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What does ‘unplugged wedding’ mean?
An unplugged wedding is where you and your guests unplug from the world, be it your phone, iPad, camera, or any other technology that is around. An unplugged wedding is about enjoying the moment – your moment, your special day – looking down the aisle to see your friends and family looking back, seeing their emotion, seeing them smile, and feeling the love you share.
On the other side in a world where people are checking their phones, taking photos and uploading to Facebook or Instagram in an instant, do you want to look down the aisle to see your friends and family hiding behind a camera or their phone as they take photos and upload for the world to see before you have even said ‘I Do’?
Why you should have an unplugged wedding?
Think about your guests and why you want them to be there. You want them to be there to enjoy the moment, enjoy the moment of you getting married, to forget about everything and just be there. There is no need for guests to be checking their phone, there is no need for guest to take photos, you have hired a professional wedding photographer.
With social media an everyday part of most peoples lives, do you want all these photos taken by guests splashed up on Facebook before you have walked back down the aisle as husband and wife? Do you want to turn your phone on at the end of the day and have notifications of hundreds of photos you have been tagged in? This is your wedding day and you should be able to choose what is shared and who shares it.
You want your guests to enjoy the day, and be part of it, you haven’t invited your family and friends along to take photos and be a photographer for the day, you have hired a professional for that. You have invited them because you want them there, there in person and not hidden behind a phone.
Should you Ban Guests From Phones and Cameras?
Banning phones and cameras may sound a little strong, but it isn’t about banning them, it is about getting your guest to understand that you have hired a professional wedding photographer and that they can view these photos once ready. You want your guests to understand that you want them to be there and enjoy the moment.
Use signs to advise your guests to not use their phones or camera while the ceremony takes place, add a little message and note to your invite, check out Unplugged Weddings on Pinterest for ideas on signage, wording and creative ways to inform your guests.
3 Ways to kindly ask Your Wedding Guests to Put Away Their Phones…
Wedding Invite & Program Note
Just a simple note on the invite or the wedding program asking for all guests to kindly turn off there devices, phones and cameras, this will prevent any unwanted ringtones going off, distracted guests and phones and cameras from being waved around. You could also follow this up with an announcement before the ceremony to as mentioned in the next point.
Clearly communicate with everyone beforehand that you wish to have a unplugged wedding so that there are no surprises.
Tying in with the first point the best man or a wedding official could politely ask your guests to not take photos as you have a wedding photographer who is capturing you special day, so sit back and enjoy the ceremony!
If you have a band or DJ you could also ask for them to remind your guests to hold back on photos of the first dance so that your wedding photos are not spoilt by guests holding up there phone or random bright lights from camera flashes.
Of course you can have a little fun when kindly informing them to put their phones away, you could put together a creative message on a sign and leave it outside the church or ceremony for guests to see, I’m sure you will no doubt see someone capturing a snap shot of it too on their phone!
‘I usually recommend a chalk board asking for people’s phones or basket for people’s phones. Make it themed so it doesn’t appear rude or that you are “seizing” people’s phones.’ – Paul Williams, Manchester based Wedding Photographer.
Unplugged Weddings. Your Thoughts?
What are your views on uploaded weddings? Do you advise your couples to go unplugged, or are you a bride and groom that have decided to go unplugged?
Kimberly & Kevin’s Beautiful Backyard Ceremony by El Paso Wedding Portraits
It had been ages since we worked on the Wounded Warrior 5K Run together so I was really excited to hear from my long time friend, Kimberly, when she contacted me on Facebook to tell me she was getting married!
She explained that she wasn’t one of those girls who had spent a lot of time dreaming about her wedding day and hadn’t even planned to have a photographer but she did want some un-posed pictures of her guests enjoying the party.
Explaining to her that most of the time, good pictures are posed – at least, a little – Kimberly agreed it might be a good idea to take a few more formal portraits. Just before the ceremony started, I gathered up the Bride and the Groom and we walked a block to the park near the house they share:
Kimberly had told me it was going to be a simple ceremony … nothing to fancy… with low lights in the backyard and Kevin, her fiance, was going to wear shorts. So I was stunned when I arrived to find such beautiful decorations. Take a look: