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Quill

Can we discuss requests for an “offline/unplugged” wedding?

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So, if you’re not familiar, this would be, you attend a wedding and there is a sign or a notice in the program for guests to not use their phones/not take pictures (I’m not sure if this would include a guest with a regular camera or not), not posting/texting/sharing digitally the wedding for the duration of the wedding and/or reception. 

The first moment I heard of this, it kind of did appeal - after all, that was the case when I got married! Nobody did selfies or snaps or FB check-ins 25 years ago. 

But, having been to weddings recently with young people, I have started thinking it’s a bit dictatorial and an anachronism. Young people communicate with their peers heavily through digital sharing. It’s just what they do. It actually does start to seem a bit selfish to dictate that nobody can use their phones in the way they are accustomed to and expected to. Many or most young people don’t even own a regular camera and aren’t that likely to even bring a real camera to a wedding; they would expect to use their phones. 

PS, this is hypothetical in my current life, but I did just see pictures from a wedding and that was the first picture - a sign announcing the wedding is “unplugged” and requesting guests turn off and put away all phones and devices for the duration. 

PSS, obviously this assumes the person is using their phone discretely and not usurping the actual wedding photographer or being obtrusive, which, I have not seen anyone using a phone obtrusively at any wedding. Of course it would be rude to jump out in the aisle for a Snap while the bride is entering; I dont mean that type of abuse. 

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35 minutes ago, Quill said:

So, if you’re not familiar, this would be, you attend a wedding and there is a sign or a notice in the program for guests to not use their phones/not take pictures (I’m not sure if this would include a guest with a regular camera or not), not posting/texting/sharing digitally the wedding for the duration of the wedding and/or reception. 

The first moment I heard of this, it kind of did appeal - after all, that was the case when I got married! Nobody did selfies or snaps or FB check-ins 25 years ago. 

But, having been to weddings recently with young people, I have started thinking it’s a bit dictatorial and an anachronism. Young people communicate with their peers heavily through digital sharing. It’s just what they do. It actually does start to seem a bit selfish to dictate that nobody can use their phones in the way they are accustomed to and expected to. Many or most young people don’t even own a regular camera and aren’t that likely to even bring a real camera to a wedding; they would expect to use their phones. 

PS, this is hypothetical in my current life, but I did just see pictures from a wedding and that was the first picture - a sign announcing the wedding is “unplugged” and requesting guests turn off and put away all phones and devices for the duration. 

PSS, obviously this assumes the person is using their phone discretely and not usurping the actual wedding photographer or being obtrusive, which, I have not seen anyone using a phone obtrusively at any wedding. Of course it would be rude to jump out in the aisle for a Snap while the bride is entering; I dont mean that type of abuse. 

Is there perhaps someone that they don't want to see the wedding before they can tell them?  Like perhaps an ex spouse who might show up and throw a fit?

 

I don't use facebook or that sort of stuff, so that's not a problem for me.  But, I would struggle with not using the phone AT ALL for the WHOLE THING.  At my cousin's wedding, there were a total of 5 kids all together.  And 3 of them were mine.  And cocktail hour is SO SO BORING for 7, 9, and 11yr olds lol.  DH gave the kids his phone to watch some netflix with.  

But, I will also say that there was pretty much no one hanging out on their phones through most of it.  I can't recall seeing anyone hanging out and scrolling facebook or playing candy crush or anything like that.  There was one single older teen who was very clearly going through withdrawls as his phone died.  He plugged it in a wall socket in a corner of the reception but he was seated farther away so he kept running back to check it.  That was kind of funny lol.  But that was really the only thing I noticed.  Otherwise, everyone seemed to be pretty engaged in the wedding.  

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I guess I could understand it if a couple didn’t want people taking photos inside the church during the ceremony (although it seems silly when there would probably be professional photographers and/or videographers doing exactly that, anyway,) but I think it’s incredibly nervy to try to dictate what guests do outside the church before and after the ceremony or at the reception. 

Many people like to take pictures of their own family and friends at weddings — it’s not like everyone is crowding around the bride and groom demanding to take their photos! And sometimes the only chance extended families have to get together are occasions like weddings, so taking photos would be expected.

So my vote is that the “unplugged for the entire duration” request is both ridiculous and incredibly nervy. 

Edited by Catwoman
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I don't have a problem with that.  People should be able to refrain for one event, even if it's not something personally important to them.  (Would be nice to put a small note on the wedding invitation so people know ahead of time.)

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I wouldn't have a problem with that for the wedding itself.  It might be a little much for the reception, but I think it would be fine to ask that guests please refrain from posting any pictures taken til after the reception (I would assume they have some sort of reason for this though).  Of course you couldn't control whether people actually followed the request or not.

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I can kind of imagine not wanting to look out at your guests and see a bunch of phones instead of faces (during the ceremony). Overall, I think it kind of depends on how strictly it’s enforced. If their expectation is reasonable, understanding that they likely will see a few pics online but the overall quantity will be lower, that’s fine. If they plan on policing their request, that’s obnoxious. 

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1 hour ago, Quill said:

So, if you’re not familiar, this would be, you attend a wedding and there is a sign or a notice in the program for guests to not use their phones/not take pictures (I’m not sure if this would include a guest with a regular camera or not), not posting/texting/sharing digitally the wedding for the duration of the wedding and/or reception. 

The first moment I heard of this, it kind of did appeal - after all, that was the case when I got married! Nobody did selfies or snaps or FB check-ins 25 years ago. 

But, having been to weddings recently with young people, I have started thinking it’s a bit dictatorial and an anachronism. Young people communicate with their peers heavily through digital sharing. It’s just what they do. It actually does start to seem a bit selfish to dictate that nobody can use their phones in the way they are accustomed to and expected to. Many or most young people don’t even own a regular camera and aren’t that likely to even bring a real camera to a wedding; they would expect to use their phones. 

PS, this is hypothetical in my current life, but I did just see pictures from a wedding and that was the first picture - a sign announcing the wedding is “unplugged” and requesting guests turn off and put away all phones and devices for the duration. 

PSS, obviously this assumes the person is using their phone discretely and not usurping the actual wedding photographer or being obtrusive, which, I have not seen anyone using a phone obtrusively at any wedding. Of course it would be rude to jump out in the aisle for a Snap while the bride is entering; I dont mean that type of abuse. 

How were these photos taken - the ones you saw? Official photographer or something? Seems completely ironic that there was a photo "leaked" of a sign saying no phones. 😉

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My SIL had my husband make an announcement about this but it didn't take. Not only did people take photos and play on their phones constantly but half the guests missed the cutting of the cake for a giant family photo. Her reasons were that it was rude and that it would ruin the photographer's photos.

I went to a wedding where the photographer wouldn't allow phones and when guests didn't oblige he left and the couple had no professional photos.

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I would think they know their crowd. Some groups are phones out all the time. And usually those phones are not about filming the wedding- which I wouldn't like so much- I mean, just watch without a phone.

Sometimes the phones out all the time are about the people using the phone. A look at me! Posting the best selfie while shouting out the wedding. I could see that grating on a bride, even a fairly calm one.

So I guess I don't care. Weddings have lots of rules, venues have rules, registries are super specific, this is just another one.

 

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Without any announcements being made, every wedding I’ve been to in the past few years has had the following etiquette at a wedding: no photos during the ceremony, and no ‘official’ photos posted during the reception, though casual photos are fine. For instance, at the last wedding we sat near the back and saw no photos being taken by guests during the ceremony, At the reception we saw some photos taken of cake cutting, first dance, etc., but only pics we saw on social media that night were casual ones like couples at their table or even a pic of the bride and groom w individual couples.  I think people just know not to post things like  a father/daughter dance because that’s the bride’s story to tell. 
 

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58 minutes ago, happysmileylady said:

Is there perhaps someone that they don't want to see the wedding before they can tell them?  Like perhaps an ex spouse who might show up and throw a fit?

 

I don't use facebook or that sort of stuff, so that's not a problem for me.  But, I would struggle with not using the phone AT ALL for the WHOLE THING.  At my cousin's wedding, there were a total of 5 kids all together.  And 3 of them were mine.  And cocktail hour is SO SO BORING for 7, 9, and 11yr olds lol.  DH gave the kids his phone to watch some netflix with.  

But, I will also say that there was pretty much no one hanging out on their phones through most of it.  I can't recall seeing anyone hanging out and scrolling facebook or playing candy crush or anything like that.  There was one single older teen who was very clearly going through withdrawls as his phone died.  He plugged it in a wall socket in a corner of the reception but he was seated farther away so he kept running back to check it.  That was kind of funny lol.  But that was really the only thing I noticed.  Otherwise, everyone seemed to be pretty engaged in the wedding.  

I can see that being a sensible instance, but the contexts I have seen it so far is sort of more Luddite - down with tech! Let’s be old-fashioned! Kind of like that. 

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28 minutes ago, wintermom said:

How were these photos taken - the ones you saw? Official photographer or something? Seems completely ironic that there was a photo "leaked" of a sign saying no phones. 😉

I know, I thought about that irony, too. It appears to me the photos I saw were marketing type photos for the venue, which were shared by a friend; perhaps the friend is considering that venue for a future wedding. But my friend specifically mentioned liking that sign, so it may be a request I have to navigate in the future. (FWIW, I like my real camera and don’t take many phone pictures at weddings anyway, but I am unclear as to how someone making this request would feel about actual cameras. ) 

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1 minute ago, Quill said:

I can see that being a sensible instance, but the contexts I have seen it so far is sort of more Luddite - down with tech! Let’s be old-fashioned! Kind of like that. 

 

It’s kind of funny, though, because before there were cell phones, people used to bring film cameras so they could take pictures. 

Maybe these couples are too young to remember that, though, and think their parents’ generation lived just like the folks from Little House on the Prairie... 😉

 

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4 minutes ago, Quill said:

I know, I thought about that irony, too. It appears to me the photos I saw were marketing type photos for the venue, which were shared by a friend; perhaps the friend is considering that venue for a future wedding. But my friend specifically mentioned liking that sign, so it may be a request I have to navigate in the future. (FWIW, I like my real camera and don’t take many phone pictures at weddings anyway, but I am unclear as to how someone making this request would feel about actual cameras. ) 

I hate our "real" camera. It's so big and bulky. It makes me feel pressured that if I lugg it around I should be able to produce great photos - which I can't! 😏

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Huh. I haven't heard of that. It doesn't feel dictatorial to me for the ceremony. You have your personal photographer, you want to capture it yourselves. And it's also sort of distracting. I mean, I think of being at the wedding ceremony, regardless of religion or lack thereof, as like being at church. Or maybe like being at the theater. Don't pull out your phone.

