Please don't Facebook our wedding photos....yet
September 18, 2013 4:52 PM   Subscribe

My fiance and I have hired a fancy photographer for our wedding and would prefer that our guests refrain from uploading their iPhone snaps to Facebook et al until we have had a chance to formally release 'the wedding photos'. One guest that we asked is being....difficult, wondering if it's even worth asking the other guests. Are we being unreasonable? How to best phrase the request, if at all?

- Very small reception with around 20 people or so
- Several extended family members that weren't invited are miffed but understand we wanted to keep it small and private
- Most if not all are on Facebook, connected to friends and family that won't be in attendance
- The photographer we hired is very, very good. Artistic but can do the standard photos too
- We are not vain people
- Official photos will take no more than a week to be processed and given to us digitally to do with as we please

We both agreed that we want 'control' over how our wedding day is first presented to those that can't attend. We are spending enough time and money making ourselves and the day beautiful and would prefer a professional photograph to be the first image of the happy day, not a blurry iPhone photo with red-eyes and chin-fat.

We floated the idea to one guest - a sibling- a particularly prolific facebooker (comments on everyone's posts, tags herself everywhere, thousands of photos) and we were met with confusion, defiance and then reluctant agreement not to post anything. (we agreed she could 'check in' and post updates, but no photos).

We are well aware that people like to document the day, and provide 'proof' that they are there, but we are afraid that some of our guests fancy themselves professional photographers and think they are 'helping inform those who didn't attend'.

Is this an unreasonable request to extend to the other guests? Is it unreasonable just to ask our guests, enjoy the day, your facebook friends don't need to see photos immediately.

How to best phrase the request, and do we do it day of to the group or have a private 'hey, do you mind not...." convo with each person as we mingle?
posted by anonymous to Human Relations (98 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
Honestly, if a bride made this request I would probably honor it, but I would also think it's a little bizarre. Can you talk to the photographer about maybe taking one photo right before the ceremony to post immediately to Facebook? That way you can control the first image people see.
posted by tinymegalo at 4:56 PM on September 18, 2013 [50 favorites]

We both agreed that we want 'control' over how our wedding day is first presented to those that can't attend.

I recently attended a wedding where one of the brides felt this way, and her solution was to make a weddingphotoswap account and ask all guests to please only upload photos of the wedding there. It didn't TOTALLY work, but I'd say it kinda did? I only saw a few Facebook photos compared to what I'd have expected.

(Also, I kinda hate to say this, but "we are not vain people" and "we don't want a blurry iPhone photo with red-eyes and chin-fat" doesn't really jibe...)
posted by showbiz_liz at 4:57 PM on September 18, 2013 [52 favorites]

I have been on the receiving end of a very similar request. I am a pretty heavy Facebook user with thousands of photos posted. I had no problem with the request. It was someone else's event and they wanted to manage the image of the event. A marriage is an event that should be in the control of the people getting married. You get to choose the image and everyone coming to such a small wedding should respect that.
posted by hworth at 4:58 PM on September 18, 2013 [9 favorites]

Unreasonable! Particularly in the past five years or so! Your lack of chin fat is more important than other people's spontaneous sharing of joy? Come on. Are they there to celebrate your love? Or are they acting as part of a tableau designed for you and you alone?
posted by skbw at 5:00 PM on September 18, 2013 [35 favorites]

I would classify this as bridezillaish.
posted by bq at 5:00 PM on September 18, 2013 [121 favorites]

Is this an unreasonable request to extend to the other guests?

Yeah, sorry.

No one is going to look at a photo of your wedding and think, "Oh, they look fat!" They're going to think, "Oh, Jane Doe and John Smith got married! Good for them."

This is vain and silly, and a total waste of brainpower.

If you care more about looking good online than not appearing like a vain control freak, go ahead and ask your guests. But I'd rather have some questionable, kind of blurry photos on facebook than spend the day asking people not to post pictures on facebook. You're not a celebrity, right? No one's going to try to sell them, and other than a vague, probably positive reaction, no one else is really going to care how your wedding looks, especially on facebook.

If you want a place for people to dump all their pictures, setting up a flickr feed is a good alternative. My friend did that, but she also didn't care if some photos looked a little off.
posted by ablazingsaddle at 5:00 PM on September 18, 2013 [30 favorites]

I guess it is not unreasonable, I mean, it's your wedding, you can ask the guests to come dressed as their favorite reincarnation of Doctor Who if you want, but it seems like a very controlling and demanding thing to ask. I guess I would comply, but I would find it a bit unpleasant. In terms of getting the message out, since it is such a small group, I'd ask the Maid of Honor and Best Man to get word out before the event, and have the Ushers remind people as they are seated for the ceremony otherwise people may be literally posting during the vows and whatnot.
posted by Rock Steady at 5:01 PM on September 18, 2013 [1 favorite]

I think this is a perfectly reasonable request for the ceremony - in fact, plenty of people just ask that no photos be taken at all.

I wouldn't see it as all reasonable if you were to extend this to the party afterwards.
posted by ftm at 5:01 PM on September 18, 2013 [5 favorites]

A lot of people are asking the officiant of the ceremony to make an announcement asking attendees not to take pictures at all, couching it in terms of "Let's live in this moment and not worry about taking pictures -- there are professional photographers who will take care of that for you." I'd say that's a better tack to take than "Taking pictures is fine, but don't release them until we release the official ones first." The latter makes you sound vain and controlling; the former makes you sound more like you just don't want the distraction in the moment.

Oh, and this doesn't apply to the reception. You're fighting a lost fight if you're asking people not to take and instantly share photos of the reception.
posted by Etrigan at 5:02 PM on September 18, 2013 [26 favorites]

People might think it's obnoxious and, well, pretty damn vain and control-freaky, but they should and will most likely honor it. I would say that if a blurry iPhone photo of you with a double chin bothers you that much, you might want to just not go on Facebook. I'm not sure how other people's photos of your event can possibly affect your experience of it, but you also have to the right to ask for certain courtesies of your guests who are attending your wedding. It is your wedding day, not theirs.

edit: Agree with others that asking for no non-professional photos at all might sound less annoying than asking that they refrain from posting photos on Facebook until after the "official" photos are released after the fact.
posted by AppleTurnover at 5:02 PM on September 18, 2013

Hell no it's not unreasonable. Your wedding doesn't have to be on Facebook or any other social media site before you want it to. The people calling you a bridezilla are insensitive.
posted by planetesimal at 5:03 PM on September 18, 2013 [17 favorites]

I think its generally reasonable for people to request other people not to put pictures of them on Facebook, period (wedding or not). I mean, I don't think it should be illegal to put up pictures without someone's consent or anything, but it is pretty rude. So I think your request is very reasonable, that said you have no way of enforcing it obviously.
posted by wildcrdj at 5:04 PM on September 18, 2013 [5 favorites]

It's reasonable to ask it for the ceremony. It's reasonable to ask that photos of the two of you not go on facebook. It's more than a little crazy-sounding to ask it for the reception in general (people are getting dressed up and looking special, and they might want to use pictures of themselves). And if you don't have a history of agreeing gracefully and easily to other people's odd requests, you're going to get a lot more pushback.
posted by jeather at 5:08 PM on September 18, 2013

Regardless of whether or not this a reasonable request, I think you should let it go because:

1. A lot of people are not going to listen, or bug you about it, or whatever
2. When someone does post a photo, you'll feed bad about it.

