Thomas Stewart, a photographer from New South Wales, Australia, posted a long diatribe on Facebook lamenting how weddings in the tech-savvy modern era are being ruined by the ubiquitous cell phone, which makes nearly every guest think they have the right to click non-stop photos.

By the weekend, the post got over 25,000 likes and more than 10,000 people shared the article, showing support for the stance taken by Stewart. It seems more and more people are agreeing that mobile phone cameras just take all the spontaneity away from weddings.

Stewart says guests at weddings defeat the purpose of the invitation when instead of mingling, enjoying the party and feeling happy for the bride and groom, they just spend all their time trying to catch good angles to take photos with. Not only that, their intrusive behaviour disturbs the work of the professional photographer who’s been hired to record the occasion.

He asked guests to imagine what the bride and groom feel, when looking at guests and hoping to see smiles and maybe a teary eye here and there on their special day, all they can see is mobile phone cameras covering the guests’ faces throughout the ceremony. Friends and relatives turn into a frenzied paparazzi mob, tripping over each other to get the perfect shot. The irony is that the bride and groom are not even likely to see these photos!

The photographer suggests that to ensure technology-free and completely ‘unplugged’ weddings, the bride and groom should, in the invitation card, request the absence of cell phones in the ceremony. They can also announce it at the beginning of the ceremony or write it on a chalkboard placed at the entrance of the venue.

In Pakistan too, we can totally relate to this issue, because the story is the same at local shaadis – the bride and groom are mobbed with rishtedaars clicking away all around them, and worse, taking selfies, totally ignoring them on what’s supposed to be their special day.