How can we ask people not to take pictures during the ceremony?
In my eight year experience officiating wedding ceremonies it’s not that I have to ask guests to turn off their cell phones, but more so to hold the picture taking until “the kiss” or another designated time.
Because everyone has a camera, and especially when there’s an over zelous professional photographer at the ceremony, that gives the audience unofficial permission to stand, sometimes in the isles, thus blocking the view of the surrounding guests.
The best way to tell someone that they can’t do something is to tell them when they can. Schedule the most photogenic part of the ceremony — the kiss — at the very end, and clue your guests in to the coming photo op.
Use a double-pronged approach to let people know: First, insert a line in the program, below the processional, that says “No photographs during the ceremony, please,” or some such. Second, prime your ushers to tell people as they’re seated that you are requesting no photographs until the very end of the ceremony.
Once it’s time for the kiss, pause at the top of the aisle to give people a chance to take a picture before you walk out.