Whether you are a photographer or about to married, the perfect way to express your wish for an ‘unplugged wedding’…

New York City Photography

Inspiration Behind the Unplugged Wedding

I recently read an interesting article entitled: “When snap-happy guests go too far” ~ photo-bombing at weddings.

This subject hits very close to home for me as it is a very real scenario at many weddings we photograph.

I have numerous stories regarding photo-bombing in my own experience, from being bumped and prodded by a crowd of guests during formals, dodging around iPads suspended in the air while guests are getting their shots, to tripping during a ceremony over a 5 year old who had his own little camera – standing in the aisle!  As a photojournalist-style photographer, you can see my challenge.

Social media, selfies and status updates are a norm, but yet, we are finding that couples are drawn to the unplugged wedding. As the stories and examples similar to what I have experienced float around the net, some of our bridal couples have expressed their wish for their own unplugged wedding.  They have asked us (as their photographers) for examples of something they can put in their invitations or have read just before their ceremony in order to encourage their guests to put away their phones for “no photography moments” on the wedding day.

The Editing Process vs. Unplugged Wedding

After having photographed hundreds of weddings, I have to admit some of my work in post editing (cropping, etc.) may be decided on who got in the way, was there certain lighting from a camera flash that I did not account for, did someone step into the ceremony aisle or raise the camera phone right in front of me, etc. Sometimes, there is only so much a photographer can do; but the ‘only happens once’ scenario, like the first kiss, can be captured without mishaps, just by making the unplugged request.

The Perfect Way to Express Your Wish for the Unplugged Wedding

I want to share with you what our couples have been putting into their invitation package or to be read aloud by the officiant just before the ceremony takes place.   It seems to have been written by an anonymous author (I wish I knew who it was in order that I may give credit to where it is due).  I have found it incredibly useful and fundamental to photographing the natural gesture at weddings that we love to capture.  When guests are not looking through their devices, they are ‘in the moment’… emotions are more prevalent, they are involved more personally and we in turn, get better photographs for the bride and groom.

“We want you to feel truly present and in the moment with us throughout our wedding day. We have hired two amazing photographers who will capture everything about the wedding…including you!  We invite you to sit back, relax, and just enjoy the wedding! We respectfully ask that everyone leave all cameras and cell phones off during the ceremony and the “ceremonial parts” of the reception, including the first dance, parent dances and cake cutting.  We ask you to refrain so that we can see your faces and you can see ours, both now and forever in the photos that our photographers will capture.  Of course we will be happy to share our wedding photos with you afterward!”

A photographer within the CNN article quoted: “It’s not me that you’re hurting, it’s the bride and groom and those who have been invited,” she said. “You don’t want to be the person who blocks the first kiss not just from me, but from other guests, or whose flash ruins the shot when the bride’s father is crying as he walks down the aisle.”

That said, if the bridal couple decides the more photographs, the better, even if they are phone quality, we can always find a way to work around it, but would it not be great to have your moments captured with everyone present and living in the moment?

You can read more about the Snap-Happy Article here.

Thanks for checking out today’s post!  Feel free to leave some love/comments below on your own experiences!