Dear Wendy
Dear Wendy

Poll: Would You Attend a Cell Phone-Free Wedding?

1206558994350927690taber_No_Cell_Phones_Allowed.svg.hiThis article in the Times over the weekend made me think of this column from last week where the bride-to-be was annoyed that friends were sharing photos on Facebook of the save-the-date cards she’d mailed. While her annoyance is totally understandable, I’m not sure how I feel about this new trend of couples asking their guests to leave their cell phones, cameras, and other PDAs at the door before attending their wedding. Like, who do they think they are?? The groom interviewed for the Times article said: “A wedding is about having people paying witness. How can they do that if they don’t even hear your vows because they’re too busy taking pictures?” Oh, please, get over yourself!

Luckily, I’ve never been asked to leave all my technology at the door when attending a wedding, but if I were in the future, I’m really not sure how I’d respond. I’m happy to turn off my phone and refrain from taking — and certainly posting — photos if I’m asked, and of course, I’d never surf the net in the middle of a wedding ceremony, but frankly, I’d be offended if I had friends who actually confiscated my phone and camera until after the wedding. I’d probably hand over my gadgets, but I’d definitely re-evaluate my relationship with the couple afterward. What about you? How would you respond?

[polldaddy poll=”7166326″]

118 comments… add one
  • Fabelle June 10, 2013, 3:12 pm

    yeah, no. It seems very control freak-y to me.

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    • FireStar June 10, 2013, 3:24 pm

      I agree. And parents shouldn’t have to beg to keep their phones so they can be reached if needed. My phone is on silent whenever I’m at an event and unless they have sold the license to their wedding photos to a publication then what exactly is the issue? We would probably just leave.

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      • GatorGirl June 10, 2013, 3:28 pm

        There could potentially be a lot of issues- some people way overshare on social media, which could be against the couples wishes. Also not everyone is polite enough (or remembers) to turn their ringer off. Also a lot of people aren’t considerate enough to not text or play games etc when they “shouldn’t”. Then there are people like my grandmother who snapped a 100 photo’s during the ceremony (with a beep-beep noise accompanying each photo) and help up the “staged” photos because she *had* to take a photo with her own camera even though we had paid a photographer.

      • FireStar June 10, 2013, 3:40 pm

        What is the bigger sin? Asking for someone else’s personal property (sensitive property at that) or being upset a guest took pictures at a wedding? We had people that vied with the photographer at our wedding too – meh – they were just happy for us and wanted pictures. One of my husband’s friends stood behind us when everyone came up to us to congratulate us in an impromptu reception line and caught everyone’s expressions when they were hugging us. Sweet actually. It was nice – we had friends send them to us after and they caught things the photographer missed. It may not be ideal to have someone take pictures you would rather not have taken (even though weddings are sort of the place for that), or have someone play some video game or text…. but I think it is far more rude to demand someone’s private property. It’s all a little too control-y for me.

      • GatorGirl June 10, 2013, 3:48 pm

        I don’t think people should take the phones, you just seemed to pose it as everyone knows how to act socially with their phone, and that is FAR from the case. I would never dream of taking my guests phones but it was seriously grating on my nerves when people where clicking away during the ceremony, rather than being engaged in the moment.

        We had a friend document the whole reception via our instagram hashtag and we LOVE it. We’re planning on printing most of the photo’s so we can keep them in addition to the photog’s photos. She did not take a single ceremony photo. So yeah, I agree you shouldn’t take their personal property but it’s really frustrating that so many people don’t know when it’s appropriate to use their phone.

      • FireStar June 10, 2013, 3:54 pm

        I agree not everyone was raised properly…we say no broughtupcy in my culture…and it’s unfortunate… but this just seemed like this cure was worse than any initial problem.

      • Taylor June 10, 2013, 4:41 pm

        Well said.

      • Fabelle June 10, 2013, 3:53 pm

        Yes to the private property thing. Phones are expensive with lots of sensitive information on them (my messages, e-mail, bank passwords? to say nothing of dirty pictures…) so I would never just hand it over.

        Also, I know it’s a personal preference thing, but people take pictures at weddings because they’re excited for the couple. Most people have the good sense not to post unflattering photos (if that’s what worries people?) And while I do understand the whole “watching an event through a tiny screen” thing & how it’s sort of ridiculous at times, the hosts of an event shouldn’t police what people do with their phones (other than expecting common courtesy, like shutting off the ringer, etc.)

      • SpaceySteph June 10, 2013, 4:59 pm

        I took my ex boyfriend, a budding photographer, to a space shuttle launch once. I told him that he was under no circumstances allowed to watch the launch through the viewfinder. His pictures were never going to be as good as the professional ones, and he was going to miss the magic if he wasn’t watching.
        He brought his camera anyways and his pictures came out crappy because we were so far away and it was so dark.
        And that nighttime launch was the most spectacular shuttle launch I ever saw (of I think 4 from right there, plus another 3 from farther away). The whole world lit up and for a couple minutes it was daylight at 3am, then the shuttle went through the clouds and was gone. I could buy 1000 pictures of that launch, it would never compare to what I saw that day.
        Point is, you really do miss most of the magic if you’re looking through a viewfinder or your cell phone screen instead of watching… but really, should you police all your relatives for missing the magic if thats what they want to do?

