Why you should consider having an un-plugged wedding
Having photographed many weddings already over the last few years including several un-plugged wedding. I was once asked by a wedding guest, who may I add, firmly grasping her iPad with the camera app open asked “Can I stand in front of you to take a photo quickly with my iPad?”.
Did that not entirely defeat the object of why i’m here I thought. Nowadays it’s such a common sight at a wedding. Tablets and phones sticking out of the ensemble of either isle of the ceremony room, all competing for a blurry, back of the head image that will never go further than their device. Why do people insist on photographing other peoples wedding who’ve been invited to be a guest and not a ‘photographer’?!
A few of the recent couples have asked if it’s a good idea to go ‘un-plugged’ (no phones or tablets), not only is the attention soely on the couple but there can’t be any distractions such as a message beep or social media notification during the ceremony. Of course all guest freely allow me to get the job done most of the time and are polite to move away if needed. On occasions theres often an enthusiast with a DSLR camera who would like to add something to their portfolio, you know the type, strap around the neck, leans out into the isle and tries to arrange people. Their focus totally not on the couple and ‘their’ special day.
Im hoping this will help you make an informed decision as to why to have an un-plugged wedding. Don’t let me put you off though. Just want to show you the potential consequences of missing several vital candid images. All due to an over eager family member trying to capture their version of the day. Encourage them to document the day with their own eyes of the moments with real feelings. Rather than distraction and a processed version of what is actually in front of them. I’m sure you’ll be happy to have those capture your day with their devices and I’ll totally support your decisions. There’s also been some lovely images that guests have kindly ‘snapped’ of me photographing a wedding and sent to later.
So should you have an ‘un-plugged’ wedding?
Totally down to you and your wedding. When you turn around after saying ‘I Do’ do you want to see see a wave of faces instead of a barricade of phones. It means that everyone is engaged in the moment, laughing, crying, throwing confetti and drinking without distractions. Everyone is looking at one camera during the group shots and isn’t distracted by a guests camera over the photographers shoulder (which happens all too often for me, sadly that’s something that can’t be ‘photoshopped’ after the wedding). You and your guests will have no distractions from beeping, ringing and clicking of cameras which may also affect the photographers exposure due to flashes from phones and guests cameras which can lead to over exposed white dresses or horribly harsh colours. If you do decide to have an un-plugged wedding how do you actually tell your guests?
How to tell your guests you’ve decided to have an un-plugged wedding?
Well you could always surprise them at the venue with a sign. What about sharing this post and also put a small note on the RSVP. Guests can then have plenty of notice to catch up with the latest news and shenanigans on social media. Here’s an example of what you could write.
“We want you to be able to enjoy our wedding day, feeling truly present and in the moment with us. We’ve hired an amazing wedding photographer who will be capturing the way the wedding looks. — and we’re inviting each of you to sit back, relax, and just enjoy how the wedding feels. We’re respectfully asking that everyone consider leaving all cameras and mobile phones off. Of course we will happy to share our wedding photos with you afterwards!”
As part of the wedding photography packages I offer, every couple will receive an online wedding gallery. The wedding photography gallery is available to the married couple who can then share with their guests. Giving the option to also digitally download each professional image of themselves at the wedding… straight to their phone! So your guests can enjoy the whole day and not have to worry about miss documenting their attendance.
Updated for 2023