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This Picture Sums Up Why Wedding Guests Should Put Down Their Damn Phones

Unplugged weddings are looking really appealing right now.

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Wedding photographer Thomas Stewart is tired of well-meaning, snap-happy guests ruining his photos.

That's right: Instead of merely standing up at their seats and getting a quick picture, the guests blocked the groom's view of his wife — and, essentially, the bride's path to the altar. Stewart is not happy about it, to say the least.

Stewart posted the picture to his Facebook page, along with an impassioned plea for wedding guests to unplug during ceremonies.

"You're paying a photographer quite a bit of money; that means you want great photos. We cannot do our best work with people getting in our way," he wrote.

"In your invites, tell everyone you're having an unplugged ceremony: no technology, please, Write it on a chalkboard which guests can see as they arrive on the day," he continued. "HIRE A PLANE TO WRITE IT IN THE SKY!"

"And guests, you've been invited to this wedding to share and celebrate the love that two people feel for each other," he concluded. "You are witnesses to their marriage, so for goodness sake, watch them with your eyes and your minds, not your phones."

Stewart's manifesto is just the latest development in the battle between wedding hashtags and unplugging.

Though many couples encourage photo taking and sharing with custom wedding hashtags, others ask for guests to unplug, a move that allows photographers to capture clearer images without the disastrous interruption of other flashes or people.

Phone pictures also disturb the bride, who has to look at screens instead of faces as she walks down the aisle.

Not only that, but Instagram- and Snapchat-happy guests sometimes post photos of the bride or groom before they see each other, preempting a first look.

This is not the first time phones have overtaken an aisle, but it's definitely one of the worst.

If you do get the urge to sneak a shot during a ceremony, remember Stewart's insight: "The guests' photos are usually crap."

"You can't take great photos with your camera phone by leaning into the aisle of a dark church to photograph a moving subject," he wrote. "Hell, even lots of professionals have trouble with this."

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