Fall means pumpkin spice lattes and leaf piles, but it also means something else: weddings.
Autumn is now the most popular season for getting married. If you’re a bride or groom planning a wedding for September, October, or November, you’re likely attracted to the cooler weather and lovely fall colors. The oranges, yellows, and browns will really pop in your wedding photos.
But while you should invest in a good wedding photographer, that’s not your only option for getting great photos. You can also ask guests to take their own photos for at least part of the wedding day. Here are some of the best ways to crowdsource wedding photos from your attendees.
Make your photo policy clear
Before the wedding starts, you should let your guests know when and how they can take their own photos.
For example, your photographer might have a clause in their contract stating that nobody else can photograph the ceremony. That means your guests can take photos after you and your intended say “I do” and walk back down the aisle. So you’ll want to say something like, “Please refrain from taking photos during the ceremony, but we’d love for you to use your camera to get some candid moments during the reception.”
This is necessary because wedding guests will often go one of two ways regarding photos. First, there’s the group that assumes they can’t take any photos at all. You’ll have to encourage them to take out their phones at certain times. If you want, you can even go old-school and leave disposable cameras on tables at the reception.
Then there are the people who you need to rein in a little on photos. If you don’t set some parameters, they might post unflattering photos or spend the whole reception taking photos. You want to enjoy the day with your guests, not feel like you’re being hounded by the paparazzi. If you think a couple of guests might go too far, try to gently pull them aside and go over some wedding photo etiquette tips.
Also, be sure to create a wedding hashtag that people can use to post wedding snaps on social media. Put the hashtag on wedding invitations or, even better, on wedding programs. It can be as clever or as straightforward as you want.
Give them a place to share photos
While a hashtag is helpful, some brides and grooms want to go even further and look over as many photos as possible. But that can be risky, especially if people are posting those photos on social media before you can look at them. They might post a photo of the bride or groom with their mouth open eating cake, for instance, and that’s not flattering.
Luckily, there are ways to share photos online privately. A smart home device that manages your photos also lets you create shared photo albums that other people can contribute to. So you can create an album called “Smith-Jones Wedding 2019” and then let other people upload photos to it. You can then sort through those photos and pick out which ones you want to have framed or otherwise preserved.
This also gives you more control over any photos that may be compromising. We’re not just talking about photos of you eating; sometimes wedding receptions can get a little wild. The bride or groom may not be jumping in in-ground swimming pools at the country club, but some of your guests might, especially if they’re drinking a little too much of that special wedding cocktail.
There’s nothing necessarily wrong with that, at least as long as no one gets hurt or damages the property. But that doesn’t mean those photos need to be shared far and wide. An exclusive online photo portal offers both you and your guests more privacy.
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