“Unplugged” Weddings – Good Idea or Bad?

unplugged wedding photography

We see them everywhere – smartphones, iPads and DSLRs being held up in crowds in hopes of snapping the perfect shot. Some popular attractions have started to ask visitors to not take photos as it detracts from the overall experience. A similar sentiment has begun to make its way through the wedding world – the idea of an “unplugged” wedding. This idea involves the guests at a ceremony not taking photos with any device, so that they don’t get in the way of the professional wedding photographer and so that they don’t miss the moments happening right in front of them.

From A Wedding Guest’s Perspective

We all know that our smartphones have excellent cameras and  can take great Facebook-quality photos, but you’re attending the holy matrimony of two people who are (assumedly) near and dear to your heart. Would you really want to watch them tie the knot through your tiny little screen in hopes of taking a photo that you deem Instagram-worthy?

wedding guests unplugged

Photo Credit: Megan Vaughan Photography

In addition to the sea of screens that fill the crowd, there is another major reason why hosting an unplugged wedding is become more and more common. In order to get the perfect shot, guests will oftentimes get in the way of the actual wedding photographer. This results in guests unintentionally photobombing what would otherwise be a beautiful photo of the happy couple. And unfortunately, more often than not, these are generally moments that cannot be recreated and the emotions will never be truly captured.

unplugged wedding photography

Photo Credit: Megan Vaughan Photography

Based on these two main issues, the idea of an unplugged wedding was born. Not only does this encourage the guests to live in the moment and see the ceremony unfold in front of their eyes rather than through a tiny screen, but it guarantees that the hired photographer will be able to do her job without any distractions or obstacles. More and more weddings today are implementing this concept to create a technology-free wedding environment and to allow the hired professional to do her job and capture the wedding’s moments without guests getting in the way.


How To Host An Unplugged Wedding

To implement an unplugged wedding, you’ll want to be sure to announce your intentions in the initial invitation. Include some information about what an unplugged wedding entails and why you and your partner want to try this out. This way your guests won’t be surprised the day of when they are asked to put their devices away. Have a sign at the actual ceremony as well so that guests who may have forgotten will be able to see why you want to keep your big day technology and distraction-free.

unplugged wedding sign

Photo Credit: Megan Vaughan Photography

Another great place to include this information would be on your wedding’s website or Facebook page. Any tech-savvy guests will most likely be checking these resources prior to the wedding and will see the announcement there as well.

Finally, have your pastor or officiant announce that no photos will be allowed during the ceremony. This will serve as a gentle reminder to those guests who think they are sneaky enough to get away with a couple selfies with the bride and groom at the altar.

Leave It To The Professionals

When it comes down to it, whether or not you choose to host an unplugged wedding is entirely up to you and your partner’s tastes. If you are a social media and tech-savvy couple, then perhaps an unplugged wedding is not ideal for you. However, keep in mind that this is a once in a lifetime event that will evoke emotions and moments that cannot be recreated. What your guests do during your ceremony is out of your control, unless you take measures to help avoid situations in which they would disrupt the  professional photography. If you’ve hired a professional photographer to shoot your wedding, let her do her job! She’s a professional wedding photographer for a reason – because she is truly good at capturing those tiny moments of real beauty and joy. Let the photographers do the shooting when it matters most – that’s what they’re there for.

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