Unplugged wedding are always a hot topic across the industry. And to be entirely honest, I’m not exactly sure where I’m at on this one! You’re probably thinking, well, then why are you writing a blog about it!? The truth is, there are two very different sides to each choice that I think I understand pretty well and I thought maybe discussing them here would help potential brides make their own choice. Because, after all, it doesn’t really matter where I land – my priority is always with my couple; whatever makes THEM happy is what makes me happy!
+ Less distractions
As you walk down the aisle, you want to be able to see your fiance and parents who will, without a doubt, be beaming back at you. If you’re faced with cell phones, iPad, and cameras, it’s going to be very hard to feel in the moment with all those distractions. Just check out this image from a fellow photographer where the groom has to lean into the aisle to see past guests:
+ Enjoy the moment
There is a video on the internet of Adele asking a concert go-er to stop videotaping; explaining that she is there in real life, and to enjoy the moment with their eyes, not their screen. I could write an entire blog post on just this idea, but in short, having an unplugged wedding allows guests to be completely present in the moment rather than worrying about which Instagram filter will look best.
+ Great Pictures
This sounds like it’s purely a photographer’s wish, but ask any bride if she wants her first kiss to be blown out by a guest’s flash or have Uncle Bob standing in the aisle as she walks down for the first time and the answer will probably be no. As a professional, we will do everything in our power to avoid these situations, but ultimately we cannot anticipate someone else’s actions. You are paying a lot of money to have us at your wedding and that is truly an honor; our best work can not be completed with other’s in our path.
+ No pictures from the guest’s perspective
Even with two photographers at your wedding day, there is no way we can be in all places at one time. It’s fun to see those moments that happened when you weren’t present to see what other fun events unfolded on your wedding day!
Guests who were unable to attend the wedding will likely be checking social media for a glimpse at your dress or centerpiece decor, even if it’s “just” an iPhone shot. By not allowing any photos, they will not be able to feel like they were there with you.
After going through these, I think there is a really solid compromise – an unplugged ceremony. Not the entire wedding day, just the ceremony. This way your guests can enjoy their electronics throughout the night and post those funny pictures of Aunt Barbara getting down on the dance floor, but at the same, your fiance will be able to see your face as you walk down the aisle. If you’re interested in have an unplugged ceremony, I’d recommend having your officiant announce it before you the processional begins as well as printing it on your programs and/ having it written in beautiful font on a sign by the aisle. I promise, all your guests will survive without their electronics for 60 minutes and your photographer will thank you!
**I will say, there is one major exception to this (as there is with all rules!) and that is to video someone in who couldn’t make it. I’ve had clients whose family members for one reason or another were unable to be present in person but were able to Skype/Facetime in to feel as if they were celebrating!