Wedding guests blocking the professionals

Wedding guests blocking the professionals

A new behavior has sprung up in recent years with wedding guests taking pictures and filming video from their iPhones and iPads. This sounds harmless but when that guest steps into the aisle and blocks the professional while the bride is walking down the aisle, it could be a disaster for the couples pictures and film. Ask any wedding videographer or photographer and they will tell you that this kind of thing happens all the time.gues block aisle copy

For me personally, I think this is an etiquette problem in the industry. It seems to have exploded more since the invention of the iPad. The iPad is a much larger mobile device and requires the guest to step even more into the shot to get that picture. Now even grandma is using her iPad at weddings. Many brides and grooms are not even aware of this because it’s not discussed until it’s too late. Couples spend tons of money on professional videographers and photographers and many times these pros are filming behind guests while capturing important moments for the bride and groom.

[sws_pullquote_left]Top 5 Moments Blocked

  1. Bride walking down the aisle
  2. Bride and groom kiss
  3. Bride and groom recessional
  4. Bride and groom listening to a speech
  5. First dance or parent dance


Lately there have even been articles surfacing from the news and popular wedding blogs about “unplugged weddings.” This is when the bride and groom request all guests to turn off their cameras/phones and enjoy the day while letting the professionals do their job. Another thing most guests don’t think about is how easily a flash from their iPhone can completely destroy a priceless moment that the professional photographer was hired to capture. Flash from even an iPhone is very powerful. Now telling guests to turn off their phones/cameras sounds easy but there will always be some that still break the rules. I don’t think guests should NOT be allowed to take pictures, but I understand why couples across the world are starting to request complete unplugged weddings. The next time you’re a guest at a wedding, be aware of your surroundings, know that there may be a professional behind you at anytime. A guest blocking important shots only hurts the bride and groom and we should all put the bride and groom first on their special day. Just like it’s not right to show up to the formal reception with jeans and a tee shirt, it’s not right to block the professionals shots and ruin the couples memories.

Courtesy of D&R Films


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Creative Pinterest ideas to educate your guests[/intense_content_box]


Courtesy of McKenzie Miller Films

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 The ‘I Dos,’ Unplugged

6 Rules of the ‘Unplugged’ Wedding – ABC News
Preventing Guests From Destroying Your Photographs
The Top 5 Reasons To Have An Unplugged Ceremony
Why You Might Want to Consider an Unplugged Wedding



Some couples consider their videography and photography the most important investment when planning their wedding, and the very image they are hoping to see may not exist because of this behavior. There are times when the only angle available for the shot is blocked by a raised iPad or iPhone sliding in from the right and it’s a horrible feeling for the professional because they know how important it is. As a guest, if you do go for that picture or video, make sure you do your part and look around and get right in and right out. If there is a professional behind you, please refrain from taking that picture and leave it up to the professional. It’s what the couple hired them to do. If you’re a professional, feel free to share examples in the comments below. Do you have an opinion about this?

What’s Most Important When Planning A Wedding?

Weddings are huge endeavors, with hundreds of details to work out and they often can become overwhelming for couples to plan. It’s easy to get bogged down with tiny details and forget about the big picture.

So, how do you know what to put at the top of your planning list?
Lindsey, a Pennylane bride from 2012 has an easy answer.

“Do the big things first.

See more of Lindsey’s advice in the video above and make sure to check out our other Wedding Tips for helpful hints on how make your wedding day as stress free as possible.

Watch Lindsey and James’ Highlight “Crossing the Line” here.

Lindsey and her husband James used Pennylane for wedding videography two years ago. They were kind enough to sit down with us and chat about all aspects of their wedding planning experience with our company. Keep checking the blog and our social media sites as we regularly release more short videos like this covering topics like wedding photography, wedding images, how important a wedding videographer is, wedding video pricing, the difference between a wedding videographer and a wedding cinematographer, and more.

Learning How To Be A Good Husband

Learning How To Be A Good Husband



By Bobby Shortle (cinematographer/editor/studio manager for Pennylane Productions)


I’m getting married this year. It’s an exciting, stressful and at times terrifying event to plan. I’m stoked to be marrying my best friend and one of the most wonderful people I’ve ever met. Yet, I’m also constantly worried about the future and how I’m going to make my fiancee happy for the rest of our lives. During these furrowed brow moments there are several questions that are always banging around in my head:


Will I be a good husband? (Which is quickly followed up by this paralyzing thought)


What does it take to be a good husband?


Monday, I was scouring the web for informative articles to share with our followers when I came across an article. I wasn’t consciously looking for answers to the questions weighing on my mind, but serendipitously I found them.


Featured on the Huffington Post “How to Make Marriage Work for 64 Years” featured an interview with Robert, a 94 year old man who has been married for over 64 years. The author Anthony Silard managed to get 7 nuggets of advice from him and they’re words that all couples, married, engaged or otherwise, should read.


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1) Be careful not to throw words around. They can start arguments. It’s amazing how powerful words are. As Don Miguel Ruiz writes in The Four Agreements, be impeccable with your word. Think about what you are saying before you blurt it out. If you say the wrong word, admit it.

