos without being pushy and obnoxious about it. Your wedding guests will also be able to enjoy the ceremony and celebration without any added stress or distractions.

Featured image source: Shutterstock

Article Name
10 Reasons To Ban Your Wedding Guests From Playing Photographers
It may be the glorious age of technology, but you need to ban your wedding guests from playing impromptu photographers at your wedding.
Rayne Carruth

Rayne Carruth

"All I can be is me - whoever that is." 20-something writer, still trying to figure it out, forever in love with cheesy rom-coms, and 19th century poetry.