I can also understand asking people not to share, though then it starts to feel a little dictatorial. I guess I'm always good with someone asking not to have their own image shared. But not sharing anything at all about the wedding? Like, I can't post on my personal social media something like, "Going to a wedding of dear friends! So wonderful to see people in love!" or something similarly basic? Like, mmkay. What if my plane gets delayed and I want to gripe? Can I gripe about my own travel stuff even though it's to their wedding?

And then no phones at the reception at all? No. Now you're crossing a line. What if my kids are little and I need to check in with the sitter? What if someone has a job where they need to be available for emergencies? Or really anything at all... receptions can be many hours long! It's rude to sit there on your phone the whole time live tweeting the wedding, but I don't want to spend the whole day unable to communicate necessarily. And nowadays weddings can be destination and go on for ages. Like, what if you're at the hotel with all the guests? No phones for the whole time? That's nonsense. It's also just weird. I mean, part of being at a wedding is often seeing friends and family other than the couple. Sometimes you want to take a photo with them - something the bride and groom won't care a bit about. I mean, they don't care that you're close with cousin from another state. They care about their relationship with you. You might not get a photo otherwise.

ETA: I think I'd be good with something like, "We'd like to keep phones and tech to a minimum. No phones out at the wedding ceremony. Please don't share pictures of our wedding on your social media. We just want everyone to be present and together in the moment!" 

Edited by Farrar
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3 minutes ago, Catwoman said:

 

It’s kind of funny, though, because before there were cell phones, people used to bring film cameras so they could take pictures. 

Maybe these couples are too young to remember that, though, and think their parents’ generation lived just like the folks from Little House on the Prairie... 😉

 

Not only that but I remember when a popular wedding token was to have a disposable camera (remember those??) in the middle of the table and an invitation from the couple to take pictures with the camera so the couple could have varied perspectives on their wedding reception! 

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3 minutes ago, Quill said:

Not only that but I remember when a popular wedding token was to have a disposable camera (remember those??) in the middle of the table and an invitation from the couple to take pictures with the camera so the couple could have varied perspectives on their wedding reception! 

We did that.

And at my step-sister's wedding, which was the last real wedding I attended, they had a central place for guests to upload and share pictures. Maybe it was just an IG album or something? Or with a tag? It was a few years ago now, but I remember it was fun to see all the photos.

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We went to one recently that asked no pictures taken until they were husband and wife. The sign comes off as dictatorial no matter what, I think, but the no pics until married seemed fine.

I think limiting phones during the reception is just too much nowadays. For better or worse sometimes you just have to live in the culture we are living in. I say no pics for the wedding is fine but the reception is a party. And honestly if someone misses the cake cutting that is their problem. LOL. The bride should be able to deal with someone not being focused on her every minute. By the time we get to cake cutting surely everyone should be relaxing and having a good time and using their phones if they choose.

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Using phones to text calls versus taking photos/videos/SM about the event with phones are two separate things to me. I think it's insanely distracting when people use their phones to record/photograph every little thing at an event. It's narcissistic and rude tbh- snapping a bunch of selfies or whatnot at someone else's wedding. So I would be totally on board with it. We have gone to enough events for children and teens where the organizers have had to repeatedly request parents to PUT DOWN YOUR PHONE and enjoy the moment, because those same parents who have to record every little moment tend to ruin it for everyone else and those of us who would prefer to view it with our own eyes and not through a screen with a filter. 

The biggest problem I see is that most people seem to think they're being discreet with their phone usage/selfie taking when they are not being even remotely discreet. Not to mention perhaps you have a limited guest list, and you don't want to hurt the people you couldn't invite by them finding out by other's SM posts. It's quite crass to assume that it's okay for people to discuss/publicize the events of others. People need boundaries on this type of thing. 

I come down firmly on the side of "if you can't stop yourself from snapping pics and abiding by the couple's wishes, then don't go". Same as with weddings where people request "no children in attendance please," yet someone will always find an excuse of why THEIR child is the one that should be allowed as the exception as they are bf-ing, they don't have a babysitter, or whatever. At the end of the day, anyone on the invite end is a guest. If you can't abide by your host's wishes and insist on doing it your way, that puts it past the line of rudeness into passive aggressively trying to control someone else's event with your behavior simply because you don't agree with their policy whatever it may be- no photos/videos, no kids, no alcohol. It's all about respecting the preferences of the host.

Again- my opinion is strictly on the photo/video end of phone usage. Saying someone can't have access to their phone at all at a wedding event is different. Say where they would collect devices ahead of time or something- then that is a boundary crosser. I mean, and if that's the case, then don't go. But a host simply saying "we have paid for this event, we are inviting you to share it with us, please abide by our rules and no photos or videos" is a different story. I mean, some people/corporations make you sign a non-disclosure to attend things, so this is hardly a new concept. To me preventing someone from even discussing an event is a step further than pictures because it limits speech- still legally binding though- and people/places have been doing that for as long as I've been an adult. 

