Your big moment has arrived! The dress is perfect. The veil is in place and your gorgeous bouquet is in hand. The doors open and your guest stand to take their first look at you in all your glory. But instead of smiling faces and tears of happiness all you see are cell phones and cameras blocking the faces of your loved ones.
Technology has invaded every aspect of our lives but that doesn’t mean that it has to also invade your wedding day. I have noticed a growing trend over the past year and it is one that I fully support…
The Unplugged Wedding!
There are several reason why you should consider making your wedding a camera/technology free event and today I am going to share a few of those reasons for you.
- The Element of Surprise: You have worked really hard to keep certain aspects of your big day a surprise. Usually it is the wedding dress, but other times it’s special decorations or a special moment during the ceremony. Do you really want your friends and family posting photos of those “secret” details before you do? I see it ALL THE TIME! A well-meaning friend or family member will snap a photo of the bride before the ceremony and post it to social media without thinking. Shouldn’t the guest that actually attended your wedding get the first look? I met with a bride recently to discuss the details of her wedding and she mentioned that she was planning to ask her guests to refrain from posting any wedding photos to social media until she was able to post some of the photos that I take for her. I loved this idea! How great would it be to have your first photos be professional, well-edited photos that make you look your best rather than a cell phone image taken at the end of the night when you are hot and tired from dancing. Celebrities do this all the time! They don’t allow their guests to take or share images from their big moments. They wait until they can share the beautiful professional images first.
- Money well….wasted?: You have most likely hired a professional photographer for your wedding day (possibly even me!) and you are paying good money for that person to capture your wedding day for you. Your photographer is trained on how to get the best shots, what angles to use and the perfect lighting to ensure that you look your best. He/She has the top of the line equipment and is prepared to make split second decisions to ensure that no important moments are missed. I recently had a family member of the bride approach me prior to the ceremony and ask where I would be standing to take pictures. I informed him that I constantly move around and then proceeded to ask him why. He informed me that the bride and her family had asked him to take pictures with his “fancy camera” during the wedding “in case the photographer missed something”. I have to admit that his comment stung a little…ok, a lot! When you hire me (or anyone) as your wedding photographer you are saying that you trust us to capture every moment for you. I always have a second shooter with me to help cover all angles so there is no need for Uncle Bob to step in a “help me out”. It is also really frustrating for your photographer when their perfect shot is spoiled by an unwanted flash or a guest out of their seat taking his/her own photos. The craziest thing I have seen a guest do was walk up and stand next to the bridesmaids to get a shot and then move to the center isle to get a second shot before the wedding coordinator politely asked him to sit down. I know that these guests mean well, but they are not only standing in the way of your professional photographer, but they are a distraction to your other guests.
- Click, Click, I do!: Most cameras are fairly quiet when snapping a photo, but occasionally a guest will forget to turn off the volume on their phone and you can hear the clicking of the shutter as it goes off. While you as the bride may not notice it, your guests will. I have seen it happen during a quiet moment in the ceremony and it was completely distracting. Not only do you want your guests to be respectful of you and your special moment, but you want them to be respectful of the other guests they are seated around.
- Be in the moment…not in your phone: Have you ever gone to dinner with someone who spent the whole meal checking their phone? How much of your conversation do you think they really listened to? Your wedding day is supposed to be all about YOU! It’s a once in a lifetime event and you invited your friends and family to witness it…not the paparazzi! By removing the distraction of cell phone and cameras you allow your guests to completely enjoy the moment.
Finding a polite way to inform your guests of your wishes for an unplugged wedding can be tricky. You want to be firm and set your expectations, but you also want to be kind and respectful. They are just as excited for your big day as you are and want to share each joyful moment. Below are some examples of ways brides and grooms have helped inform their guests of their decision to go unplugged.
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