The bride & groom invited you to attend their wedding… not photograph it.
They invited you to witness their exchange of vows… their first kiss as a married couple… their official debut as husband & wife. They couldn’t invite everyone, but they chose you to share that special day with them. That seat your sitting in? It cost money. The food you’re eating? Probably pretty pricey. They even paid for a professional photographer to capture all the moments so nothing would be missed. Oh, and that delicious cake… there’s a piece with your name on it!
So why on earth are you spending the entire time taking pictures?
When I attend weddings, I typically ask myself one question: What’s the end result of this photograph?
Do I plan to scrapbook it? Frame it? Put it on Instagram?
I dare say that very few are planning on making a full wedding day scrapbook for the bride & groom. And if they are… why? That’s why the bride & groom have chosen & met with a wedding photographer. Most are just taking pictures for the sake of taking pictures. They plan on uploading them to Facebook afterwards (or worse… during the wedding). Trust me, Facebookland doesn’t need 62 snapshots from so&so’s wedding.
Yet wedding after wedding, I see multiple people zooming around with their cameras. Capturing the bride walking down the aisle, the vows, the lighting of the unity candle, the first kiss, the couple walking back down the aisle, the first dance, the father/daughter dance, the cake cutting… do I need to go on?
It’s quite amazing how many people have their phones or cameras up, taking a picture as the bride walks down the aisle. To me, it’s kind of rude. You’ve been invited to attend a wedding, to witness a marriage. The couple wants you to be there to celebrate with them… not to be a back-up wedding photographer.
In fact, most of my brides still choose not to see their groom before walking down the aisle… because they consider the moment that special. So if that moment is so special to her, why are you taking a picture instead of joyfully smiling with her?
I will never forget walking down the aisle on my wedding day. There were no cell phone cameras pointed towards me. Only smiling faces of friends & family. I’ve never smiled so big in my life. I was so excited & felt so blessed that these loved ones had come to my wedding. They were there for me & Josh! I looked at their faces as I passed by, all full of emotions, and it was wonderful! Every bride should feel that special.
Is it wrong to take a picture at a wedding? Of course not. But please consider the bride & groom. Enjoy their day with them. Celebrate their marriage. Trust me, they will appreciate it!
I wrote this article over a year ago for my personal blog, but thought it I’d repost it here. I’d like to add one more thing, from a photographers perspective. It’s my job to get all the best pictures of a couple’s wedding day. When everyone is holding up a cell phone while the bride is walking down the aisle/first kiss/etc, it is so painful to see in pictures. I find myself zooming in on the bride’s face to avoid getting a picture with guests looking a bit ridiculous (cell phones displayed proudly). So even if you’re looking directly at the bride & not through the viewfinder, it’s still distracting & looks tacky. I’d love to share some pictures (I have many!), but I feel that’s rude. After all, the bride & groom invited those guests because they love them & I wouldn’t want to embarrass them. In the end, it’s my job to work around these things– that’s why the bride has me there! But for the sake of the couple— just put yourself in their shoes.