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My oldest dd is a professional photographer.

It is NOT uncommon for the photography contract with bride and groom to give exclusive rights-- meaning no others are allowed to photograph or record the event.

Lets say Sally and Tom are getting married and use Z-photography with the above contract.  Aunt Betty sneaks a non-flattering picture and posts on Facebook.  Everyone at wedding knew that Z-photography was taking pictures so they assume Z-photography took the non-flattering picture.  Z-photography can loose potential business.

The above scenario DOES happen!

Usually the 'unplugged' wedding's bride and groom are getting a much better price with the professional photographer with the 'exclusive' contract...

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6 minutes ago, Jann in TX said:

My oldest dd is a professional photographer.

It is NOT uncommon for the photography contract with bride and groom to give exclusive rights-- meaning no others are allowed to photograph or record the event.

Lets say Sally and Tom are getting married and use Z-photography with the above contract.  Aunt Betty sneaks a non-flattering picture and posts on Facebook.  Everyone at wedding knew that Z-photography was taking pictures so they assume Z-photography took the non-flattering picture.  Z-photography can loose potential business.

The above scenario DOES happen!

Usually the 'unplugged' wedding's bride and groom are getting a much better price with the professional photographer with the 'exclusive' contract...

 

That’s interesting. I can honestly tell you that I have never paid attention to the name of the photographer at any event I have ever attended, unless that person was already a personal acquaintance, so it would never occur to me that the terrible photograph that Aunt Betty posted on Facebook was taken by anyone other than Aunt Betty.

I don’t think the exclusive contract is enforceable, because the guests at the wedding didn’t sign the contract. And if a photographer stopped taking photos and walked out of a wedding simply because Aunt Betty and a few other guests were taking some personal photos, I think that would reflect far more poorly on that photographer than that unflattering photo on Aunt Betty’s Facebook ever possibly could. It would also be a truly rotten thing to do to a bride and groom!

Let’s face it, if a photographer walked out in the middle of a wedding ceremony or reception, you can bet that the bride, groom, and all of their family would be bad-mouthing that photographer, not only online, but also to anyone and everyone they met who asked them about their wedding for a very long time to come. 

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10 minutes ago, Jann in TX said:

My oldest dd is a professional photographer.

It is NOT uncommon for the photography contract with bride and groom to give exclusive rights-- meaning no others are allowed to photograph or record the event.

Lets say Sally and Tom are getting married and use Z-photography with the above contract.  Aunt Betty sneaks a non-flattering picture and posts on Facebook.  Everyone at wedding knew that Z-photography was taking pictures so they assume Z-photography took the non-flattering picture.  Z-photography can loose potential business.

The above scenario DOES happen!

Usually the 'unplugged' wedding's bride and groom are getting a much better price with the professional photographer with the 'exclusive' contract...

I understand this, but isn’t it pretty obvious when a photo is done by a pro vs. Joe Blow with his iPhone? I don’t think I’ve ever confused this.  Also, don’t most pro photographers watermark their pictures, at least when displayed on SM? 

I would be reluctant to hire a photographer for an event if this is their stipulation. No photographer can be everywhere, capturing every special moment. I can see exclusivity for the ceremony, maybe, but it seems control freakish if it includes the reception too. 

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Not sharing images during the wedding seems okay.  Not taking pictures at all if that's in the contract with the photographer makes some sense too, I guess.   Although it's such a rare occasion that my family is all together and dressed up nicely that if we attend a wedding or any other event, I usually like to get some pictures of us together.   I know other people take candid shots of family they haven't seen in a long time.  Are those types of pictures okay (meaning not pictures of the ceremony or "official" reception activities?)?

Being unplugged during the entire wedding seems over the top.  I can just think of too many situations where people may need to be reached.  Children home alone, parents who may have health issues, important work, etc.   I realize that we used to all be mostly out of reach in these situations but I think a venue getting calls and having to find people would be more disrupting than someone getting a quiet text or phone call. 

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They probably don't want people on their phones during the entire event, and I say more power to them. I know that many here love to make fun of Luddites and people who think all tech all the time is not good, but there are some of us around. Why is it insane to expect people to pay attention during a fifteen minute ceremony and then have fun at a party without being on their phones? Maybe think think if people need to be reached, they can step out if they get phone calls or something? Somehow, we made it through these events without cell phones, though, and the constant connection to those who weren't at the event.

All of the picture taking with phones from every single person is very distracting. Now, instead of a sea of smiling faces, you see a sea of phones. 

Edited by kdsuomi
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I think this is pretty much an imperative these days at weddings, for several reasons. An important less-obvious reason is that if folks have their phones out and are taking pictures, the professional photos end up looking terrible. You can't get nice candid photos of people or of the event if a bunch of smart phones are up in the air pointing everywhere and/or folks are looking at their screens. Truly. 

My brother did this for his wedding a few years ago, and the big group and candid photos were amazing. They'd have been ruined if even a few folks had screens up . . .

