Planning a wedding in the modern day is an intimidating task. From seemingly endless inspiration on Pinterest, websites, and blogs, even the tiniest details require a big decision. Since the rise of Instagram and other image-heavy social media apps, there’s yet another important choice to make. No, not your clever couple’s hashtag… the decision of whether or not you are going to enforce an unplugged wedding.
While some couples encourage their guests to snap photos throughout the entire wedding and share them online, others are requesting everyone put their cameras away and stay tuned for the professional photos. There are pros and cons to either choice, and this decision may not come easily. If you are wedding planning, you likely have enough to worry about— so consider the following insider advice in order to determine whether or not an unplugged wedding is right for you.
If you’ve been to a wedding in the last ten years, you’ve likely either witnessed an obnoxious guest going great lengths to get the perfect shot with their iPhone. If not, all it takes is a quick Google search to retrieve dozens of images from wedding ceremonies in which someone is standing in the way of your wedding photographer during the most picturesque moments of this once-in-a-lifetime event.
With multiple cameras present, it is difficult for your guests to know where to look while being photographed. Throughout the day, it’s important that your wedding photographer has everyone’s attention. Unless your goal is to get a picture with grandma looking in the wrong direction. Family and bridal party portraits go by much faster when all attention is on the wedding photographer. Getting everyone to look in one direction is often a reason that portraits run late.
Do you want to look back on your wedding photos only to see guests lined up in the background with their smartphones covering their faces? Do you want images of your reception with tables full of people looking down at their handheld devices? If your answer is no, an unplugged wedding may be the right choice for you.
Some couples make the decision to see each other in a private moment before the ceremony, known as the first look. Whether you are having a first look or going traditional, the last thing you want is for your moment to be ruined by accidentally seeing each other before your big moment. All too often, either the bride or the groom gets a sneak peek of their betrothed due to a preemptive post on social media. Ditching cameras and phones on the morning of the wedding will not only keep everyone present and involved in the wedding preparations, but it’ll greatly reduce the risk of an early reveal.
After the months or maybe even years of planning, the wedding is finally over, and you get to relax! But not so fast, if you’ve had an unplugged wedding, you can bet that your family and friends will be asking to see the professional photos. Be sure to discuss with your wedding photographer what post production time looks like so that you can be prepared to share with family & friends when the time comes.
Although your wedding photographer will be looking for the best moments throughout your big day, they can only photograph what they see in the moment. There are always multiple things going on at one time. This could be anything from your maid of honor popping champagne for mimosas, the flower girl asleep during the ceremony, or mom and dad stealing a kiss after your brother’s toast. These are the small moments that could be captured by your guests. And while they may not be professional quality, they will likely still mean a lot to you for years to come.
For most couples, there are some invited guests who aren’t able to make it to their wedding. With the use of hashtags and photo sharing, those who couldn’t attend will get an inside perspective of your wedding. They can catch a glimpse of the dress from guests who post during the ceremony, see group photos of their friends and family at cocktail hour, and even witness bits of your first dance as husband and wife from videos taken at the reception. Sharing the small moments of your big day as it progresses can make everyone feel like they were included.
If you’re on the edge about the unplugged decision, you could always just ask guests to put the tech away during the ceremony. This way, your aunt’s tablet isn’t in the way of your wedding photographer’s shot as the bride walks down the aisle, but your guest can still capture moments during the reception. At the end of the day, the most important part of your wedding is that you and your guests have fun and can cherish the memories.
Guest Blogger Abigail Golder:
Abigail is a DIY bride with an upcoming wedding date in September! She has been planning her Colorado wedding from her home in Arizona with a little help from her wonderful friends, family, and of course, her future hubby. She is an SEO Analyst and Freelance Content Writer who loves to share a great story. Originally from Colorado, Abigail grew up in a small town called Montrose and she still spends much of her free time in the mountains hiking and skiing.
You can connect with Abigail Golder Here!
Thank you Abby for writing such an amazing blog post! I truly appreciate you taking time to guest blog, as I know you are currently busy in your own season of wedding planning!
-Happy wedding planning,
Did you find this post useful? As a wedding photographer I have learned so many wedding planning tips and tricks and I love to share! If you are a bride be sure to catch up on our other wedding planning materials HERE!