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  • Steven Robinson
    Steven Robinson

    No Cellphones at My Wedding: How to Firmly Enforce a Suitable Ban

    The most important day of your life is fast approaching. You've planned every detail perfectly - from the venue decorations to the menu choices - yet, suddenly, you find yourself confronted with an issue that needs to be meticulously controlled: cellphones. It's time to tackle the problem head on and implement a strict "no-cellphones-allowed" policy to guarantee your big day runs smoothly and without any unwelcome interruptions.

    It's awkward to be the one who has to state the rules. But if you don't put your foot down, it can lead to some serious disruption. After all, the last thing you want is guests uploading photos of the cake cutting, or the bride and groom’s first dance, to their social media feed when they should be paying attention to the proceedings.

    The easiest way to start enforcing a no-cellphone stipulation is to print a polite request directly onto the invitations. Something along the lines of: “We appreciate you being present at our special day and beg you to kindly leave your cellphone at home or switch it off during the ceremony.” Not only will this make your wishes clear prior to the event, but it also sets a firm boundary from the start and shows respect for your wedding guests. A small card can also be placed centrally at the ceremony hall entrance to remind those who arrive early that there is a no-cellphone policy in place, and the same message should be broadcasted on screens.

    If guests are still struggling with the concept of surrendering their beloved device, then a compromise should be negotiated. Ask them to place their cellphones in nearby boxes upon arriving, so they know they are not lost but also not a distraction during the ceremony. Designate a few people to collect the devices and keep an eye on them until after the wedding. If need be, a designated post-wedding time limit (say, 60 minutes) can be set so the inevitable snapshots can be captured then, both by those attending, and specialised photographers.

    Sometimes, however, guests may not remove their phone from their pocket. If such passive displays occur, then it is best to instil a subtle reminder for respectful behaviour. Find a suitable person or two among the wedding crew to discreetly inform the offender and politely ask them to put their phone away. Don’t lose your temper if someone resists - just reaffirm the no-phone policy and say how much it would mean to you and your partner if the rule was observed.

    It’s worth mentioning that immediate family members will understand the rule but should be given leeway when it comes to taking photographs for sentimental purposes. Friends, however, should be barred from photographing anything more than candid snaps unless both the bride and groom agree to it.

    It’s understandable that people will be tempted to take as many pictures as possible, especially at important events like a wedding. After all, these are irreplaceable moments in time. As long as suitable etiquette is requested - and enforced if needed - then your guests should understand the necessity of keeping their devices out of sight. This will ensure that the wedding ceremony goes exactly as planned; uninterrupted, private and romantic.

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