In the age of social media, wedding guests have become more obtrusive than ever in their quest to get a great photo to post. And since you've hired an expensive and talented professional photographer to capture the day, you'd probably prefer to keep the cell phone cameras off you. To prevent seeing a sea of screens as you make your way down the aisle, there are a few tried-and-true methods to try. The easiest course of action? Fight technology with techonolgy, and alert your guests of your phone-free wishes on your wedding website. This way, they'll be informed of your concers before arriving on the big day. Here are a few more ways to keep guests off their phones at your wedding and encourage them to socialize and enjoy the day instead.
Pop a note in your welcome letter.
If you're having a destination wedding and all guests will receive a welcome note or bag, you can pop in a simple sentence that says something like, "We've hired an amazing photographer to capture our wedding day and kindly request that you leave your phones in your purses and pockets, relax, and enjoy the freedom from snapping away."
Add a cartoon to your ceremony program.
An illustration is an eye-catching way to get the no-cell-phone information across to guests. If you're working with a graphic designer to make your ceremony programs, have a chat with them about adding a cartoon or pictorial element to let guests know your wedding is a phone-free zone.
Rely on word of mouth.
Word gets around quickly among wedding guests, and important information like not using phones will spread fast once the seed is planted. You might ask your wedding party and immediate family to let guests know you'd prefer guests to celebrate your wedding sans phones.
Make an announcement during the ceremony.
If you're most concerned about guests snapping photos during the ceremony, ask your officiant to make an announcement as he or she asks guests to be seated.
Be a little flexible.
Regardless of how many times you announce your no phone policy, you'll likely still have some rule breakers in the crowd. Go with the flow. If you feel it's necessary to remind guests that the wedding is phone-free, rely on the word of mouth tactic to get that information to misbehaved guests.
This story originally appeared on Martha Stewart Weddings.