That sounds far more unpleasant to deal with on the day of your wedding than seeing a few shitty cellphone pics on the internet a few days after. You're setting yourself up to fail. Set up an alternative (flickr, or whatever) but if you accept that you can't control other people's behavior, your wedding (and IMO, life in general) will be much less stressful.
posted by ablazingsaddle at 5:10 PM on September 18, 2013 [17 favorites]

I think its generally reasonable for people to request other people not to put pictures of them on Facebook, period

I agree, but I think there's a big difference between "I don't want pictures of my wedding on facebook" and "I don't want amateur pictures of my wedding going up before the professional ones".

I don't even take photos during a wedding, but I'd still think you were kind of bizarre for asking this. Whatever, bridezillas have done worse. I'd also think poorly of someone who refused to go along with it.
posted by jacalata at 5:11 PM on September 18, 2013 [9 favorites]

For some reason it would seem strange to me if you allowed photo-taking but tried to embargo the pics, but it would not seem strange* if your programs included a little hippie-esque statement like "we would like our wedding to be a moment of unplugged serenity in which we can all enjoy each others company without the interruptions of the modern age. We ask that you please keep phones on vibrate and refrain from taking pictures. We will have a professional photographer who will be recording everyone and everything, and we will email those photos to you after the wedding."

*I mean, it would seem a little strange, but I wouldn't bat an eye. The forced-lategram idea, however, I can't imagine it working.

(Or, what several other people said while I was typing.)
posted by DestinationUnknown at 5:14 PM on September 18, 2013 [4 favorites]

In a group the size of what you are describing, I think this is reasonable to ask. Maybe keep it simple, "Please do not Facebook photos from my wedding until my fiance/husband and I have posted our own." Give a hard date if possible. Don't go into long explanations. Be prepared for people not to listen.
posted by variella at 5:15 PM on September 18, 2013 [3 favorites]

I don't think it's unusual or unreasonable. I've seen the request made pretty often lately. As a guest I completely understand and don't mind.
posted by tealcake at 5:15 PM on September 18, 2013 [3 favorites]

My sister in law made this request, and I and everyone else was more than happy to comply. I do not think you're at all unreasonable. Google "unplugged wedding" for ideas of how to explain this to your guests.
posted by Requiax at 5:16 PM on September 18, 2013 [2 favorites]

I think requesting people be there in the moment (for the ceremony) is much more reasonable-sounding than "Your photos will suck so just wait a week for my good ones." Particularly, people who wave around their enormous ipads during the ceremony make me want to break them.

If you care that much about how your wedding will look to those who weren't invited, why didn't you make some choices that would have fit more people? Are you aiming these perfect photos at ex-friends or exes who wouldn't have been invited anyway?

By the way, before the wedding both of you should change your FB settings so only you can tag yourselves. If other people are in the photo they can tag themselves but it's going to slow the dissemination.
posted by Anwan at 5:17 PM on September 18, 2013 [6 favorites]

On one hand, I agree with some who say this feels bridezillaish, especially the way you phrased it.

On the other hand, this is precisely the reason that my fiancée and I are planning to elope or have a really tiny itty bitty wedding. If we invite anyone, we're inviting the people to be there to celebrate with us and to be involved in the process, not to look at the ceremony through the screen of their camera or their phone. That's the photographer's job.

Later, a month or two after the wedding, we'll throw a backyard BBQ/beer party that everyone will be invited to, and people can hide their social anxiety behind a piece of electronics all they want at that point.
posted by SpecialK at 5:19 PM on September 18, 2013 [2 favorites]

I'd absolutely do it if a friend asked, but I'd secretly think the request was totally weird and, yes, vain.

Also, by dint of being in places/seeing things that the professional photographer won't, your friends will probably end up taking photos that capture a much friendlier/happy vibe than the pro. Your request really comes across as belittling the pictures they're taking for the joy of it in favor of being able to release a stilted "press release" that meets with your approval.
posted by MsMolly at 5:20 PM on September 18, 2013 [40 favorites]

I was typing a variant of what MsMolly said, but she said it better.
posted by Kwine at 5:21 PM on September 18, 2013

We both agreed that we want 'control' over how our wedding day is first presented to those that can't attend.

While you certainly have some influence, I don't think it's possible to have total control short of hiring the TSA to work the door or something. I mean, if one of your guests decided to go into the restroom during the ceremony and text a bunch of people about your weird photo-related demands, I don't think you could stop 'em, because you'd be busy reciting your own vows or whatever.

Chasing this idea of control does not sound like the kind of thing that will make for a happier wedding day.
posted by box at 5:24 PM on September 18, 2013 [2 favorites]

Belittling or not to prefer professional photos, it is unfair of people to take and distribute pictures of you without your permission. I don't publish pictures with other people in them unless I explicitly have their permission and, on the rare occasions I do publish pics of others, I alter the photo so you can't tell who it is.

It's not my place to be careless with other people's images and I am not going to suffer and die and have an event ruined for me because I didn't live FaceTweetStagram somebody else's wedding. For fuck's sake.
posted by tel3path at 5:26 PM on September 18, 2013 [11 favorites]

One of my favourite photos of myself at my wedding, to my now deceased husband, is an 'amateur' photo taken by my mother in law.

With technology the way it is now, filters, editing apps etc, I think it would be doubtful that someone will post an awful picture of you on Facebook.

What if the pro photographers camera dies, or his memory card gets corrupted? You'll have nothing. What if by making this request you miss out on the potentially best picture of the night?

You'd be surprised the gems that some people capture on the fly.

I think you're going to sell yourself short if you go through with alientating people so they don't take any pics. I mean, I wouldn't bother snapping someone else's wedding if I couldn't do anything with the pics. People take pics for social media.
posted by Youremyworld at 5:26 PM on September 18, 2013 [7 favorites]

Maybe you can ask your photographer to do a very fast/same day turnaround on 3-4 pics? It's not like they have to process film in a darkroom. You can approve and post them yourselves and let everyone know that the rest will be out in a week. That way, you get to set the tone and those who can't attend get to celebrate with you from afar. Then, if an unauthorized torrent is unleashed on FB, you won't be upset about it and you'll be able to avoid hurt feelings and resentments that may arise if you aren't the first out of the gate.