      • ele4phant June 10, 2013, 6:38 pm

        Yeah watching something through a viewfinder will never be the same as watching it yourself, but it’s their choice, you know? As long as your ex didn’t interfere with your ability to watch the launch (or wedding guests’ desire to take pictures doesn’t interfere with the couple’s experience of getting married) who cares? It’s their choice how they want to experience life. It seems a little controlling to insist others do what you (and I mean this in the abstract general way, not you specifically). If they would rather watch life unfold on a tiny screen in front of themselves, let them.

      • bagge72 June 10, 2013, 3:43 pm

        I went to a wedding two years ago, and one of my wife’s friends who she went to college with brought her boyfriend, and he was on his phone playing a game from the start of the ceremony until the end of the reception all while complaining that he just wanted to go the hotel room and watch TV, and play his game. I wanted to punch him in the head, because his girlfriend was so embarrassed. Though she didn’t make him stop so I guess I don’t feel that bad, but he wouldn’t even dance the slow dances with her, there was a point when we all left the table, and let him sit there by himself playing his game. She probably would have had more fun is she just told him to go back to the hotel room.

      • Liquid Luck June 10, 2013, 4:02 pm

        I think this falls directly under the notion that once the bride and groom decide to invite other people to their wedding, their wishes are no longer the most important thing. If you don’t want people to post pictures of something they attend on facebook, or if you can’t trust them not to follow a polite request to turn off their phones, then don’t invite them. It’s beyond rude and conceited to think that it would ever be appropriate to confiscate someone’s personal property because you don’t want anything other than professional pictures of your wedding to be seen online.

      • rachel June 10, 2013, 5:00 pm

        Yeah. This. I can’t imagine that anyone I would *want* at my wedding would do something so inconsiderate with their phones. I’m not friends with people like that, and I guess luckily I don’t have any rude family members I would be coerced to invite.

    • Addie Pray June 10, 2013, 5:09 pm

      I agree. I can picture the bride before hand – being all bridezilla and turning nothings into somethings as brides do and thinking about every possible thing that could go wrong and flipping out: “oh my god you know what is going to happen a cell phone is going to go off or someone is going to take an unflattering picture… we need to appoint someone to collect all phones!” Freak. Those kind of people hate me and would never invite me to their weddings anyway, so I have nothing to worry about.

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  • BriarRose June 10, 2013, 3:12 pm

    Having a kid is the best excuse ever. You can use it for ANYTHING.

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    • WAPS June 10, 2013, 3:31 pm

      Eh, no, parents THINK they can use it for everything, but people see right through it and are too polite to say anything about it. Believe me.

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      • bagge72 June 10, 2013, 3:46 pm

        This is so true! It just ends up with people talking behind your back, because they know that you really just don’t want to be there.

      • BriarRose June 10, 2013, 3:47 pm

        Erm, ok. Was just being silly, since it was one of the choices on the poll.

      • Addie Pray June 10, 2013, 5:20 pm

        Hey own it! When I have kids I plan on playing the kid card ALL THE TIME!

      • WAPS June 10, 2013, 5:45 pm

        Haha, sorry, was hard to tell because I know several parents who do think they can use it for anything. “Oh, I want to have dinner but I don’t want to deal with putting my kid in a carseat, so why don’t you drive an hour to me instead of us meeting halfway?” “Oh, sorry I missed the wedding, but I didn’t want to leave the kid with the babysitter in the middle of his nap so I just didn’t go.” “I can’t take my turn to pay for dinner because now I have kids, so can you pay?” “I have to go pick up my kids, so can you finish this work for me?” All of these things have happened to me. Individually, it’s not a big deal (because I can and do say no to unreasonable requests), but after a while, it starts to grate that people even think it’s appropriate to ask.

      • BriarRose June 10, 2013, 7:02 pm

        Sounds like you know some weird people. My only kid “excuse” is legit–no one to watch her, so I’m afraid I can’t go do X with you. I can’t fathom asking someone to pay for me just because I have a kid!

      • becboo84 June 10, 2013, 3:54 pm

        Mmmm… except for in this case, having kids would be a legitimate excuse for needing your phone…

      • Addie Pray June 10, 2013, 5:18 pm

        Hee hee, “WAPS” – makes me smile every time.

        Meh, I don’t care if people play the “kid” card on me. I play the “I’m too hungover” card all the fucking time when really I could rally if I want to. I figure we all should just have passes and not take anything personally. … unless it’s personal, then fine be pissed.

      • WAPS June 10, 2013, 5:50 pm

        Haha, I tend to take that sort of thing on a case by case basis. With some of my friends, we have an honest “I don’t want to do that, so I’m not gonna” policy – nobody gets hurt. With some friends, we are both free to use the “cards” that we have at our disposal – nobody gets hurt. For some reason, with a lot of my parent friends, they feel that it’s cool if they use their “kid card” but if I try to use my cards, they get upset. THAT is what really chaps my ass!