I find that rationale easier to accept as not dictatorial but rather simply just trying to make the event nice (I.e., have nice photo memories for which they are often paying a big bundle) for the main participants. 

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2 minutes ago, Where's Toto? said:

Not sharing images during the wedding seems okay.  Not taking pictures at all if that's in the contract with the photographer makes some sense too, I guess.   Although it's such a rare occasion that my family is all together and dressed up nicely that if we attend a wedding or any other event, I usually like to get some pictures of us together.   I know other people take candid shots of family they haven't seen in a long time.  Are those types of pictures okay (meaning not pictures of the ceremony or "official" reception activities?)?

Being unplugged during the entire wedding seems over the top.  I can just think of too many situations where people may need to be reached.  Children home alone, parents who may have health issues, important work, etc.   I realize that we used to all be mostly out of reach in these situations but I think a venue getting calls and having to find people would be more disrupting than someone getting a quiet text or phone call. 

 

I was just thinking — what if the photographer flakes out and never gives the photos to the bride and groom, or what if he or she has technical difficulties and the files are lost? If the guests took photos at the wedding, at least the bride and groom would still be able to get photos and/or videos of their special day.

I wouldn’t sign an exclusive contract like that. 

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3 minutes ago, StephanieZ said:

I think this is pretty much an imperative these days at weddings, for several reasons. An important less-obvious reason is that if folks have their phones out and are taking pictures, the professional photos end up looking terrible. You can't get nice candid photos of people or of the event if a bunch of smart phones are up in the air pointing everywhere and/or folks are looking at their screens. Truly. 

My brother did this for his wedding a few years ago, and the big group and candid photos were amazing. They'd have been ruined if even a few folks had screens up . . .

I find that rationale easier to accept as not dictatorial but rather simply just trying to make the event nice (I.e., have nice photo memories for which they are often paying a big bundle) for the main participants. 

I haven’t experienced this problem. Maybe it varies by crowd or region. 

There have definitely been certain instances in my life where I thought, “good grief, people! Can’t you appreciate the moment without a phone?” The starkest moment like this was when I was at The Louvre in the Mona Lisa room. That was....excessive. It seemed like there wasn’t a single person just looking at the painting with their own eyes; it seemed like *everybody* was taking phone pictures or selfies with Mona Lisa. So I’m not saying I have never seen a weird instance. 

But in weddings, so far, I haven’t seen phone abuse, even at the most recent young wedding with a lot of Millennial and iGen attendees. During the ceremony, if there was phone use, I didn’t notice it (maybe that was because I took some pictures with my real camera!), but during the reception, there was definitely a lot of phone use, including selfies with the bride, groom or other members of the wedding party. I didn’t think it robbed the experience of anything. I thought it was the normal way young people experience events. 

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1 hour ago, Farrar said:

Huh. I haven't heard of that. It doesn't feel dictatorial to me for the ceremony. You have your personal photographer, you want to capture it yourselves. And it's also sort of distracting. I mean, I think of being at the wedding ceremony, regardless of religion or lack thereof, as like being at church. Or maybe like being at the theater. Don't pull out your phone.

I can also understand asking people not to share, though then it starts to feel a little dictatorial. I guess I'm always good with someone asking not to have their own image shared. But not sharing anything at all about the wedding? Like, I can't post on my personal social media something like, "Going to a wedding of dear friends! So wonderful to see people in love!" or something similarly basic? Like, mmkay. What if my plane gets delayed and I want to gripe? Can I gripe about my own travel stuff even though it's to their wedding?

And then no phones at the reception at all? No. Now you're crossing a line. What if my kids are little and I need to check in with the sitter? What if someone has a job where they need to be available for emergencies? Or really anything at all... receptions can be many hours long! It's rude to sit there on your phone the whole time live tweeting the wedding, but I don't want to spend the whole day unable to communicate necessarily. And nowadays weddings can be destination and go on for ages. Like, what if you're at the hotel with all the guests? No phones for the whole time? That's nonsense. It's also just weird. I mean, part of being at a wedding is often seeing friends and family other than the couple. Sometimes you want to take a photo with them - something the bride and groom won't care a bit about. I mean, they don't care that you're close with cousin from another state. They care about their relationship with you. You might not get a photo otherwise.

ETA: I think I'd be good with something like, "We'd like to keep phones and tech to a minimum. No phones out at the wedding ceremony. Please don't share pictures of our wedding on your social media. We just want everyone to be present and together in the moment!" 

I'd assume that even at an "unplugged" wedding, being available by phone for emergencies, checking in with sitters or sick family members, and things of that sort somewhere where it's not distracting would be totally fine.   Likewise I'd assume that it would be for the main public wedding event only, not for the entire duration of a hotel stay, etc.

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I think it sounds lovely.  Who wants to have the first images of their wedding be from some coworker on Instagram? Idk. Maybe lots do, but I think many would rather not. Who wants to be trying to enjoy and be in the moment when someone next to them starts going camera crazy? Not me.  I think there’s a presumption that young people don’t ever want privacy and discretion and that’s not true ime. The people who crave those things still exist same as always. And same as always the louder and less private tend to shunt them to the side to do what they want.  I think it’s okay for a major event for the couple to make a request to honor their privacy and discretion at their wedding. Do whatever before and after.  And the fact that we all know some people just can’t handle that level of respect is why I had a very small wedding and likely why some of my kids will too should they ever get married. And then everyone will be disgruntled that they weren’t invited - to which we just don’t care.