As an aside, for various reasons I've been unable to attend weddings of cherished friends/family and I'm always eager to see photos. I look for them on social media. I want to see just a snippet of the happy marrieds so that I can feel the love, even if I'm far away. It makes me feel connected to them and their happiness and gives me some vicarious enjoyment.
posted by quince at 5:28 PM on September 18, 2013 [1 favorite]

You have nicely asked about 20 people to wait a week or so to post photos of your event. Your reasons strike me as a bit precious, but it shouldn't be a big deal. You just want First Post rights. At the wedding, with such a small group, you can sweetly ask your guests to delay posting their photos. The public pressure is likely to be more successful. Thank them with a nice copy of the group photo.

If people do post photos before yours, just let it go. It's an okay request, but not a contractual demand. No repercussions.

Good idea to change your fb settings. Also worth repeating be there to celebrate with us and to be involved in the process, not to look at the ceremony through the screen of their camera or their phone.

Personally, a friend just got married, and it was fun to see the different points of view. But the photographer's pictures will be on the wall, in the album, etc., for a long time. Mazel tov.
posted by theora55 at 5:28 PM on September 18, 2013

- We are not vain people

I think you obviously kinda are based on what you're asking for and why you're asking it - and that's totally okay! People are allowed to be vain!

However, I think
1) you're fighting a lost cause here, especially if the ceremony is during the day and/or you are trying to stop photos at the reception.

2) Totally appreciate that it's your wedding, and you can certainly ask people to do this, but I think a lot of people would find it an outlandish request, and a little bit none-of-your-businessy. What if they are facebooking photos of other guests, flowerchildren, themselves, their family etc? Are they allowed to post those?

3) I would bet there will be people who will do this anyway.

tl;dr I think you are trying to control something that you can't control and with this: " Is it unreasonable just to ask our guests, enjoy the day, your facebook friends don't need to see photos immediately. " kinda telling people what to think and how to think it, and what they would enjoy. They know nobody needs it - nobody needs to get married, either, but people do it, and like it; you're not asking for them, you're asking for you - and that's okay, but honestly, I wouldn't waste the headspace thinking about this - I will be shocked if you notice it on the day, or care.
posted by smoke at 5:29 PM on September 18, 2013 [2 favorites]

(Also, I kinda hate to say this, but "we are not vain people" and "we don't want a blurry iPhone photo with red-eyes and chin-fat" doesn't really jibe...)

Let's give the OP the benefit of the doubt that they meant they're not unusually vain people, but they'd still rather not have their wedding to be represented by red-eye, weird-angle photos. Disliking red eye isn't necessarily vain; it could just mean you have a good aesthetic sensibility, so you realize that red eye makes a lot of amateur snapshots look awful. I don't think this is an unreasonable request for such a small group. (If it were a huge group, I might say you have a right to ask but you shouldn't be surprised if photos get posted anyway.)
posted by John Cohen at 5:32 PM on September 18, 2013 [10 favorites]

Not unreasonable, and maybe you put a small request in with the programs and leave it at that. I also think if someone does post pictures you should just let it go and not make a thing of it. Also question whether you want to continue being friends with someone who was completely unable to honor such a simple request.

As a practical matter, I think you can set your privacy controls so someone is unable to tag you in a photo. If so, from the day before the wedding until your official pictures are released maybe you can set that to at least prevent all your non-mutual friends to see "So and So was tagged by Some Jerk."

It's your wedding. You plan everything else, you're allowed to decide how you want the rest of the world to see it. Unfortunately, other people are not prevented from doing so.

Above all else, have fun and don't let this stress you too much. The only thing that matters in the end is that you're getting married to someone you love.
posted by bondcliff at 5:39 PM on September 18, 2013

I don't think this is bridezilla-ish at all. MANY professional photographers now ask that guests not take photos because it can ruin their own photos (imagine your photographer trying to capture you walking down the aisle while all the guests have their stupid iPhones out in front of the view).

At our wedding, we had the officiant make an announcement before the ceremony that was something along the lines of "joan and husband have hired an awesome photographer to capture this evening, who has requested that you please keep your cameras and phones in your pocket to avoid distraction and to allow you to focus on being guests at this amazing event. Please leave it to the pros." Everyone obliged.
posted by joan_holloway at 5:40 PM on September 18, 2013 [6 favorites]

I don't think it's an unreasonable thing to want but a little unrealistic. If you set yourself up with the dream of having a gorgeous picture of you and yours as the first thing people see on Facebook after you get hitched, you'll be bummed if that doesn't happen. In my humble opinion, that's a silly thing to get upset about.

Also, please don't take this the wrong way, but you'll enjoy your special day a lot more if you get over yourself. Your guests aren't puppets. You can tell them what to do or ask them not to do things, and in response, they will do what they want to do. If that's not okay with you, don't invite them or elope.

Before my wedding, my cute cousin ring bearer got sick so instead, a different cute cousin was the ring bearer. I wanted to get a video of the ceremony but I forgot to ask someone to film until I was about to walk down the aisle. My cousin brought a girlfriend in a black tube dress and stilettos who I hadn't invited or heard of. Another cousin brought a random friend. But. My husband and I are just as married as anyone else. And when we were surrounded by so many people who loved us, I really could not have cared less about those things.
posted by kat518 at 5:41 PM on September 18, 2013 [7 favorites]

As a follow up, here's what I am thinking when I attend a friend's wedding and post a couple of photos to Facebook:

1. I would never post an unflattering picture. What I'm saying by posting the photos is "look at these amazing people and their happy day! Isn't it wonderful?"

2. That said, I have posted pictures where the bride had a double chin because she was laughing at a story her wife told, or the other bride's glasses were reflecting the light because her head was turned so that she could see her best friend read a poem. Your pro photog is going to be posing you in ways that ensure you look like you don't have chin fat. Your friends will be taking pics that show the unscripted emotion of the moment. Both are important, but I'd argue that the latter are more so.

Still, as mentioned before, I'd absolutely honor whatever request the couple made. I just wanted to point out that people aren't taking pictures out of any malicious desire to "scoop" your wedding coverage; they're just wanting to share a happy moment.
posted by MsMolly at 5:49 PM on September 18, 2013 [6 favorites]

I would think it was perfectly reasonable (if slightly old-fashioned) for you to request that no photos be taken at all. But to allow guests to take photos and then try to restrict who they share them with and when is stranger, and your stated justification of "control" is not likely to endear you to your guests.

On the bright side, the people who are actually going to care enough to look at photos of your wedding on Facebook probably wish you well, and won't care about the skill of any amateur photographers on the scene.
posted by willbaude at 5:56 PM on September 18, 2013 [1 favorite]

I don't think this is being unreasonable at all.

On the other hand, there's little you can do if your "friends" are going to insist on being boors and disregard your small request.

The easiest thing to do would be to send out a card if you can that says, "We have a small request to make. We're wondering if you could refrain from uploading photos to Facebook for a day or so. We have lots of friends who could not make it, and we would like to send some photos to them first."

Or something like that.

If you send the note to everybody at the same time, then there is no weirdness, and people can decide whether or not to respect your wishes.

