It’s a new day and age and you only need to attend a wedding to confirm it. Not too long ago, every single guest’s face would be locked onto all the major moments of the day, whether it be the walk down the aisle, the first dance, etc. Now, it’s often hard to spot one face without a phone right in front of it.
It’s understandable. After all, the guests are only trying to respect and immortalize the moment in their own way. However, that doesn’t change the fact that a sea of “phone faces” doesn’t look too good in wedding videos or photos, not to mention the fact that it’s not a sight you’ll want to see on your big day. So, read on for some tips from longtime NJ wedding videographers on getting guests to put those phones away.
Put up signs & remind.
First of all, when it comes to getting guests to put, and keep, their phones away, repetition is key. It’s just become second-nature for most people to put their phones up and start framing up a moment when it seems important, so you need to counter that instinct. You can start by including something in your invitations.
It doesn’t have to be anything too in-depth, just a heads-up that you hired professional videographers and/or photographers to capture your big day and that you’d appreciate if guests could refrain from taking pictures. Let them know that you’d rather they enjoy the experience and that you’ll be sharing your images too, so they don’t need to worry about getting their own.
Again, though, it’s all about repetition, so don’t think that an early heads-up is enough. From there, you may want include a reminder about it in your ceremony programs or even have some fun signs made up letting guests know to try to keep their phones in their pockets, especially during the pivotal moments.
Remember, people learn in different ways. Some understand things visually while others need to hear it and so on, which is why it’s such a good idea to always actually mention your preferences and expectations regarding phone usage at your wedding. Again, it doesn’t have to be anything too involved, just a quick reminder and thank you.
You could do it at the rehearsal dinner or on the day-of, or you could always pass the responsibility onto someone else. Whether the message is delivered by you, your partner, the best man, ceremony officiant, DJ, or band leader, the point is to get it out there so that all can hear.
Think about it, the programs and signs are one thing, but if the guests aren’t looking at them at that very moment, then they may forget. Delivering the reminder vocally, however, guarantees that all in earshot get the message.
Designate a phone watcher.
Okay, so a big part of wanting to get guests to put their phones away is ensuring that they’re actually present in the moment and enjoying the experience. So, this tip may not work for you, but if you feel like one of your close allies is up to the task of enforcing your phone “rules” while still being able to enjoy him or herself, then go for it.
Having a designated phone watcher, preferably one who knows most of your other guests, is a great way to continue reminding guests throughout your celebration while not actually having to do it yourselves. Remember, it’s instinctual now to take that phone out at important moments, so this is just another way to counter that instinct.
Just try to keep in mind that the person you assign this task to should be able to deliver the message in a kind and gentle manner. The last thing you want is someone going around making demands to guests who are simply trying to capture the moment.
As longtime NJ wedding videographers, we’ve seen our share of ruined moments, and memories.
The bottom line is that a wedding day is all about the couple, not the guests. Yes, every pair of newlyweds-to-be wants their celebration to be as special and unforgettable as possible, but in the end, it’s your big day, not theirs. So, if you don’t want to see a sea of “phone faces” at your wedding, we hope these tips help to keep that from happening and, worse comes to worst, you could always go completely unplugged.
For more on that, check out this post, Should Your Big Day Be Unplugged for the Sake of Your Wedding Photos?
About Us: Live Picture Studios is composed of a team of highly skilled NY & NJ wedding videographers and photographers who’ve been creating stunning wedding photos and videos for years. At LPS, we always create to inspire and you can check out our photo gallery and video gallery to see some examples.