Q: You don’t want photos from your wedding day posted on social media. How do you tell your guests that you’ll be restricting their phone use?
A: The no-cellphone policy is becoming more common at weddings (and all social events). Some couples don’t want pictures of their ceremony all over the internet because they feel it’s an invasion of their privacy and/or they want to control the images that go public. Other couples don’t want cameras in their faces all night, and some choose to unplug because they pay photographers lots of money to shoot professional-quality photos.
A sign stating that this is an unplugged ceremony could read different ways: “Please let our professional photographers be the ceremony paparazzi.” “Live the moment with us; unplug and let’s create memories together.” “We want to see your faces. Not your devices. Please respect our unplugged ceremony.”
You can enlist the help of others, too, such as the ushers or officiant. They can say, “The couple request that you are truly present today, and want you to enjoy every moment without your phones.” And you can put a brief statement in the ceremony program explaining that you are requesting a no-photo ceremony.
AKILAH SITI EASTER, lifestyle and etiquette expert
A: There is no need to come off as a killjoy. These are your friends and relatives, after all, and they are attending the wedding to support you. Phrase your no-phone preference in the form of a favor to enhance the experience for you and, likely, for them.
Include a note in your wedding invitations or on your wedding website (or both) that says, “Often we get distracted by technology. Therefore, we invite you to be fully present with us during our wedding day and humbly ask that you refrain from posting ceremony and reception pictures on social media. Thank you for supporting our new union!”
Also, be clear about what parameters apply. While guests should respect your wish not to post pictures of you or the ceremony, are you comfortable with them posting pictures of themselves, say, having fun at the reception? Many people are simply excited to be at the wedding and want to share that. And don’t forget the ones who are looking to show off their new outfits.
Just remember to honor your own preferences, and no matter what, don’t let anyone or anything steal your joy on such a special day.
BRIDGETTE BARTLETT ROYALL,