And with twenty guests, I would think that they are close enough friends to get it. I mean, come on. Has etiquette and courtesy totally gone the way of the dinosaur now that we all have smartphones?
posted by KokuRyu at 5:56 PM on September 18, 2013 [5 favorites]

I get the impression from your question that you are asking for people to not post ANY pictures at all, but that what you really care about is not having bad pictures of the two of you posted.

Is there some reason why you wouldn't want people to post their pictures of themselves, other relatives, or things like the grounds or flower arrangements? If not, why are you asking for that? Maybe people would be happier about complying if you didn't put quite so many restrictions.

You can't have control over how everything about your wedding day is presented, if nothing else people will tell others about their observations even if there are no pictures. You aren't planning to issue NDLs one hopes.

If you want to be absolutely sure your images are the first seen, do a photoshoot before the wedding date and post something before anyone else will have the opportunity to take a picture.
posted by yohko at 5:58 PM on September 18, 2013

This seems like a solution in search of a problem to me. I think you're overestimating how much the people not in attendance need you to babysit their perceptions. Seeing an amateur candid photo is not going to render them incapable of focusing on the slew of more beautiful photos that will follow from the photographer.

anonymous posted">> We are well aware that people like to document the day, and provide 'proof' that they are there, but we are afraid that some of our guests fancy themselves professional photographers and think they are 'helping inform those who didn't attend'.

Honestly, this sounds pretty disdainful. Do you want these people to share in your celebration by attending your wedding or not? Sheesh.

The event is "owned" by you, but your guests' experiences are "owned" by each of them.

Look, I'm not totally unsympathetic -- I have family members who barrage us with constant photo-taking throughout every family event and I find it irritating. (Hi, can I sit here having a goddamn conversation without being interrupted to "say cheese" again? Thanks.) But I think you're taking it a bit far to want to supervise/negotiate the terms of exactly how they communicate via social media.
posted by desuetude at 5:59 PM on September 18, 2013 [18 favorites]

I don't think people will like your wedding ceremony (or the professional photos of it) less if they see photos of it first on FB.

Also, I know weddings are typically considered the woman's day, but not allowing photo sharing of the event for a full week after? That seems like adding insult to injury for those who were not invited.
posted by stubbehtail at 5:59 PM on September 18, 2013

Agreed that you should just change your settings to have to approve any tags of you before they appear on your profile.
posted by greta simone at 6:12 PM on September 18, 2013 [2 favorites]

I'd consider you definitely in "get over yourself" territory. You can control tags, but don't try to keep guests from posting pictures.
posted by Admiral Haddock at 6:14 PM on September 18, 2013 [4 favorites]

The wedding is one day. Something will be imperfect. The important stuff starts the next day. Focus on that.
posted by notned at 6:23 PM on September 18, 2013 [3 favorites]

Has etiquette and courtesy totally gone the way of the dinosaur now that we all have smartphones?
posted by KokuRyu at 8:56 PM on September 18

Yep. More verbosely put, many people are so tied to their phones and social media that even if they agree to your request, some of them may:

1) Not care enough to honor it.
2) Think it's silly and not honor it.
3) Forget after a day or so, and post the photos by accident.
4) Take a photo that falls into a gray area of the rule. As in, they take a photo of a friend/flowers/church/etc., and you happen to be in the background.

So yes, you can absolutely ask for the photos not to be posted for a few days, but will the request be honored to the extent that you would like? Maybe, if you're lucky. This is why I would really reconsider if this is worth the time and aggravation, because I very seriously doubt that this will turn out the way that you want, even if everyone is technically on board.
posted by Shouraku at 6:26 PM on September 18, 2013

For an average-size wedding, I'd expect your request wouldn't go over so well and would be unreasonable. But for a wedding of just 20 guests, I'd say it's a reasonable request. The people you've invited should know that they hold a special place in your lives and ought to be capable of paying you some mutual respect. Nonetheless, it would best be framed as an expression of preference. Anyone who would disregard that in a small group would be the one striking a dissonant chord.
posted by alusru at 6:29 PM on September 18, 2013

I've had this request made, and I did think it slightly strange but was happy to comply. Then again 1) I'm not big on social media, so I probably wouldn't have facebooked the photos I took in any case, 2) probably because of 1), I didn't think it was unreasonable and 3) they're my friends, and it's their wedding so I can do what they want for one day.

I can't remember how the request was made, but it was along the lines of "please just celebrate with us on our special day and share on social media another time".
posted by pianissimo at 6:36 PM on September 18, 2013

I'd abide if you asked, but I went back and forth about you asking and finally realized that it's your day and I don't have too many digital-age weddings under my belt to go by, so sure, go ahead.

You should just realize that your facebook pictures aren't really as big a deal to other people as they are to you. (Nothing personal, that goes for every photo posted on facebook and 99% of everything we think others will notice, if that makes you rethink your position at all.)
posted by Room 641-A at 6:40 PM on September 18, 2013 [1 favorite]

Actually, I think the wedding is a red herring. I think you should be able to ask your closest friends to not post photos of you on the Internet for any reason you like, and expect that request to be honored. Especially if it's only for a week.

I wouldn't make a big deal about it; maybe just a small note at the bottom of the program:'We would be really grateful if our guests didn't post photos of our wedding on social media until after [date x]. Thanks!'

(But no, I wouldn't get bent out of shape if they ignore it, cause what's the point? Put a line in the program and them forget about it.)

I must be a dinosaur, because I'm astonished by the responses here.
posted by Salamander at 6:47 PM on September 18, 2013 [8 favorites]

Oh, and FWIW, as a guest I would prefer it *not* couched in terms of 'please just focus in being present in the moment' yadda yadda. That's a bit patronizing. Just ask me not to post the photos on damn Facebook, and I won't. The reasons are pretty obvious, and none of my business anyway.
posted by Salamander at 6:50 PM on September 18, 2013 [4 favorites]

Wow, based on the comments, the common etiquette has shifted quite a lot in the last couple of years. Back in olden times (not really that long ago) the Bride got to decide what happened on her special day. Now you can't stop them.
posted by ovvl at 7:13 PM on September 18, 2013 [1 favorite]

but we are afraid that some of our guests fancy themselves professional photographers and think they are 'helping inform those who didn't attend'.

That's kind of a nice thing, no? They love you and want to share that love. Speaking as someone who has been on the receiving end of blurry Facebook shots of weddings I didn't attend, I always enjoy those photos. It doesn't take away my love of seeing the really awesome professional photos, either (someone posted theirs tonight, can't wait to go look- and I've already seen tons of blurry shots. If anything, the blurry shots made me more excited to see the REAL photos). Nobody can make you look worse than you actually look. It's your wedding day- you're going to look f-ing incredible. You're the bride!

