Unplugged weddings. You may or may not have heard about them but it's a new thing happening throughout weddings at the request of the Bride & Groom. If you haven't read the Huffington Post article (that went viral), you can read it here. It's one photographer's point of view about how your guest, although with good intention, can ruin some of the most important moments of your wedding. I haven't really said much on the subject but I thought I'd share why I like the idea of an unplugged wedding for my own couples and how you can navigate your own situation. Here are my top 5 tips why I think having parts of your wedding be "unplugged" can be a good idea. Enjoy!
1 - Please enjoy the ceremony. The ceremony, the time when you are actually getting married, is really the most important part of the day in my humble opinion. This is when you vow to love each other in sickness and in health, for richer or poorer and til' death do you part. This is life changing stuff so I think it's pretty important that everyone is paying attention to you rather to their smart phones and/or digital cameras. Of course we know that just about every guest brings some sort of device to a wedding but there is plenty of time to take photos (cocktail hour, reception and even the after party). The ceremony is sacred and I think it deserves your full attention so please turn off your device and watch two people declare their love for each other and become husband and wife. So amazing!
2 - Enjoy your seat and please be seated. Once, I almost tripped walking backwards in an aisle (which I normally do) because a guest was kneeling directly behind me trying to get a photo of the couple's first kiss. Now, I understand they wanted a photo for themselves, but it's my job to get it so if I trip, fall or hurt myself because of guest, there's not much that I can do about that. My simple and safe advice is to be please be seated, enjoy the ceremony and let the photographers roam freely. This is also extremely important during church ceremonies. Most photographers have to stay at the back of the aisles and/or balconies so, if guests stay out of the aisles as well, we can get more photos for our bride and grooms. A win/win!
3 - All eyes on me. One of the hardest times to ask family members and guests to please put their cameras down is during family formals. All my couples give me a list of pre-determined family photos that I've spent time organizing into the quickest way possible because like most Brides & Grooms, they want to enjoy their cocktail hour too. So, when I have everyone's attention, the photos go by very smoothly however, if there people also trying to take photos, eyes and attention start to wander and quick frankly, I lose the shot. If everyone in the photos isn't looking at me, there is no way I can fix this later on and the Bride & Groom don't have the photo they've specifically asked for which breaks my heart. My simple solution is to have my couples let their families know to kindly hold off on taking photos until after we've accomplished our list. This way the Bride & Groom are happy and so are the families. Easy, right?
4 - Flash and burn. Most compact digital cameras, the flash is built-in and if you have your camera set to auto mode, it uses it whenever it thinks it needs too. This is most evident during the reception when it's dark however, some guests bring their full DSLR cameras and flashes with them, which in a word competes with your photographers setup and can ruin some photos. I have been in a few situations where I had to politely ask a guest to turn off their flash because they were blowing out my photos. This is also important during the processional and recessional. Keeping your flash off with ensure that the couple receives the best photos without any hot spots or hands in the way.
5 - Your photos are just as important, and we know that! I want to make it clear that your uncle, aunts, best friends and sisters photos are just as important as the ones your wedding photographer takes. There is no doubt about it however, I think it's important to give your photographer (who you've researched, interviewed and hired- yay!) free reign to photograph your wedding the way they see fit. They are capturing your wedding images for you to love, cherish and keep forever. Making sure that your guest understand how important they are, I think will help them do the best job they can with little to no, interruptions.
*Bonus* - create a wedding ceremony program for your wedding so your guests know to turn off their devices before your wedding starts. So pretty right?
So, these are just my opinion and each and every wedding/couple is different. Have you thought of having and unplugged wedding? Have you ever been to an unplugged wedding? If yes, what did you think? I'd love to hear your thoughts and comments below. xo, Jainé