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How to Avoid a Sea of Phones at Your Wedding

By HOPP Team

Cute latte art on your morning coffee? Instagram it. A dog dressed in a raincoat walks past you in the street? Instagram it. Spot a sunset that requires #nofilter on your commute home? Instagram it. In a social-media obsessed society where the urge to document even the most ordinary moments of life is overwhelming, the surge in phone photography at weddings doesn’t come as a big surprise. While it’s only natural for friends and family to want to take snaps of your special day, a sea of phone screens can be a sure-fire way to snuff out the magic of a wedding. Not only can it get in the way of any professional photography that you’ve organised (and paid for), but it also takes guests out of the moment as they focus more on getting the perfect shot for their Instagram grid than on your heartfelt vows.

If you’re worried about the digital age encroaching on the sacred moments of your wedding, here are some tips to keep the pesky swarms of phones at bay.

1) Be Bossy

Don’t be afraid to lay down the law. This is your day and everyone will respect the rules that you put in place for it. With your partner, decide on how firm you want to be about a ‘No Phone Photography’ policy and make it clear. Whether it’s by including a note on the invitation requesting that guests keep their phones out of sight for the ceremony, or having the ushers and M.C make an announcement on the day, there are many tactful ways that you can let your guests know the do’s and don’ts when it comes to expected phone etiquette at your wedding.

2) Leave it to the Professionals

If your guests see that a professional photographer is snapping away at your event, they will likely feel less inclined to take their own amateur shots. With expert photographers such as Serena Bolton, Brett Harkness or Chloe Winstanley on the job, you and your guests will know you are in safe hands when it comes to documenting the special moments. These photographers are experienced in capturing those wonderful candid shots as well as the more formal photos so you can trust that they will have all bases covered.


If you do bring on a professional photographer, it’s important that you get to know them ahead of the day. Invite them for a tour of the venue and allow them to familiarize themselves with the list of people you need photographs with (keep this as minimal as possible to avoid a long and drawn-out drinks reception which ruins the flow of the wedding for your guests!).

3) Book a Booth or Photo Scene

Long gone are the days when a photobooth was used simply to take unflattering passport photos. From closed booths with an old-timey feel to photo scenes which come with all kinds of props and backdrops to pose (Megabooth even provides photobooth minis and black cabs), having a dedicated photo station at your wedding reception is fun way of entertaining guests while offering the opportunity to get some selfie-esque snaps that doesn’t involve guests having phones strapped to their hands throughout the day.

4) Phone-Friendly Zones

Despite the Black Mirror-esque fears around technology, phones aren’t always the enemy. Yes, they can be very annoying in sentimental moments (who wants to be surrounded by a circle of phones during their first dance?) but they can also catch intimate shots that the professional photographers won’t always be able to. If you don’t want to impose a total embargo on phones, think about setting up some zoning laws. Perhaps you decide that they are banned at the ceremony but everywhere else is fair game. Alternatively if you think a ‘ban’ might be too rigid, how about promoting ‘selfie zones’ such as the Ladies loos to minimise the number of photos whipped out on the dance floor. Using zones can be a clever way of protecting the most special moments while also getting those additional personal pics.

5) Get Nostalgic

Entice guests away from their phones by catering to the craving for nostalgia and putting out disposable cameras or polaroids for them to shoot with. After the event, you’ll get the added bonus of the anticipation that comes with getting film developed the old-fashioned way. Okay, so the majority of the photos might be of people’s thumbs, the ceiling and the floors, but so what? That’s all part of the fun.

HOPP Top Tip:

Your wedding day is going to be one of the most special days of your life and while you don’t want it to be ruined by swarms of phones, you’re also probably going to want to document it as much as
possible. If in whatever capacity you decide to allow phone photography at your wedding, make sure that you have a way of seeing it all by using Scripin, an app that lets guests share the images they take on the day.

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Written by our Team of HOPP Experts.