I would also say that you might as well let people post Facebook/Instagram photos, because otherwise your professional photos is all you're going to get. People probably aren't going to use some new app or Flickr site or whatever else you might try to get them to use to upload their photos (we tried a Flickr site, and got hardly any of the 10 gazillion photos I saw people take). People use what they know, and these days, that's Facebook and Instagram.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 7:30 PM on September 18, 2013 [3 favorites]

Something you may want to think about, OP- I like it when people use Instagram for their big day with a hashtag for their wedding and have people upload them there. Then people can make them a little artsy, crop them and use a filter and use a cute hashtag that you can look back on later like #DavidLovesMaria or what not.
All kinds of photos of the reception and event pop up this way. This is the new "disposable camera on the table" trick.
posted by timpanogos at 7:44 PM on September 18, 2013

It is your day, it's not unreasonable. You don't have to explain your reasons in any detail.

I will say that my interest in wedding photos generally falls in the following categories:

1. Beautiful memories of a special day (applies to my wedding only)
2. Cute pictures of people having a great time (not dependent on photo quality, although quality is a plus)
3. Getting a sense for what a wedding I couldn't attend is like (I don't really care in any deep sense, just curious)
4. Photos of MEEEE (I'm vain)

So your detailed reasons don't resonate at all with me; if I'm not at your wedding I don't need the presentation to be stage managed, I just want to see people I know having fun and I want to have some idea for what the event is like.
posted by leopard at 7:50 PM on September 18, 2013 [1 favorite]

You have no way of actually enforcing something like this.

When you make this (totally unenforceable) request of people, they will probably think you are being a controlling jerk.

Is it really more important to you that you retain complete control of how your wedding is presented on a social networking site than that you celebrate your wedding in a spirit of joy and fun for all your guests? Especially in light of the fact that you will inevitably fail?

I don't know, I don't think this is like the worst thing ever or anything, but it would definitely harsh my mellow. Even as someone who is not a huge facebook photo sharer. I don't know that I'd Think Less Of You, but I'd totally laugh about you behind your back later and tell everyone how lame it was that you did that.

Is this the hill you want to bridezilla on?
posted by Sara C. at 8:04 PM on September 18, 2013 [5 favorites]

All this talk of "etiquette" and whatever else seems to miss a bit. Specifically, the bride doesn't own the day, or even the event. If the people weren't an important part of the event, you'd have nobody there, you'd video tape it, post that on Facebook and be done. 100% control, the event is now much less expensive, etc.

I wonder if the bride in this case will be asking permission to post pictures of the attendees? What if they don't want the first picture someone sees of them at the wedding to be from a professional photographer?

If it means a lot to you, make the request. People might even listen at a wedding that small. But they won't do so without privately cocking their heads and saying things about "Bridezilla" . . . and if they were telling me I'd probably nod along with them and wonder what was wrong with you. So that's the trade-off you'd be making -- if that's an okay trade-off, then go for it!

(and you should probably drop the "we're not vain" -- I'm not sure there's a more vain request to make in this situation. There's nothing wrong with that -- be vain if you want to -- but you should probably just own it.)
posted by toomuchpete at 8:38 PM on September 18, 2013 [4 favorites]

Genuine question: how on earth does it affect anyone's enjoyment, as a guest, to not be able to upload photos to Facebook?

The OP is not going to ask people not to take photos. The only thing she's asking them to do is not hit 'share'. Guests might privately think the reasons for asking are vain/obnoxious/lame/whatever, but if they sneer behind the bride and groom's back, they're the rude ones.

(Please note: I've never had a wedding, and if I did, I wouldn't care one way or the other. But that's me. I still think it's common courtesy not to post photos of people's events to social media if requested.)
posted by Salamander at 8:47 PM on September 18, 2013 [8 favorites]

Something has always rankled me about the attitude that "it's your day, you should do whatever you want". It might be your wedding, but the guests still have a right to their own experiences of events that they attend. These days, for better or worse, a lot of people choose to share these experiences via social media, and it seems very controlling of you to try to impose very specific rules about this behavior.

You have invited your guests to experience this event with you, not to be props in your own stage-managed performance. It strikes me as quite contemptuous of your guests and their role in your lives that you would think that their social media contributions are so unworthy of your wedding.
posted by RubyScarlet at 8:54 PM on September 18, 2013 [12 favorites]

how on earth does it affect anyone's enjoyment, as a guest, to not be able to upload photos to Facebook?

People enjoy different things and, generally, you don't get to tell them what they can or can't enjoy, so if they enjoy sharing things on facebook, that's what they enjoy. They don't even have to have a justification for it.

I mean, why does a person enjoy other people NOT posting things to their own facebook feeds? (same reason)
posted by toomuchpete at 8:57 PM on September 18, 2013 [2 favorites]

What about the guests who are spending their time and money trying to make the day nice for you? This isn't all one sided. Each wedding guest is probably spending at least a couple hundred a piece to attend.

I love going to weddings of my closest friends, but there are other weddings I go to out of obligation. These sorts of demands come across as very unappreciative to the guests who may not be excited about attending.

I would comply with your request, but secretly roll my eyes.
posted by parakeetdog at 9:13 PM on September 18, 2013 [1 favorite]

People enjoy different things and, generally, you don't get to tell them what they can or can't enjoy, so if they enjoy sharing things on facebook, that's what they enjoy. They don't even have to have a justification for it.

No, I'm not asking why people enjoy posting things to Facebook. I'm asking why they would enjoy an event less because they couldn't post pictures of it to Facebook.
posted by Salamander at 9:22 PM on September 18, 2013 [2 favorites]

I guess I am on the side of "I would honor the request but think it was weird and controlling." Which is fine, it's your wedding and you're entitled to do weird and controlling shit. It comes with the territory.

One thing you could do in lieu of asking is to just detag yourself (or get your maid of honor to do it) from the photos you don't like; that will make it a lot harder for others to see them.
posted by annekate at 9:24 PM on September 18, 2013

I'm asking why they would enjoy an event less because they couldn't post pictures of it to Facebook.

Because if you enjoy doing something, being asked to forego it could conceivably make the time you spend doing that less enjoyable?

I guess you could wholly separate it, too, saying that foregoing the enjoyment of something isn't necessarily going to make you enjoy the event less (although saying that suggests you probably didn't enjoy posting to facebook in the first place) but if that's true, there's the chance that being asked to not post to facebook could make you enjoy it less (personal autonomy, weird requests, etc.).

My large point, really, was that dismissing the hypothetical guests' feelings because you don't understand them isn't really fair or reasonable. People shouldn't have to justify their likes or dislikes to the bride of a wedding they were invited to.
posted by toomuchpete at 9:38 PM on September 18, 2013

I'm not really following your first two paragraphs, but as to this:

My large point, really, was that dismissing the hypothetical guests' feelings because you don't understand them isn't really fair or reasonable. People shouldn't have to justify their likes or dislikes to the bride of a wedding they were invited to.
posted by toomuchpete at 9:38 PM on September 18 [+] [!]

I think we're getting way off track here. Nobody has to justify anything to anybody. The people hosting an event don't have to explain why they do or don't want their photos posted on Facebook, and the people attending don't have to justify why they want to post the photos on Facebook.

It's someone asking their friends a favour: not to post pictures of them, at an event they are hosting, on Facebook. I would think the same if it was a housewarming, wedding, or pet funeral; I think it is good manners to honour such a request by your host, no matter how weird you think it is.

