Plugged vs. Unplugged: Should You Allow Smart Phones At Your Wedding?

Should you allow your guests to use their phones and tablets at your wedding? Discover the pros and cons with the professionals from Wolf Photography, so that you make all the right decisions!

  • Photography and videography
  • Advice
  • Speeches

Technological advances are undoubtedly changing the way that we live our lives. Nowadays, everything that we could ever need to know is available at our fingertips and we often rely on our smart phones to answer our questions, tell us which direction to walk in and even to find us a partner! But with these developments come a whole host of issues, such as becoming addicted to sharing everything that we do with our ‘friends’ online. For couples that are getting married, this can be a cause for concern and has led to them having to make an important decision about their big day: should phones and tablets be welcomed or discouraged at their wedding?

Photo: Wolf Photography

Although smart phones are fantastic for capturing those special behind-the-scene moments, it’s vital to consider how these devices could affect your wedding day and to make your decision accordingly. Will they end up distracting the guests? Will they affect your professional photographs? To help you decide if and at which point personal devices should be allowed at your wedding, we have teamed up with Rianna from Wolf Photography to talk you through the issues that they can cause and how to resolve them. As a professional wedding photographer, Rianna has all of the necessary experience and expertise to make sure you make informed decisions about your special day, from getting ready, to the ceremony, to the reception. Let’s get started!

The Getting Ready Process

FACT #1: “Your photographer will want to capture those candid moments between you and your loved ones when you are slipping into that wedding gown and popping that champagne. Phones can get in the way if they are constantly being held by those people surrounding you, and that will mean that there won’t be as many professional photos of those people as well.”

SOLUTION: “Have a pre-wedding chat with your wedding party. Maybe selfies and cell phone snaps are allowed, but not during those specific times that you know you want photographed professionally by your photographer – i.e. getting into your wedding apparel, the first look with your parent, or sharing a glass of bubbly (or whisky) with your girls and guys. Be sure to make it known if you do not wish for photos to be shared on social media, to avoid your partner seeing you for the first time online instead of in-person.”

Photo: Wolf Photography

Your Wedding Ceremony

This is the point where your photographer is often feeling the pressure, as they have to capture all those once-in-a-lifetime, super important moments that you two will have, and all from very limited vantage points.

FACT #2:Your guests will hold up their devices to get that perfect pic of you during your ceremony, and sometimes (usually that uncle Bob) will even jump into the aisle in front of us.  If you ask any photographer they could tell you horror stories of missed shots, but MOST of the time it does not stop us from getting the photo we need. Something to consider is that if anyone is within our frame of you holding up a phone or tablet, it will be in the photo… but maybe this doesn’t bother you!”

SOLUTION: “Request that your officiant ask your guests to refrain from taking their own photos. They will be used to announcing this, and most of the time will already know what to say. A nice way to put it is just simply, “as you can see the couple has hired professional photographer(s) so that you can just sit back and enjoy; so please refrain from holding up any personal devices, or from stepping out into the aisle during the ceremony.””

Other recommendations: “An alternative is to allow your guests to take photos so long as they don’t hold them above their heads or out in the aisle. If you are having your ceremony informally recorded, make sure that it is not a parent or grandparent filming so that they (and all their teary heart-felt moments) can be photographed.”

Photo: Wolf Photography

The Reception

The team at Wolf Photography are big believers in the plugged-in wedding reception! This is the time where you really get to unwind and socialize with your guests, so make the most of it.

FACT #3: “This is the part of your day when your photographer(s) can’t be all places at all times.”

SOLUTION: “Encourage your guests to snap and post away with a custom wedding hashtag that can be announced by your DJ, or displayed around the room in a beautiful frame or on a cute chalkboard.”

Other recommendations: “Disposable cameras on tables ensure you get to see the photographs taken by your non-techy guests. Hiring a photo booth also encourages guests of all ages to get silly for some memorable keepsake photos.” Rianna told us that the only times it should be phones down during your reception are during the speeches, and maybe even during the first dance.

Photo: Wolf Photography

FACT #4: “We have shot a lot of weddings where we couldn’t get a good picture of the wedding party at the head table because their heads were in their phones… all night.”

SOLUTION: “It’s as easy as sending a quick message to them pre-ceremony outlining when you’d prefer phones not be used, as it’s important for you to see their beautiful faces.”

Photo: Wolf Photography

Whatever you decide, we’re sure that your guests will understand and respect your decisions. They love you and are there to make sure that you have the best day of your life, so don’t be too shy to make your wishes clear. Don’t forget that this is your day and you only get one shot to make it perfect, so do it your way and do it by hiring an experienced professional photographer such as Rianna and her husband Adam, founders of Wolf Photography, who are based just outside of Toronto. Take a look at this gallery to see more of their stunning work!


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