There are several reasons why an unplugged ceremony may be a good fit for your wedding day and I wanted to share some insight based on what I have experienced in recent years.
For those of you who have not heard of an unplugged ceremony there is a movement in action where couples are asking their guests to be fully present with them during their wedding and leave their cell phones and cameras turned off for the duration of the wedding ceremony.
As a photographer I am hired to capture important moments for a couple and I have been shocked at how many times guests have literally stepped out into the aisle to get a photograph of the bride walking down the aisle with their iPhone while blocking my ability to capture that photograph for the couple. I have been forced to delete a lot of processional and recessional photographs due to a guest stepping out into the aisle to take a photograph. I understand guests' excitement to capture that photograph to post to Facebook or Instagram but couples typically invest a significant amount of money and trust with their wedding photographer to capture those moments for them.
I always upload your wedding photos to an online gallery that you can share with your guests and that guests are welcome to download the photos that I have taken for free so they can enjoy experiencing your wedding instead of trying to photograph it for social media.
I have witnessed a huge increase in the amount of guests who are spending the entire ceremony with a camera, cellphone or iPad in front of their face photographing the entire ceremony instead of being present with the couple.
How many iPhones can you count in this photo?
This guest was so excited about photographing the ceremony that she stepped in front of me and blocked my ability to photograph the ceremony for the couple. This happens to me a lot.
We had set up the ceremony such that there was an empty spot in the middle so that I could stand there and take photos at this intimate wedding without standing in front of any guests and to give a clear view of the bride & groom in full length. A guest crouched in that spot when I moved up to get a wide view and then moved into my frame. Another excited guest stood on a rock beside me during the ceremony and when he lost his balance he grabbed onto my arm and very nearly took me and my camera down with his fall.
I think the key to having a successful unplugged ceremony is to prepare your guests well in advance and let them know all the reasons it is important to you. You can give your guests a heads up that you having an unplugged ceremony on your wedding website, your invitation, your program and have a sign at the ceremony.
Here's an example of potential wording;
Welcome to our unplugged ceremony.
Please turn off all cellphones & cameras and enjoy this moment with us.
We promise to share the ceremony photos our professional photographer takes with you.
Here are just a few reasons why an Unplugged Ceremony may be right for your wedding day:
- When you walk down the aisle or look out at your guests during your ceremony you want to see their faces not their iPhones
- You have invested a significant amount in hiring your wedding photographer and you don't want their ability to capture your wedding ceremony to be put at risk by overexcited guests stepping in front of their camera or blocking an important photograph
- You have found it distracting when attending other weddings when guests spend the entire ceremony snapping photos and moving out of their seats to get a better angle
- You want the first photos of your wedding ceremony on social media to be the professional photographs your wedding photographer has taken for you
- It's important to you that your guests be fully present with you while you say your vows to each other