Hannah Stanley has gone viral with this photo. Picture: Hannah Way Photography
Hannah Stanley has gone viral with this photo. Picture: Hannah Way Photography

Wedding guests need to stop doing this

Sit back, relax and enjoy this once-in-a-lifetime moment.

That's the message a furious wedding photographer wants guests to hear loud and clear after her photo of the moment a groom first sees his stunning bride was "ruined" by an overly enthusiastic guest.

Hannah Stanley shared the photo, which shows the bride and her father walking down the aisle, on Facebook. However, the emotional moment is obstructed by the arm of a guest holding out a phone, taking their own picture.

The disappointing snap is accompanied with an open letter to "the girl with the iPhone" that details not only Hannah's frustrations as a professional that the photo wasn't captured but the emotional impact it had on the bride, groom and their families.

"Not only did you ruin my shot, but you took this moment away from the groom, father of the bride and the bride," Hannah begins.

"What exactly do you plan on doing with that photo? Honestly. Are you going to print it out? Save it? Look at it everyday? No. You're not."

Hannah - who runs Hannah Way Photography in the US - went on to explain the happy couple would have printed this photo out and reminisced over this moment for years, adding that instead it was a moment that was "blocked" forever.

"Instead, you wanted to take a photo with your phone, blocking my view, and taking a photo that you will not use," she said.

Hannah's rant ends with a heartfelt plea to all wedding guests, urging them to live in the moment instead of watching weddings through the screen of a smartphone.

"Guests, please stop viewing weddings you attend through a screen but instead turn OFF your phone and enjoy the ceremony. You are important to the bride and groom, you would not be attending the wedding otherwise. So please, let me do my job, and you just sit back, relax and enjoy this once in a lifetime moment," she said.

Many could clearly relate to Hannah's strong views, as her post received over 1000 comments and 159,000 likes.

Hannah Stanley’s Facebook post has gone viral, receiving over 159,000 likes. Picture: Facebook / HannahStanley
Hannah Stanley’s Facebook post has gone viral, receiving over 159,000 likes. Picture: Facebook / HannahStanley

Many comments were from other photographers agreeing guests need to take a step back in the modern wedding era and let them do their jobs.

"I've shot hundreds of weddings and I've posted many, many times about this same thing!!" one wrote.

Another said: "I've been in this situation MANY many times and it IS a problem. Sometimes I'm able to get to the guest in time to ask them to move, but most of the time there are only seconds left to get the shot and I have to re-position myself."

"YEEEEEESSSS!!! Preach it, sister. I'm so glad you shared this," another wrote.

However, hundreds of people disagreed with Hannah, arguing it's her role to get the guests to move out of the way or reposition herself to make it work.

"Sorry Hannah, this post is stupid. You prob had plenty of time to take multiple pics. This is unacceptable and waste of time," one said.

"Be a better photographer. Find the shot that this iPhone can't find," another wrote, slamming the viral post.

"As a wedding photographer myself, this is absolutely overkill. I get nearly 100 shots of this moment ALONE!" someone else remarked.

It's not the first time a wedding photographer has let rip about annoying guests who get in the way of important shots.

NSW photographer Thomas Stewart told news.com.au last year wedding guests desperately needed better etiquette rules to follow.

"What I realised is as photographers we have an ability to educate our clients about things they don't know about. Most people haven't been married before, so they have no idea about these things," he said.

He said not only did guests blocking the aisle trying to take photos make his job difficult, it meant the bride and groom couldn't see each other and were looking at a wall of technology rather than the misty eyes of their guests.

"That's the most important thing. I don't want my clients to have memories of looking at their guests and seeing a sea of iPads," he said.

His comments followed his own rant about how guests were obsessed with capturing every moment - at the cost of the bride and groom.

"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 on his Facebook page.

So, next time you're at a wedding you might want to step away from your phone and remember this piece of sage advice.

Continue the conversation @RebekahScanlan | rebekah.scanlan@news.com.au