wedding wednesday / unplugged wedding
One of the trends I've seen coming up the last year or two is the Unplugged Wedding - and I, for one, am a HUGE fan of this!
The concept of an Unplugged Wedding is inviting (requesting) your guests to put their phones + cameras away during the ceremony and/or reception, and simply be present + enjoy being in the moment with you during this special time. We have become a culture obsessed with our phones, and it has gotten in the way of us being able to enjoy moments simply by being in them. How much of life do we not fully take in because we are viewing them through the screen of our phones? Our society has become one that is consumed by the desire to be the first to post something and have it be the perfect representation of the moment that they don't allow themselves to truly experience it.
Not yet sold on the idea? Here are a few reasons to consider going Unplugged at your wedding.
Guests Interact More
In addition to interacting with one another more, guests will interact with the surroundings more as well. You have spent months planning this day, down to the last perfect detail. You want your guests to be able to enjoy all that work. Truth is, they are less likely to notice the little details if they're busy on their devices.
It Won't Compromise The Professional Photos
I cannot tell you how many shots I've taken, some of which cannot be saved, because a well intentioned guest has stepped right in my way, or the image shows 8 phones or tablets while others try to get a shot. It definitely changes the mood and emotion of the image when you have the distractions of devices in the frame with the dad giving away his daughter, or Uncle Bob in the aisle as the groom kisses the bride. People get so caught up in trying to document for themselves that they forget you've already hired someone to document the day! And that their attempts at documenting can actually interfere with + change the way that the professional is able to capture moments for you. Your guests are the background of your story that day - and if they are all on devices, trying to take their own photos, it definitely changes the mood. Not to mention sometimes people forget to silence the noises on their camera and shutter of their phones, which can be distracting during the ceremony.
Everyone's Privacy is Respected
Everyone varies on their comfortability with social media - some document each and every aspect of their lives to share with the world, while others do everything they can to stay off of it. Having an unplugged wedding allows for more control over what gets posted and when. I have also seen a few first look moments that have been shared with the world because someone posted a photo before the ceremony. I totally understand people get excited and sometimes just don't think about little aspects you may have worked hard to plan for a certain way so asking your guests to keep their phones and cameras put away until the reception (at least) definitely helps control what everyone else sees on social media - and when.
The First Images of Your Wedding Shared Are Professional
I pull a few sneak peeks for my brides when I get home that night so that if they want to post a photo from their day, it doesn't have to be an iPhone photo! This way the world can see a gorgeous professional image of you as Husband + Wife instead of a quickly snapped, potentially blurry, iPhone photo. I know this isn't the workflow for all photographers, so make sure to check with your photographer to see if that is something they offer.
Make Gallery Sharing Easy
You can use your Wedding Website to let your guests know that you will be doing an Unplugged Wedding and that you will link the gallery to your Wedding Website once you get the images so that they know they will have access to view images as well. Knowing they will be able to have photos from the day might lessen the anxiety of them not being able to capture their own.
Other ideas for image sharing is using a custom hashtag if you are allowing photos during the reception. I have seen several weddings do Polaroid photo booths so that people have images they can take home with them as well.
If you choose to do an Unplugged Wedding, make sure you put that information on your Wedding Website so that guests have a heads up and know what to expect. You might also want to have a sign near the entry and have your DJ or Officiant gently remind guests of your request before the ceremony begins as well.
One day you, your kids and grandkids will look back on these images - just think about what you want to see in the background: beautiful smiling faces of those you love most in the world, or the backs of iPhones and tablets? I personally want to see faces and I promise your photographer's images will be all the better for it as well!
Want more information about going unplugged? There are a lot of resources online, or I'd be happy to answer any questions you might have!