Do Turn Off Your Device

Important Digital Etiquette

December 31, 2015
Words by Jeff Beil, CEO of Tendr
Photos courtesy of

It’s an all too familiar scene: The groom trying to watch his bride approach in this once-in-a-lifetime event, foiled by guests leaning into the aisle with their smart phones who are trying to capture the same moment. Then the bride and groom relive this digital horror when their wedding proofs come in and 90 percent of guest faces are obscured by a cell phone.

Welcome to the era of the over-documented, digital wedding – everything from guests taking photos to live tweeting the event. 

Nowadays, guests should consider more than standard wedding etiquette practices, like what to wear or how much to give, and keep digital etiquette in mind as well. There are some mistakes you cannot make—if you want to stay friends with the soon-to-be newlyweds after the wedding, that is.

So, what to do – or not to do? Here are Jeff Beil’s (a wedding etiquette expert and the CEO of Tendr, an online cash giving platform that makes the act of giving cash simple and elegant) top digital do’s and don’ts:

1. During the ceremony, DO be nice and turn off your device: Be present for the moment so that when the bride and groom sneak a glance at their wedding guests during the ceremony – they will not be greeted by a sea of LCD screens, but rather their beloved friends and family sharing in the moment.

2. DO Lean-Back: If you feel it is absolutely necessary to grab a fast snap – make it quick and do not lean into the aisle – chances are you will be blocking the groom’s only chance to see his bride-to-be approach. (And obviously flash is out of the question.)

3. DON’T get in the path of the professional photographer – he/she has the right-of-way: The professional photographer is the one capturing this event for the bride and groom. So make a conscious effort not to get in the way of their perfect picture. Always be aware of where the photographer is when you are posed for the perfect shot. Chances are he/she is right there trying to get it as well.

4. DON’T use your share button for ANY pre-wedding events: Bride or groom festivities before the big “I do” should not be shared across social media channels – end of sentence, paragraph and story. No one should be following along from home. Remember: No matter how innocent, what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas!

5. DON’T pre-empt the big moment: If you are lucky enough to get a sneak peek at the bride before she walks down the aisle – keep it to yourself. The last thing you want to do is share it on social for the groom and your collective family and friends to see, before she actually walks down the aisle.

6. DO take the time to use the couple’s wedding hashtag: This is actually something the couple has requested – for you to share the photos you take in an organized fashion. But even though they are giving you the green light, wait to upload your ceremony photo until after their nuptials and try to take most of your pictures during the reception.

7. DON’T e-mail your gift or use PayPal: The last thing we want to do is make life more difficult for the happy couple. We are living in a digital world, where newlyweds can easily register online for cash gifts. As their guests, let’s not make it harder for them by sending gifts via e-mail or make them create a PayPal account. Nowadays, you can give the gift of cash in an elegant way with personalized digital cards and messaging. They will be forever grateful for the gift of convenience. 

8. DO upload your photos of the wedding to the wedding’s photo sharing account: Many new couples have begun taking advantage of photo sharing websites and apps to share all the special moments from their big day. If you have a good eye for the perfect shot (with no photographer in sight), don’t be afraid to share it with everybody. After the wedding, upload all of your pictures from the big day to the couple’s photo sharing platform so that everyone can relive all of the wedding’s special moments.

9. DON’T text the bride or groom on their wedding day asking for directions or parking info: Keep in mind that it is the biggest day in both the bride and groom’s lives. They have a lot on their plates and do not need to be bothered with texts from their guests over the location of the wedding. If you are having trouble finding directions or are having difficulty finding where to park, try to get the information from a fellow guest. Do not bother the bride or groom.

10. DO try to unplug from your phone: Your loved ones’ big day is not a time to be checking social media, texting or uploading photos. They invited their friends and family to share in this special day and celebrate with them – so, enjoy the party, live in the moment and save your uploading and downloading for when you get home!

Images courtesy of (in order of appearance): (1st & 3rd) and (2nd)

Wyndham Alltra

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