Miss Manners: I want to ban cellphones at my wedding without sounding like a bridezilla

DEAR MISS MANNERS: My fiance and I are getting married next year and so far, everything is coming together smoothly. The only issue I have is how to tell our guests that there will be a very strict “no cellphones” policy during the ceremony -- without sounding like a bridezilla.

They can have their phones out during the reception all they want, but I want them to keep them far away from the ceremony!

Both of us are very laid-back and tend to go with the flow, but whenever I see people taking pictures and videos during wedding ceremonies instead of actually being in the moment with the happy couple, it fills me with rage! I mean, that’s what the paid photographer is for, right?!

No one, and I mean NO ONE, on social media really cares about the 200 photos you posted from a wedding for people your followers/friends don’t even know. The people who care about the event will already be at the ceremony. So why even bother?

I absolutely do not want our very expensive professional photos to be riddled with phones! I’m so serious about this issue that I’m debating asking people to leave if they break the rule. I’m sure most will be fine with it, but there will always be those certain few who’ll do what they want. I feel that if I’m nice about it, people will take it as more of a suggestion than a rule.

What’s even worse is that I already feel so mean for enforcing this simple request. I hate causing a fuss, but I really want our guests to respect this.

GENTLE READER: Find a busybody relative -- everybody has one -- who likes to feel important and set that person on the task: “Aunt Celia, do you mind keeping a lookout for people on their cellphones? And politely asking them to put them away?”


If Aunt Celia does not, in fact, make the request politely, Miss Manners suggests you address guests’ complaints by saying, “Oh dear, she was supposed to keep an eye on it, but we certainly did not mean to offend you.”

Do not be tempted to blame Aunt Celia completely, however -- or you may find yourself on the unpleasant side of her wrath.

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DEAR MISS MANNERS: On two occasions, one in a restaurant and the other at the gym, an individual asked the management to raise the temperature on the thermostat. Both times, management complied. I was already uncomfortably warm, and of course became more so.

My position regarding heat is that an individual who tends to get cold can always bring a sweater or hoodie to a climate-controlled environment, whereas I can only legally remove so much for comfort.

Is it rude to request a change in temperature without considering the comfort of others present?

GENTLE READER: It is rare that any two people agree on the perfect indoor temperature -- and if they do, they should immediately find one another and cohabitate.

Public establishments are just trying to keep their customers happy. So Miss Manners implores you not to unduly blame them when it becomes clear that they cannot please everybody.

Miss Manners | Judith Martin, Nicholas Ivor Martin and Jacobina Martin

Miss Manners, written by Judith Martin and her two perfect children, Nicholas Ivor Martin and Jacobina Marin, has chronicled the continuous rise and fall of American manners since 1978. Send your questions to