Etiquette 101: Flash Photography

This week, E and I will be answering all of your etiquette dilemmas! Don’t forget to leave a comment here if you need a question answered.

Our first question, is it ok to tell guests not to use flash photography. Brooke asks:

My BMs think it’s a little bridezilla of me to not want my guests to use flash photography during my ceremony. I remember that my mom mentioned it was tacky when I was a little girl in my aunt’s wedding, so that has obviously stayed with me. Can I put a polite request in the program?

Before we answer, let us clarify a few things. The term Bridezilla should die a slow painful death. So let’s not use that, mkay?! We’ll assume you’re not requiring your bridesmaids to wear identical hairstyles and matching manicures and pedicures (on top of the cost of the dress, shoes, gifts, showers and parties). We’ll also assume that your bridesmaids are not paying for your professional photographer who could potentially have the big ceremony shots ruined by guests using flash. Finally, we’ll assume that they plan to have (or have had) their own wedding where they make the rules.

Our answer? I agree with your mother. It’s both tacky and rude to use flash photography during an important event like this. It is entirely appropriate to put a small line of text in the program reminding your guests to refrain from using flash photography (or cell phones) during the ceremony. Many churches won’t let even the professional photographers use flash, so most guests are familiar with this rule. We definitely don’t think it’s too much to ask of them. We would go so far as to have the day of coordinator ask guests to remove tripods and video cameras from aisles.