But I'll step away now.
posted by Salamander at 9:49 PM on September 18, 2013 [3 favorites]

To me, it's not so much that I would enjoy an event less if asked not to share photos of it (I'm not a big sharer of photos, in general, as I said). It just comes off as controlling and in a way un-generous. It makes the whole wedding seem like less a fun event we're all going to share together, and more a tedious rule-bound ritual I'm required to waltz through like a trained monkey. I'm not a guest enjoying myself at your wedding, I'm an extra in a choreographed routine.

Are you throwing a wedding because you'd like to share a joyous time with the people you love, or are you throwing a wedding because you'd like to have a photo shoot with catered snacks and an obsessively curated soundtrack?
posted by Sara C. at 9:51 PM on September 18, 2013 [11 favorites]

I think for a small intimate wedding, a request that no photos be taken during the ceremony (such as others have described above) is completely reasonable. I would probably be a little disappointed as a guest, but I can appreciate the desire for everyone to be in the moment and not looking at their phones/through their cameras.

If your request is going to be for no photos of the event (reception included) whatsoever to be shared prior to your professional photos being available, then I would find that a bit frustrating (I like sharing photos of myself at events!) but I would certainly comply with it.
posted by fever-trees at 10:03 PM on September 18, 2013

[Reminder, folks: do not argue / debate with other commenters. Just give your advice to the OP and leave it at that. Thanks.]
posted by taz at 10:39 PM on September 18, 2013

Not unreasonable at all. I disagree that it sounds weird or controlling. I don't think it takes the joy out of the situation by not posting it up on facebook. Guests have the photos in their possession/on their phone to look at anytime, and relieve the joyous occasion. I don't see why it's such a overpowering compulsion to put them online. It seems they'd be thinking of their "own" joy in the event, if they didn't respect the bride or groom's request (who obviously is also their friend).

If the shots are of you then sure, completely fine to post, I think- but if they're of someone else and they've asked you not to, I think it's kind of disregarding to go ahead and do it anyway. Especially when the bride said she doesn't mind seeing photos up in a few weeks.

I think it's kind of common courtesy to do as someone asks, especially if it's not even your own big day. Not everyone wants to be on facebook, or have every picture of them put up for the world to see, especially those ones that look bad. Some people are just more private- though in our current society, you've almost committed a crime if you're that way. I think you should have the right ask what images you want of yourself out there. Of course, the other person can comply, or not. Especially on a wedding day though, I really don't see why anyone would seriously take the time to object to a couple's request.

I wouldn't have a problem with it. It seems more controlling to me that people seem to have an inflexible attitude about this sort of thing, like you're infringing on their rights or something, just by asking. All you can do is ask, and see what happens.

It's not that hard to wait. We all did it before mobiles/camera phones became a constant companion. Ask for what is important to you, and see what you get. It's your life as well, you get to ask for what you want too :-)
posted by readygo at 11:19 PM on September 18, 2013 [5 favorites]

I know that the modern American model for weddings is "the bride's special day", but traditionally it's been a celebration for the couple's family. Make of that what you will.
posted by jedrek at 11:25 PM on September 18, 2013 [2 favorites]

I do think it is generally all right to make a polite request of this sort, but I also see where people are coming from who are being rubbed the wrong way by this question. There is more to it than simply whether it's rude to ask guests not to post to Facebook in general.

It also, to me, has to do with the fact that this is a very small wedding and clearly only includes your very closest friends and family, you mentioned that family members who are not invited are upset about it. You also make reference to how good this professional photographer is and how much money you are spending on the occasion as if it will be a rather opulent affair.

So the way it comes off is, "we're getting married and it's going to be so fancy and exclusive that most of you aren't going to be able to even go, and we don't even want you to be able to SEE what an amazing time that you're going to be missing because we are going to control the release of some very fancy and exclusive photos and we won't allow any images that might be imperfect because we want to rub in how amazing this occasion really was to all those who wished they could be there, but were not cool enough to be invited."

You might not mean it in that way at all, but that is my suggestion as to why this is might not be a great idea for keeping up good relations with both your guests and your wannabe guests. If you instead made some gestures to try to make the friends and family who weren't invited feel included in other ways (one thing I have seen and done myself is to have an informal get together the day after the wedding where all the other friends, family, and neighbors are invited and it's just a picnic/BBQ setting but they still get to come and wish you well), that might be a better tactic.
posted by treehorn+bunny at 11:48 PM on September 18, 2013 [7 favorites]

"Wow, based on the comments, the common etiquette has shifted quite a lot in the last couple of years."

No, it hasn't. It was always rude and boundary-busting to publish photos of someone without their permission, and it still is. It just didn't used to be something you had to ask people not to do, because publishing photos - constantly, instantly, everywhere - wasn't possible for anyone. In fact, it's only in recent years that publishing photos at all has even been possible for the average person.

What you do, when circulating info about the wedding, is simply ask, "We would like to ask that you wait to share any photos you take during the event until after the honeymoon." You don't have to explain your reasons why.

Anyone telling you you are vain, stuck-up, controlling or bridezillaish is really overreacting. Wedding guests aren't citizen journalists bravely documenting a revolution to the world and they aren't paparazzi whose livelihoods depend on photographing people against their wishes.
posted by tel3path at 12:03 AM on September 19, 2013 [14 favorites]

Apologies that this thread has turned into an attack on you. From my own experience, my wife's cousin did this when she got married, but they actually wanted no photos posted on facebook at all. Their wedding was about 100 people, and as far as I know they succeeded. I do think they missed out on some great photos they wouldn't see otherwise, but it was their choice. If this is something you feel strongly about, by all means make the request. If people choose to ignore it it makes them jerks, frankly. I suspect they'll all get over the tragedy of not being able to upload photos to facebook for a whole week.
posted by Cannon Fodder at 12:18 AM on September 19, 2013 [6 favorites]

My sister asked this for her wedding (she had an official ceremony in Australia with 80 or so friends with our family, then a second celebration in the UK and wanted the second celebration to be special and asked that no photos be on Facebook until the second ceremony was over 6 weeks later).

She got a Wedding app that everyone used an took photos with instead of Facebook. It was quite fun, everyone there could share their phone photos there. I think having an alternative app was the thing that helped.
posted by jujulalia at 1:03 AM on September 19, 2013 [1 favorite]

You could always have a basket near where guests will arrive and ask them to place all of their electronics, aside from perhaps the pager of any doctor guests you might have, into it. It would neatly solve all sorts of clueless idiot guest problems and if your guests can't manage to be present in the moment at your wedding they don't need to be present.
posted by Blasdelb at 1:57 AM on September 19, 2013 [1 favorite]

Just a side point, which has been in part alluded to above, but I wanted to underscore it because it rings so true to me. I see a lot of wedding photos on FB, and in almost all cases, I see neither bride nor groom, just a photo of my friend and their kids or spouse dressed up, or maybe with a few friends. Some people (myself included) rarely get the opportunity to dress up for a magical, fancy event and I think they want to show how nice they can look. I think the request may cause confusion about whether that kind of selfie is "sanctioned" and may then cause unwanted discussion amongst guests and some resentment (theirs).
posted by dreamphone at 3:32 AM on September 19, 2013 [4 favorites]

If what you want is to control your image, be aware that there are two facets: pictures taken at your wedding, and the image of you as a gracious, laid back, confident hostess and bride. Which are you more concerned with? Which, I think, is to say that many readers here on metafilter have just formed an image of you based on the way you have stated your request, and it sounds like it's not a positive image. (Granted: I would personally be fairly horrified if people at my small wedding had spent the ceremony holding up their iPhones to get pictures, so I get where you're coming from, at least that part of it.)

