Unplugged Weddings – The Good & Bad
Should we have an Unplugged Wedding?
The topic of unplugged weddings is coming up more and more these days as couples plan their wedding days. Do I personally love an unplugged wedding, 100%. Do I think you should have an unplugged wedding? Well that’s where it gets a little more complicated.
People, more specifically, your guests, like taking photos with their phones, tablets, and cameras. There is ABSOLUTELY NOTHING WRONG WITH THIS!!!! The question becomes, do you want to see them taking these photos in your wedding album. If it doesn’t bother the two of you, then let them have their fun! There is a very slim chance that it would cause me to miss something. It’s not hard to work around the people who don’t realize I’m standing behind them. Or the ones who step in front of me. But that does take a second or two, or three, sometimes and a lot can happen in that time. In real world examples though I can only think of three or four times it caused me to miss something the couple would have loved to have. That’s three or four times out of hundreds.
Unplugged Weddings – The Good
The good part about having unplugged weddings is pretty obvious, everyone will be cheering, clapping, smiling, or crying, during your ceremony. They won’t be on their phones, staring at you through a screen which needs to be held directly in front of their face. Since the way I photograph is all about telling your story, I’m always trying to incorporate as many people as possible into a lot of the photographs during the ceremony. Especially during the processional and recessional. During that time you don’t want a headshot of you two where no one knows what is going. You want a photograph that tells the story about how amazing the moment is. The moment where you’re walking down the aisle and everyone is overjoyed or the moment you just had your first kiss as a married couple and are heading out to the world with your family and friends cheering you on! Personally, I think the ambiance from a photo when no phones are present and everyone’s attention is directed at you two, instead of their phones, is night and day. But that’s my personal opinion.
Unplugged Weddings – The Bad
Everything I do and write for my resources is designed to educate you two and empower you to make the decision that is best for your wedding day! However, I can’t come up with a lot of bad things when it comes to unplugged weddings. Some of your guests will probably be annoyed with you. And there is also some instant gratification that comes from letting them take cell phone photos because you’ll see them that day or the next. But generally those photos aren’t great as people moving towards a cell phone camera is one of its biggest weak points when it comes to performance. I guess you could also argue that if you want to truly represent the times we live in, then a photo with 50 people in it and no cell phones would be absurd. So if you’re going for total realism, an unplugged wedding isn’t for you.
With the bad though also comes more neutral feelings on this topic. Which are neither good or bad. I find that is where most couples decide NOT to go the unplugged wedding route. If you look at the examples below and the phones don’t bother you, then they don’t bother me, and there is no reason not to let your guests use them.
Unplugged Weddings – Conclusion
In the end, no one can make this decision for you. And in the grand scheme of the wedding day, I don’t think it is something that should be stressed over. But if you think an unplugged wedding is for you, you’ll find lots of signage you can purchase that is worded very politely. I also highly recommend having your priest, pastor, rabbi, or officiant, make an announcement before the start of the ceremony. Let’s be honest, most people don’t read things. Although I do hope you’re reading these resource articles!
If an unplugged wedding is an absolute must for you two and you truly hate the idea of having a phone in your ceremony photos. I’ve had couples add an extra sentence to the announcement saying “please don’t be the one caught in the professional photos with your phone out”. It’s always a good deterrent for people to know there is a chance of being caught.