There's nothing quite like the moment at a wedding when the bride is walking down the aisle and the groom anxiously awaits her arrival at the altar. Usually, the groom isn't craning his neck to see his future wife, but that's exactly what happened for one Australian couple as a number of guests stepped into the aisle to snap photos on their cell phones. The actual photographer, Thomas Stewart, was so upset by this he took to his Facebook page to urge people to make their special day unplugged.
"Right, I've had enough. I want to talk to you all about guests using mobile phones/cameras at weddings. I want to plead with you, and I'm going to make this very simple: brides and grooms, please have a completely unplugged wedding ceremony," he wrote in the post. "Look at this photo. This groom had to lean out past the aisle just to see his bride approaching. Why? Because guests with their phones were in the aisle and in his way. This sucks."
While the topic of technology making us more disconnected is not a new one, Stewart captured its very essence in a single photo of what's supposed to be a very intimate moment. "I wanted to highlight the negative effect technology can have on our photos," he told TODAY. "It's become a bad trend and is now seriously interfering with my ability to do my job. I hope that brides and grooms will at least consider an unplugged ceremony, or at least become aware of what might happen if they do allow their guests to take photos during their ceremony."
Clearly striking a chord with a lot of people, the post has been liked over 100,000 times and shared over 70,000 times. "I posted this picture to show my future brides and grooms what can happen if guests aren't asked to put all technology down during wedding ceremonies," Stewart added.
This push for unplugged weddings has even sparked some new business ventures where people are creating crafty signs to post at the ceremony asking to turn off their cell phones. Etsy and Pinterest pages are filled with signs that read something like, "We invite you to be fully present with us during our ceremony. Please turn off all mobile phones."
And Stewart isn't the only photographer noticing the negative effect cell phones are having at weddings. "I think cell phone culture has changed so much in the past couple of years, and most of us are guilty of having our phones in our hands whenever it is humanly possible, especially if there is a 'Kodak' moment," wedding photographer Jennifer Bobe told TODAY. "The problem with this new social norm is that we end up missing out on the actual human experience."