All anyone ever thinks is how cute their phone shot is, they don’t see who all they are blocking out around them or that they ruined an excellent shot someone else was trying to take. 

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2 minutes ago, J-rap said:

I'd assume that even at an "unplugged" wedding, being available by phone for emergencies, checking in with sitters or sick family members, and things of that sort somewhere where it's not distracting would be totally fine.   Likewise I'd assume that it would be for the main public wedding event only, not for the entire duration of a hotel stay, etc.

From the way Quill described it, I really wasn't sure. It sounded like it was meant for the whole thing. People were mentioning the cake cutting and so forth above.

It does sound like some people have seen it really run amok at some weddings. I guess know your crowd.

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1 minute ago, Farrar said:

From the way Quill described it, I really wasn't sure. It sounded like it was meant for the whole thing. People were mentioning the cake cutting and so forth above.

It does sound like some people have seen it really run amok at some weddings. I guess know your crowd.

Yeah, I could actually see my dd doing something like this.  And it wouldn't be about a photographer's rules or anything like that, but more about trying to keep things minimal, mostly tech-free, environmentally-friendly, etc.   And I'm sure most of her friends and her siblings would be pretty onboard with that too.   At the same time, I know it would be only an urging, and that she'd be totally understanding of people needing their phones for common sense stuff.

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I always thought the requests were because of stuff like this. I know you're saying it doesn't happen at weddings you attend, Quill, but I am friends with a couple wedding photographers and it frustrates them to no end.

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IME, this request originates with professional photographers. One we hired for a recent event said she (and her clients) were really tired of seeing proofs of photos taken from the back of the church full of people holding up their cell phones above the heads of others. It really makes for a cluttered image. 

I am 100% in favor of honoring an unplugged wedding ceremony request and actually a bit sad that people don’t respect the solemnity of a wedding service enough that they have to be told that it’s not a paparazzi moment. 

FWIW the folks requesting unplugged ceremonies often provide a hashtag and encourage lots of casual picture sharing for other wedding related events. 

Edited by Seasider too
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49 minutes ago, Quill said:

 

But in weddings, so far, I haven’t seen phone abuse, even at the most recent young wedding with a lot of Millennial and iGen attendees. During the ceremony, if there was phone use, I didn’t notice it (maybe that was because I took some pictures with my real camera!), but during the reception, there was definitely a lot of phone use, including selfies with the bride, groom or other members of the wedding party. I didn’t think it robbed the experience of anything. I thought it was the normal way young people experience events. 

 

The last few weddings I have been to it was the older generations who couldn't seem to control their phone use. 

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19 minutes ago, EmseB said:

I always thought the requests were because of stuff like this. I know you're saying it doesn't happen at weddings you attend, Quill, but I am friends with a couple wedding photographers and it frustrates them to no end.


This. It’s gotten ridiculous awful. And it’s not just weddings. It’s baptisms. It’s FHC. It’s funerals. It’s broadway shows (yeah lady at Les Mis!)  It’s all the damn time and it is not just older people who are getting very fed up and angry about it. 

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If I’m a guest at someone’s wedding/ house/reception etc, I abide by their rules. The last wedding we attended did ask for no pictures during the service, except by the professional photographer. I didn’t notice any sign at the reception.

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I didn’t read replies so as not to affect my response, but I TOTALLY support an unplugged wedding. 
 

just the annoyance to the real photographer alone  is enough  (when 25 people are crowding him while he does his job, it’s impossible to get a group shot with everyone looking in the same direction!)

Too often I see a couple get married and Facebook/insta EXPLODES with these crappy snapshots of their wedding venue and of the couple themselves. Photos of the bride with a glistening forehead or making a strained face or the groom adjusting his jacket or whatever.

Those are the first photos that make it out into the world.  And they’re awful - but ppl post because THEY WERE THERE! without respect as to whether it’s a flattering photo of the bride or not .

by the time the couple gets photos back from the photographer, no one is really interested or it seems redundant to post them anywhere because so many crappy photos have already been sent out into the world. 

Couple might have had a small wedding, or they might have lots of far-away relatives who couldn’t make it. Or whatever. I think letting them release the first photos of THEIR big, important, expensive, special day is the polite, respectful thing to do. 

Edited by easypeasy
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29 minutes ago, EmseB said:

I always thought the requests were because of stuff like this. I know you're saying it doesn't happen at weddings you attend, Quill, but I am friends with a couple wedding photographers and it frustrates them to no end.

Some of these would be fine with some cropping but they also seem like they were deliberately focused on the people with phones.   I do think no phones during the wedding ceremony is reasonable.  And telling people to stay in their seats.  

12 minutes ago, frogger said:

 

The last few weddings I have been to it was the older generations who couldn't seem to control their phone use. 

This has been my experience as well.  

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7 minutes ago, May said:

If I’m a guest at someone’s wedding/ house/reception etc, I abide by their rules. The last wedding we attended did ask for no pictures during the service, except by the professional photographer. I didn’t notice any sign at the reception.

