bride with bridesmaids taking selfie

Photo: Monique Hessler Photography

There’s no doubt about it: Your wedding day will probably be one of the most photographed days of your life. Your photographer will be working hard to capture every unforgettable moment, but your guests may also want to take on the same role. It’s a tricky subject to navigate in such a tech-savvy world.

Try implementing these five guidelines to keep everyone smiling.

Be honest
Your guests’ snapshots can serve as a great way to relive the big day, and they might even catch some behind-the-scenes moments that would otherwise go unnoticed (let’s face it, your photographer can’t be everywhere at once!). But it can also be overwhelming to see dozens of cameras and smartphones at every turn. If the thought of wedding day paparazzi makes you or your fiancé(e) nervous, don’t be afraid to speak up.

Set the tone
Can’t wait to have an official wedding hashtag? Create yours now! Post it on your wedding website, add it to your invitations, and drop a note in your welcome bags. This will let your guests know that it’s okay to break out their devices, and they’ll be pumped to start posting before the wedding festivities even begin! If you’d prefer that everyone keep their cameras turned off, be sure to say so. Designate a member of the wedding party (or a chatty relative) to spread the word through the grapevine, or ask your officiant to make a polite announcement at the start of the ceremony. You can even write out your request and display it on a sign at your wedding—we like the courteous wording on this one.

Draw the line
If you’re anticipating a specific moment of the day that you’d rather not be shared, take extra caution to make your guests aware of it beforehand. There might be certain times (the cake cutting, dance floor face-offs, bouquet toss, etc.) when your motto is, “The more photos, the merrier!” and guests can Instagram to their hearts’ desires. Freeze-frames of you trying to hold back tears during the ceremony? That could be a different story. Define what, if anything, is off-limits.

Give options
Concerned about photo-hungry guests getting in the way of the pros you hired? Kindly ask them to be aware of the photographers and videographers who are there to work. Worried that people will be stopping you all night to take selfies? Plan to allot a few extra minutes during portraits to ensure that everyone who wants a photo gets their turn. Not sure if you want the whole world to see every detail about your wedding? Ask guests to upload their best shots using WeddingWire’s WedSocial app, which stores all the photos in one place instead of being scattered across various social media accounts.

Stay positive
When the day arrives, take a deep breath and don’t spend too much time worrying about who is or isn’t behind the camera. Your friends and family are all there to celebrate you and your spouse-to-be, and that’s what matters the most! Remember that behind every snap-happy guest is someone who loves you and wants to preserve those memories on record. Trust that everyone will respect your wishes, whatever they may be, and then focus on having the best day ever.