Should you plan an unplugged wedding?

A mobile phone being used as a camera

Everyone wants to capture all the hard work that has gone into planning their dream wedding, but many people are currently feeling the allure of organising an unplugged wedding. An unplugged wedding is a wedding where cameras and camera phones are strictly forbidden.

The benefits of going unplugged according to professional wedding photographers

The Huffington Post spoke to a wedding photographer who explained the charms of choosing the ‘unplugged wedding’ from a professional wedding photographer’s perspective:

“My heart literally breaks when a guest ruins an otherwise lovely image or jumps in front of me when I’m capturing a key moment from the day. It completely slays me when this happens because, while I am not remotely egotistical at all, I am fairly confident that my image would have been better than the one they captured. In the past six years of being a professional wedding photographer, it’s also been sad to watch the progression from seeing smiling, encouraging and happy faces as the bride is escorted up the aisle to faces hidden behind the backs of cameras and cellphones that line the aisle”.

Flashing phone cameras can ruin a perfect wedding photo, as the flash can reflect off the professional photographers’ camera lens and destroy a strong image. Other professional photographers have experienced rudeness from wedding guests, who have pushed them out of the way in order to capture their own wedding shots on the cameras. Other photographers may have their shots ruined by guests jumping in front of the lens, to take their own photos. It seems that in many cases, guests seeking to capture weddings on their own devices can make the work of a professional photographer very difficult.

However, many friends and family will want to capture the special moments of your ceremony and may feel upset that they cannot capture your day on film. Allowing your friends and family the opportunity to take their own photos, gives them something to look back on once the day is over. Many people also enjoy taking their own photos of themselves and their immediate friends and families, who they may have attended the wedding with.

Other professional photographers argue that guests taking their own photographs only create a minor nuisance, that can easily be dealt with with self-assertion, “The bigger problem for me is family members looking at someone else with a camera instead of my camera, but that can easily be taken care of by being loud and in charge. In fact, sometimes guests can enhance a wedding photograph if you anticipate their flash and include them in the overall composition”.

How to have an unplugged wedding 

If you’ve weighed up the pros and cons of going unplugged, and a camera-less wedding sounds like something you’d like to make happen, there are a few key ways to implement it.

Firstly, be sure to include a note in your wedding invitations, explaining that you wish for your guests to turn their phones off during the ceremony (and for the following celebrations, if you would like the whole wedding day to be unplugged). Second, remind guests on the day. You can ask someone to make an announcement before the start of your ceremony, asking guests to switch their phones off. Finally, be sure to share all of your professional wedding photos with your guests, so that they have something to remember your day by!

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