Sammy Nickalls
November 09, 2015 8:48 am

When it comes to capturing memorable moments for all to see, social media has totally re-invented weddings. Many couples now create their own wedding hashtag and encourage guests to post their pics of the ceremony using said hashtag. AKA social media is pretty officially a huge part of this whole wedding thing. But one photographer’s Facebook post about wedding pix has gone totally viral, and for good reason. It’s making us completely reconsider a phone’s place at a wedding. That is: It has no place at a wedding.

Of course, it’s super rude to have your face buried in your phone, reading an article or texting a friend while the beautiful bride walks down the aisle. But even taking pictures of the bride and groom — while it may seem like a kind and benevolent act — can actually ruin the moment later on. Australian wedding photographer Thomas Stewart begged in his post: “. . . Brides and grooms, please have a completely unplugged wedding ceremony.”

Thomas recently posted to Facebook a picture of the groom looking at the bride walking down the aisle. It was a beautiful shot, but there was one problem with it. This groom had to lean out into the aisle just to see his bride approaching. Why? Because guests with their phones were in the aisle and in his way. “This sucks. And [I]’m not blaming these guests in particular; I actually take a large amount of responsibility for this occurring,” Stewart wrote. “In the past I should have been more specific with my clients in explaining to them why guests should be told no photos. Well, from now on, I’m going to make a pretty big deal about it.”

Stewart then went on to outline several reasons why everyone should have an unplugged ceremony. First of all, they ruin the photographer’s shots by getting in the way. “You’re paying a photographer quite a bit of money; that means you want great photos,” he wrote. “We cannot do our best work with people getting in our way.”

But they won’t only get in the photographer’s way, he wrote — they’ll get in YOUR way. “You will miss moments of your own wedding day because there’ll be an iPad in the way,” he wrote. “You will miss seeing your partner’s face in the aisle.”

He also noted that it’s not like you’ll be missing out on high-quality photos your friends might have taken, because they’re usually “crap.” “I’m sorry, but it is true,” he wrote. “You can’t take great photos with your camera phone by leaning into the aisle of a dark church to photograph a moving subject. Hell, even lots of professionals have trouble with this.”

But it’s perhaps his last point that gets us most of all:

To conclude his post, he implored future brides and grooms to make it incredibly clear that their wedding will be unplugged, and future guests to respect their wishes. “They want you there with them in heart and soul, and they want to see your tear-filled eyes as you form part of their wedding ceremony,” he wrote. “You are witnesses to their marriage, so for goodness sake, watch them with your eyes and your minds, not your phones.”

Wow. Sure, the idea of having a hashtag may seem like a nice way to collect everyone’s memories, but that seems like nothing compared to having your guests actually there and present. Maybe we should stop and consider: Phones and social media may have done so much good in the world, but it’s important to take a step back and critically think about how technology is taking a toll on life’s watershed moments.

Related reading: 

Why this bride’s selfie wedding photos went viral

This bride and groom had no idea they took the perfect wedding photo

(Image via Facebook/Thomas Stewart Photography, Shutterstock.)

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