Is there a polite way of asking guests not to take photos during the ceremony?

Apart from the fact that our hired photographer has requested that others refrain from taking photos so that he is able to shoot our wedding without people getting in the way, my fiance and I both have a pet hate of guests doing just this. We have attended weddings where three quarters of the guests closest to the aisle are holding up cameras during the bride’s entrance, and one where an uncle was recording the entire ceremony on his mobilephone. We are happy to provide guests with copies of photos, but what would be the best way to ask? Preferably we’d ask guests to leave their cameras at home altogether, but I understand they might wish to take photos of themselves at the reception (which is to follow immediately after at the same location). Word of mouth? Enclosure card? Or should our officiant just remind guests at the start of the ceremony (whilst asking to switch off mobile phones?)

President, Coordinators’ Corner

Many churches do not allow flash photography at all during the ceremony, but I would ask the clergy to make that announcement at the beginning.

Etiquette Now

I agree. And, I don’t believe that it would be wrong to include an enclosure requesting that no photos be taken during the ceremony. For example: “It is the couple’s sincere wish that photos not be taken during the ceremony. We appreciate your observance (perhaps different word here) in their wishes.”

Wedding Queen

Agreed, but wanted to mnetion that it could still happen, so just be prepared for that and don’t let it spoil your day.

Ohio Wedding Planner

There is nothing that will ruin a ceremony faster than half of the guests standing in the aisle snapping away. Not to mention, how much it will interfere with your professional photographers photos. I would definitely have your pastor/priest/officiant make an announcement at the very beginning that says that there is no photography allowed during the ceremony OR he can say that the bride & groom have requested that everyone please stay seated and that there be no photos taken during the ceremony. Either way, you can get your message across at the very beginning of the ceremony, so everyone there will know.

I would also make sure to spread the word through your family and friends so that they know how important it is to you that everyone sit, and pay attention to this important moment, as opposed to having their cameras and phones out taking shots.
Good luck!

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