Wedding are definitely special occasions. Obviously, they’re special for the bride, groom and their wedding party, but it’s also a celebratory occasion for all guests.

With the invention of high quality cameras on our smart phones, it’s easy for wedding guests to whip out their phone and take a picture to capture special moments during the ceremony and reception. Many guests think this is no big deal. Why wouldn’t you use your phone to take pictures at a wedding?

Hannah Stanley, a wedding photographer, shared a picture and a message on Facebook to explain exactly why she believes wedding guests should keep their phones put away during the wedding ceremony. She’s not referring to guests talking on their phones. She’s referring to guests who use their phones to take pictures.

In the picture Stanley shared, the bride is about to walk down the aisle with her father. It’s a beautiful moment and a beautiful shot except for one thing: a guest with an iPhone is holding her phone in front of Stanley’s camera blocking this perfect shot. 

Stanley wrote the following:

“Not only did you ruin my shot, but you took this moment away from the groom, father of the bride, and the bride. What exactly do you plan on doing with that photo? Honestly. Are you going to print it out? Save it? Look at it everyday? No. You’re not. But my bride would have printed this photo, looked at it often and reminisced over this moment as her dad walked her down the aisle on her wedding day. But instead, you wanted to take a photo with your phone, blocking my view, and taking a photo that you will not use.”

Some people (including other wedding photographers) have commented on Stanley’s post saying that she’s not a very good photographer if she didn’t capture this moment despite the iPhone photographer. 

One comment reads, “Seriously? You’re mad that people were taking pictures during a wedding? Pretending like the bride will forever wallow in sorrow because you didn’t get this ONE shot…? Give me a break. Ask the person to move her phone, and get another shot…”

Another wedding photographer wrote, “Sometimes it’s not fixable by moving, because if you shift to get out of the way of one camera phone, there is another one on the other side. But I’m ok with people taking quick photos. The issue is the people filming them coming down the aisle so the phone is out there the whole time.”

Other comments agree with Stanley that guests who take pictures during a wedding are being rude and inconsiderate. “A lot of you are missing the point, which is: guests should respect the couple and keep their phones in their pockets. Yes, there’s photoshop to fix this issue. Yes, there are ways to get a better angle without the phone. Yes of course, this is NOT the only shot the photographer captured. She’s making the very simple point that this kind of etiquette is not kosher during a wedding ceremony. ESPECIALLY if it’s an unplugged gathering. Be a proper adult with manners and resist the urge, it’s truly not that difficult of a request or to understand.”

A phone blocking the perfect shot isn’t the only reason Stanley believes guests should put their phones away. 

“Guests, please stop viewing weddings you attend through a screen but instead turn OFF your phone, and enjoy the ceremony. You are important to the bride and groom, you would not be attending the wedding otherwise. So please, let me do my job, and you just sit back, relax and enjoy this once in a lifetime moment.”

She makes a good point. There is a time and a place to put away your phone and enjoy the moment. A wedding where there is already a professional photographer capturing the moment might be that time and place.

Have you taken pictures during a wedding ceremony with your smart phone? Do you think Stanley is right to ask guests not to take pictures with their phones?