The concept of an unplugged wedding has been around for a while but I feel it now gaining momentum. Trust me when I tell you that there is nothing more disheartening than trying to take photographs of a wedding ceremony only to find so many guests watching through viewfinders or their smart phone screens. My goodness, I can recall one wedding where a guest had an iPad on burst mode for the entire time the bride was walking down the aisle – with the volume turned up FULL!
When you have an unplugged wedding you allow your guests to be truly present – a gift that we often forget in todays society. We live in a world where we are usually multi tasking by watching TV while scrolling through our phone or listening to a podcast while cooking dinner so being fully present is not something all of us do on a regular basis.
One of my biggest tips is to prepare your guests with the news that you will be asking them to put away their phones and cameras from the time you send the wedding invitation. If you wait until putting up a sign on the big day, there is a chance they are already prepared to take photos and have promised your Aunt June overseas that they will Facetime the entire ceremony. I honestly think that many people take photos because they don’t realise how easy it is for them to get either a digital file from the couple or for a print to be sent to them once the photographs are complete so they will have a permanent, tangible memory of the day or they think it will take months before they see anything.
Having an unplugged wedding also allows you to have a certain amount of control over your wedding images and supports your photographer. Sure, your aunt may want to have a photo of you walking down the aisle but it does create a problem for your photographer – I will NEVER ask anyone to move or elbow someone out of the way so I can take the shot my clients have paid me to take so instead I need to think quickly to find another angle, without guests with cameras and one that is flattering to my clients. If this happens while my bride is walking down the aisle; this is a VERY short time frame to work with.
So newly engaged couple, ask your guests to not photograph your wedding ceremony, to be present and watch with open hearts as you take this courageous step in life together. It is not something they, or you, will regret.