ATTN: Here at Sugarplum, we are officially kicking off our guest blogs! However, these aren’t just any guest blogs, these are our very own Sugarplum Alumni! First up to bat is Kati! – go follow her @katimillerrr ! Keep reading and find out how truly poetic her reasoning is behind not asking the bride & groom to take a picture with you on their big-day!
Kati: Oh, the age of social media.
It really has changed EVERYTHING. It has made us more connected, but less genuine. More superficial, and less present. More aware, but less attached.
There is good, and there is bad.
For weddings, social media allows us to share the weddings that we attend with followers and friends: the details, the dresses, the once-in-a-lifetime moments and let’s be honest, the drunk dancing. And I love it! As a bride, one of the sweetest things was going through everyone’s stories and posts with my groom the next morning as we ate breakfast. We laughed at silly pictures and got teary eyed watching the sweet moments that our friends and family captured. I have saved all of those posts on my own story highlight, because I love that our friends captured those moments. I can relive parts of the very best day of our lives any time I want to!
But alas, we did experience one interesting and not so positive effect that social media has had on weddings. Instagram-culture has made us think that we need to put ourselves at the forefront of our experiences that we share online. While you are invited to weddings for a reason, it ain’t cheap to have you there. Remember, that day is about the bride and groom and the joy in witnessing and partaking in the celebration of that day. Yes the desire to share our experiences online is sincere and comes from a good place, I love that people want to post about big celebrations like weddings. However, the desire to be self-focused online has lead to a trend of guests all individually needing a picture with the bride and groom.
Let me explain. At my own wedding, once we arrived to the reception, we found ourselves in a bit of a photo frenzy. It meant so much to us to try to have intentional moments with everyone, we invited them for a reason, but instead of having sweet conversations with our guests we were being called left and right for photos. People were grabbing us and trading each other in and out for pictures. We would try and connect or share sentiments with someone in between shots, but before we knew it we were quickly being called to another photo. Posed photos were taking the place of heartfelt conversation. And while we SO know that this came from a good place in their hearts, we love that people wanted to document this special day that we had spent so much time and dolla-bills dreaming up. But we felt a lot like Disneyland characters.
And let me emphasize that pictures were SO important to us. I spent years stalking my eventual wedding photographer, because it was important to me to have amazing photos to document our wedding day. After all, photos and memories are the only things you take away from that day. I wanted the moments of that day to be documented well. And we even wrote a note in our thank you card that we placed on each seat to say, “Please take pictures!”. We wanted the details and dancing and things that we would miss to be photographed. But what we did not anticipate was that everyone would want photos with us, and that it would cut in the time that we could spend making memories.
We had a moment to step away after about an hour of going table to table, which was a full hour of a picture marathon, and we decided to start saying no to photos. Not because we were annoyed, truly we were having the most magical day but we just wanted to be intentional with how we spent the rest of that evening. We wanted to share moments with people and not be distracted. We had prayed before our wedding that we would be present and in-the-moment, and in an effort to protect this intention we made a decision to stop posing for photos with guests. The rest of the reception was filled with intimate moments, happy tears, sweet memories, dance battles, and more. Our cheeks hurt from laughing, not from posing.
Yes, we were hoping that people would take a ton of pictures that day: of the details, of each other, of the big moments, of them dancing and partying, Of course! But my groom and I wanted to be present, to be mindful about not letting the day fly by, and to soak in the joy that was overwhelmingly present amidst all of our favorite people.
We kindly started saying no to pictures because we hired an AWESOME photographer to capture moments of us. And we couldn’t wait to see the ones our guests took themselves, but we were ok with not being posed in a bunch of staged photos. We much preferred being present and sharing heartfelt conversation, dances, and toasting with family to the sweet gift of love rather than feeling like Mickey Mouse with a photo line.
I worked weddings for almost 6 years, and I do not remember there being such a demand for the bride and groom to take photos with their guests. Since I left the wedding industry, the shift into an Instagram driven culture has changed how we approach and enjoy weddings. For better and for worse.
So, this is my suggestion to brides and grooms: Don’t be afraid to say no to photos. Your photographer is there to capture you two, your family, and bridal party. There is time in your day set aside for those photos. And those family and bridal party photos are important! Plus, your guests will capture so much of the day on their phones, and they will send those to you and post them online. But you do not need a posed picture with every guest at your wedding. Kindly say no, and bring up instead why it means so much that they are there, or wrangle them to the dance floor. Spend the few moments that you have with each guest making a memory instead of taking a photo.
And here is my call to guests. As sweet as it is that you want to capture moments of your friend’s wedding day, and to capture the bride and groom in all of their glory, think again before you ask them to stop and take a picture with you. Snap all of the pictures that you want of the day, of the couple doing their thang, of the tables, the decor and your friends. But let the bride and groom be present. When you get a moment with them, spend it intentionally, not posed in front of an iPhone. Use your social media as a way to share the day and the festivities, but not to take away from being present in those moments.
Sugarplum: Now, if that doesn’t make you rethink taking pictures with the bride and groom, we don’t know what will! Thank you to Kati for being our first guest bride writer!
Do you want more? Let us know what bride should guest write next or what topic you’d love to learn more about!
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