Some of you reading this may be wondering, what is an unplugged wedding? An unplugged wedding is where guests are politely asked to refrain from using their cell phones, tablets, & cameras during the wedding ceremony and key parts of the wedding reception. As a Northern Virginia wedding photographer if a bride were to ask me if they should have an unplugged wedding, my answer would without a doubt be yes.
With weddings comes the excitement of family & friends. As a result you can expect to find an abundance of iPhones and tablets documenting your special day. First, I want to start off by saying that I DO NOT think there is anything wrong with guests taking photos. However, I do believe there is a specific time & place for it. As a Northern Virginia wedding photographer, I have seen first hand how damaging this can be. Especially when it comes to your photography investment.
Let’s face it, even when the wedding photographer is capturing the ceremony it can be a little distracting. As much as we attempt to be discreet, it can be a little tough to stay completely hidden and unnoticeable the entire time. Now imagine having a majority of your guests holding up their cameras, iPhones or even worse, their tablets. Odds are your guests will be watching their activity other than having their focus on the bride and groom during the ceremony. Might I also add, what if your guest is sitting behind another guest who constantly has their iphone or tablet held up blocking their view?
Not only can it be distracting for guests, but what if it’s too distracting for you? Imagine that it is your wedding day & you are about to make your grand entrance down the aisle. The doors open & all you see is a flood of electronic devices being pointed in your direction. Where is your groom? Can you even see him? Is “Uncle Bob” holding his camera out in the aisle a little too far? Is he obstructing your view of your handsome groom? Electronics can definitely take away from those special moments like these during the ceremony. The crazy thing? Sometimes guests don’t even realize the damage they are causing, while other guests simply do not care. Guests just want their iphone photos to post on social media later, not taking into consideration the negative effect it can have on your photography investment. Be safe. Host an unplugged wedding.
Be In the Moment
By having an unplugged wedding it allows your guests to be present in the moment. You don’t want your guests to be glued to their devices, you want their attention to be fixed on you. Your wedding day is one to celebrate your joyous union with the ones you love the most. Therefore, make sure they are present. You want to make eye contact with your loved ones, not the back of their devices. Be present. Be in the moment. The photos can be taken later 😉
Again, I will start by saying this- I have no problem with guests taking photos. However there have been countless moments that I have almost missed “the shot” due to a guest jumping in front of me with their camera. Luckily I always bring a 2nd shooter with me, however, I always like to get the shot because normally I always have the best positioning. I recall a wedding I captured a few years ago. It was a beautiful outdoor wedding in the Shenandoah Valley. During the ceremony it came time for the bride & groom to be pronounced husband and wife. Just as they began to share their first kiss, a guest jumped out in the aisle with his camera. I immediately had to run to the side to ensure I got the shot. Luckily I did manage to get the shot, but I wasn’t able to capture the angle that I always desire. I’m sure it was an innocent mistake, but with an unplugged wedding you shouldn’t have the risk of this happening.
Another area where an unplugged wedding is beneficial is during the key events at the reception. This could be from a guest blocking the photographer’s shot during the cake cutting, but it primarily pertains to their camera flash. During the wedding reception, I will have a certain flash set up to provide the best lighting scenario for your photos. If a guest/s uses flash photography, sometimes it can interfere with my flash causing light that isn’t the most ideal or flattering for your photos.
If you are a bride who is in the stages of planning your wedding, I would highly consider having an unplugged wedding. Your photos & your wallet will thank you 😉
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