Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Modern day issues for decades of tradition

Today on love my dress, Annabel wrote this post about restrictions on photography in church. (It was actually yesterday, but the time zone thing is too confusing.) Whilst it isn't unique to churches (one of the photographers we contacted has had issues with registrars too) and I can completely see where it's come from, it is such a shame if a couple can't get the photographs they want. 

We're lucky - firstly, we were warned by our photographer that there was a risk of restrictions being imposed, and secondly our vicar has said anything is fine as long as they "don't get in the way." This sounds perfect to me. I don't want to be looking at or thinking about the camera in church, I want to be thinking about becoming husband and wife. But I want to see pictures of that moment afterwards. 

For me guests are a bigger issue than the professionals. Our photographer knows how a church service runs, and will have checked out the best places to stand, lighting etc before hand. She also knows how to use a camera - and that includes turning the flash off! I have lost count of the number of places we have been where flash photography is banned - there is always at least one idiot who can't manage this. At the Singapore Zoo night safari, they asked everyone to turn their flash off in seven (yes, 7) languages, told us twice that someone wouldn't - and several people still hadn't. This had led to other places banning photography entirely (such as the Blue Penguin colony in Oamaru, NZ) as it is a danger to the subjects (often nocturnal animals). 

The same is true of mobile phones/cell phones. There's always one going off somewhere, despite signs or announcements to turn them off. They are invariably loud and playing ridiculous tunes (I love a ridiculous ring tone - mine plays the theme tune to Fraggle Rock - but not at a wedding). If a phone rings during my wedding ceremony, its owner may find themselves going home hungry! A cautionary note to my guests - if you don't know how to work your technology, leave it in the car!!

This was quoted by one of the commenters on love my dress, and appears to originally be from Offbeat Bride. I think it's perfect:

We want you to be able to really enjoy our wedding day, feeling truly present and in the moment with us. We've hired an amazing wedding photographer who will capture how the wedding looks - and we invite all of you to sit back, relax, and just enjoy how the wedding feels. We respectfully ask that everyone leave all cameras and cell phones off during the ceremony. We ask you to refrain so we can see your faces, and you can see ours, both now & forever in the photos that our photographer will capture. Of course we will be happy to share our photographs with you afterward!

Gadget, however, will think it's cheesy, so I've found him this alternative:

Ladies and gentlemen, prior to wedding take-off, all seat backs and tray tables must be in their upright and locked positions, all bags properly stowed, and all portable electronic devices turned off and stowed. This includes cell phones and cameras.

I think I might add the first to our wedsite and Order or Service sheets, and ask Father Nick to announce something similar to the latter before I arrive. There are some signs on OBB that you can use too, but I think Gadget might object if I label our wedding "unplugged!"

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