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The Only Thing you Need to Know about Attending a Wedding

You get an invitation in the mail, you plan an outfit, you chat on the phone with friends and family as all are abuzz with the energy and anticipation of the big day.  You’ve got your gift ready for the couple and a beautiful card, your shoes have been broken in and you have money for the cab ride home in case you over-indulge during the reception.  You think you’re ready for the wedding day – but there’s actually only one thing you need to know about attending weddings…

… can you please, PLEASE just sit down?

While it doesn’t happen at every wedding, there’s a handful every year where guests wander with their own cameras throughout the course of the day and cause many key-shots to be blocked.  When this occurs and it just breaks my heart.  Couples pay good money to hire a Toronto wedding photographer and their investment certainly should be respected by their families and friends.  While come couples opt to have an unplugged wedding; many have now noticed that not all guests adhere by the “unplugged” request.

So who’s the culprit?  Is it the teenager or early-20’s crowds who are hoping for a selfie with the bride as she walks down the aisle?

Honestly… no.

The #1 photobomber is the Baby Boomer crowd!

I know, right?  I didn’t really believe it either – but I kept track during the 2014 wedding season and the number of Baby Boomer Photo Bombers (or BBPB’s for short,) far outweighs the younger generation.

I found this quite surprising as the “more mature” generations are typically thought of as having better manners than the Millenial generation; they grew up in the era where forgetting to say “please” could earn you a swift smack with a belt… so why are they so rude now?

After contemplating the issue – I think it all comes down to education.  Weddings were a lot different in the Baby Boomer’s day than they are today.  The amount of personalization and team of experts associated with a wedding would have never been seen 30-40 years ago and I’m starting to think that the majority of BBPB’s aren’t aware of the impact they have when they decide to get up from their chair during the first dance and stand directly behind the couple – infront of the beautifully decorated backdrop.

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So to all the potential BBPB’s out there – in the spirit of education, I want to give you an open letter to the Baby Boomer Crowd about modern weddings:

Dear Baby Boomer Crowd,

I love that you love your new digital camera or your fancy dSLR that you purchased specifically for this wedding.  I adore the fact that you’re embracing the ever changing technology and but I want you to use your new technology wisely.

Please don’t stand up at the front of the church or lean into the aisle as the bride is walking down the aisle.  There’s a good chance you’re going to block either the videographer, photographer or both.  While we’re on the topic, please don’t think it’s okay to stand up at the back of the church as the bride walks down the aisle, either.  Most couples have 2 photographers – and one of them usually works from the back of the venue.  You don’t want to block anyone’s shot.

The average Canadian bride spends about $3,000 on wedding photography and many within Toronto spend even more.  If they have a videographer, that’s probably another $3,000+, on average.  That’s a lot of money the couple has invested into these memories – please don’t be the reason for a blocked shot, weird shadow or elbow in the frame.

I think it’s great that you’ve mastered Facebook and that you want to fill it with as many photos as possible of your loves ones.  But please, if you see the bride and groom taking formal photos with the photographer – do not disturb us.  

Having extra people present during family photos is very distracting for those being photographed – especially if you’re taking pictures, too.  Most of the time, it’s hard for the photographer to get even a single picture with everyone paying attention to them; most of the time, the subjects are looking off-camera at someone who is distracting them.  Having extra people present, whether taking photos or not, during the bride and groom formals can make the couple very umcomfortable.  Chances are they’ll be too kind to ask you to leave so I’ll have to be the “bad guy” – with their permission, of course.  You won’t like me and will spend the rest of the night giving me dirty looks at the reception.

The average bride spends $3,000 on wedding photos – often times more if she has hired a second photographer or has chosen to do engagement photos, too.  How long would you have to work to earn $3,000?  It certainly doesn’t come quickly for most people – so please, respect the investment the couple has made and avoid being a distraction for those taking formal photos.

It’s neat that your camera also takes video and I’m totally digging the fact that you love the couple enough to want to capture the special moments of their reception.  But please keep in mind that if YOU can see the photographer in your shot, you’re also in theirs.  You don’t want to be in the background of all the first dance photos, do you?  Let me rephrase that – do you really think the bride and groom want to see you in the background of their first dance photos?  Sorry to say, but I doubt it. 

Most photographers will set up multiple flashes during a wedding reception; this allows us to evenly light a large area.  Anytime you’re standing infront of or near any kind of tripod or stand, there’s a good chance you’ve created a giant black hole by blocking the light.  This can cause missed moments that the bride and groom won’t be able to get back – a photographer needs light.

While photographers may have only cost several hundred dollars when you tied the knot, they now cost several thousand dollars.  I know I speak on behalf of the couples when I say – PLEASE – respect this investment and try to stay out of the photographers way; not for us, but for the couple you’re there to celebrate with.  It’s their investment you’ll be putting at risk if you choose to wander around during the ceremony. 


So please, Baby Boomers, take your photos from the comfort of your seat and be aware of the fact that each wedding typically has multiple photographers as well as videographers.  Please be aware that although you may not be blocking the primary photographer, you may be blocking the second photographer or the lighting equipment that the photographer needs to complete their job.  The couple will be forever grateful for clear, unobtructed images that they’ll be more than happy to share their digital files with you after the wedding.



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