A room full of wedding guests toting smartphones and tablets can be a good thing and a bad thing.
Tech-savvy attendees typically take lots of fun pictures and videos, but they can also wind up spoiling special moments.
The problems can start even before the walk down the aisle. Wedding party members have been known to post shots online that can make the ceremony seem anticlimactic.
Megan Bill of Malta, who married her husband, John, in July of 2013, said she definitely did not want her wedding day grand entrance to be made online.
“My little cousin was in the wedding and she was taking pictures when we were getting ready and the only thing I said was, ‘Don’t put any up of me in my dress before the ceremony,’ ” she recalled.
“Bridesmaids won’t even think about it and they’ll take a picture of their best friend who just got into her wedding dress and they’ll post it on Facebook,” said wedding planner Shannon Whitney of Wedding Planning Plus in Delmar. “If that groom is kind of surfing through before the ceremony, he may actually see a photo of his soon-to-be-bride in her dress before he actually physically sees her.”
Once the ceremony is in progress, guests jockeying to get shots with their smart phones or tablets can sometimes interfere.
“It’s classic that a photographer will be in the aisle ready to capture that kiss and then someone in the first couple rows leans out into the aisle to take a picture of it and now they’ve just essentially ruined the image the photographer has one second to capture,” Whitney said.
She recalled a wedding she worked on where many of the guests brought along tablets.
“It was kind of crazy to see all of these really large iPads way up in the air when it’s a very solemn and beautiful ceremony and then you have like 25 iPads sticking up above guests’ heads. It’s pretty distracting,” she said.
Whitney said some couples are asking that their wedding guests attend “unplugged.” The request might come in a blurb on their wedding website or in their invitation.
“Other couples are posting little signs at their ceremony and their reception letting people know that they don’t need to take pictures, that there is a photographer and a videographer who are there to do that professionally, so they can just relax and be a guest,” she said.
But sometimes photo-snapping guests can save the day, said wedding photographer Terry Casillo of Niskayuna.
He recalled a wedding staffed by a fellow professional photographer whose equipment malfunctioned. None of the wedding pictures he took came out, so the photographer asked guests to send him any pictures they had taken at the wedding so he could make up an album for the couple at no charge.
Even if there’s no glitch with the photographer’s equipment, many couples are using guests’ tablet and phone shots to beef up their wedding albums. Photo-sharing apps are widely used. u