Smartphones are amazing for many things, but there are a number of occasions when pulling out your smartphone from your bag is a rude move which can leave those around you feeling annoyed. Weddings are one occasion. Although many of us use our phones to capture moments for the bride and groom, sometimes we end up frustrating our hosts, ruining special moments or irritating others.
Unless the bride and groom specifically ask their guests to turn their wedding into a social media event by encouraging them to post photos and use a hashtag related to their wedding, then you should steer clear of your phone for most of the day.
The following are five important rules to keep in mind so that you can be the ideal wedding guest.
Silent mode – Even if the bride and groom want you to take out your smartphone, you should still keep your gadget on silent mode. This is especially important during the ceremony because you don’t want your ringtone to distract everyone while the bride is walking down the aisle or during the vows. Keeping your phone on silent mode is the best way to guarantee you won’t ruin a special moment for the couple.
When the photographer is near, don’t take photos – So many photographers have openly criticized wedding guests for taking photos with their phones, especially when the bride is walking down the aisle. It may be okay to snap away when the photographer is nowhere in sight, to capture moments the couple is missing, but when the photographer is near, allow him or her to capture the moment. Having smartphones captured in official wedding photos is not an image of treasured moments.
Don’t post photos on social media – Unless the bride and groom encourage you to do so, refrain from uploading wedding photos on social media. Some couples like their privacy and would find it annoying if their wedding day was shared all over social media through low-quality photos that don’t reflect their vision of the day. Moreover, you could create conflict between the couple and those they decided not to invite.
Don’t reveal special moments – Similar to the former point, be wary of sharing certain moments of the day, especially the most significant moments, such as the first dance, a speech or a surprise. Some couples may want to keep certain parts of their wedding private.
Don’t spend the night with your head down – Remember that this is a social gathering, so find the ones whose company you enjoy and spend this time catching up and having a laugh. Browsing through social media and other apps can wait, and if you happen to receive a call while you are sitting down at the table, remember to excuse yourself and take the call away from those around you.
Even if you are attending a wedding begrudgingly, remember that this is a special day for the couple and their families, so take the time to be respectful with these modern-day etiquette.
Bio: A book hoarder, you can find Sarah Schembri in a library somewhere, with her head buried in books, writing, reading and figuring out domestic life over on Instagram.