Want Your Guests to Be Present at Your Wedding Day? Go Unplugged.

Oh wow, writing this post when I work as a professional wedding photographer is hard. Mainly because it’s hard to stay unbiased. I took to the internet trying to find some really great material on the matter and it sways either one way or the other. I’m going to try to bridge that gap here with a list of my Top 3 Reasons You Need to UNPLUG YOUR WEDDING!

If you’ve gotten this far and I still have you scratching your head here questioning “what exactly is an unplugged wedding?” Well, there are a few different levels of unplugged so let’s start with the basics. An unplugged wedding is literally a wedding where there are no devices allowed, which also means no extra “photographers.” Not from the bridal party, not from your uncle who “has a nice camera,” not from the second cousin three times removed that your mother insisted be invited. Your wedding can be completely unplugged for the entire day, just the ceremony, photo restriction only, or social media blackout only. But whatever route you go here are the main benefits of doing so;

  1. Your guests will stay present and interact with you and your other guests more. I am a big proponent of staying present in the moment and this can easily be done simply by turning off your device. It’s so easy to get distracted, by one little vibrate indicating you have a new text and the wormhole begins the second you check it – it’s never just one click.
  2. You hired a professional photographer and they are at your wedding to do a job. Keyword professional. This photographer has invested in their career, they have invested in learning how to take great photos in all lighting situations and they are now investing that knowledge back into your wedding day. Although technology and access to cameras has advanced the truth is most people’s photography taking skills haven’t. Not having guests to compete with over a prime photo (or what the photography industry refers to as the “uncle Bob” of the wedding – you know the family member with a nice camera) not only allows the photographer to do their job but also get great shots! Really, what bride wants hands holding cell phones jutting out into the photo as she’s walking down the aisle?
  3. Privacy. Point blank even with most of the world on social media there are those that still have no desire to put their life out there on the internet. Yes, there are those that post everything that happens in their lives and most of the time if these people take a group photo at a guest at a wedding they assume that it’s ok for the photo to be publicized – not necessarily true. Another point to the privacy concern is that couples also sometimes face some tough decisions on who to invite or not invite to their wedding. Sharing of photos and videos can lead to uncomfortable or awkward situations even if inadvertently.

Ultimately, you make the decision on whether to go unplugged or not, but if you are even considering going this route it’s a great idea to talk with both your wedding photographer and planner ahead of time about the best way to go about it. A planner will help with details on how to make the announcement to guests prior to your wedding day and again on the day softening the sometimes hard to take news (especially for the social media “over-sharers”). Often times a photographer will work to get you some great sneak peeks more quickly to ease the “on the edge of your seat” feeling that comes with an unplugged wedding. A photographer should also be able to provide you with a way guests can access photos to view once they have been edited and delivered.