Cell Phones at a Wedding: Can I Ask My Guests Not to Post to Facebook?

One bride worries that photos from her wedding — even unsavory ones — will appear on social media before she gets a chance to see them

We’ve been both blessed and cursed with technology that makes it possible for us to share information with everyone — and to do so instantly. Table cameras may be a thing of the past, with everyone able to take photos on smartphones and posting them for the world to see. But technology always comes with its downsides.

A Hudson Valley bride asks: I’m eagerly awaiting my wedding day and all the events that come before and after it — and, of course, I will love to see as many photos and videos as possible. Here’s my question: I’m concerned that some of our guests may not exercise good judgment with what they photograph, how and where they post them, and how they might be altered.

I’m not being paranoid. It’s just that, at the last wedding I attended, photos were all over Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook before the bride had an opportunity to see them. Perhaps under the influence of a bit too much to drink, the postings were less than flattering and a few were downright nasty. Altering an image of a pole dancer by Photoshopping the bride’s head on the stripper’s body was horrifying to the newlyweds. How can I protect myself against this happening at my wedding? Can I ban cellphones and cameras?”

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The Wedding Guru says: I don’t think you’re being paranoid. I too have seen inappropriate photos on the Web. Protecting yourself will not be easy. You can do so informally by talking in advance to those guests that you are concerned may be offenders. Explain to them that you would really like to see the posts before they go out online and explain that your older relatives, all of whom have Web access, will be really unhappy with inappropriate postings.

If you feel strongly about this issue, you can include this note in your invitations: “For the privacy of our guests, please, no photos.”

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Unfortunately, the very same guests who will be the offenders may also be those who are sure that you aren’t referring to them. At one reception I attended, the MC began the party by asking that all the guests turn off their cell phones. You might try that too, but there is no way to be absolutely sure that any of these ideas will work.

» More about using and banning cell phones at your wedding
» More from The Wedding Guru
» Submit a question to the Wedding Guru
» Hudson Valley Weddings 2013

 

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