2) If you hear words you don’t like, ask the other person what they meant. Don’t make assumptions, and try not to take things personally.

3) Be tolerant.

4) Be willing to forgive.

5) Have a sense of humor. “None of us are getting out of this alive anyway,” Robert joked.

6) It’s not as exciting as it used to be, but who cares. It’s nice to have all the memories that we share, and to spend time with our grandchildren, and live vicariously through them.

7) Find opportunities for little loving gestures for your mate. Find out what they love as clues for what to give them (e.g. a certain type of chocolate candy to bring back from every trip).



Be sure to check out the rest of the article here. It’s a great read!


In case you are curious how I proposed to my lady here is the big moment itself. Stay tuned for my next entry when I tell you just how much planning it took to organize my engagement.


Staying on Schedule

One of the biggest hurdles to a smooth and stress free wedding day is poor scheduling.  Are you unsure  how long it will take for you to get ready or maybe you’re not aware of how long it takes a vendor to do their job.  Because of this your planning can go off the tracks pretty quickly.  It helps to think about the big milestones in your day, like your ceremony, first look, etc. and plan backwards from that time to get your wedding off on the right foot.

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For brides the first thing you need to address is your hair stylist and makeup artist.  For example your makeup trial may have taken one hour, but on the day of your wedding they may be even more particular about their work. Be sure to ask what they think is the absolute longest it will take them and schedule an extra 15 minutes of buffer time.[/intense_content_box]


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Are you planning on sending a card to your fiancee?  Did your husband-to-be get you a gift?  These are the story elements we look to film. When couples book Pennylane we create a detailed timeline for them to share with their other vendors to make sure we are all on the same page.

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The biggest question of the morning is what time you are putting on your dress?  This is a huge moment and one that you can’t move if you want the rest of your day to go as scheduled.  A lot of brides can get tripped up because understandbly  they don’t think about the fact that getting into their gown is a lot more than simply putting on a dress.


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Where are you getting ready?  Finding the right lighting is key to making you look the best on film. Opening a curtain or flipping a light switch can make all the difference.

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What kind of dress do you have?  If there is a zipper in the back it will be easier, but if you have buttons, or a corset this could take more time.

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What accessories are you wearing?  Shoes, jewelry, vale, tiara, etc. all add time to putting on your wedding dress[/intense_icon_list]

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Even after you are fully dressed you aren’t finished yet, because it’s possible that your photographer will want to do cool creative shots with you immediately after you put on the dress. Make sure you ask them if this is something they do and how long it will take.  These are small things that add up.

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It’s key to talk to all your vendors and find out just how much time they need.  If the lines of communication stay open, and the time is put into planning, the wedding day will be smoother, you will be calmer, and the vendors you hire will be able to do the best work they can.  Remember communication is key.


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Strict Rules at Church

No one seems to want to talk about this, but if you were to ask any photographer or cinematographer, I bet they would all share similar experiences about how strict churches dramatically limit the quality of their work. There is nothing worse than having an unhappy church representative walk up to you and say you aren’t allowed to do your job because of some unprofessional videographer or photographer who set a bad example in the past.

It’s vital for the cinematographer and photographer, no matter their beliefs, to respect the sanctity of the ceremony, but it’s also essential that the church officials understand the wishes and expectations of their couples that hired these vendors. When this mutual respect is forgotten it leads to unhappy officiants, frustrated vendors and, most importantly, a disappointed couple. It may seem impossible to bring all of these different people together, but this complex problem can be fixed with one thing, communication.

  • Before booking church ask for all rules and regulations for vendors
  • If any rules seem strict ask for the reason why
  • Understand and be comfortable with the rules given by the church
  • Share rules with your cinematographer and photographer and ask if there are any concerns
  • If there are issues share them with church and express your concern
Expectation vs. delivery: When you book your vendors assumedly you are doing so because you love their work. Well, if unusually strict rules are placed on them, and they can’t get the shots they want, your finished product will not be consistent with the other work you’ve seen from them.




  • No Tripods: The main reason we can get solid footage in your ceremony is specifically because we are on tripods.
  • Literally No Movement: Although we stay in the same position for 90% of the ceremony we may need to adjust a few feet forward or back to avoid obstacles that can ruin our shots.
  • Can only shoot from the back of the church: The reactions of your family and friends are important to capture. Did the father of the bride break down, was grandma smiling ear to ear? If we are stuck in the back of the church all you will see is the backs of their heads.
  • No moving up during vows: Many churches institute this rule because they are worried about the cinematographers and photographers blocking your guests. It’s an understandable worry, but a good vendor will know how far he/she can go up before crossing the line.  The fact is the closer the angle the more emotional the footage.

In the end we found that we regularly get compliments from churches because of  how unobtrusive we were during the filming process. Remember, that as long as everyone is respectful towards each other, we can all be happy.


Former bride gives advice on planning wedding

What is the best the way to plan my wedding?  How do I not stress planning my wedding?

These are questions that come up all the time while planning for the big day. We sat down with Lori, a 2008 Pennylane bride, who shared her thoughts 5 years after her wedding. In the end, its all about you two.

Share your advice in the comments with brides planning there wedding.