You will never be able to get beautiful pictures such as these, if your guests are all blocking your photographer’s view. Photo: Claire & Tammy’s real wedding, Her World Brides September – November 2014.

The invention of technology is meant to improve our lives. And it has, to a large degree. But is it getting too much for us? Australian photographer Thomas Stewart, who shoots mainly weddings, seems to think so. He’s not wrong though. In his impassioned plea/rant on Facebook, he begs future brides and grooms to have unplugged wedding ceremonies, citing his reasons.

Here are ours:

1. You won’t be able to get great photos
Thomas pointed out quite rightly that guests with phones, iPads, or other photo-taking devices, in their excitement to capture the couple’s first moments as newly-weds, are blocking the real wedding photographer from doing his or her job. The result? Horribly taken photos, with flashes, or phones and other cameras blocking the way. 

2. Nobody’s listening
If they aren’t busy taking photos of you two, the flowers, or whatever it is that’s got their attention, they’re trying to edit those same photos, and upload them on Instagram or Facebook. When it comes to what’s important – the two of you reciting your vows – only you, your husband, your priest or Justice of the Peace, and parents – are paying attention. I guess that’s all that matters, but isn’t it a shame that some of your loved ones, who’re there to “celebrate” with you, aren’t emotionally present?

3. There goes your first look
If you’re not having a first look before the ceremony, and are looking forward to seeing your husband for the first time while walking down the aisle, you can forget it, if you’ve got rude guests standing on the aisle to snap the first few photos of you (see Thomas’ second point). There goes your magical moment. On the upside, you’ll get to “mingle” with your guests before the actual reception. Gotta see the positives in every situation.

4.  A waste of money
You’ve paid your wedding photographer to get great photos of your big day. There’s simply no point in hiring him or her if your guests think they’re going to do the job for you anyway. 

What you can do:

– Ban the camera phones! Guests can use their handphones but inform them politely at the event, or even in your invite, that they’re not allowed to take any pictures or film any video clip with the handphone Give them the reasons why and I am sure they will understand.

– Have an unplugged wedding ceremony, then invite guests to turn the cameras on, only during the reception. 

– Alternatively, have a semi-unplugged ceremony, by having the emcee, or a trusted friend, announce appropriate times for photo-taking opportunities.  

– Arrange with the photographer to set aside some time during the event for guests to use their camera phones. Then leave it to him to announce to the guests when they can take their own pictures or video clips. This will relive you of the hassle and at the same time let him capture great wedding pictures without having mobile phones in the way!

See Thomas’ rant in full, below.


Right, I’ve had enough. I want to talk to you all about guests using mobile phones / cameras at weddings. I want to…

Posted by Thomas Stewart Photography on Thursday, 5 November 2015