I would definitely abide by any requests to this effect made at any wedding I attend. I want to discuss it philosophically before this is something I would personally be involved in. 

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32 minutes ago, EmseB said:

I always thought the requests were because of stuff like this. I know you're saying it doesn't happen at weddings you attend, Quill, but I am friends with a couple wedding photographers and it frustrates them to no end.

 Ok, a few of those images are ghastly, but also, these photos are set up specifically to make a particular point. Surely the paid professional can get the best vantage point and not have so much interference from phones and cameras. The main difference between now and 25 years ago is that 25 years ago, few people had a camera that could even take a good photo from a distance or indoors. You had to have high ISO film and a zoom lens. Even then, results were iffy. 

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44 minutes ago, frogger said:

 

The last few weddings I have been to it was the older generations who couldn't seem to control their phone use. 

 

This is my experience as well. Grandparents at performances are the worst! I recently went to a friend’s daughter’s theater production, I paid for that seat. The person in front of me lifted her phone for what I thought would be a quick snapshot, totally blocking my view of the stage. Once I realized that she intended to film the whole show, I tapped on her shoulder to ask her to lower her device. And I was treated like the rude one. 🙄

Edited by Seasider too
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5 minutes ago, Quill said:

 Ok, a few of those images are ghastly, but also, these photos are set up specifically to make a particular point. Surely the paid professional can get the best vantage point and not have so much interference from phones and cameras. The main difference between now and 25 years ago is that 25 years ago, few people had a camera that could even take a good photo from a distance or indoors. You had to have high ISO film and a zoom lens. Even then, results were iffy. 

 

With all due respect, Quill, this reasoning appears to be an attempt to justify rudeness. 

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As a digital immigrant (someone who was born before the digital age and remembers a time without devices), I think it's not all bad to ask not to have an event dominated by everyone whipping their phones out and taking pictures.

The other side of this is more important and potentially more serious. There could be people who want to be guests at the wedding but whose lives could be made miserable if their picture appeared online. Some people go to some length to avoid having a photo online because as we all know once it's there you'd have to move heaven and earth to get it off if it's possible at all.
This includes people in certain kinds of jobs or people who have stalkers / unstable exes, etc. in their history and don't want to risk being found. Those who absolutely cannot go for a few hours without checking FB, Instagram, etc., can go outside or a designated area, however, I wonder if most people would be bunched up in those "designated" areas which would be a sad testimony to the times. 

A previous poster mentioned keeping kids entertained with phones which is handy, I can see it and may have done it myself if technology had been available back then. On the other hand, I feel generations of children have found ways to entertain themselves prior to the cell phone era and even having to live through a few boring hours has not hurt us. I have obviously mixed feelings about the need to be constantly entertained digitally and have stimulating input without any "down time" to just think or observe. But this would be a whole different conversation.

 

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2 hours ago, Quill said:

Not only that but I remember when a popular wedding token was to have a disposable camera (remember those??) in the middle of the table and an invitation from the couple to take pictures with the camera so the couple could have varied perspectives on their wedding reception! 

 

But those did not end up online. I guess I have an issue with attending an event and figuring that any moment, any time someone will not only take a pic but could post it anywhere.

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Just now, Liz CA said:

 

But those did not end up online. I guess I have an issue with attending an event and figuring that any moment, any time someone will not only take a pic but could post it anywhere.

 

They were (ime) left at the reception and the bride & groom handled the processing and owned the photos. 

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19 minutes ago, Seasider too said:

 

They were (ime) left at the reception and the bride & groom handled the processing and owned the photos. 

 

Yes.  That’s an important factor - the pictures were sorted, edited and shared based on the hosts of the venue, the wedding couple.  You have to think that for every camera with 12-20 shots, *maybe* one was worth keeping to the couple. 

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I haven't read all of the responses. I have lots of thoughts.

My first reaction is "good for them." I worry about the fact that people are increasingly looking at life through a camera/phone lens and not really experiencing the occasion. There's really no point to taking so many pictures that all that a person remembers of an event is that they spent their time taking pictures. So many selfies, insta, etc. shots are just simply of moments staged for the camera, not true candid pictures of events as they unfold, and they have taken on a "disposable" quality that has carried over to the events themselves.

When I got married in the early 90's, it was common for photographers to have exclusive rights to photograph an event. The purpose of that was so that they could make money - they made a lot of their money off of photo sales after the event. For example, each one of our bridesmaids and groomsmen received a photo of the wedding party in their thank you notes - that was 12 pictures.  Then add family members and that was an additional nine pictures for immediate family alone. Now, photographers sell the digital images. So, for this reason, a "no photographs" policy may be in place.

There may be someone in the wedding party or at the event that shouldn't be photographed without their consent for safety reasons. This used to not be as big of a problem as it is now, but with the internet, even showing up in the background of a photo can be dangerous to people who need their whereabouts to be confidential. In addition, foster parents  aren't allowed to consent to photos of the foster children - they don't have that authority. Can you imagine going to a wedding and trying to keep a child out of a photo when 100+ people are walking around with cameras?