      • Addie Pray June 10, 2013, 6:40 pm

        yea, i have one friend who ALWAYS bails last minute and …. it’s annoying. not using a kid card, just bails without explanation. so frustrating. and i have one friend that always uses the kid card to get me to just come to her place. and i always do. then i find out for others who she doesn’t feel so comfortable asking them to come over she actually DOES meet them out and i can’t help but feel… taken advantange of. now i’m angry, thanks WAPS

      • WAPS June 10, 2013, 7:06 pm

        Nooo don’t be angry! I know some awesome parents too. My sister is super laid back and will take her kid anywhere that we’d go ourselves. And she didn’t get mad at me or take it personally when I didn’t go to her son’s birthday party cause I really just didn’t want to! In my defense, it was a 3 year old birthday party. I’ll go to the ones that he’ll remember…

  • GatorGirl June 10, 2013, 3:16 pm

    I picked the first option, and I truly would “happily” hand it over. BUT I think it’s incredibly rude to ask your guests to hand over their phones. I also think it’s incredibly rude to snap pictures DURING the ceremony. My grandmother sat in the first row during our ceremony and took about 9 million photo’s- and with each one her camera made this beep-beep-beep sound. It was SO rude and SO distracting. There was also another guest sitting farther back but I could see them holding their iPhone up to take photo’s- It drove me nuts. I’m all for photo’s at the reception, but during the ceremony it should be a no photo (and no phone) zone.

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    • bagge72 June 10, 2013, 4:10 pm

      I wouldn’t hand it over to anyone, because that stuff is expensive, but I would happily leave it at home, in the car, or in the safe at the hotel if that is really what somebody wanted.

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      • bagge72 June 10, 2013, 4:19 pm

        Also I don’t have kids, and if I did, I wouldn’t hand over my phone at that point. Too much can happen with kids.

      • Lindsay June 10, 2013, 6:50 pm

        Same, for both points. If I knew ahead of time, I would leave my phone somewhere else, but I for sure wouldn’t want the “no phones allowed” sprung on me.

    • Fabelle June 10, 2013, 4:14 pm

      Really? Every wedding I’ve been to, guests have snapped photos during the ceremony. I always turn the sound (& flash) off, but I like getting a few shots in of the couple actually saying their vows/kissing.

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      • bagge72 June 10, 2013, 4:22 pm

        I didn’t even notice people taking pictures, but I know they did, because I saw them online, but it didn’t bother me at all. People have been taking photos at ceremonies for decades so I don’t think this is a new concept, and don’t get the idea of not being able to witness the ceremony, because of the picture taking. I can actaully do two things at once.

      • GatorGirl June 10, 2013, 5:40 pm

        Our ceremony was a bit “non traditional” in the sense that it was a traditional Quaker ceremony. They involved a lot of silence and personal prayer/reflection- so the photo clicks where literally the only noise at some points. With the incessant beeping. Had she turned the sound off it would not have been as big of a deal, but the silence being completely interrupted with the beeping kept interrupting my focus. There were some people who took photos during the ceremony that I did not notice (until they where on FB). I guess it’s all about being inconspicuous.

      • BreezyAM June 10, 2013, 8:06 pm

        Honestly I woulda gone and shut it off for her….

  • Sheryl June 10, 2013, 3:21 pm

    I am going to give the couple the benefit of the doubt, and say there are probably some people that abuse technology, and they didn’t want to single them out and went no technology at all.

    I think I’d begrudgingly hand over my stuff, and just move on — I really don’t have a lot of acquaintances I’ve been invited to weddings for, and all of mine have been nearest & dearest I wouldn’t have wanted to upset. I also think if it was for a 20 minute ceremony vs a 5 hour reception, my answer would change.

    I’m pretty sure my husband would go sit in the car though, and play on his phone / internet, instead of hand over his stuff, regardless of who it was, or how long it was.

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  • iwannatalktosampson June 10, 2013, 3:22 pm

    Yeah that’s bizarre. I get telling your guests to not share any photos, but I mean I can’t imagine asking grown adults for their cell phones. This isn’t high school.

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  • ChemE June 10, 2013, 3:29 pm

    I wouldn’t hand it over and assuming they still let me in it would depend on my relationship with the couple and my mood at the time. I’d probably intentionally get my phone out a few times just to be a dick. I’d have left it alone had they not assumed I would cause an interruption.

    But speaking of weddings, where do I put my phone while wearing a dress?

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    • GatorGirl June 10, 2013, 3:30 pm

      In your clutch…

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      • ChemE June 10, 2013, 4:53 pm

        But then I have to carry that thing around don’t I? And risk losing it?
        I’m not a purse carrier, anything I carry with me has to fit in my pockets. And longer journey’s I take my backpack.

      • GatorGirl June 10, 2013, 5:42 pm

        Are you the bride? If so you’ll most likely have no time to look at your phone for the bulk of the day. If you’re a guest you can leave the clutch on. The table after arriving and not have to worry about toting it around. Or just stick it in your boobs. Or a male guest you knows coat pocket.

      • ChemE June 10, 2013, 6:53 pm

        Good point, I do have my husband’s pockets.
        I’m not the bride, just attending.

    • iwannatalktosampson June 10, 2013, 3:32 pm

      In between your boobs, duh!

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      • ChemE June 10, 2013, 4:53 pm

        Perhaps a feasible option…

    • SpaceySteph June 10, 2013, 5:28 pm

      I left mine in my dad’s pocket. I figured if anyone called and needed something, he could handle it.

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  • Sunshine Brite June 10, 2013, 3:35 pm

    I actually considered doing that after seeing this article:

    with all the bad pics and flashes. It really has been pissing me off lately that people can’t enjoy an event without viewing most of it through a screen; it’s like why did you even decide to see the game live sort of thing. I felt bad for some of the stories that photographer relayed about her experiences and trying to navigate through the million flashes.

    I mean, I know we’re not going to, but I hope that people can really be present without disruption for most of the ceremony.

