Once upon a time, there was a beautiful bride named Katie with a handsome groom named Nathan. And both of them were quite smart.
How were they smart? Before their wedding ceremony began, they had a friend head to the front of the church and make this announcement.
Katie and Nathan are honored that you are here today to witness their marriage. They ask me to remind you that this will be done in a sacred liturgy. Stephanie, could you and your assistant please raise your hands?
(We raise our hands)
Folks, those are the photographers hired by Katie and Nathan. And Katie and Nathan want you to know, that they will share the photographs they get from their professional photographer with you, so everyone will have the opportunity to get them.
Because of this and the fact we are in sacred space, Katie and Nathan ask that there be no picture taking or video during the wedding. Please put away cameras and cell phones, and enjoy the ceremony.
And so, there were no shots of iPhones or iPads held aloft to block a photographer or mar an image.
That day was nearly two years ago but I was reminded by it when I read a post in Reddit from Nicole Apuzzo of Evermore Imaging. She provided pictures from one of her weddings that was not "unplugged," that is, no one requested the guests to sit and be in the moment, instead of trying to capture it digitally.
I asked her if she would allow me to use them in this blog post - she was happy to allow that, hoping that if even one couple could avoid this from happening, it would make a difference:
Oh . . . dear. Photoshop ain't gonna fix that.
I know your relatives and friends are well-meaning and have the best of intentions when they do something like this. But maybe you will be better off - as well as the images you paid a photographer to take - if some of that enthusiasm is curbed.
Don't rely on a sign. If you have wedding programs, place a small reminder that videos and photography are not allowed, nor is live Facebooking. And have someone remind guests just before the ceremony starts.
Pull the plug!