You’re at a wedding, inching above the other guests to capture that perfect shot of the bride.
You snap the pic on your iPhone, but it’s blurry, and other phones dot the image. Not your best work, and you weren’t really paying attention when the bride appeared.
This type of cell phone invasion is leading couples to take away – or at least gently suggest putting away – phones at weddings.
“Unplugged” weddings used to be the norm for celebrity weddings, event planners say.
Celebs who don’t want pictures or details leaking out about their big days would post valets to check guests’ phones, says Michael Russo, an event planner who works with celebrity weddings.
“This used to be a celebrity thing,” adds event planner Sarah Pease. “Now, it’s an everyday thing.”
A recent David’s Bridal survey found that 52 percent of people said the couple should be first to post a picture online.
Recent bride Jennifer Edwards banned phones at her ceremony.
“We were constantly noticing people watching the entire ceremony through a small screen on their cell phone,” she says. “I absolutely did not want to pay an outrageous amount of money for professional photographers just to have all my wedding photos on Facebook seconds after we said ‘I do.’”
Other times, brides and grooms don’t want guests tapping at phones at a wedding, whether texting or tweeting.
”People want their guests to be engaged, and they want them to be having a good time and be present in the moment,” Russo says.
Pease says she’s seen well-meaning relatives actually block the professional photographer as they creep in the aisle to take photos on an iPad.
To alert guests, some post a sign at the door, and others will put in a note in the program, Pease says. Others will ask the priest or officiant to make an announcement.
But even with all the messaging, sometimes people still can’t give up phones, Russo says.
“It’s so funny, because at weddings it’s typically dim, so you can see the people on their phones because their faces are completely illuminated – and it’s not from candlelight, that’s for sure,” he says.
The Flip Side
Some couples love social media at weddings, even creating a hashtag for all guests to use and placing it somewhere guests can see. Planner Maya Kalman says hosts want people to post photos in a certain way so that everyone can see them right away.
“People have specifically made signs and ask guests to post all of their pictures to a certain Instagram,” she says.
In Boston, Paula Marrero at Marrero Events said one couple even created an app especially to share wedding pics.