All eyes on the beautiful couple.
Hello, friend! Nice to meet you! You might be reading this because:
a. You (a couple) are considering an unplugged ceremony.
b. You (a photographer) are trying to find out how to talk to your clients about the pros and cons of unplugged ceremonies.
c. You (a guest) have been directed here by a couple to explain why you can not use your phone/camera/iPad during their vows.
First things first: What is an unplugged wedding?
Having an unplugged wedding means that during your ceremony, from beginning to end, you are kindly requesting that your guests enjoy the moment in real time. It means that no cell phones or other devices are flashing, beeping, or being held out into the aisle. It means you are so happy that your guests are here to celebrate your wedding, and you would love for them to put technology aside for this incredible event and just be in the moment.
Considerations for going unplugged
From a couple’s standpoint: This is one of the most important life events that you will have, and certainly one of the most carefully planned and anticipated. Phones and other devices can be a barrier, both physical and emotional, to your loved ones being truly present. Technology is wonderful, but it can also have a way of intruding into quiet moments with beeps and flashes. Those raised devices can block the view of your other guests. Do you need 15 guests to livestream the event (perhaps one designated and discrete friend in the front row is enough, if it is absolutely needed)? Do you want guests standing in the aisle between you and your beloved?
From a photographer’s standpoint: Let me first say that I, Leigha Chhay, do not have a preference. This is your day, and it should be exactly as you want it to be. That being said, I want to be clear that your choice of unplugged or free-for-all can (and probably will) impact your photos.
a. Moments are fleeting, and if an arm with a cell phone shoots out into the shot and blocks a face, no amount of Photoshop can get the moment back. I will not post images to embarrass any guests (or anger couple who recognize the “in the way” person), but I can assure you that cell phones, guests who are part-time/aspiring shutterbugs, as well as folks with full blown iPads, have popped up in front of some very quick, but deeply emotional moments. Most often I can move to get the shot… but occasionally, the moment has passed. Did the guest get the shot? Maybe, maybe not. In any case, couples invest a good portion of their wedding budget toward photography and it is important to consider what may or may not be lost due to a well-intentioned Snapchat or Insta post.
b. beep.flash.click. The sounds and light from tech during a quiet ceremony are undeniable. I can clearly remember a wedding during which sweet family member had a beautiful camera that just so happened to beep loudly. The guest did not seem to mind, or didn’t know how to turn off the beep, and took many *beep* pictures *beep* during*beep* the*beep* ceremony…*beep*.
c. Cool case, Bro! Pink, red, neon green- cell phones up in the air or in the aisle will be in your images.
So… should I, or shouldn’t I?
If none of these considerations is a concern to you, then by all means have a device free-for-all. Go nuts! Party with your iPad! Snapchat that kiss! GeoTag those I do’s!
If something in these considerations struck a nerve, then unplugged might be something to consider.
Do what is right for you and your fiance. Your family and friends will love and support you, either way. These moments are once in a lifetime. Go for what you want, like this little lady who made the bouquet *hers*.