I don't think I was bridezilla at my wedding, but I can tell you with 20/20 hindsight that my experience of the day, and my memories of it would have been far, far better if I'd tried to control it less. As a bride, it can be really tempting to focus on Making Everything Perfect, and getting upset when it (of course) is not perfect. If you start letting things go now, I can pretty much guarantee you will have a happier and more lovely wedding day.
posted by instamatic at 3:42 AM on September 19, 2013 [4 favorites]

I suggest doing the following:

- phrase it as "Aunt Gertrude/the grandparents/my oldest friend/whoever couldn't be here, and we'd really love it if the first photo they saw of us was the one we're getting the professional photographer to take for them." (You don't need to say "Aunt Gertrude wasn't invited and is still sulking about it.")

- be clear - and reasonable - about what you do and don't want people putting on Facebook before the pro photos are done. "No photos of us" will go down better than "no photos taken at the wedding, even if they're of your shoes/your partner/Cousin So-and-so dancing like a maniac", etc. "No photos during the ceremony" will go down better than "no photos at any point during the day."

- don't make this about "the pro photographer can do a better job of this than you can". People don't typically post photos of social occasions on Facebook because they think they're professional-quality photographers; they do it because it's part of how they celebrate and interact with their wider circle of friends.

- Likewise, I really wouldn't make this about how guests will enjoy the day more or be in the moment more or whatever if they aren't taking photos or posting on Facebook. You can't control the way in which people enjoy themselves, and it's going to come across to at least some of your guests as unreasonably controlling and condescending.

- if it's too late to put it in the invites, make an official announcement right at the beginning of things (or even better, get someone else, like the person conducting the ceremony, to do it for you). By the time you get round to mingling and asking 'hey do you mind not...', photos will already have been taken.

- be aware that you can't control other people's experience of your wedding day and that's okay. You can't totally control how it's presented to the wider world, either - people who weren't there will be talking to people who were, asking how it went, asking what the dress was like, and probably asking to see their photos as well.

If you want to control the image of your wedding for the friends and family who can't attend, appreciate that part of that image is the impression they'll get from speaking to the people who did attend, not just from seeing your photographer's vision of the day. You want those people on side. "Oh it was wonderful, such a great day, dress was beautiful - but you'll have to wait to see for yourself because they want to show everyone the pro photographs first!" is going to create a much better impression than "yeah it was all very nice, but they were total tyrants about it, and apparently I'm not allowed to show you my photos until after the pro photos are out, grumble grumble bitch."
posted by Catseye at 4:09 AM on September 19, 2013 [2 favorites]

This is completely not bridezillaish at all, and the fact that people are suggesting that anyone has any right to publish photos of you without your consent is a frightening example of how far etiquette has fallen.

You are not dancing monkeys for anyone's photographing pleasure. You are people who are spending thousands of dollars for an event and the memories of the event, and it is reasonable to want those memories and mental impressions to be good.

People are inconsiderate when they take pictures.

I think your best bet is to say something beforehand, but accept that it may not go well.
posted by corb at 4:49 AM on September 19, 2013 [6 favorites]

I mean, I wouldn't bother snapping someone else's wedding if I couldn't do anything with the pics. People take pics for social media.

This comment makes me think of another thing, OP. How considerate your guests are with respect to your requests might have to do with their ages. Plenty of people over, say, 30, take pictures primarily to preserve their memories of a special event, or because they like the creative aspect of photography. (Even if they're total amateurs.) They likely will want to put these photos on the internet somewhere, either as back-up or to share them, but they will likely not care about doing it fastest or best or getting the most likes or making themselves look prettier than others. In the absence of pre-existing disagreements, they will also probably not want to make your friends who could not be invited feel left out. Just something to think about. (And yes I know there are perfectly polite 22-year-olds, and social-media-nightmare 60-year-olds. I'm just saying, in general, look at your audience for this request. It has a greater chance at succeeding if most of your friends/family remember when you had to get your photos developed at CVS and it took daaaays.)
posted by DestinationUnknown at 5:15 AM on September 19, 2013 [1 favorite]

By telling ppl not to post on facebook, they will be less likely to take pictures of themselves. Weddings are fun for the people too who visit too.

One of my friends put up a picture for his 3rd anniversary of him and his wife at their wedding. It was awesome photo. It was not taken by their photographer. It was taken by me (a marginal friend) with a crappy P.O.S. camera, posted on Facebook a week after the wedding.

I think the 'unplugged' wedding thought is fine, but people will post facebook photos soon after.
posted by sandmanwv at 5:23 AM on September 19, 2013

Hand your (or your friend's) phone to your wedding photographer at the start of the reception or right after the ceremony and let him compose a decent shot. Post it on your Facebook account and be done with worrying about it.
posted by mikepop at 6:48 AM on September 19, 2013 [1 favorite]

When my partner and I were married two months ago, we had the officiant of the wedding add a request to his preamble, something like "Please avoid posting the event on social media since Freem and Freemette are fairly private people." It worked fine, lots of people still took lots of pictures, nothing went on FB, and everyone had a great time.
posted by freem at 6:52 AM on September 19, 2013 [4 favorites]

If the priority here is controlling your personal 'brand' -- "official" photos with "'control' over how our wedding day is first presented," etc -- I think a request like this would be more damaging to your 'brand' than even the most unflattering phone snap would be. Nobody knee-jerks disgust at unprofessional photos, but there's no way to do this without people talking, and I can't imagine a scenario where "They told us I wasn't allowed to post my selfie" would be related in positive terms.
posted by kmennie at 7:55 AM on September 19, 2013 [1 favorite]

Let it go. You won't care about this in five years*; why waste time caring about it now? No one else will care if they see unprofessional photos of you and your beloved on Facebook. No one thinks about you as much as you think about you. It's just a waste of your time to try to police people. Ban phones/cameras during the ceremony and be done with it.

*I've been married for five years.
posted by desjardins at 8:31 AM on September 19, 2013

One of my friend's wives made a similar request right after their wedding. Actually, I think they went even further - no one was ever supposed to post wedding/reception pictures, except themselves.

