There is some excitement that comes with being invited to a wedding.
For this reason, many people start preparing themselves early and building excitement.
But did you know that there is some wedding etiquette you are supposed to follow?
Weddings also have do’s and don’ts, which may not be obvious to everyone.
Is It Rude for a Guest to Bring a Camera to a Wedding?
As a wedding guest, you may not see any problem pulling out your camera and taking shots. In fact, many people love doing this to cherish and remember such moments for a long time. However, to the married couple, it can be rude and disrespectful, and to other guests, it may be distracting to the point that the main photographer might miss important shots and spoil their reputation.
Why Are Guests Invited to a Wedding?
To understand why it may be rude to bring a camera to a wedding, you need to know the role of a wedding guest.
The main role of wedding guests is to witness an important event in a couple’s life and celebrate with them. They are there to eat, dance, and enjoy the moment.
It is an honor to witness and celebrate a commitment between two people that are in love and decided to declare their vows.
For this reason, you shouldn’t take the invite lightly.
That means to behave in a way that’s respectful to the bride and groom.
Are Cameras Disrespectful?
These days, manufacturers are designing small, easy-to-use cameras and included in almost everything from alarm clocks to fridges.
Cameras are in our cars, on our computers, and on almost all cell phones.
Anytime you see a spectacular view, you immediately take out your camera and photograph it.
But, while doing that, you need to know when to take out your camera and when to hold off.
It is rude to take out your phone or camera and begin taking pictures during a wedding ceremony.
If the couple asks you to take a picture of them, then there is no problem doing that. But when does this happen?
Remember, they’ve hired their videographers or photographers for this.
What If the Photographer Misses a Shot?
We get it. Sometimes you may capture a moment that the wedding photographer might have missed.
The truth is that some people who call themselves wedding photographers aren’t professionals.
And therefore, many couples are disappointed by the terrible photos they get after paying a lot of money.
But think about it in other aspects of the wedding.
You never see anyone bring baking tins or cooking pots to the wedding simply because the caterer isn’t as good.
Or no one carries a stereo system to play their music as they think they have decent iTunes.
This is the same concept that applies to photography. Taking out your camera is impolite as someone is already hired for the job.
Additionally, you might also not capture the key moment you are hoping for.
A wedding is filled with many special moments like when the groom sees the bride for the first time, the first kiss, when a couple exchanges rings, etc.
Many photographs are ruined at this time because guests step into the aisle and block the photographer from capturing these moments.
The first kiss lasts less than a second. So, we really doubt that you are that fast to capture it with your camera unless you are a professional photographer.
However, if everyone remains seated, the photographer will have an easy time taking such shots.
It’s really disrespectful to the couple getting married for guests to interfere with the photographer they’ve hired for this event. Sure, it is tempting.
But it is better to remain respectful to the bride and groom.
Distracting Other Guests
Imagine you are in a movie theatre, and someone takes out their phone to send a message or browse the internet mindlessly.
That is the same concept when guests pull out their phones to take photos of a wedding ceremony.
It is rude and distracting to other people focusing on the wedding.
You may not mind these distractions. But some people are so bothered by them that they may confront you about it.
Wedding guests are there to witness and enjoy the moment with the couple. However, you may prevent this each time you take out your camera to take shots or videos.
Why Would Guests Want to Bring A Camera to a Wedding?
You may have some valid reasons for carrying your camera to a wedding. These include;
1. To Capture Memories
This is the main reason individuals carry a camera to any place.
While the phone cameras have significantly improved, they still don’t match the quality offered by a camera.
You may want to use it during the reception to take pictures of your friends and family during cocktail hour.
You may also use it to film immediate family and friends since the photographer may not take close-up shots of guests.
2. You’re Allowed to Bring It
Some couples may not have that much faith in their photographer and therefore, turn to their guest for help.
If a couple asks you to come with a camera, you may want to take the offer immediately.
But first, try to understand why they don’t trust their hired photographer and encourage them to find someone they have faith in.
Otherwise, you could just carry your camera to take backup shots that the hired photographer misses.
3. To Add to Your Portfolio
If you are a professional photographer, you know how important a good portfolio is to attract clients.
Therefore, while you may be a guest at a wedding, you may feel like this is a special opportunity to improve your portfolio.
If you know the hired photographer, you can ask them to include you in the day. But, proceed with care, not to cause any friction.
Alternatively, you may be discrete and bring out your camera for your shots. But note that this might strain the relationship you have with the couple if they find out.
Overall, it is not a good idea to carry a camera to a wedding if you’ve been invited as a guest.
Don’t walk around with a camera on your neck the whole day.
You are not the hired photographer.
Take your camera out only when need be, and don’t try to document the wedding.
Otherwise, be a guest and celebrate the couple getting married.