Photographer’s Rant About ‘Unplugged’ Weddings Blowing Up

A photographer’s now viral Facebook rant may make you consider having an unplugged wedding.

On Thursday, November 5, Thomas Stewart Photography posted complaints about those wedding guests we’ve all seen (or have perhaps been ourselves) who perpetually snap away on their cell phones, taking obtrusive photos of the bride and groom.

In their defence, practically every young professional wedding these days comes complete with a hashtag, an open invitation to post away to social media channels.

That’s why Stewart doesn’t necessarily cast blame on the camera-happy guests shown in the pictures that accompany his post. He does, however, highlight the benefits of having an unplugged, cell phone-free wedding that allows only the photographers to take photos – just like the old-fashioned days.

With over 102,000 “likes,” the post has been met with mixed reactions on social media. Here’s what he wrote:

Right, I’ve had enough. I want to talk to you all about guests using mobile phones / cameras at weddings. I want to plead with you, and I’m going to make this very simple: brides and grooms, please have a completely unplugged wedding ceremony. Look at this photo. This groom had to lean out past the aisle just to see his bride approaching. Why? Because guests with their phones were in the aisle and in his way.

This sucks. And I’m not blaming these guests in particular; I actually take a large amount of responsibility for this occurring. In the past I should have been more specific with my clients in explaining to them why guests should be told no photos. Well, from now on, I’m going to make a pretty big deal about it.


Photo: Thomas Stewart Photography


And that he did.

The post goes on offer tips for both wedding guests and the bride and groom, cautioning the soon-to-be newlyweds to consider the fact that tablets, phones, and other cameras in the hands of guests can hinder the photographer from doing their job, ruining many photos in the process.


Thomas Stewart/Facebook


The photo-snapping guests will not only get into the photographer’s way, but also in the way of the bride and groom on their special day (case-in-point: the leaning groom in the photo). Not to mention, when looking out to the crowd, the bride and groom would probably rather see the smiling faces of their loved ones rather than a bunch of phones.

At the end of the day, the photos (like the ones taken by your great aunt or 8-year-old niece) probably aren’t the best quality to begin with. Not to mention, when phones are involved, there’s always the possibility that someone will forget to turn theirs off (the worst).

While many social media users –especially the engaged set – can see the logic behind Thomas’ rant, there are (naturally) others who have a different viewpoint, calling his opinions outdated. Wedding hashtags offer the newlyweds many more pictures to document their wedding – and ones captured from different perspectives that the wedding photographers are able to snap. Not to mention, they can be uploaded to social media channels instantaneously, as opposed to having to wait for the official shots to be ready (and any newlywed will tell you that wait seems like forever).

The best solution, in my opinion, is to have everyone completely unplug for the wedding, but to snap away at the reception, although perhaps not during the speeches. But hey, that’s just me.