Why You Should Go Unplugged
Okay so I am not talking about going unplugged form life in general, although I would like to sometimes!
I’m actually referring to going “unplugged” for your wedding ceremony. In this post I am going to give you five reasons why I wish ALL of my couples would have an unplugged ceremony!
What is an unplugged wedding?
An unplugged wedding is where you ask your guests to turn off their mobiles, iPads, cameras and any other techy gadgets they might have with them so they can relax and enjoy their time with you, leaving the professional wedding photographer free to do her job. This could be for the whole day or the wedding ceremony and you might want to ask your guests not to share any photos on social media. Whether or not you want to have an unplugged wedding and how strict you want to be is completely up to you.
What are the benefits of having an unplugged wedding?
1. Your guests can be in the moment with you
When you’re walking down the aisle arm in arm with your Dad, what would you rather see? All your loved ones beaming from ear to ear and shedding a few tears or all their faces blocked by a sea of mobile phones and iPads? My guess is you want your guests to be free to be in that moment with you. I have actually seem (on multiple occasions!) a wedding guest stepping IN FRONT of the bride and her dad walking down the aisle to get a photo on her iPhone. NOT OKAY WEDDING GUEST. NOT OKAY.
2. You’ll get the best photos (and your photographer will love you)
Your wedding is not a trial-run, it’s the real deal and your photographer only gets one shot to capture your day. As a professional photographer I know my gear inside out and always set my cameras up to deal best with the lighting that’s available. But if you’re walking down the aisle and a guest suddenly decides to use the flash on their mobile then that’s extra light that I wasn’t expecting that could ruin that beautiful once-in-a-lifetime moment. That could mean that you can’t see the stunning lace detail on your dress because the extra light blows out the details.
Let’s not also forget that guests, meaning well and in their quest to get their perfect photo of you, could step out into the aisle and block your photographer’s view, could block your husband to-be’s first look at you. Who takes priority here? You guys this has actually happened to me - story time here! I actually had a wedding guest push me out of the way during the couples first kiss to get a photo on her iPhone. She literally pushed me in the aisle and then stepped IN FRONT of me! WHY DO PEOPLE THINK THIS IS OKAY?!?!?
3. There will be less noisy distractions
There will be less distractions and you invite your guests to be there in the moment with you, celebrating WITH YOU and not getting their best photo possible to share on their Instagram feed before you and your significant other is even pronounced husband and wife!
4. Your evening guests will thank you for it
You might be having some guests joining you for the evening only. They’ll be excited to see you looking absolutely amazing in all your finery and to get to see you in the flesh for the first time with your husband. Eeek! But if someone has already shared photos of you on Facebook, it’s just not the same. Another real life story - my bride was not going to see her hubby before he saw her walk down the aisle and a guest came early and snapped a photo of her while she was having some bridal portraits down, shared it on Facebook and the groom happened to see her before she ever walked down the aisle. Again, WHY DO PEOPLE THINK THIS IS OKAY?!??!
5. An unplugged wedding protects privacy all round
I’m not talking about high-end glossy mags with exclusivity contracts here. I’m talking about you and who you choose to have at your wedding and who you don’t.
I take the privacy of my clients very seriously. Some of my clients love to have their photos shared on social media while some prefer to keep their weddings private and others may be happy for the photos of adults to be shared but not of children. As a photographer I have a responsibility to protect my clients’ privacy and I don’t ever assume that it’s ok to share photos.
The point is I have these conversations BEFORE THE WEDDING because it’s important to my couples and there may be all manner of reasons why some people are invited to your wedding and others aren’t. Could you be sure that your guests will know which photos it’s ok to share and which ones are to be kept for your eyes only?
I want you to hear me - I LOVE MY iPhone. I really do. It helps me conduct business, it is a means for me to capture cute pictures of my daughter that I do share all over Instagram and Facebook, all I’m saying is there is a time and a place for everything.
How to tell guests that you’re having an unplugged wedding:
Once you’ve decided that an unplugged wedding is the way to go and how you’re going to do it you have to think about how you’re going to tell everyone. Here are a few options:
You could include a wee note with your wedding invitations to ask people to respect your wishes. Something like “we invite you to fully enjoy this moment with us and we will be asking all cameras and phones to be put away during the ceremony.” This gives your guests a heads up before the big day.
Or you could ask your officiant to announce it whenever they are welcoming guests to the ceremony
most of my couples have had a sign - so cute! Here’s a few examples: