If there’s one thing I could make every wedding couple do it would be to have an unplugged wedding ceremony. And there’s a few reasons for that!
First, let’s start with what an unplugged wedding ceremony is. Unplugged ceremonies are when the Bride and Groom request that all wedding guests not only put their cell phones and iPads and personal cameras away during the ceremony, but turn them off, and don’t use them AT ALL. Not during the walk down the aisle or up the aisle or anything in between.
Now, when you’re a business like me, who gives the couple full rights to the digital images and allows them to share them with friends and family, this seems like a no brainer. If you’re reading this blog as a bide who doesn’t have me as their photographer, and your photographer does NOT allow you to share your pictures with friends and family, then I wouldn’t do this! But, here are my reasons.
- We live in a digital age now where everyone is addicted to their technology. Their phones never come out of their hand, iPads are glued to their face and we just don’t live in the moment. PLEASE allow your wedding guests to live in the moment. Is there blurry iPhone picture really going to do anyone justice anyway? Trust that your photographers are going to capture the moment and share it with them so they can be there to ENJOY your day. It breaks my heart to see the progression over the years from people enjoying and living in the moment of the bride walking down the aisle to just dozens of faces hidden behind their camera phones and iPads.
- Your groom probably has the same view down the aisle as I do because I am usually crouched down in front of the first pew (I crouch so no one can even tell I’m there and I don’t get in anyone’s way!) And what is that view most of the time? About a dozen people reaching their arms into the aisle with their cell phones and iPads out. I don’t think they’re deliberately trying to be inconsiderate but, really, it’s inconsiderate! And, then guess what happens, I get a completely blocked view of the bride walking down the aisle and that is one of the MOST IMPORTANT SHOTS and it almost ALWAYS has a thousand cell phones in it. Trust your photographer to get this shot.
- Your guest photographers might be compromising your hired photographers pictures. If your guests are using flash on their cameras, that could very well completely ruin the exposure or shot of your photographer and there’s not much to do to fix it!
- If you’re getting married in a church, there are many many churches that have STRICT rules for photographers such as not being able to go past the last pew!! But of course, guests aren’t getting the same written rules as photographers do so they just jump right in the aisle and completely block our shot!
So now that you know the main reasons why it’s important to have an unplugged ceremony, here’s a few ways to get your guests to do it:
- Make a cute sign telling them to turn their cell phones off and away (before you even come down the aisle). Put this sign at the entrance to your ceremony space.
- Tell the person officiating your wedding to make an announcement to all the wedding guests. Again, tell them to do the accouncement BEFORE you walk down the aisle, otherwise, that defeats the purpose! I’ve been at so many weddings where the officiant announces this once the bride gets up the aisle and says “The couple would like to invite you to be present in their ceremony and please shut off all mobile and technological devices.” Well, to me, that defeats the whole purpose cause we’re really trying to avoid them jumping in the aisle while you’re walking down it!!
Here’s a snippet from the Huffington Post of what you can give your officiant to say: ““Welcome, friends and family! Good evening, everyone. Please be seated. Dan and Jennifer invite you to be truly present at this special time. Please, turn off your cell phones and put down your cameras. The photographer will capture how this moment looks — I encourage you all to capture how it feels with your hearts, without the distraction of technology. If Dan can do it, then so can you.””
So that’s it. I’ll just leave you with one funny story. I was second shooting a wedding where almost the entire bride’s family seemed to have a camera, phone, iPad etc. Me and the main photographer were getting in place to get the kiss when an uncle jumped in front of us! We ALMOST DIDN’T get the shot. He blatantly just cut right in and we were shocked!! We jumped in front of him to get the shot and then he used my shoulder as a tripod! I was literally baffled! Luckily, that only happened once!
And, if you’ve ever been a guest at a wedding and “been that guy” in the middle of the aisle, this isn’t to say “shame on you!!” this is simply a post hoping to educate both guests and couples on having the best ceremony and wedding day images possible! I don’t care when guests take images at other times of the day, but the ceremony should be sacred, and it’s just a real shame that we, as a society, feel the need to always have our phones in hand. Be present. Enjoy the moment with your heart, and celebrate with the couple!
If you know someone getting married, I’m sure they’d appreciate you sharing this post with them!!
The beauty of everyone being present in the moment. Venue: FEAST at Round Hill