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    • Sunshine Brite June 10, 2013, 4:43 pm

      Oo, missed the asking for the phones part as I didn’t read the whole article. I wouldn’t do that but I thought about really guilting people into shutting them off since no one does and everywhere has a cellphone ring in the middle.

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    • Taylor June 10, 2013, 4:46 pm

      They didn’t at our wedding. Which was frustrating. It also doesn’t make for very nice photos of the guests. Also, it really bugs me when people line up to take pictures of the professional posed shots – half of the subjects’ end up looking away from the professional photographer. And the point of having a professional take pictures is so that it’s taken care of and other people can leave it alone!

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  • mylaray June 10, 2013, 3:39 pm

    I would hand it over at someone else’s wedding, but I think a sign saying to turn phones on silent, not take pictures during ceremony (if that’s what you want), not play games/text/email, etc should suffice. People who ignore that type of request are being really disrespectful. I would hope none of my guests at my future wedding would do something like that, and I would like to believe my family and friends would put their phones down when reminded, but I also wouldn’t want to resort to taking everyone’s phones away. I don’t want to have to police everyone too much. The whole using your phone everywhere, constantly, is just getting out of hand.

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    • bagge72 June 10, 2013, 4:14 pm

      I wish signeds worked for people, but they really don’t, they either don’t read them, or do what they want. Like last night I went to get ice cream, and on the door it says if you can’t fit in please close the door until you can fit in, because of the AC. Well people still stood holding the door open last night, and then they asked the people politely if they would close the door, but nobody did, they just stood there absolutely clueless.

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      • bagge72 June 10, 2013, 4:18 pm

        Ugh Signs!

      • mylaray June 10, 2013, 4:28 pm

        Haha, that’s true. I would never use a phone at a movie theater and I know my friends are like that too, so I would hope that people can detach from their phones for a little while, but it’s always obnoxious when there are the inevitable people not following what is asked.

      • A La Mode June 10, 2013, 4:44 pm

        I have been guilty of being someone whose phone went off (not during a wedding but still it was terribly rude) despite multiple signs and even a verbal reminder. I was talking to lots of people, kept thinking, “I’ll turn it off as soon as I sit down” and just kept getting distracted. Then, in the flurry of people I was seeing, I thought I must have turned it off after reminding myself so many times, and I didn’t check it. Happens to even the most well-intentioned of people.

      • BreezyAM June 10, 2013, 8:09 pm

        Honestly then those people were not beaten enough ny their parents and Need to Be Told. Straight Up.

      • karenwalker June 12, 2013, 1:14 pm

        what an ignorant and offensive comment.

  • Lindsay June 10, 2013, 3:43 pm

    I totally support the concept, but I think it would definitely come across as kind of controlling. I don’t think I looked at my phone once during the last wedding I was at, but my friend spent the whole damn time on her phone and it annoyed the crap out of me. Photos are one thing, but I came back with my food at the reception to find her checking out Facebook.

    I think a better idea would be to make a playful sign about how guests can choose to check their phones if they want to. Some people would probably do it, and otherwise, I think it would send a message reminding people how rude it is to stare at their phone the whole time.

    My question, though, is how this would be done. Would you check it like you check a coat? Or just drop it into a basket? Because, at least in NYC, phones get stolen a lot, so I’d be uncomfortable leaving it unattended. And what happens if you take the wrong one, or forget to pick it up? I don’t think that it’s a good idea for a couple to take on the responsibility of making sure everyone gets their phone back.

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    • Lindsay June 10, 2013, 3:45 pm

      Or what happens when a guest finds out hours later that they’d received an emergency phone call that they didn’t know about because you had their phone?

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      • FireStar June 10, 2013, 3:51 pm

        Hell breaks loose. Asking for someone phone creates a bailment – it is just too messy and fraught with potential drama. Phones are expensive – it gets stolen or damaged the bride/groom is on the hook for that cost…and I bet a little facebook update won’t seem so bad then. Then again I have no idea why people update facebook so consistently. I just never got into it all that much.
        I think a nice, cute little sign or a quiet word from the usher reminding everyone to turn their phones on silent would be sufficient.

      • SpaceySteph June 10, 2013, 5:33 pm

        Really though? Do some people never let go of their phones? Not to go to a movie or to go out to dinner.
        I leave my phone across the house for hours on the weekends, on vibrate. Or in my purse on the floor in the movie theater. Or in my desk when I go to a meeting. Or in my car for an entire 9 hour mission control shift. Unless I’m expecting an emergency phone call, I don’t worry about it.
        So yes, if I had kids home with a babysitter I wouldn’t feel good about handing over my phone. Or if someone I knew was ill or in the hospital or about to go into labor. But honestly, I don’t wait around every second of my day for an emergency phone call, and being without it for a 1 hour wedding ceremony does not seem like a huge deal.

      • Lindsay June 10, 2013, 6:33 pm

        I’m not suggesting people wait around every second by their phone or that the guests NEED their phone with them, but my point was that the couple would face serious backlash if they seized everyone’s phone and then someone missed a call that their child broke an arm or their mother had a heart attack. I often don’t realize I’ve missed a call for hours, but it’s my choice not to be by my phone, not one enforced by two people hosting an event.

  • TECH June 10, 2013, 3:43 pm

    This is why I hate weddings.

    If you’re really that worried about people’s cell phones rings or taking pictures, you can place a prominent note in your programs, or whoever is officiating the ceremony can make a brief announcement before the cereomy begins.

    But if you can’t trust people to use common courtesy during the ceremony, then why are you inviting them anyway?

    I truly hope these people are only talking about no cell phones during the ceremony, and not the reception. To restrict cell phones during the reception is beyond.

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    • GatorGirl June 10, 2013, 3:50 pm

      Well, my grandmother was the one obtrusively using a loudly beeping camera all ceremony…so I’m not sure how I was to not invite her.

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      • FireStar June 10, 2013, 3:57 pm

        You just love your grandma for her eccentric ways…and buy her a quiet camera for her next birthday

      • BreezyAM June 10, 2013, 8:11 pm

        Honestly I am appalled on your behalf no one under the age of 30 grabbed her damn phone and fixed it to be on silent. WTF. Anywhere I’ve been that happened, the under 30 crowd was all over it killing the sound.

  • sarita_f June 10, 2013, 3:49 pm

    As someone who enjoys photography but also the daughter of a professional wedding photog – PSA to all out there, taking pictures, ESPECIALLY with flash, can really ruin the pro photos.

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    • bethany June 10, 2013, 4:35 pm

      YES! Also, my husband has had to deal with people standing in the aisle trying to get shots in front of him! They will literally block the professional who is PAID to be there. Super annoying.

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      • sarita_f June 10, 2013, 4:42 pm

        Also, some churches restrict where the photog physically can go (like, how far up the aisle, etc) and pro’s try really hard to follow the couples’ wishes as to how obtrusive to be. It’s harder with a bunch of amateurs clogging up the aisles, flashes, etc.

      • GatorGirl June 10, 2013, 5:48 pm

        We had restrictions on where our photos could go during the ceremony, and the happily obliged. As I said above, other guests did not. I did feel like the constant photos distracted from the ceremony.

  • Amanda June 10, 2013, 3:50 pm

    When I streak, I would yell over to the bride and groom that I was honoring the Betazoid wedding tradition. 🙂

    But seriously, a regular person cannot confiscate other peoples’ property. If someone demanded that I give them my property I would tell them no.

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    • ChemE June 10, 2013, 6:57 pm

      Love the reference!!

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  • Liquid Luck June 10, 2013, 3:57 pm

    I’m with Wendy on this one. I would (and do!) happily turn off my phone during events like weddings. I wouldn’t mind a sign or announcement reminding people turn off their ringers or asking people to refrain from taking pictures in deference to the photographer, but I wouldn’t hand over the actual device to anyone. It’s not only expensive to replace if something were to happen to it, but it also has valuable information on it and would leave me without my primary form of communication until it could be replaced (we don’t have a land line, and my cell phone is also my work number and how I check email and respond to clients when I’m not at home). So sorry, but if any of my friends were so controlling that they couldn’t even trust me to behave politely at their wedding, then they shouldn’t have invited me (or anyone else).

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  • MELH June 10, 2013, 3:58 pm

    I wouldn’t have done this and I would be unhappy about turning over my phone…but always always always turn your phone on silent! An older guest’s cell phone went off at an ear shattering volume during my vows. I thought I kept my face pretty straight, but the wedding video told a different story!

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  • MaterialsGirl June 10, 2013, 4:09 pm

    i know which choice AP picked!!

    also, i had the privilege of attending a really fun concert on her rooftop last night! so cool! she even braided my hair.

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    • Addie Pray June 10, 2013, 5:11 pm

      Ha, you know me too well! How fun was that concert?! Thank you for coming.

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  • SpaceySteph June 10, 2013, 3:11 pm

    The unplugged wedding thing doesn’t bother me, but I also don’t really get it. It took FOREVER to get our professional pictures (or, you know, 2 weeks), I was so glad some of my friends snapped cell phone pictures and posted them so I could see a few snippets of our wedding earlier.

    Also I wish someone would have thought my Save the Date was cute enough to post on facebook. I’m a little bummed nobody did.

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    • Taylor June 10, 2013, 4:40 pm

      I didn’t mind the cell phone pictures at the reception, but I wasn’t crazy about the church ones. The thing I hadn’t anticipated is that so many of the professional pictures of the ceremony and us leaving the church has >80% of the guests holding up their phones. It didn’t look very nice.

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  • 6napkinburger June 10, 2013, 4:17 pm

    But everyone agrees it is ok for someone to get up before the processsion starts and reminds everyone to turn off their phones (which means that everyone just puts it on silent or vibrate, no one really turns it off), right?

    What if that person asked that no one take pictures during the ceremony? Is that rude? Would you listen or do it anyway?

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    • Fabelle June 10, 2013, 4:21 pm

      I would listen if they explicitly asked that no photos be taken, sure. I would think it was weird, though? I guess in my circle of friends, the more pictures, the merrier.

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      • 6napkinburger June 10, 2013, 4:44 pm

        After reading the link above, I will never use a flash when stealing pictures ever again

      • Fabelle June 10, 2013, 4:45 pm

        Yeah, I just finished reading that! Crazy. I never use flash anyway though (during ceremonies) because I imagine it’s super distracting. I can’t remember if I saw others using it, though?

    • Lindsay June 10, 2013, 4:24 pm

      I would listen, not that I would have taken photos anyway. I don’t think it’s a rude request. It’s just new, something that has never been a problem until now. Make up some BS about how you want everyone to enjoy the moment or whatever.

