To all soon to be married bride and grooms,
To all parents of the bride and groom,
To all bridal parties,
To all wedding attendees,
I have been photographing weddings for over 2 years now. I have photographed 26 weddings during that time and I have seen my fair share of strange wedding behavior. I have a long list of things you probably shouldn't do at weddings. But there is one piece of wedding advice I think everyone should hear;
put down your phone.
I cannot tell you the amount of photos that have been ruined because of phones in the background. I can't tell you how many times a mother-of-the-bride or a bridesmaid watched a beautiful moment at a wedding behind a camera phone screen. I can't tell you how many times I have wanted to tell wedding attendees to put the phone down and enjoy the moment.
As a photographer, and a millennial, I understand the compulsion to take out your phone and capture that first kiss. I understand the want to have video of the first dance. I really do. However, they have hired professionals to do just that so you can sit back and enjoy every moment of their wedding. Take advantage of that opportunity.
We spend SO MUCH time behind our screens. I recently have found out from my iPhone just how much time I spend behind my phone screen every single day. It's over 2 hours a day that I am missing with my daughter. It's over 2 hours a day that I am missing with my husband. Don't do that at your friend's wedding. Don't do that at your son or daughter's wedding. Put the phone down!
For bride and grooms,
Consider having an "unplugged" wedding. Kindly ask your attendees not to use their phones during the ceremony or special moments in the reception. You can do this by putting a short blurb in your ceremony program and by asking the officiant to make an announcement before the ceremony begins.
If there is a moment that you really want someone to capture with an iPhone video ask 1 person to do that and ask them to stay in one place so the photographer and/or videographer can work around them. Otherwise, use your photographer for the reason you hired them, to capture those moments for you.
For wedding guests and family,
Put down your phone. Enjoy the moment. Use the "non-important" moments of the wedding to get that selfie with the bride and use their cute hashtag.
Use your phone less. Enjoy life by seeing it through your eyes instead of a screen.