Wedding photo upload etiquette

So we were at our friends' wedding this time last week, and through my tear-filled eyes during the ceremony I snapped pictures of the happy couple saying their vows. 

Guests were in a sea of cameras and iPhones; everyone wanted to capture the special moments during this day.

Often when I'm out and about, over-sharer me will take a photo and without a thought, upload it to Facebook and Twitter to share the day with others who couldn't be there.

But on this day, I stopped. Did they want their wedding out there on the net? It was their day, but was it mine to broadcast? They'd spent so long putting the day together as it was, even with a guest list packed with journalists, what were there expectations on everyone uploading photos of their day? (I don't know about you but I've been known to do a cheeky Facebook stalk on Sunday or Mondays after I know someone has got married, just to see if there are any photos of the big day.)

So what was the etiquette?

A few of us discussed it earlier in the day as we waited for the bride to arrive. We joked about there being a hashtag to group discussions about the wedding on Twitter, and live tweeting the event.

We didn't, of course. In fact I took so many photos, my phone ran flat so I managed to prevent drunk tweets as well.

Anyway, after the ceremony, one of the guests - a professional photographer - cut off to the side and uploaded an absolutely stunning photo of the couple as they walked back down the aisle as husband and wife. It. Was. Amazing.

A simple iPhone photo that captured the most sweetest split-second.

To work out her feelings on photos live uploaded on Facebook, I showed the bride, who was rapt and has since changed it to her profile pic on Facebook. "More! More!" she squeed. "Upload your photos!".

With that green light, I uploaded a couple of photos.

A bride-to-be friend on Facebook commented: " I have heard of weddings where the MC tells guests at the reception not too put pics on facebook... bit late by then though!"

And I agree with this. If you really don't want 'unsolicited' photos of your big day to be live-uploaded, you need to pre-warn your guests. Smartphone penetration is too high, we're too connected, to assume people won't do it.

There are heaps of ways to tell your guests if it's an issue: you could get the MC to mention it as guests are being seated, you could add a note on your invite, or RSVP, or wedding site saying "We'd love you to take photos of our big day but please do not upload them till xx date," or whatever. 

I went to a wedding once where putting photos on Facebook wasn't allowed for about four months due to a magazine deal and while that was fine, it wasn't mentioned until well into the speeches, three-quarters of the way into the night. There were a few "ruh roh" faces with that one.

My favourite idea? Why not capitalise on everyone's photos that they've taken and set up a Flickr site or something like this? I love this idea! Gone are the disposable cameras on each table - why not set up these little photo card stations? Sometimes it can take weeks before you get your hands on your precious professional photos, so why not binge on everyone else's photos til then? It also gives guests another thing to do to break up the time between eating, talking, dancing and celebrating.

How do you feel about photos being uploaded live after your ceremony? Are there etiquette rules you abide by? 

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