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    • sarita_f June 10, 2013, 4:45 pm

      I wouldn’t consider it rude. I think it’s the right combo of being effective yet still reasonable and polite enough. Ideally the officiant would make an announcement to everyone at the start and then move on from there. I’ve seen it done (I’ve been to a gazillion weddings as my dad’s assistant) and the officiant doesn’t even need to announce that the bride and groom want it that way. Also, sometimes it actually IS the policy of the venue hosting the ceremony (usually a house of worship).

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    • Sunshine Brite June 10, 2013, 4:58 pm

      My mom would be the worst “Oh but it’s just one!” with a real camera and flash and taking 10 minutes to get a good picture if that was asked of her. It’s about the most embarrassing thing in the world and one of the things that my friend remembers about our college graduation best; my mom holding her up in line to try and get a picture.

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    • rachel June 10, 2013, 5:05 pm

      I’ve been at weddings where it was announced to please not use a flash if any pictures are taken.

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  • A La Mode June 10, 2013, 4:29 pm

    I don’t know. I’d probably just instruct the ushers to let each and every guest individually know that we will stop the whole ceremony to chastise and shame them if they disrupt the most important 5 minutes of my life with their camera shutters.

    And then offer a cocktail in exchange for confirmation that all sounds have been silenced.

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  • bethany June 10, 2013, 4:32 pm

    I try to leave my phone in the car during the ceremony, because I’m paranoid that I didn’t really turn it off and it’s going to ring and then I’m going to be the asshole who ruined the wedding. I think it’s rude to use a phone during the ceremony. and would happily leave it at the door. The reception’s a whole other story. To not be able to use it then seems dumb to me.

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    • honeybeenicki June 10, 2013, 5:14 pm

      I either have mine in the car or off generally. And if we have the kids? We give whoever they are with (or them now that they are old enough to be on their own) the number to the place(s) we will be and if there is an emergency, they can call and someone will come find us.

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  • ebstarr June 10, 2013, 4:33 pm

    Option 9: Lie and say you didn’t bring it?

    I don’t believe in lying, but I also don’t believe in “letting your phone out of your sight in the care of strangers,” so.

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  • A La Mode June 10, 2013, 4:40 pm

    In all seriousness, I will probably request that no one posts pictures of my wedding on social media. I have serious privacy concerns because of past relationships with mentally unstable people who continue to try to keep tabs on me. The vast majority of the people I know, do not know/care/bother to keep their Facebook and Instagram profiles 100% private. That creates a big problem for me, because technically all it would take is one dumbass who’s a mutual friend of my crazy ex to take a picture of us in an identifiable location and upload it in real time. Call me paranoid, but my wedding could easily be ruined by the thoughtlessness of a guest.

    I think we should respect the parameters of someone else’s party as their own choice and I feel that speculation about whether or not it’s “okay” should focus more on whether or not you’d feel like going to such a party and less on whether or not the hosts are right or wrong for enforcing such restrictions.

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  • bittergaymark June 10, 2013, 5:15 pm

    I would have NO problems whatsoever with a cell phone wedding. Hey, I love my iphone, but sometimes it’s nice to go without. Both times I journeyed all the way to Asia the past few years — I went to Bali and Thailand, spending two weeks in each country — I left my cell in the states. And, truth be told, it was quite lovely… (Although I did have flashes of panic where I was like where is my phone? Have I lost it? I’d be reaching for my wallet and notice my phone was missing…)

    That said — I wouldn’t want to hand it over at the door. I’d rather know in advance so I could leave it in my car… Sorry, but I don’t trust anyone these days…

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  • Miel June 10, 2013, 5:15 pm

    I don’t know about handing out my cellphone… because I don’t have one !
    Yeah, I’m the weird person that doesn’t have a cellphone and doesn’t bring her camera on any other occasion than touristy sight seeing in Europe.

    For the other 99.9% of the population that has a cellphone, I would agree, putting it in some big plastic bag at the entrance is the worst idea, because it will be so hard to find it back afterward (an iphone really looks like another iphone, how funny is that ?). HOWEVER, if it was my wedding, I would put in the STD, put signs, and repeat it at the ceremony that I want no pictures, and nobody on their cellphone during the whole day really, because it irritates me so much… If I can be bridezella on one issue, it will be this one.

    Yes, people live their life looking through a tinny screen. Yes people fill every single second of “downtime” by checking their phone or their e-mail. And what’s the outcome ? They might have not realized it, but instead of really attending a wedding, they just “saw” it.

    I did the experience, while traveling. One time, I was at the summit of a mountain in the Alps. We were up 3500m in altitude, there was snow around me, it was beautiful and sunny, and all I could think of was “where should I go to take a good picture” and “what about this angle ?” Overall, I only enjoyed the pictures, and I didn’t realized I should have inhale deeply, look around, and just “feel” the mountain a bit. I was really happy about the trip because it had provided me with amazing pictures, not because of where I had been and what I had lived. And then I stopped. Last time I went in the alps, I took 4 pictures for the whole day. They were nice, I look at them from time to time, I’m glad I have them. But I took 4, then the camera was put away, and I felt, enjoyed and breathed the mountain, fully focused on it, on the nature, and on how beautiful everything was.

