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The “Unplugged” Wedding: A Photographer’s Point of View

Image by Kristen Weaver

“Unplugged” – The new wedding trend. More and more lately I am seeing the trend of couples wanting their guests to be present during their ceremony and reception, and opting to make their wedding “unplugged”. This means guests are asked to kindly refrain from taking photos with their smart phones and iPads and instantly posting them to popular social media sites such as Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. This is in efforts to avoid having a crowd of guests constantly snapping photos with their phone or tablet, and to force them to pay attention and be present during their wedding.

I for one think this is a refreshing idea and feel that we all need to “power down” every now and then and become present to what is happening in front of us, especially with such important events such as a wedding. We are so apt to want to record and “share” the moment that we end up never really being IN the moment. It’s all a part of this fast-­paced world of instant gratification that we live in.

As a wedding photographer, I LOVE the idea of an unplugged wedding. One being that I don’t have to deal with guests holding distracting phones throughout the ceremony taking away from the beautiful scenery. Not only is it distracting visually, but it probably is skewing the view from the person sitting behind them. Another frustrating element I see quite often is a guest with their arm extended in the middle of the aisle, botching up my shot. I’m sure many photographers would agree, this is a common occurrence that we have to constantly battle with. How many times have we had to wade our way through a sea of guests all with cameras just to capture the cake cutting??? The unplugged wedding allows us, as the professional, to focus on documenting the ever-fleeting moments occurring throughout the day and to provide our clients with those important memories.

And lastly, probably the most important reason that people may not think about, is that the guests are A PART of the wedding experience as well. Not only am I focusing on the bride and groom, but half of the amazing moments come from family and friends witnessing the joy and love. It is our job as the professional photographer to anticipate what’s to come and constantly be reading the faces of the crowd.

Think about it…wouldn’t the bride rather have photos of a tear and a smile on their guest’s face rather than a cell phone blocking it? I would love to know what your thoughts are…Feel free to leave a comment and let’s chat!

Xoxo Abby

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