On the surface, weddings appear to be all confetti, new outfits, champagne, smiles and laughter; but really, it’s a minefield under it all.
Taking pictures at weddings can be dangerous! One wrong selfie hashtag and you’ve ruined your mate’s big day and definitely ruled yourself out from Best Man duties at another wedding.
I’ve entered the ‘Wedding Era‘ of my life, where every second friend is getting hitched and I’m left with the challenge of rotating my suits – attempting to make it appear like I’ve just bought them.
In my time as a wedding guest, I’ve heard (and witnessed) some real horror stories – the kind of stuff that will (and does) give you nightmares.
From the miss-use of the disposable camera on the dinner table (too x-rated to mention) to posting a pic of the bride’s dress before she could post it (Facetune and process through 16 different filters) herself – there’s so much that can go wrong.
So stick with me and read on for my guide to wedding photography etiquette.
The wedding party really do have a duty to communicate their expectations and rules to their wedding guests.
Key things they (and you) should keep in mind:
- Can I take pictures?
- Can I post them on social?
- Should I post with a hashtag?
- How long do I have to wait?
My mate’s sister had her fiancee address the church service before she entered to say that there was a total social media ban on the wedding day. Phones away peeps, this girl has a magazine exclusive… or so she’d like you to think.
During the service
Chances are you’re going to get emotional. Well, if it’s any good you will.
Don’t ruin the moment by flashing your camera in the faces of the other guests.
Flash off and sound off. If in doubt, stick in on airplane mode and turn off your wifi. The sound of a Tinder notification totally kills the romance.
When to post
Don’t post until you know you can.
One major rule is to not post a picture of the wedding party (especially if there’s a bride involved) until they have posted one themselves.
Guys are – generally – far more relaxed but don’t give your mate a dodgy start to their marriage by posting a crap picture of them.
Remember that when posting pictures, you’re only ever looking at yourself – especially when deciding on angles and what filter to use. This isn’t your day. Pick the Instagram filter that flatters the wedding party. It’s an investment in the long run!
Top tip: If unsure, go black and white. Totally flattering on everyone.
Pose it up
Chances are, you’re looking pretty hot and you want the world (/virtual mates) to see it.
Keep it classy and remember to not post anything that you wouldn’t want someone else to post on your own wedding day.
Also, be careful who you’re posing with. The Vicar is a busy man, he does’t need you grabbing him for, “just a quick selfie, I loved the ceremony”, does he?
The Professional Photographer
If you’re anything like me, the sight of a professional photographer means one thing and one thing only: new profile pic!
Don’t hound the photographer for your next big Instagram hit. They’re there to capture the big day and not there for you.
After the event, give it a couple of weeks before asking the bride or groom to see the official pictures.
If it’s your wedding, make sure you send a link out to your guests to see the pictures. Drop a bit of cash on it and actually pay for them. Nothing says cheap skate more than a ‘Not for redistribution’ watermark across the official pictures.
Wedding Photo Booth
Perhaps the greatest invention of all time: The wedding photo booth.
Super-fun and self contained, guests can go wild with props in the privacy of a cordoned off booth.
Word of warning: although you get a print out of the snap, a digital copy of all (ALL!) the pictures goes to the wedding party. Play it safe, peeps.
Shout-out to my sister Erin who nailed the photo booth vibe at her wedding recently. I loved it (as you can see from my pictures).
One of the best ideas out there is to have an official hashtag for the day. This allows you – as a guest – to post your pictures and see all the other pictures from the event.
For the wedding party, it’s also a lovely way to aggregate all the snaps from the day.
There’s no point in supplying disposable cameras when everyone is carrying a camera around with them anyway.
Pick something unique and that others aren’t using i.e. #RobinsBigDay2016.
With all that said, remember to relax. It’s a happy occasion and you’ve been invited to celebrate with the newlyweds. Enjoy yourself and don’t get too caught up in nailing the perfect selfie.