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Wedding Ceremony Etiquette - Will You All Please Sit Down

With the rise of the smart phone technology, there has been a decrease in manners at wedding ceremonies, as now 50% of wedding guests are taking photographs. Professional wedding photographers used to only have to dodge two or three people, now it is just about everyone. Now ten people go for the same nice shot that the photographer is trying to take. Not to mention that you are at someones wedding, please sit down, and show some respect.

Please sit down

Let us start with the obvious, ladies, gentleman and children, please sit down.

I have been to hundreds of weddings, with outdoor ceremonies the seats are always empty, except the first row, which is usually direct family. Outdoor ceremonies have become very popular as there has been a decrease in religious weddings.

Everyone stands in a mob behind the seating taking photographs, some of the others sit in the aisle seat leaning out to take a photograph, pretending they are trying to courteous to the photographer and other guests.

Wedding Photographers Cost Money

Your hosts have hired a professional photographer as an investment into fantastic professional wedding images, their whole investment in photography is likely to cost $10,000 USD and some couples spend even more than that. Just think next time when you are getting that great shot at a wedding, the photographer is probably right behind you, thinking, "please get out of the way or the moment will be gone". Some moments only last a moment and happen only once.

The Main Dilemma

Photographers understand that guests are trying to be creative, it just isn't the place for it, the professional photographer is responsible for capturing these moments. You can imagine that when 50 people try to take photographs at the same time, this is no exaggeration, with there arms out at varying lengths depending on eyesight, it makes it more of a challenge.

I would expect guests to take images as the Bride walks down the aisle, get a nice kiss shot, get a posed shot of the couple with the certificate and some family group shots; constantly at every moment is just annoying and just a little disrespectful.

How many of those shots will be deleted, that day, to make room on limited space in the camera?

How many of the shots you have taking will get used?

These days photographers do share images on Facebook and other social media, it is easy to show the shots of your friends or relatives wedding on you own social media site if you wish. You will even be doing the professional photographer a favour if you like the wedding photographs on their Facebook page.


- Take some key shots only (down the aisle, the kiss, holding certificate, family images).

- Sit down on one of the seats provided and watch the magical moment of someones wedding.

- Use images from the photographers social media site.

One of these solution would be preferable, than having a disclaimer in the contract that the couple signs that says they are responsible for guest behaviour with cameras and to let their guests know before their wedding. This doesn't solve the problem with guests getting in the way of the professional photographer, at least the photographer can't be held responsible for the action of guests causing bad photographs.

A bit of give and take is necessary from both sides to solve the problem. After all everyone wants the happy couple to get the excellent wedding images that they have paid for. All you need to do is sit down, it takes no effort at all.