Guests playing photographers at Bloemfontein weddings and how they can ruin your precious memories

How to get your guests to put away their phones

So an unplugged wedding seems like a good idea but how do I tell my guests without being rude?

Ask your guests – via invitations or “day-of” programs

Have a request printed on your invitation or programs. This request can read something like:

“Please truly be with us on our special day by putting away your iPhone, iPad and other photographic devices. No one wants to only be a spectator from behind a view finder. ”

“We ask you to kindly turn off your ringers during the wedding ceremony and refrain from taking photos. We have professional photographers on hand to capture all the special moments and are excited to share their photos with you.”

The official can make an announcement

Before the ceremony starts the official can ask the guest to put away their cellphones and enjoy the ceremony. It may also be a good idea to ask them to put away their cellphones during important reception moments as well. Generally the DJ has a rather casual way of doing this.

“Please switch of your cellphone, put away your camera and stay in your seat as we share this special journey with _________ and ______ as they get ready to start their life together. Time will be set aside so you can also take a photo of the couple but we ask you to please stay in your seat as the professional photographer will make sure to capture all the important details. “

Put up a sign

You can even put up a sign at the door or on a table. Most people will be curious and take a look. Those with a camera will definitely go see so that they can take a photo. Make sure to ask exactly what you want.  If you want guests to also refrain from sharing images you can do so. Remember – it’s your wedding.

Make time for guest to take photos

I find that if the guests know that there will be a time for them to take a photo they would be more likely to keep to the rules. Discuss this with your photographer. I am sure they will also be delighted if you put 10 minutes aside for guests to just take photos and the pro photographer will then have the opportunity to capture perfect photos the rest of the day.

If you are a having a completely unplugged wedding

Have your Photographer do a sneak peak

We all know photographers take a while to go through the photos and edit them to make sure you get the highest quality photos.  However, most photographers don’t mind just editing 5-10 photos the day after and posting a preview.

You can then tell everyone at the wedding where the photos will be posted and they probably won’t be as hesitant to put away their cameras.

More and more couples are opting for an unplugged wedding. Here are a few reasons why you should do the same.

4 Reasons why you should have an unplugged wedding in Bloemfontein

1. The First Look

Have you ever seen that priceless look on a groom’s face the first time he sees the bride walking down the isle?  These days the first photo of a bride in her wedding dress is often posted on Facebook before she even walks down the isle. Yes, sometimes people don’t think things through. A bridesmaid posting a photo on Facebook on the way to church is not a good idea.

2.  No one is looking at you.

Think of when you’re taking a photo with your cell phone or camera. How much are you taking in of the rest of your surrounding? How much of your attention is with the camera? Do you really want your guest to experience your wedding through a view finder? That is exactly what is happening at so many weddings these days. People are smiling but looking at their little best friend instead of at the happy couple.


Photo by Nora & Troy at, used with permission

3. Missing that perfect moment

So you know those cellphone photos just don’t print well. The bride and groom are paying for the services of a professional photographer for a reason. I really don’t mind guests taking photos and posting on social media. The difficulty arises when they ruin my photo by trying to capture a moment themselves (only for their photo to be deleted or lost in years to come). Guests can sometimes make a photographer’s job very difficult and impact the quality of service delivered. Save your photographer from the stress of having to fight for an opportunity to photograph you.


I was planning to get a stunning photo of this couple walking out of the church hand-in-hand. The guests were in the way and this is the shot that I got. Sadly, the couple had no confetti throwing and this was my only opportunity for capturing this perfect moment.


There is really nothing one can do about an image ruined by the over powering flash of another person’s camera.

4. Wandering eyes

Have you ever seen those group photos where no one seems to be looking in the same direction? The reason is probably that they are all looking at a different camera. In the end there is no one perfect photo, only many photos with people all looking in different directions.


Before becoming a professional photographer, even I had been guilty of being that annoying family member with a camera, eager to capture a moment. I know some guests playing photographer aren’t even aware how much damage they are causing to the final result, so I hope this article serves to enlighten

Have an unplugged wedding and let your guests enjoy themselves – as guests. Leave the photography to the service providers.