I don't think anyone violated her request, but a few people seemed pretty weirded out. And put out. I don't blame them. It had been an extremely lavish wedding, with MANY, MANY attendees. And they were all supposed to refrain indefinitely from posting the happy photographs that they had taken. But, I believe she got her wish, because we've never seen any pictures of their wedding besides the ones they posted themselves. (She probably individually policed any Undesirable Photos that her attendees posted.) That's the only view we have of their wedding, and it doesn't match up to our personal experience. It's very choreographed. It doesn't reflect the sort of joyous, spontaneous atmosphere that breaks out at big happy parties.

On the other hand, my husband and I could not afford a photographer for our wedding. My dad and stepmother took about 50% of the great pictures of our wedding, and uploaded them to Smugmug for us. The rest of the great pictures came straight out of people's point-and-shoots, iPhones, and dinky whatever cameras. And we were very happy with all the photos our friends and family posted on Facebook. All the varying formats, odd angles, moments we weren't privy to, etc. Looking back on it, I wouldn't have traded our outcome for professional photography.

Then again, neither my husband nor I are averse to goofy or unflattering photographs. We put several in our wedding album. One of our friend's bras was accidentally hanging out for the whole reception - ha HA, so in the album. It was 95 degrees and everyone looks slimy in the pictures - in the album those went! And at some point during our ceremony, I started looking like I was going to kill a man, and you bet your ass those photos made it into the album.
posted by Coatlicue at 9:02 AM on September 19, 2013 [1 favorite]

Oh, one more thing: Ha, it just occurred to me that today is our 3rd wedding anniversary. So, agreeing with desjardins: It won't be long before you wondered why you were feeling so stressed out and controlling about this stuff.
posted by Coatlicue at 9:11 AM on September 19, 2013 [1 favorite]

You can create shared Facebook photo albums now. You can create one, invite all guests as contributors, ask them nicely to upload any photos to the wedding guests-only album, and set that album to "contributors only" until your personal wedding photos are set to go.

Agreed that this is a thing you won't care about in two months, let alone five years from now.
posted by theraflu at 10:22 AM on September 19, 2013 [1 favorite]

The fact that people think that this is an unreasonable request is, frankly, shocking to me, and illustrates just how far the general level of etiquette has fallen.

However, I think it could be framed a bit better. In your situation, I would just request that no photos be taken during the ceremony. Period. I've attended several weddings where this was the case, and it was only ignored by one individual (that I witnessed) at the largest of them.
posted by brand-gnu at 11:07 AM on September 19, 2013 [3 favorites]

I would consider this a controlling and weird request. What I post on my facebook page is really my business, within reasonable limits.

The fact that someone cares enough to want to share the event with non-attending friends should be a compliment to you and your wedding, not something to be squelched.
posted by festivus at 2:01 PM on September 19, 2013 [1 favorite]

Count me as another person who would certainly honor this request, but would think you were a little odd and controlling for asking for it.

I see other people's snapshots as being more about them than about the subjects of the snapshot. Especially what people put on Facebook -- they're as much or more documenting their own lives (their presence at your wedding) as they are the wedding itself.

I don't think that detracts even a tiny bit from your official documention of your own life event.
posted by ook at 2:02 PM on September 19, 2013

I would totally (but actually didn't) request that guests not Facebook my wedding (that's like a jillion friends of friends, etc, invited into my life)...but I wouldn't (and didn't) have any photographer photos, either.
posted by Pax at 3:05 PM on September 19, 2013

Meaning, I didn't put the photographer's photos (or any photos) on Facebook, not that I didn't have photos.
posted by Pax at 3:11 PM on September 19, 2013

I think you're totally in the right to request this.

I attended a wedding this summer where almost an identical request was made by the bride. Essentially, it was a very small gathering and she was particularly worried about the fallout from family members who hadn't been invited. She asked her guests to just not post photographs or any other telling items to social media - we were, of course, perfectly free to post anything personal about our trip to the destination, things we did outside of the wedding events, etc, and we were "allowed" to take any photos or videos we wanted to. She simply asked that she and her new husband be able to control what their families found out and when.

Considering the situation essentially boiled down to guests' desires to post "lookit lookit!" photos, however well-intentioned, versus the potentially volatile and long-term family drama that they would have to deal with afterward, this seemed at the time, and now months later, to be a completely reasonable request. We all complied.
posted by AthenaPolias at 4:14 PM on September 19, 2013

My fiance and I requesting this for our very own wedding in less than month (though our motivation stems more from not wanting others to interfere with the photographer, as well as wanting others to be present for the ceremony/reception and not experiencing it through a screen. I'm going to look equally terrible in the professional photos as I would in any amateur shots, so that's not the drive here.)

We are going to be putting up signage at the ceremony (framed, sitting on a table next to the programs) as well as at the reception (framed, sitting on the bar at the reception venue) that states the following:
We are honored and grateful to share this day with our community. Please help us keep this event private by not sharing photos or video on social media."
We also put a small note at the end of the program that says "Please refrain from photography during the ceremony."
posted by namewithoutwords at 4:51 PM on September 19, 2013 [1 favorite]

I wouldn't mind honoring such a request, but here's the real issue: somebody's going to disregard your request (somebody already is, in fact), and there's nothing you can do about it. You might want to think about how much you're going to let this inevitability bother you.
posted by Rykey at 5:49 PM on September 19, 2013 [1 favorite]

I'm a photographer in my off time (good enough to have been paid and published before) and I'd have no problem with this for two reasons: First off, I really try to not take pictures of people who don't want their picture taken. So, if you didn't want me to take your picture, it's not a big deal for me to just not. Second, man, it's your wedding. What do I care?

I'm a moderate FBer, though the recent changes to the TOS regarding perpetual license means that I'm thinking about not posting any pictures there that aren't just phone snaps.
posted by klangklangston at 5:49 PM on September 19, 2013 [1 favorite]

Also, people don't read signs, and *everybody* thinks the picture they want to take is "just one picture on my phone real quick."
posted by Rykey at 5:53 PM on September 19, 2013 [1 favorite]

I would honor the request, but internally, I'd be rolling my eyes hardcore. It's in control freak territory.
posted by ktkt at 9:13 PM on September 19, 2013 [2 favorites]

I think it's kind of ironic that people are making a big deal out of your request. I'm not on FB and bf doesn't post pictures of me on his account. Some friends know and respect my wishes, some don't. Its a bit funny someone would think this is 'control freak territory' or 'bridezilla'.

OP I would tell your guests something like, "We would appreciate your consideration in not posting any pictures to FB until we are able to post the ones taken by our photographer first. We want you to enjoy the event and we would like to be the ones to first share our pictures and happy day with our friends on Social Media."

I really don't see how that is unreasonable. Would a person be offended if someone asked to keep an engagement (or possible engagement) to themselves and not post to FB for a multitude of reasons? Typically the one of the engaged humans breaks the news on FB, not friends or family.
posted by driedmango at 6:55 PM on September 20, 2013

Ask you friends to consider reading this article, and put their devices away?
posted by peagood at 5:15 AM on September 28, 2013

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