    I want people to relax and enjoy my (eventual) wedding. I don’t want them to think about their next picture, or about the person they are texting, or about what they will do at their job the next morning. Don’t worry, I won’t invite 250 people that aren’t that close to me, I will only invite the close people that should (hopefully) care a bit about the event going on. But I’m sure those people won’t need pictures in the following days, because they really attended my wedding, they lived it, and those can form lasting memories without the need for 3000 pictures posted on instagram. But you need to really look !

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  • iwannatalktosampson June 10, 2013, 5:16 pm

    I have a funny random story. So we got married on the beach in Costa Rica and as I was walking down the isle (which was pretty much a 1/2 mile walk down the beach – so terrible) and strangers were lifting up phones and taking pictures of me from like 4 feet away. It felt very bizarre. Like kind of intrusive. I didn’t care – but it just was so strange – they weren’t even doing it on the sly. Just like came right up and snapped it in my face.

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  • bcamber June 10, 2013, 5:29 pm

    I don’t see why you can’t communicate this in the invite, or programme, or have an announcement made..

    because really if you can’t trust to care about and abide by your wishes for them to keep their phones off, why are you inviting them to your wedding?

    And no I would not be handing over my cell phone to anyone.

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  • bittergaymark June 10, 2013, 5:36 pm

    Plus, the reality is that people EVERYWHERE are fucking space cadets about their cell phones. Phones are ALWAYS going off in places where they shouldn’t in my world. Quiet restaurants, movies theaters… hell, even on set sometimes blowing a take. It’s beyond maddening. Look, many people are simply TOO DUMB for all this technology. And many probably would be answering there phones in the middle of the ceremony or snapping away flash photos like fucking idiots if they had their phones with them at a wedding. Hell, I’ve seen it already myself…

    Sorry. But yeah…. MOST people are that fucking clueless. I mean — come on! Am I the only person that reads letters around here? 😉

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    • Lindsay June 10, 2013, 5:49 pm

      Yeah, no need to look any further than a movie theater. There are countless reminders to turn off phones, but then you see everyone texting or on Facebook. I watched several people taking photos of the screen at one movie. Ridiculous…

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  • katie June 10, 2013, 6:09 pm

    im torn on this issue. on one hand i love pictures! i have pictures of every wedding ive been to, and i actually used the pictures from jake’s brothers wedding to create a keepsake thing to give to his family for christmas that year. i scrapbook. i love pictures. but on the other hand, i experience a wedding (or any other event i guess) “through a camera” like other people have said, and its stupid. i literally watch my camera screen instead of the real wedding, waiting for a good shot.

    i dunno. asking people to give up their phone is extreme, but desperate times call for desperate measures?

    and the whole ruining the professional pictures thing is huge- pro pictures are so expensive! id be pissed if they got ruined. (and for the record ive never done anything obnoxious to get pictures- like walk into the aisle or something)

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  • bittergaymark June 10, 2013, 6:25 pm

    Also, can you imagine how INSANE it would have been, say, twenty years ago… to attend a wedding and then DEMAND that a phone with an extra LONGGGGGG cord be brought into the church with you as you simply can’t miss some urgent and supposedly important phone call? People would have thought you to be simply insane… Only now, EVERYBODY acts like they can’t miss some magic phone call…

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    • bethany June 11, 2013, 9:39 am

      YES. We all managed to live before cell phones. We put a little more planning into some things, maybe, like leaving the phone number to the venue for your baby sitter. But seriously, we were ok before cell phones, and generally, you’ll survive if you miss a call!

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    • MMcG June 11, 2013, 11:56 am


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  • Firestar June 10, 2013, 6:30 pm

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  • KP June 10, 2013, 6:33 pm

    Not nearly as crazy as this: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/06/07/bridezilla_n_3405190.html

    This celebrity bride, whom I’ve never heard of, is asking her guests to do a 21 day cleanse before the wedding.

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    • bittergaymark June 10, 2013, 6:43 pm

      That’s just a VERY obvious/obnoxious bid to get more press for herself and her cleanse business… Pretty tacky though. Shameless… Just shameless… But how nice of her to want everybody to feel at their absolute best for HER big day… 😉

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      • KP June 10, 2013, 8:11 pm

        It’ll be great if she ends up with a bunch of people fainting during her wedding because of their lack of food over the past three weeks. That’ll be some good press.

  • M.S. June 10, 2013, 7:07 pm

    “Oh, please, get over yourself!”

    Be kind, please. It’s their wedding, and possibly stressful enough as it is without the added snark.

    Why it’s obvious to those of us with social skills that perhaps cell phones should not be used in places of worship – where many weddings are still held (and for the sake of argument I’m pretending this particular wedding might be held) – a lot of folks are knuckleheads and don’t realize the lack of courtesy that extensive cell phone use would imply. I’m not talking about just taking pictures, which, yes, I agree, should be presumed that will be taken by guests. But you also wouldn’t believe how much many non-religious folks use their cell phones in places of worship. Smacks of disrespect.

    There could be other ways of handling this, especially if the bride or groom asks the officiant to requests that guests turn off their cell phones. That should be enough. (Probably won’t be, though.) And TBH, I can see that this is one day the bride and groom want the focus to be on them – at least for that part of the wedding (the most important part!).

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    • LadyinPurpleNotRed June 10, 2013, 7:16 pm

      Religious people use their cell phones in places of worship too. It’s not just a non-religious folk thing.

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    • GatorGirl June 10, 2013, 7:58 pm

      Yeah, it’s not a religious v not religious thing- it’s a common sense/up bringing thing. Nice try to make it a religion thing though.