Perhaps the most old fashioned reason that I have is that I simply think announcements about major life events need to be in the control of the family involved. Births, weddings & deaths should all be announced by the people closest to the situation before they become part of the general discourse of a wider network of friends, co-workers & acquaintances.  Not all people are courteous about this, so it is just easier to set the expectation that people are expected to keep their mouths/cameras shut. There is a difference between posting a picture with a caption "Enjoying getting together with my college roommate a a dear friend's wedding" and using the caption of "Enjoying getting together with my college roommate at Susan & Bob's wedding." It seems with social media, those subtleties are often not taken into consideration.

ETA: Signs like this should be posted at funerals, too. A photo of my father's flag draped casket showed up on social media, posted by a younger family member without regard to the fact that my father was in that casket. It really bothered me - just don't do that without permission. That family member also had my mother pose with the folded flag & that showed up on social media as well. These are moments that are embedded in our memories anyway - no photo is needed. Yes, I know military honors at a funeral  is "cool" and that the national cemetery is "beautiful" - but that wasn't the appropriate day or time to acknowledge either one of those facts.

Edited by TechWife
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43 minutes ago, Quill said:

 Ok, a few of those images are ghastly, but also, these photos are set up specifically to make a particular point. Surely the paid professional can get the best vantage point and not have so much interference from phones and cameras. The main difference between now and 25 years ago is that 25 years ago, few people had a camera that could even take a good photo from a distance or indoors. You had to have high ISO film and a zoom lens. Even then, results were iffy. 


One, that adds considerable work for the photographer and even so 

Two, I’m here to say that none of those photos looked staged for making a point to me because I have seen real life events where it looked like that.  I have seen people motion at the paid photographer to get out of their way so they can take a phone shot, or actually step in front of the photographer.  I’ve seen people try to take over a photo shoot telling people where to look and how to pose bc they want a particular shot themselves.  I’ve seen people stand up at Les Mis to take photos or record video during the performance and then get pissy when those around them say to sit down and turn it off.

Three, people are the guests of the host event. People have forgotten how to be guests. The first rule is to not be an inconvenience or general PITA.  It doesn’t matter if it is easily edited out or if they get a better picture, don’t be the jerk that needs editing out and the couple paid a lot of money to who they wanted pics from, so let their money be earned. 
 

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9 minutes ago, TechWife said:

I haven't read all of the responses. I have lots of thoughts.

My first reaction is "good for them." I worry about the fact that people are increasingly looking at life through a camera/phone lens and not really experiencing the occasion. There's really no point to taking so many pictures that all that a person remembers of an event is that they spent their time taking pictures. So many selfies, insta, etc. shots are just simply of moments staged for the camera, not true candid pictures of events as they unfold, and they have taken on a "disposable" quality that has carried over to the events themselves.

When I got married in the early 90's, it was common for photographers to have exclusive rights to photograph an event. The purpose of that was so that they could make money - they made a lot of their money off of photo sales after the event. For example, each one of our bridesmaids and groomsmen received a photo of the wedding party in their thank you notes - that was 12 pictures.  Then add family members and that was an additional nine pictures for immediate family alone. Now, photographers sell the digital images. So, for this reason, a "no photographs" policy may be in place.

There may be someone in the wedding party or at the event that shouldn't be photographed without their consent for safety reasons. This used to not be as big of a problem as it is now, but with the internet, even showing up in the background of a photo can be dangerous to people who need their whereabouts to be confidential. In addition, foster parents  aren't allowed to consent to photos of the foster children - they don't have that authority. Can you imagine going to a wedding and trying to keep a child out of a photo when 100+ people are walking around with cameras?

Perhaps the most old fashioned reason that I have is that I simply think announcements about major life events need to be in the control of the family involved. Births, weddings & deaths should all be announced by the people closest to the situation before they become part of the general discourse of a wider network of friends, co-workers & acquaintances.  Not all people are courteous about this, so it is just easier to set the expectation that people are expected to keep their mouths/cameras shut. There is a difference between posting a picture with a caption "Enjoying getting together with my college roommate a a dear friend's wedding" and using the caption of "Enjoying getting together with my college roommate at Susan & Bob's wedding." It seems with social media, those subtleties are often not taken into consideration.

ETA: Signs like this should be posted at funerals, too. A photo of my father's flag draped casket showed up on social media, posted by a younger family member without regard to the fact that my father was in that casket. It really bothered me - just don't do that without permission. That family member also had my mother pose with the folded flag & that showed up on social media as well. These are moments that are embedded in our memories anyway - no photo is needed. Yes, I know military honors at a funeral  is "cool" and that the national cemetery is "beautiful" - but that wasn't the appropriate day or time to acknowledge either one of those facts.


I’m just going to outright say I think funeral photos are tacky and rude and disrespectful as all heck.  These are people who are deeply grieving in private moments of pain. Go to hell with the cameras or respect the dead and the living tyvm.  Unless it is the spouse, an only living child, or parent of the dead requesting the photos - then just don’t.  I can’t fathom wanting to do it, but if a widow or only child or parent does - I can respect their grieving opinion. Everyone else though? No. They don’t get a vote.

We had a huge fight over that with a sister when our dad died.  Bottom line is I know beyond a fact he would not have wanted it and we all remembered how furious he was about it when our mom died.  I’ve never met anyone who wanted their last picture to be of their dead body.

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