Ban Cell Phones & Personal Cameras or Let the Amateur Photographers Run Free?

Welcome to the Weekly Wednesday Survey!  Every Wednesday the Wedding Confessionals Crew tackles one wedding related hot topic and reveal all of our different takes on the subject.  Get ready, y’all.  This group’s got some STRONG OPINIONS!

Picture by Nora & Troy Photography

Everyone has a cell phone these days, but not everyone is a great photographer.  Should brides and grooms politely tell people to put them away or take a chance someone may get the perfect shot?

Paul: While I’m irritated by the amateurs, I feel like banning them is going to be way more of a headache.  Plus, I have to admit, I’m very thankful for intrepid videographers who got my wedding ceremony on their iPhones.  So rather than banning, empower a few well-placed friends to trip anyone who is becoming overwhelmingly annoying with their need to run up to the front to get a (no-doubt inferior) picture.  Also, while phones are allowed, anyone who attempts to snap a picture on their iPad should be immediately ejected by the bouncer.  Everyone has a bouncer at their wedding, right?

Erika: You can’t ban cell phones at a wedding any more than you can ban terrible dancing or a slutty cousin hitting on the waitstaff. Cell phones are ubiquitous and here to stay, Skynet has won. So I say lean into it and not only allow it but ask people to send you all their blurry, badly posed pics. Maybe you’ll get 5 or 10 winners among all the photos of the dance floor because damn it if uncle Joe still doesn’t know how to use his iPhone.

Brooke: Instructing people to put their phones away during a ceremony is cool with me for one major reason – the wedding photographer!  And I don’t mean that as a slight to the photo quality of your phone.  My point is when the wedding photographer is getting that big, wide shot of the bride entering the ceremony and walking down the aisle, having a sea of phones in the picture kinda ruins the vibe.  The pics you want forever are of an aunt crying while watching the bride glide by, not cousin Lou taking one last selfie before the vows begin.

And now for a little story regarding cell phones at weddings:

Because at heart I’m a nerd and rule follower, I read wedding programs like they are homework assignments.  So when I went to an adorable backyard wedding over the summer, I noticed at the bottom of the program a note to have phones off and put away during the ceremony.  Um, I was the ONLY ONE who read that message because when “Here Comes The Bride” started jamming over the speakers, every damn iPhone was up and snapping pics.  I wasn’t close enough with the bride to find out if she was pissed when walking down the aisle to a sea of technology in her face.  But I was internally screaming for her!  So the lesson I learned that day is that if you don’t want cell phones out and about at your wedding, make sure someone makes an announcement before the ceremony begins.  Loved ones are too distracted, overwhelmed and/or drunk to read written instructions…except for me.  I got an A+ at that wedding.  No, really.  The mariachi band picked me to dance with them, which is basically the equivalent of being made valedictorian of wedding guests.


Pam: I really can see this one from both sides. I personally didn’t get a professional photographer, and went with as many candids as I could get my hands on and ended up with some great shots. (Full disclosure there were many guests of ours who know their way around a camera.) BUT I totally understand if you don’t want to see the backs of everyone’s hands and 20 iphones up in the air as you make your way down the aisle! Do what works for you, but make sure it’s clear which way you roll.

Lauren:  Although I think its a bit dramatic to confiscate phones during a ceremony I do understand.  No one needs the flash of your camera and your dumb ass in candid photos because you trying to get your wedding selfie game on point. But as a guests you might not have the access the photos from the lovely couple and you want memories of your own.  So if there is a “no cell phone policy” at some point the bride will be drunk enough she to have forgotten all about it.  Then you can snap away and hopefully she won’t burn you to the ground!

Jen: I’m not much of a phone person. On the other hand, my husband is like a 12 year old girl when it comes to his phone. He thinks it is his duty to video every ceremony we attend. He prides himself on this, especially lately when it seems rare that a couple chips in for a professional videographer. Do I think it’s tacky? A bit. But he keeps it classy and I gotta tell you, I’ve yet to see a couple that wasn’t elated to get that footage. Bottom line: Keep it classy or keep it in your pants.  Actually, let that last line serve as a genera life lesson. 😉


Have a wedding story you want to tell? There are three easy ways to contact us. And don’t worry, we’ll change the names and places to protect the innocent…and annoyed.
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