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      • bittergaymark June 11, 2013, 1:06 am

        I dunno. I loath and despise ALL religions as they have all done all they can to fuck up the world.

        That said — I somehow imagine the devout are far less apt to use their phones in church than somebody who was just dragged there. Honestly? Using your cell phone in church? Why the fuck even bother going? Talk about obnoxious…

      • Sunshine Brite June 11, 2013, 9:51 am

        Seriously, look at the link above. Some of the worst offenders were in churches since the photographer couldn’t adjust.

  • Anna June 10, 2013, 8:10 pm

    I say its not an unreasonable request if you are allowing children at the wedding. Almost all of my friends have kids and I wouldn’t dream of telling them that my “special day” is more important than the wellbeing of their children. Suppose someone’s kid gets sick or gets in an accident and the parents don’t find out about it until 3 hours later when they are given back their confiscated cell phone? If it was a really serious accident, it might mean never being able to say goodbye to their child. As unlikely as it is, I couldn’t risk having that on my conscience just to be bridezilla of the year. As long as they have the option of bringing the kids so they can watch them personally, it’s not too much to ask to leave the phone in your car.

    As a childless person, I would not have a problem with leaving my phone in my car if the bride and groom requested it. No one that important is going to call/text me and Facebook can wait until I get home. I couldn’t leave it at home though because my car could break down at any moment and I would need to call AAA.

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    • Miel June 10, 2013, 8:48 pm

      Now I’m just curious, do people still switch off their phone at the movie ? Because most movies are longer than a wedding reception, and a lot of couples with children will go to the movie without the kids, as a special date night. Do all mom/dad put their phone on silent and check it every 20 minutes during a movie in case their kids are injured in an accident ?

      I feel like 2-3 hours without the possibility to get an emergency call from the babysitter/the school teacher/the grandmother/the daycare staff is far from being a once in a life time case (at your friend’s wedding, for which you’ll never forgive her !)

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      • GatorGirl June 10, 2013, 9:15 pm

        I don’t have children yet but I do turn off/leave my phone in my purse forthe duration of a movie in theaters. It’s not THAT long.

      • Firestar June 10, 2013, 10:07 pm

        You put your phone on silent or vibrate with a dim background. So you can see who called and leave the theatre if necessary.

      • Anna June 11, 2013, 12:22 am

        That’s what I would do. Even now, I don’t completely turn off my phone at the movies. I just turn the ringer to silent.

  • KKZ June 10, 2013, 8:14 pm

    If this isn’t a first-world problem, I don’t know what is.

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    • KKZ June 10, 2013, 8:27 pm

      OK, now that I got my snark out of the way…

      I would not be offended. I’d turn off the phone and hand it over. I might be a little annoyed, maybe a little preoccupied about making sure I remembered to get it back afterwards, but not offended.

      I would not worry about people using it. I don’t access sensitive things, like banking, with my phone. I don’t store naughty content on there. My email, texts and Facebook would be easy to get to, which would suck temporarily but those things are pretty easily and painlessly restored. If it were actually stolen, a simple call or visit to Verizon would take care of it.

      I would not let my day be ruined, let alone my friendship with the happy couple who wanted to include me in their day.

      The human race survived for generations before the very recent habit of perpetual electronic connection became a normal behavior. I can certainly sit through one damn wedding without it. (Ok, I guess I still had some snark left.)

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  • Amybelle June 10, 2013, 9:15 pm

    I don’t think it’s at all rude to have a sign or announcement asking people to turn their phones off or not take pictures, but actually confiscating the phones like a high school home room teacher? Really? The fact that some people are clueless or rude doesn’t make it ok to treat your guests like children. Confiscating the phone says “I don’t trust you to do what I’ve asked” and if that’s how the person feels I don’t want to be at their wedding. In fact I’m pretty shocked that so many people here seem to think its ok to ask for someone’s personal property. There is a big difference between asking that phones be turned off and kept out of sight and requiring people to hand over their personal property, even if it is for a short time. If you’re that worried and don’t think people will respect being asked maybe you could designate someone (wedding coordinator?) to keep an eye out and quietly say something to any rogue picture takers.

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  • d2 June 10, 2013, 9:47 pm

    I was looking for the voting option “Not an issue because I wouldn’t have brought my cell phone in the first place.” Since that wasn’t an option, I voted to turn it over. No big deal.

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    • Classic June 10, 2013, 10:08 pm

      Same here– I voted for turning it over, since that was the closest option, but I’d actually have left it in the car in real life, anyway.

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  • SasLinna June 11, 2013, 7:48 am

    Reading about people constantly taking pictures during the ceremony and the chance of someone’s phone ringing loudly (someone will always forget to turn the sound off), I actually think it’s not unreasonable to ask that there be no cell phones during the ceremony. I would probably announce “no cell phones at the ceremony” in advance and then have somewhere safe for the phones to be left during the ceremony, so that people truly don’t have to worry about it. The chance of an emergency occurring during the duration is seriously low, and honestly, people agree you should turn the sound off your cell phone off, so if there were an emergency, it wouldnt’ help the person having their cell phone with them because they still wouldn’t notice the call (and don’t tell me you’d keep it on vibrate during a wedding ceremony, that’s still audible). Oh and then I would have the phones given back immediately after the ceremony because during the reception it’s obviously fine.

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